The show, which opened and closed with the group, featured all the members getting new masks and some getting new names. Dominik Dijakovic is now going by the name T-Bar, Dio Maddin has been dubbed Mace, and Slapjack is believed to be Shane Thorne.
According to the WrestleVotes report, the new names and masks have reportedly given the members an “impossible” hurdle to overcome. The general consensus behind the scenes is that the gimmicks are too goofy for them to make it as top superstars.
The group also revealed that they’ve signed WWE contracts, which has supposedly given them the freedom to cause chaos on the red brand’s weekly show. This element of the storyline was criticized as most fans recognize the superstars from NXT and know that they already had contracts with the company.
However, the storyline appears to be trying to overlook their history before joining the main roster, as if they never competed on the black-and-gold brand.
The commentary team didn’t mention the superstars’ previous ring names, even though Dijakovic, Maddin, Mercedes Martinez and Mia Yim were clearly behind the masks. All of these performers are known among the fans as they have been featured on television in the past.
Sportskeeda also noted how the WWE Universe had a negative reaction to their monikers.
“Those names are going to disappear quicker than Keith Lee’s theme,” wrote one social media user.
Another shared a popular Chris Jericho meme in which he talked about a “stupid idea from bad creative.” Many fans echoed similar sentiments.
The group’s booking on this week’s Monday Night Raw was also questionable. They lost their first official match against The Hurt Business, which may have damaged their in-ring credibility from the offset.
RETRIBUTION was disqualified from the bout after other masked wrestlers interfered. While there’s a case to be made that they looked strong in defeat, some pundits viewed the loss as an immediate blemish on their record, and one that’s hampered their momentum.
However, the stable does appear to be in line for a major push for the next couple of months. As The Inquisitr reported earlier, they will reportedly feature in the main event of the upcoming Survivor Series pay-per-view.
The bout will presumably be a traditional five-on-five tag team match against performers representing the company. As the report highlighted, other members of the stable are expected to be unmasked by then.