The leader of RETRIBUTION, Mustafa Ali, was on a recent episode of the WWE After The Bell podcast, where he discussed the idea of he and his members having a chip on their shoulders. Ali infamously had a big moment taken away from him due to injury when he was cut from a SmackDown gauntlet match due to injury, which led to Kofi Kingston taking his spot and starting his run towards the WWE Championship. Ali noted that nearly everyone in RETRIBUTION has had a similar moment taken away from them.
“They’ve all had a moment that was taken away from them,” Ali pointed out. “We have Mace that was doing great on RAW commentary, and then Brock [Lesnar] simply comes out and puts him through a table, and now he’s done. He never came back. We have Dijakovic, T-Bar, that was choked out by Karrion Kross and his best friend Keith Lee watched, and then Keith Lee goes up to the main roster leaving Dijakovic with nothing.
“Mia Yim was at a TakeOver PPV and was taken out before the War Games match. The person that took her out was never reprimanded. You have all these stories about these guys and girls that have had something taken away from them and nothing has happened. So the the sentiment of chip on your shoulder is very appropriate for RETRIBUTION.”
Ali noted that he has now gone from a talent sitting at home doing nothing to being featured on multiple segments on Monday Night RAW. He also said that RETRIBUTION is his story, speaking on how he was overlooked, how the company cares more about money than people, and how he has been judged for his name and how he looks.
“As far as opportunity, I went from a guy that was sitting at home for seven months to a guy that has seven segments now on RAW,” Ali noted. “I am built for this, I am ready for this. What I’m asking for is what I’m finally getting. I’ve been asking for a story, and what better story to tell than your story? RETRIBUTION is me. I felt overlooked. I felt that the company looks at profit over people. I felt what my name is and what I look like has defined me to some extent and has inhibited me from growing.”
Ali also addressed the strange names that the members of RETRIBUTION has. He spoke on the idea of people having prejudice over others for having a different name or look.
“I know people love to kind of poke fun at Slapjack and the stupid mask. There’s so much art in this story,” Ali said. “I knew a lot of it was going to go over people’s heads. This is just a crazy concept – imagine having people make preconceived ideas about you because of your name and what you look like. I’ll let that sit for a little bit so you guys can all resonate.
“Imagine a guy named Mustafa Ali renaming people so that they could understand what it feels like to be judged by your name and what you look like? Go ahead, internet. Continue to make fun of like-puppets because you guys don’t appreciate real art. Go ahead and let that process for a second. ‘What a stupid name! Oh, he looks like an idiot.’ That’s what I’ve been dealing with for 17 years. Art, ladies and gentlemen. You can see if it’s slapped you in the face.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE After The Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.