AJ Francis

AJ Francis Compares Mr. Thomas To Pokémon, He’ll Prove Who The Big Boss Is In MLW Debut

AJ Francis is looking forward to slapping around his next opponent.

Francis, formerly known as “Top Dolla” of Hit Row, has been busy since he was released by WWE last year. The NFL veteran made his debut for TNA and GCW, and has lined up an appearance for the National Wrestling Alliance. He will also make his MLW debut on Thursday, competing in a match against Bomaye Fight Club’s Mr. Thomas at MLW Intimidation Games.

Francis spoke with WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard about his MLW debut against Thomas, who he compared to a Pokemon character.

I choose you!

“In the nine months between the first time I got released and when I got brought back to [WWE] SmackDown, I was already talking to the people at MLW about working with them. So when I became a free agent again, it was just a quick no-brainer to get back in the fold,” Francis said.

“I’ve had a relationship with [Bomaye Fight Club leader and former MLW World Champion] Alex Kane for a long time now. He’s asked me for advice for a long time now, and clearly, he’s needed it. He now has to be shown what the teacher can actually teach the student. As my dad used to say, I taught him everything he knows, not everything I know,” Francis noted.

“So I’m very much looking forward to going up against Alex eventually down the road. But Mr. Thomas, I’m gonna slap him around this weekend. I said it before on Twitter, he’s like the less-evolved Pokemon version of me. If you were to add a firestone to Mr. Thomas, that is how you would make me. I’m the Charizard to his Charmeleon. Ricochet would be Charmander. We have that in common,” Francis quipped, “and I’m gonna show him who the big boss is on Thursday.”

What I’d like to have right now…

Francis said he’s not sure how much he’ll appear on MLW TV in the coming weeks, but did note a unique feat he could accomplish if his match airs live on the Intimidation Games broadcast.

“I’m assuming it’ll be live on Thursday because, let’s be honest, the people want to see me. That would make the most sense for it to be live. If it is live, I’ll be pulling a ‘Rick Roode.’ I’ll be on TNA at the same time, so it’ll be cool to be able to say that I did something like that. But if it is taped, either way, I’m going slap Mr. Thomas around. It’s going to be a good night for me.”

New opportunities

With all of the various companies he’s working for this year, Francis was asked if he is taking a different approach to each appearance. Francis pointed out that he’s getting new opportunities to execute his ideas, an opportunity that he wasn’t afforded much in WWE.

“It’s at MLW, it’s gonna be everywhere that I go, I’m getting to do what I wanted to do. I’m getting to do the things that I pitch. I’m getting to do the things that I know will work,” Francis explained. “So the the entire concept with DJ Whoo Kid and the laptop, I bought the laptop at a pawn shop the night before. I put the stickers on the laptop, I told him where to stand. And everyone’s like ‘That works so well.’ I’m like, ‘I know.’ I have good ideas. That’s why people would take my ideas.

“In the past, there just wasn’t a spot for me to shine. I think that was intentional sometimes. That’s just how the business works,” Francis noted, “but now I’m getting the opportunity to do the things that I want. The promo that I did with Alex Kane, that got over 100,000 views on MLW’s Twitter alone, nobody told me what to say. They were just like, ‘We need a promo for Alex Kane,’ and I sent it in.”

The best promo in this business

AJ Francis also pointed out that trying to make rap a bigger part of pro wrestling comes with its own hurdles. However, Francis is now focused on being the best promo in wrestling, a claim he welcomed anyone to challenge him on.

“I think one of the biggest issues I’ve had in wrestling is the fact that wrestling fans and wrestling management don’t understand that rap is promo. People are like ‘Wow, I didn’t know you were such a good promo.’ I’m like, ‘I put rap videos out every single week.’ Rap videos are harder than promos because you have to rhyme and be on time. [With] a promo, you can pace yourself. But that’s why I don’t do as many rap videos anymore. Because I want to show people that I’m the best promo in this business.

“If anybody has a problem with me saying I’m the best promo in this business, diss me. Stand six feet away from me with a microphone, let’s both have microphones and see if you’re better than me. I don’t think you are. I don’t care who you are. So if you think you’re better than me, let’s actually do it. And I’ll say this in this interview, and you can run this in print and nobody will say sh** because they know what the truth is.”

AJ Francis vs. Mr. Thomas takes place during MLW Intimidation Games on Thursday, February 29 at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, New York. Watch our full interview with AJ Francis below: