In October 2020 at NXT Takeover 31, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott would face Santos Escobar for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and during the match Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza attempted to interfere on Escobar's behalf but would be thwarted off by Ashante "Thee" Adonis who entered to save Scott. However, Scott would ultimately lose the match against Escobar. In January 2021, Scott was paired up with Jake Atlas to compete in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament. They were eliminated in the first round by eventual winners MSK and following the match proceeded to argue. On the February 17 episode of NXT, Scott attacked Leon Ruff after losing a match against him, turning heel as a result.
Scott and Ruff continued to feud with it culminating on the May 4 episode of NXT where Scott defeated Ruff following interference from a debuting A.J. Francis. Following the match Scott and Francis would be joined by Ashante "Thee" Adonis and Briana Brandy. The following week, Francis and Brandy would be introduced as Top Dolla and B-FAB respectively and the group would be named Hit Row. On the May 18 episode of NXT, Adonis and Top Dolla would debut as a tag team and defeated Ariya Daivari and Tony Nese. On the June 29 episode of NXT, Scott would defeat Bronson Reed to capture the NXT North American Championship, giving the stable their first title. Two weeks later they were confronted by Santos Escobar and his Legado Del Fantasma faction turning Hit Row face.
On October 1, during the 2021 WWE Draft, Hit Row were drafted to the SmackDown brand.