The debut of Retribution came at an unprecedented time in the world of professional wrestling. Thorne was one of many talents performing at the WWE Performance Center in front of no fans. Fans got a first look at Retribution in the form of vignettes featuring destruction at the PC.
“When they first started Retribution, these segments were awesome. Flipping cars, throwing Molotov cocktails, trashing the place. I don’t know who did that, but that wasn’t us,” Thorne recalled. “When they were like ‘yeah we’re gonna have some people join Retribution’, I’m like ‘f**k yeah man. I’m going to smash some people and do all this s**t and just gonna be like hooligans doing all these pretaped things.
“Mace was the first one actually. He did stuff in the backstage. They did like backstage stuff with Retribution. He was one of the people there launching people over boxes and stuff like that. He was like ‘yeah this is cool’, and I’m like ‘f**k yes. We’re gonna get in there, and we’re gonna do that. And then it did not become that at all.”
At the genesis of Retribution, there was no specific leader. However, according to Shane Thorne, members of Retribution had major names in mind as the group’s potential leader.
“We pitched ideas to have a lot of different people as the leader like Shane McMahon or Edge,” Thorne recounted. “Someone higher, like as high as possible, we went as high as possible. We pitched to Vince [McMahon] to be the leader as well, and we went as high as possible as to who the leader would be. We wanted to be attached to one of the main characters.”
Ultimately, it was Mustafa Ali that would be revealed as Retribution’s leader. The group worked with a lot of main talents like Bray Wyatt and Bobby Lashley, but they reached higher levels. However, a “lack of direction” caused the group’s momentum to halt, and the team disbanded in early 2021.
“The only direction we ever really got was after we did something, so we got a lot of creative freedom in that to an extent,” Thorne said. “I think they [WWE management] just got bored of it honestly. Ali becoming the leader was not something we pitched, but it was a happy coincidence.
“That was great. When we found that out, we were pretty stoked about that. Then the little storyline we had there of him turning his back on those guys. I’m like ‘this is great. this is a story’, and then wrapped up and finished again.”
To quote this article, please credit Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling Podcast and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
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