When the WWE Universe said goodbye to Hit Row, it felt like a mistake.

Initially called up to the main roster in October of 2021 as part of the WWE Draft after a very successful run in NXT capped off with a win by the group's de facto leader, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, winning the North American Champion over Bronson “Jonah” Reed, the cracks started to show early on, with the team's valet, B-Fab, being released one month later in November.

That's not too big of a deal, right? B-Fab only appeared in 10 matches during her time in NXT and two matches as a member of Hit Row, so it's not like folks expected her to challenge for a championship as part of the faction. Still, it gave fans a glimpse that maybe, just maybe, WWE didn't think as highly about Hit Row as Shawn Michaels and his former DX Partner Paul “Triple H” Levesque did in NXT.

Fast forward two weeks into the future, and that fear was justified, with the other three members of the faction, Scott, Top Dolla, and Ashonte Adonis, all released from their contracts due to “budget cuts” after only one 80-second match to their credit on the Blue Brand.

Become a member of the STACHE CLUB!

🚨 Get exclusive Stache Club Wrestling content, quizzes, merch drops, videos and more delivered right to your inbox with the Stache Club Newsletter.

So what gives? Was that match that bad? Or was it something else? Something a bit more… Vince McMahon-y. Well, some reported that Top Dolla didn't exactly have the best relationships around Dave Meltzer reported in The Wrestling Observer last fall via Sportskeeda.

“While he came across well on television, he rubbed a ton of people the wrong way in NXT and was getting the same reputation on the main roster. He was the one Vince McMahon saw as the star of the group because of his size. Once they decided to get rid of him, the other two likely were caught in the crossfire. Miles really wasn't going to do anything on the main roster without the group. Strickland is not their type as they are looking for bigger guys, and Francis not being with them pretty much doomed them.”

Unfortunately for WWE's previous creative conglomerate, their assessment was proven wrong; the man now known as Swerve Strickland has been on an absolute tear during his post-WWE run, winning multiple championships from Defy to his home promotion of AEW,  where he is one-half of the tag team champions, Swerve in our Glory, with fellow NXT castoff Keith Lee, and has become one of the hottest gets for any indie promotion looking to sell out a show.

And as for the other members of Hit Row? Well, they've wrestled two matches together under their new name, HitMakerz (read more about that here), and their big baddie, now known as either A.J. Francis or simply Franc, made waves for winning the All Caribbean Championship in Trinidad and Tobago at the end of July.

If that was that, then this wouldn't be a story, or at least another story on a two-week-old topic (read about it here). Why it is worthy of your continued readership, however, is because business just picked up for the boys – and girl – of Hit Row, with a comeback tour officially kicked off on SmackDown in the same way it all began, with a squash on some local talents.

Triple H, after firing Francis from WWE's Most Wanted Treasures, made things right and put the rest of the WWE Universe on notice, as the OG3 are back, and they want to prove that Swerve isn't the only one worthy of Glory in the squared circle.

Hit Row ew-enter a SmackDown tag team division down 3 WWE Hall of Famers.

Hit Row's return to the ring, which featured more talking than actual wrestling thanks to the swiftness of the beatdown delivered by Ashante “Thee” Adonis and Top Dolla to some enhancement talent, was important not just for the three performers in question and their legions of fans, but because of what it means for the SmackDown tag team division. You see, with The Usos splitting their time between brands and the members of New Day suffering injury after injury, someone is going to have to wrestle the new, “Vicious” Viking Raiders both on TV and on the house show circuit. Fortunately, after being out of the ring for the majority of the 2022 calendar year, Hit Row could use that experience to make the most of it before they turn their attention to the Usos at some point down the line.

Will this run work out for Hit Row? Will the remaining members of the team finally secure WWE gold, or will they once again find themselves unable to find booking worthy of their hype? Only time will tell but needless to say, it can't be much worse than their first run; not unless they are released in one week instead of two.