Top Dolla (AJ Francis) appeared on Busted Open Radio to talk about his return to WWE during Friday Night SmackDown. Francis reformed Hit Row on SmackDown with Ashante "Thee" Adonis and B-Fab and he said the following on what led up to Hit Row's return on Friday:
"I was talking to Hunter even when Hunter was not in charge of NXT anymore. Even when we went up to SmackDown, I never stopped talking to Hunter. When we got released, I never stopped talking to Hunter. We had talked a lot already about hopefully working together in the future. I would send him clips of stuff that we were doing. I sent him clips from GCW. I sent him clips from ACW. I would send him clips of me and Tehuti (Adonis) working as a tag team letting him know that the band was still together."
Top Dolla continued, "I'm very grateful because in the conversations I had with Triple H, he was like, 'Man, I don't know what happened before, and to be honest with you, I don't care. It's a new place. I want you to understand that you have a clean slate. There's no hard feelings on this side, and I hope that you come with no hard feelings on your side.' To me it was just like a breath of fresh air because it was like, I was down."
On Hit Row's release last year: “When we got released, Hit Row was hotter than anything in wrestling, period. I don't care who you are. You can get your feelings hurt if you want to, but Hit Row was hotter than anything in wrestling, period. When we got released, I felt like I had something great and it just turned into ashes in my hand. It made me stop watching wrestling for the first time in my life. I'm 32 years old and I went eight months without watching wrestling, like at all, nothing. I saw the last 10 minutes of the Royal Rumble. That was it. That's the only wrestling I saw for like nine months. What killed me was I felt like if I watched wrestling, I would just see that Hit Row should be in that spot right now. That's what we should be doing right now, and it killed me."
He continued, "He (Triple H) knows the real me. He did Most Wanted Treasures with me. He saw me in a non-wrestling sense. He saw me in a non-the boys in the locker room sense. He's seen me and knows how I really am. So he knows that all that talk about me being hard to work with, and being difficult, and all that was bullsh*t, and he knew that. So he was willing to put himself and his neck on the line to be like, 'Nah, these guys are talented. I want them back.'"
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM's Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.