AJ Francis, FKA Top Dolla, Discusses Hit Row's WWE Return

In November 2021, Hit Row's Ashante "Thee" Adonis, B-Fab, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, and Top Dolla found themselves caught in a wave of WWE talent releases. 9 months later, the group (minus Scott, who joined AEW under the name of Swerve Strickland) returned to the company through tag team competition on the August 12, 2022 episode of "WWE SmackDown." During a recent interview with "Insight With Chris Van Vliet," Top Dolla, now known as AJ Francis, explained how their resurgence came together with the help of WWE Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque.


"[Triple H] calls me and says, 'When can I have you'? And I was like 'Tomorrow, if you booked a flight. I'm ready right now, but I don't want to come back if I'm not coming back with the rest of the Row.' I don't know if me saying that is the reason he decided to bring them back too or if he was already going to bring us all back. But I said that to him," Francis said. "So then two days later, we set up a call with all of us and [Triple H] laid out the plan. Then we re-debuted the week after that, and that's when we came out in North Carolina. It was a great time and the crowd reacted crazy."

Despite the hype surrounding their initial return to WWE, Hit Row's on-screen appearances gradually became less and less frequent. According to Francis, WWE never truly formulated concrete plans for the faction, and even when Hit Row approached the creative team with their own ideas, they were sparingly used. Ultimately, the lifespan of this Hit Row reunion proved to be rather brief, as Francis was released from WWE again in September 2023.