Former NXT Star Expected At SmackDown

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Former NXT Superstar AJ ‘Top Dolla’ Francis is expected to be backstage at this week’s WWE SmackDown taping amidst Triple H’s rapid re-signing of cut NXT talent.

The ex-Hit Row man was released from the company last November and has wrestled just twice since. However, it looks possible that he’ll return to the company where he first rose to fame.

Per PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, the former Top Dolla is expected to be in attendance for tomorrow night’s SmackDown in Raleigh. It’s unknown, however, whether he’ll actually be returning to WWE programming or if he’ll be travelling through for filming commitments.

The real-life AJ Francis has been part of the company’s Most Wanted Treasures series on A&E, though he’s reportedly not been part of the series’ recent filming schedule. Instead, WWE Hall of Famer Lita looks set to replace him on the show.

Signing with WWE in January 2020, the future Top Dolla was christened as such in May 2021 after aiding Swerve Strickland in a match vs. Leon Ruff. Alongside Strickland, Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis, and B-FAB, he was featured in the Hit Row faction, joining the main roster in October before the entire stable was released the following month.

Now dubbed the HitMakerZ, AJ Francis remained aligned with Tehuti Miles (the former Ashante Adonis) during his two matches on the indies. He last wrestled on GCW’s For The Culture card, losing to Shane Taylor and O’Shay Edwards.