After a week off live television due to real life Coronavirus concerns, T-Barr, Mace and friends made their return to Raw last night and made waves by revealing a surprise name as their leader – Mustafa Ali!
The revelation came about as the culmination of a show long storyline featuring The Hurt Business against their babyface rivals, Ali, Apollo Crews and Ricochet.
MVP had offered one open spot in his faction for any of the three that wished to take it, with the tease that Ricochet had his head turned by the group.
Eventually he and the others brushed off the off offer which led to a one on one match between Ali and MVP. At the conclusion of the match, the lights flickered and RETRIBUTION made their return.
Whilst initially standing tall with his rivals against the (Contracted and management approved) invaders, Ali soon slid out the ring, seemingly to confront the masked group. Before long though he slowly turned, sporting the grin only a wrestler turning heel ever sports and made it clear he was part of the new stable. The segment ended with Ali symbolically holding out his open palm before turning it into a fist.
This action seems help with a number of gripes levelled at Raw booking in the last few weeks. Firstly, it gives Ali the significant position on the roster that many have clamoured for. Since coming to Raw he has been featured sporadically and has aired his frustrations about spinning his wheels on social media. These posts may have been part of the bigger narrative that became clear last night.
It also goes along way to adding purpose to RETRIBUTION. Despite their A+ Twitter game (Seriously, T-BARR must be followed if you don’t already), the faction has been snake-bitten on screen since their debut. With Ali as their leader and a growing rivalry with The Hurt Business (Rather than a generic ‘take over Raw’ mission statement), maybe we will see them turn the corner.