Swerve Strickland On What 'Hit Hard' About Hit Row's WWE Main Roster Call-Up

Once upon a time in WWE, Swerve Strickland — known then as Isaiah "Swerve" Scott — had been considered the centerpiece of Hit Row. The group found success in "NXT" before being called up to "SmackDown" after only five months together. However, things unraveled quickly for the stable, and the entire group would find itself released from the company less than two months after their main roster debut. But Strickland could see things were going south for Hit Row quickly, and, during a recent appearance on "The Sessions with Renée Paquette," he reflected on the moment he knew that WWE had no real plans for them.


"It hit hard because they got rid of Briana right away," Strickland said. "It was like, 'Oh!' That indicated to me and everybody else, it was like, 'I don't think they believe in us as much as they think they should believe in us.' For me, the writing was on the wall. I was like, 'Oh, okay.' It's about as far as we can go if they're already dismantling pieces like Legos off the bat, and especially at the time where WWE was going, everybody was kinda flying off the shelf left and right. It was literally like the movie 'Nope' — people just getting sucked into the sky and it's just like, 'Oh, okay. He's gone now.'"

Strickland ended up signing with AEW several months later and became one-half of the AEW World Tag Team Champions with another former WWE Superstar, Keith Lee, in less than six months. As for the rest of Hit Row — Top Dolla, Ashante "Thee" Adonis, and Briana — the trio returned to WWE back in August to reform the group, sans Swerve Strickland, following Vince McMahon's retirement and Paul "Triple H" Levesque's promotion to Chief Content Officer.


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Sessions with Renée Paquette" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.