Last night’s episode of WWE SmackDown on FOX featured the surprise return of the Hit Row faction (Top Dolla, B-Fab, Ashante Adonis), who had been released back in November of 2021 along with now AEW superstar Shane “Swerve” Strickland (Isaiah Scott).
Top Dolla recently appeared on Busted Open Radio to discuss the group’s return, how it came about, and what Triple H told him about coming back. Highlights from the interview are below.
How Hit Row’s return came to be:
“Even when Hunter was not in NXT, even when we went up to SmackDown, even when we got released, I never stopped talking to Hunter. We had talked a lot already about hopefully working together in the future. I sent him clips of the stuff we were doing. I sent him clips from GCW, ACW in Trinidad, and clips of me and [Ashante] working together as a tag team, letting him know the band was still together. Swerve being added to Hit Row was a Hunter call. Hunter added Swerve to Hit Row because he already saw what we had been doing for a year and was like, ‘This is a good opportunity to debut a faction instead of a tag team with a manager.’ It was cool, it was a good idea, it clearly worked, but Hunter saw it when it was just the three of us. He knew what we were capable of from jump.”
Reveals when Triple H called him:
“When he gets the reigns and is like, ‘I want to bring my guys back,’ we were one of his top priorities to get back because he knew what we could bring to the table. About a week and a half ago, he hit me up and was like, ‘How are the rest of the guys?’ ‘We’re good.’ None of us wasted time this whole time. I was on tour, I did shows in New Orleans and LA for music, wrestled at GCW, MCW, ACW. [B-Fab] lives in Columbia, so she was doing her thing down there, modeling. [Ashante] was doing acting stuff in Atlanta and LA, model stuff. We never stopped training and being ready. He was like, ‘How fast can I act and get you guys here?’ This was on Wednesday of last week. ‘If you really want us, we can be there tomorrow.’ We ended up having a Zoom call with him, the three of us, and planned out what would happen the next couple of days. This week, we got physicals and contracts. I don’t know how the story broke that I was going to be there, but I knew it wasn’t somebody with all the information because they didn’t know [B-Fab] was going to be there, which we played into. When Me and [Ashante] came through the curtain, you thought it was just going to be us, and we had [B-Fab] come through last. ‘Yeah, she’s here too.’ She’s an important part of the group.”
How Triple H told him it would be a clean slate if they returned:
“In the conversation I had with Triple H, he was like, ‘I don’t know what happened before, and to be honest, I don’t care. It’s a new place. I want you to understand that you have a clean slate. There are no hard feelings on this side, I hope you come with no hard feelings on your side.’ It was a breath of fresh air. I was down when we got released. Hit Row was hotter than anything in wrestling. Period. I don’t care who you are, get your feelings hurt if you want. When we got release, I feel we had something great and it turned into ashes in my hand. It made me stop watching wrestling for the first time in my life. I went eight months without watching wrestling.”
Says he watched SummerSlam and it amped him up:
“I told Triple H ‘thank you,’ it’s probably the only word he thinks I know, because I told him ‘thank you’ like six times yesterday. ‘Thank you so much.’ He knows the real me. He did Most Wanted Treasures with me. He saw me in a non-wrestling sense. He saw me not with ‘the boys in the locker room’ sense. He’s seen me and knows how I really am as a person. He knows that all that talk about me being hard to work with and being difficult is bullshit. He was willing to put himself and his neck on the line to be like, ‘these guys are talented. I want them back.'”
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)