In a recent debate concerning the origin of the negative priming (NP) effect, evidence for the involvement of retrieval processes during the prime episode has accumulated. Rothermund, Wentura, and De Houwer (2005) explain the effect as a product of a conflict between retrieved and current response. Since specific properties of the involved encoding and retrieval mechanisms were not investigated so far, we extend the response-retrieval framework by asking if encoding during prime processing and retrieval-specific processes during probe processing have a modulating influence on the priming effects. In an overlapping-picture task experiment with an explicit variation of the role of the objects in prime and probe, we reproduce the response-retrieval-specific Response-retrieval × Priming interaction but find a modulation caused by the role of the repeated object in the probe trial. This modulation manifests in a vanishing interaction when the repeated object is a distractor in the probe. We interpret these findings in support of the response-retrieval theory of NP and conclude that the retrieval mechanism is more flexible than previously believed since it is sensitive to relevance of the repeated object regarding the experimental task.