Isaiah “Swerve” Scott was a guest on the latest WWE After the Bell Podcast with Corey Graves where he spoke about his new faction “Hit Row”. The group debuted in May and was successful in helping Scott dethrone Bronson Reed at the end of June for the NXT North American Championship.
Scott spoke about where the idea of the group came from, having spent 2 years in NXT without a clear direction. The 30-year-old talked about the other three members of the group and described how unique it was for four musicians to come together and form a faction.
“The way it came about was very simple, it wasn’t a very long constructed idea,” Scott said. “There was Top Dolla, he was AJ Francis at the time and Ashante Adonis and B-FAB, they were forming something called the Hit Makers as their own trios group. They were together about eight months actually just doing a lot of in house shows, it was a project that they were feeling out. Ashante was still doing 205 Live and other things, AJ Francis was going off to do WWE Treasures as well. Scheduling wise it was hard to get them all to come together at the same time. I was kind of trying to do something different and unique myself, I was kind of done with my look and a lot of where my mannerisms were going and trying to do a transition as well.
“I don’t think the volume was turned up high, let me really really dive into it, if I want to commit to something I really want to dive into it all the way and go into a different way that nobody else looks like, not just in the WWE Universe but anywhere in wrestling. After one of the NXT TV shows, Triple H approached me with the Hit Makers idea and he said he wanted to put them together and there’s a lot that they can learn from me, 12 years of wrestling experience and then they can add a lot of muscle and impact to where I was transitioning. We all just happened to be music artists, so it was like wow, how often do you get musicians that compete at a high level in the ring at one time. AJ, before he came to WWE, he was doing a faction called The Row out in the independents. It was pretty cool, Death Row spinoff type thing and we were like what if we took that hard, grittiness, in your face, a little rugged and unscripted filter and brought it here. We just formed it together and started throwing ideas, everybody was agreeing which is extremely rare. Next thing you know we did that one promo and debuted on NXT that night.”
Top Dolla, aka AJ Francis, was a former NFL player who played five seasons for numerous teams and made his debut for NXT a week prior to Hit Row’s debut. Scott mentioned why Francis is the heart and soul of the group, and how everyone in the group has a connection.
“That man is unapologetic and unafraid,” Scott said. “I love that. That’s the heartbeat of the group right there. The fact that he says what’s on his mind, when he gets to TV he already has stuff on his mind that he’s going to say. He has that energy, he’s not afraid to jump in front when the red light comes on, he’s a performer. That’s the thing I love about everybody in the group, everybody is a performer in every aspect of it. Music, acting, camera work, even in the pro wrestling thing, they are not afraid to jump in front and say ‘Look at me.’
“That’s what you want, you want everybody, when it’s their time, they jump in and are like ‘Look at me, watch me work.’ They want to be heard, they want to be seen, they want the pressure on them. It’s very rare to find four people that can do that and AJ is like the one that wants to be the loudest, the most obnoxious, wants to say something that makes everybody gasp, rap a bar that makes people want to go back and listen to it over and over again. There’s a lot of stuff I’ve learned from him too.”
On this past week’s episode of WWE NXT, Hit Row confronted Legado Del Fantasma, setting up a potential matchup between the two groups down the line. Scott talked about the potential of the faction, stating that he believes they will represent something the WWE Universe hasn’t seen and set a new standard for factions.
“The sky’s the limit,” Scott said. “At this point we’re shooting for the stars and hoping to hit the moon man. We’re doing something that’s so unique and different, but right now anything can happen at this point. It’s hard to set a goal for what we’re trying to do. For me I would like to be the longest reigning NXT North American Champion in history, I would like that accolade, that record to be broken and have my name solidified for a long time. Right now we’re trying to make the culture proud, really trying to push it forward, really trying to do something that’s never been done in a time where we’re getting back to fans coming in, getting back to normalcy. I’m trying to be something that people use myself and Hit Row, okay this is the standard now.
“We’re so used to seeing so many other characters on the screen, no these guys are the standard now. Reaching us is going to be really hard. That’s no slight to the Street Profits, that’s no slight to the New Day because those guys are in another standard but we’re also carving out our own niche in our own category. I feel like New Day was more in the cosplay realm, I feel like we have that chance to say we’re the next standard. The 2021 Hip Hop culture, the street, the pop conglomerate, power. That’s what we represent and that’s the standard. We’re going to set the bar so high, you’re going to need airforce to find it.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.