When AJ Francis was released from WWE for the second time in three years, he knew he couldn't sit on his hands waiting for his third bite at the Hit Row apple but instead needed to pull a Swerve Strickland and get back into the trenches, fighting for something in the wrestling ring instead of banking on his reputation.

His solution: sign with TNA, where he just became the TNA Digital Media Champion amid a feud with Joe Hendry.

While Francis is unquestionably a heel and gets booed from fans in the Impact Zone as much as they cheer him on, in the end, he is one of the biggest names in the promotion right now due to his spots in WWE and as a journeyman NFL defensive tackle, making him a prime candidate to crossover to NXT as part of its current angle with TNA.

But would Francis actually want to return to NXT? Well, in an interview with Zack Heydorn of Brass Ring Media, the answer is a resounding yes, as he thinks returning to the WWE Universe as a champion after largely being overlooked during his second run in the promotion would be an incredible full-circle moment.

“Absolutely. Everybody’s champing at the bit for their opportunity to do something with NXT or people from NXT in TNA. I want to go to NXT,” AJ Francis declared to Zack Heydorn of Brass Ring Media via Fightful. “I think it would be hilarious for me to walk into NXT as a guy who, when he was in WWE, never really got the opportunities he deserved, and come back as a champion and be like, ‘Hey, look what looks when you actually let me do me.’ Then also, personally, I would train in the PC all the time, so there’s a lot of guys and girls from Kelani [Jordan] to Lola [Vice] to Oba Femi, guys that I’ve trained with and helped them find themselves, Trick Williams, that are now at the forefront of NXT. We already have in-ring chemistry, we’ve already done a lot of cool things together, so it’d be cool to do it on a bigger stage. Lola Vice used to kick the s**t out of me. Sometimes, I would think that she thought she was still doing MMA. I’m like, ‘Oh!’ I had to go like, ‘Hey, relax,’ and throw you in the corner [laughs]. She would kick and punch the s**t out of me. That backhand fist, she be knocking people out. That s**t is for real. She be hitting the h*ll out of people.”

Welp, there you go, folks; AJ Francis is open to another appearance in the WWE Universe, be that as himself or Top Dolla. And the best part? Considering NXT already brought in the former Dana Brooke, Ash by Elegance, at NXT Battleground, there's a precedent for HBK prioritizing former WWE performers in this TNA crossover extravaganza.

AJ Francis discusses becoming the TNA Digital Media Champion.

Speaking of AJ Francis' recent in-ring success, the former member of Hit Row discussed what it was like to win the TNA Digital Media Champion at the TNA 20th Anniversary Show. While some fans may have been eager to count him out after his last run in WWE flamed out, Francis is proud of his current success, noting that he's adopted his friend Geno Smith's growth mindset.

“It’s a weird feeling because obviously, I won it like three weeks ago. So, I’ve had to keep it under wraps. A lot of people have been asking me about it, and I’ll be like, ‘Man, gotta wait until June 6th, brother,'” AJ Francis told Busted Open Radio via Wrestling Inc.

“It’s really cool now, and then, especially with the legends that have come through TNA … It was a big deal to be on the 20th anniversary of the show, [but] to then have an opportunity to win a title on that show, really puts you in a different light. It’s a highlight spot for me, and I appreciate that because there have been a lot of people that counted me out, but [as] my homeboy [Seahawks quarterback] Geno Smith said, ‘They counted me out, but I ain’t count.’ I ain’t quit counting, so I ain’t worried about anything they got to say.”

Will some fans only remember Francis for his time as Top Dolla in WWE, with Michael Cole making fun of him for not being able to get over the rope on a suicida attempt, the former defensive tackle has found a way to keep his career while building up his stock one match at a time.