WWE SmackDown on Friday night ended in bizarre fashion as the newest faction being pushed by the company came in and destroyed the blue brand’s set. Retribution, as WWE has been calling them, made their debut on Monday night during Raw. The group was shown via some security footage destroying an electrical generator outside the WWE Performance Center. This was supposed to be the explanation for what caused electrical problems throughout the three hour broadcast.
On Friday night, we saw the group make another appearance, but in a much bigger and more impactful way. There were blips throughout the broadcast, but during the final scene of the show, the lights went out during a backstage segment between Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Then, back in the main staging area of the Performance Center, the five masked individuals came to the ring and began a path of destruction.
Retribution proceeded to destroy the ring, use spray paint on property around the ring (including the plexiglass barriers), and even attack some of the NXT “fans” at ringside. They even used a chainsaw on the ring itself (we’re not sure where that came from).
Fans seemed to be split on social media about what was seen and how WWE has gone about portraying this angle, though the bulk of the reaction of what we were seeing was negative. The angle is clearly being pushed and inspired by the unrest happening throughout the United States right now, and that rationale has seemed to rub a lot of people the wrong way.
Check out some of the reactions we saw on social media.
Give It A Chance Before Critiquing?
WWE could either hit a home run or completely strike out with this Retribution faction. Everyone needs to give it a chance before bashing on it. #SmackDown
— Sean Slate (@slate_s42) August 8, 2020
RETRIBUTION are on #SmackDown!
They’re actually being smart and not having them just on one brand! pic.twitter.com/U1TSPunmqA
— Gary Cassidy (@WrestlingGary) August 8, 2020
They Did Seem…Smaller Than Most
Why does everyone in RETRIBUTION look like they’re about 4 ft tall? #SmackDown
— Blake Oestriecher (@BOestriecher) August 8, 2020
Just watched the #Retribution segment from #Smackdown. Disgusting, cynical and utterly tone deaf to what’s going on in this country. The below image — from when the group stalk, surround and beat a terrified young woman — is partularly abhorrent.@wwe and #Fox should apologize. pic.twitter.com/ZxckNFYoZp
— Jason Chirevas (@JasonChirevas) August 8, 2020
That Height Thing Again
RETRIBUTION MORE LIKE… pic.twitter.com/reYE5OzQz7
— YOUNG BLACK & GIF’D (@DaCosta3) August 8, 2020
The Cuts Were Very Bad
“It’s meant to be CHAOS” doesn’t make much sense when every WWE Raw and Smackdown has had stupid zooms, cuts and shakes since 2013
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) August 8, 2020
Is That The Motivation?
Vince McMahon has definitely been spending a lot of his late nights watching riots on cable news and reading conspiracy theories about ANTIFA #SmackDown
— Top Rope Nation Podcast (@TopRopeNation) August 8, 2020
Retribution is essentially Nexus in ski masks and hoodies. #SmackDown
— Chris Toplack (@christoplack) August 8, 2020
Tim M. Hill helped bring Digital-Overload from a weekly newsletter to a full-fledged news site by creating a new website and branding. He continues to assist in keeping the site responsive and well organized for the readers. As a writer to Digital-Overload, Tim mainly covers mobile news and gadgets.