It all started with what scanned as an official communication from Pro Wrestling Sheet:
"[RETRIBUTION] is set to “cause chaos” in WWE from a storyline standpoint and use any means necessary to get the attention of management. Our sources say the "chaos" is being caused by the group in an effort to loosen control over WWE Superstars and change the way the organization operates."
The Sheet additionally reported - complete with all caps, in what seemed to deflect any potential accusations of exploitation - that "Our sources additionally tell us this storyline is specific to WWE and NOT intended to be political."
WWE's official social media account also confirmed the arrival of a new stable: a group of insurgents who in reality probably wouldn't want to advertise their cloak-and-dagger vandalism ahead of time, lest they get, you know, caught.
On the 3 August Monday Night RAW, to explain some incredibly minor and barely inconvenient technical hiccups this group was allegedly behind, security cameras captured footage of black-clad unknowns lobbing molotov cocktails at a power generator. They wildly celebrated a transgression that the commentary team seemed only mildly perturbed by.
The "big" SmackDown angle of 7 August invited widespread mockery. "Oh my God, is that - is that RETRIBUTION?!" Michael Cole said, as a group of very short people spray-painted the WWE logo on plexiglass before crossing it out. Take that, the f*cking Man.
CONT'D...(1 of 6)