AJ Francis (f/k/a Top Dolla) on WWE releasing all of the Hit Row members, the creativity of the group, working with Undertaker, his role on WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast with AJ Francis (f/k/a Top Dolla)
Host: JP John Poz
Twitter: @TwoManPowerTrip
Website: www.tmptempire.com
Interview available at Tmptow.podomatic.com

Being released along with the rest of Hit Row: “They had to bring us up. And then when we got there, it was kind of like they didn’t really have plans for us. And you can see that in multiple different ways. You can see that by how they released us, first of all. You can also see it in the fact that, like, we never had a consistent thing. The first thing we did, we were against jobbers, right? We were against local talent, and they did a great job. Shout out them. And then the next week we go do a backstage thing with The New Day. So we’re like, hell yeah, we’re down here with The New Day. Why wouldn’t we want to be working with The New Day, right? So then the week after that, it was like, you guys going to do backstage in front of the audience segment with Sami Zayn. We’re like, what happened to the stuff with The New Day? Well, it doesn’t matter. Sami Zayn is great. All right, so there’s no real direction here. What are we doing? Okay, whatever backstage segment, we knocked it out easily. One take. It was done. Great segment. You know what I’m saying? Then the next week after that, we got released.”

His time in WWE: “We would have given them 10 million ideas. Like the promo that we did, the debut promo we did before we beat up the local talent in Kansas. Like we wrote that promo in my living room at 2:00 a.m. like two weeks earlier, and sent the video to the writing team. Like this is the promo we want to do as a hello promo. And that was exactly the promo that we did when we came out. We did the same thing on NXT. We took care of ourselves. People want to say, man, Hit Row came off as authentic and real. It’s because it was, it was us. It was nobody else but us. It was them telling us this is where the camera is going to be. But after that, it was us creating that entire thing. The look, the move, the song, everything was us. You know what I’m saying? The catchphrases, all that, the promos, everything was us, man. So I don’t know how you can see that, and there’s so many times where they say, man, we want people to go out and prove that they’re undeniable. Well, we did. We proved we were undeniable because no one can say that they help us create anything with it.”

Time on A&E’s “WWE Most Wanted Treasures”: “I know the ins and outs of wrestling history, but like the value of memorabilia and how much something cost and what a fair price is for something, depending on who the person is and all that. I learned all that on the job. My first day there, I literally didn’t know how much I should bid on an item, and I asked the production team. By two weeks into filming, I was just doing the bidding myself because I understood the value. I’m saying it didn’t take me long to catch on. At first, honestly, I had no idea what some things are worth. Like, to me, a Ric Flair Robe is worth $100,000, right? I agree with that. But to me, the elbow pads Rock threw in the crowd when he beat [John] Cena at WrestleMania, to me, that should be worth more. But that’s just because I love The Rock. So everybody’s individual value of something is different. So it’s a real crazy marketplace.”

On the Undertaker: “I was literally on the road with these legends like Taker, like Kane, showing them how I did on the Indies. Like, I literally would be in the car with Undertaker, interviewing him for like two hours, and they would use 45 seconds. I had already trained with the Undertaker at the [WWE Performance Center] at the time we started filming the show, and the coolest moment for me was when I came around the corner on the first day filming, and he knew who I was because I trained with him for a day before that, you know what I’m saying? Actually, two days before that, but there are 20 people in that class, and he’s also the Undertaker. So if he doesn’t remember me, I’m not shocked, you know what I’m saying? So when I come around the corner the first day filming, and he goes, “Hey, AJ, what’s up?” And I’m like, oh, my God, the Undertaker knows who I am, but that is the fandom aspect that I was able to bring on camera as well.”

Other topics include his entire run in NXT, his entire run in WWE, Vince McMahon, Triple H, The Undertaker, Kane, WWE’s Most Wanted Treasures, and more.


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