Few sports or entertainment platforms are prone to overreaction quite like professional wrestling.
Within seconds of a given match or angle, fans quickly fly off the handle, voicing their pleasure or frustration over the newest development across social media.
Sometimes it is warranted, others it is an obvious overreaction that did not take into consideration a few different moving pieces.
The September 21 episode of WWE Raw provided fans with plenty of ammunition for overreaction, but what was justified and what was not as the company revealed Retribution, featured the latest soap opera twist in the Rey Mysterio-Seth Rollins feud and left fans scratching their heads at creative decisions involving some of the top stars in the company?
Retribution is Here
Renegades no more, Retribution signed WWE contracts and made their official debut Monday on Raw. Their presence at the top of the show, coupled with an altered appearance that included masks right out of Mad Max: Fury Road, sparked social media reaction.
The names revealed on commentary later in the evening—Slapjack, T-Bar and Mace—did not help matters.
Finally, the lack of continuity and even common sense frustrated the WWE Universe as too many plotholes and loose ends were not properly addressed.
And understandably so.
Retribution's revelation on this week's flagship felt rushed, sloppy and last-minute. After weeks of chaos and hell-raising under black ski masks and hoodies, the invaders suddenly and inexplicably revealed themselves to be mask-wearing anarchists who denounce any and all that accept money from "the man."
Except, you know, they signed contracts with the company, as revealed by Michael Cole just moments before Dominik "T-Bar" Dijakovic criticized The Hurt Business for lining their pockets with WWE money.
The inconsistency, the creative sloppiness and the frustratingly stupid names that will never be uttered alongside the phrase "and NEW WWE champion" helped make Retribution's first official appearance as members of the WWE roster a flop the likes of which we have not seen since Shockmaster tripped and stumbled his way into infamy.
Overreaction: Totally and unequivocally justified
Another Mysterio Paternity Case
A week after Aalyah showed compassion for Murphy, Seth Rollins took to the squared circle to reveal that, upon discovering a DNA test, the youngest daughter of future Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio is not actually his.
The plot twist left the wrestling world feeling a bit of deja vu.
But what if the angle is not intended to be some soap opera development that leads to a convoluted custody case? What if it is merely a mind game designed by The Monday Night Messiah to further drive a wedge in a family he has clearly developed a love for tormenting?
There was plenty to hate about the angle and the way it was executed, but veteran writer Scott Fishman brought up an excellent point regarding Aalyah's involvement and a possible connection to one of the best storyline developments in WWE history.
There was plenty about Monday's Raw to hate. The Retribution nonsense, the complete disregard for attention to detail and the questionable booking of Superstars up and down the card.
If the long-term goal does turn out to be a rehash of the 2005 storyline involving Dominik, which is more fondly remembered in hindsight because of the late Eddie Guerrero's involvement despite being a creative turd, it absolutely warrants a venomous reaction.
For now, not so much.
Overreaction: Slightly warranted due to repetition, but looking upward
Roman Reigns to Wrestle Shirtless?!
Don't look now, but the days of vested Roman Reigns appear to be over.
Alex McCarthy of TalkSport tweeted that Reigns discussed wrestling shirtless with fans during a Zoom call, finally ridding himself of the tactical vest that should have gone the way of the dinosaurs once The Shield broke up six years ago.
Alex McCarthy @AlexM_talkSPORT
Roman Reigns will be changing his ring attire and music "You watch this Sunday, you’ll see me with my shirt off, so that would be the change," Reigns said on a zoom call with fans. Reigns also noted that he will have new music once "more drastic things happen" in his storyline.
The excitement for a shirtless Reigns across social media was palpable.
Handy 💙 |Roman Reigns Era| @HandyRed_
Thanks to a friend I have this to share but only this, I'm sure all who met @WWERomanReigns via zoom will share if they choose to. Just a snippet. But.. straight from The Tribal Chief's mouth 😏🔥 shirtless on Sunday? Btw Champ your body is PERFECT... better than any BB 😉 https://t.co/V6P0JKy8s4
Some things are taken so seriously, and addressed with such intense vigor, that the idea of a guy changing up his gear ever so slightly has created a groundswell of positivity. It is the sort of overreaction that is welcome in today's wrestling landscape, where every minute detail is scrutinized. Everyone knows more than the next guy, and nothing a company can do is enough to satisfy the masses.
Reigns defends the universal title against cousin Jey Uso on Sunday night at Clash of Champions: Gold Rush, and if the weeks leading up to the match are any indication, fans are fixing to see a side of The Big Dog we have yet to bear witness to in WWE.
That, more than any outfit change or association with Paul Heyman, will go a long way in determining the overall effectiveness of Reigns' eagerly accepted heel turn.
Overreaction: Absolutely, but a fun one