Vince McMahon and other names were pitched to be Retribution’s leader

During an appearance on the Two Man Power Trip podcast, former WWE star Shane Thorne aka Slapjack talked about the development of the Retribution faction…

“When they first started RETRIBUTION, these segments were awesome. They were flipping cars, throwing Molotov cocktails, trashing the place. I don’t know who did that, but that wasn’t us. Then they were like, ‘we’re gonna have some people join RETRIBUTION.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck yeah. I’m gonna smash people and do this shit and be hooligans doing this pre-taped things.’ MACE did stuff on the backstage, he was one of the people launching people over boxes and he was like, ‘this is cool.’ I’m like, ‘Fuck yeah, we’re gonna get in there and do that.’ We did not.”

“My theory, I’ve never been told anything solid, but my theory was, we were running out of the PC at the time with a skeleton crew, none of the big stars were coming every week. We moved to the ThunderDome, all the big stars came back, and Vince had his stars to play with now. That’s what happened. When your TV show gets the main characters back, you’re going to use the main characters. We pitched ideas to have a lot of different people as the leader like Shane McMahon, Edge, or someone higher. We pitched for Vince to be the leader as well. We went as high as possible with who the leader would be. We wanted to be attached with one of the main characters. I guess, at the start, we were. We were doing stuff with Bray Wyatt and Hurt Business,” he said. “The only direction we really got was after we did something. We got a lot of creative freedom in that, to an extent. ‘Be like this,’ then we’d do it, ‘sort of not like that.’ It was very trial and error and I think they got bored of it, honestly. Ali becoming the leader was not something we pitched, but it was a happy coincidence. It was great when we found that out. We were stoked about that, then the little storyline we had there with him turning his back, that was great and was a story. Then it wrapped up and finished again.”

Thorne also commented on the masks and the names…

“We assumed the masks were going to be an entrance thing. That was a whirlwind of a day. We knew they wanted masks. I don’t know if it came from Dijak pitching, even before, he was pitching terrifying mask things for himself. He said he had given Vince that pitch and Vince loved it. The guy who made Bray Wyatt’s masks, made these masks as well. The quality were amazing. [Jason Baker] did not design them, he did the best with what they gave him. We saw how mine turned out. I guess they wanted to see how we did with it because we did do a promo where it showed us before the masks and then Ali, the name thing was like, ‘You’re going to make fun of these names like you did with my name, so I’ve taken these people and this is the identity I want….’ It was like to shock you and then we become ourselves again. I think that’s where it was going to go, then it didn’t go. It was rough.”

“We were in the opening segment, it could have been the first time we had the masks. We were running through it. We had to run backstage and as we run backstage, we get pulled aside and were like, ‘here are your new names; SLAPJACK, T-BAR, MACE, RECKONING.’ We were just like…the wheels are off. I know what a slapjack is, but I wanted to hear it from them. ‘What a slapjack?’ ‘It’s this badass weapon.’ I knew it was going to be bad.” (quotes courtesy of