This paper presents a unified mathematical paradigm, based on stochastic geometry, for downlink cellular networks with multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) base stations (BSs). The developed paradigm accounts for signal retransmission upon decoding errors, in which the temporal correlation among the signal-to-interference-plus-noise-ratio (SINR) of the original and retransmitted signals is captured. In addition to modeling the effect of retransmission on the network performance, the developed mathematical model presents twofold analysis unification for MIMO cellular networks literature. First, it integrates the tangible decoding error probability and the abstracted (i.e., modulation scheme and receiver type agnostic) outage probability analysis, which are largely disjoint in the literature. Second, it unifies the analysis for different MIMO configurations. The unified MIMO analysis is achieved by abstracting unnecessary information conveyed within the interfering signals by Gaussian signaling approximation along with an equivalent SISO representation for the per-data stream SINR in MIMO cellular networks. We show that the proposed unification simplifies the analysis without sacrificing the model accuracy. To this end, we discuss the diversity-multiplexing tradeoff imposed by different MIMO schemes and shed light on the diversity loss due to the temporal correlation among the SINRs of the original and retransmitted signals. Finally, several design insights are highlighted.