When Aaron Solow steps foot in 2300 Arena on Saturday for his Ring of Honor Television Championship match against Punishment Martinez, he’ll be doing so as a huge underdog. After all, he doesn’t even work for the company but thanks to winning the inaugural season of Dojo Pro and the Dojo Pro Black Belt, Solow has an opportunity to really put his name on the map in professional wrestling.
A native of San Francisco, Solow, who has been wrestling since 2009, is a graduate of the Storm Wrestling Academy (which he learned about from reading Chris Jericho‘s book) and trainee of Lance Storm, Tony Kozina, and Davey Richards. Under the name Aaron Solo, he debuted against Perry Von Vicious at Big Time Wrestling’s 13th Anniversary Show in October 2009. Solow spent his early career with BTW, winning his first title in 2011 where alongside Shane Kody, he defeated Von Vicious and Shannon Ballard to win the BTW Tag Team Championship.
From 11 matches with four companies in 2011 to 20 matches with nine companies in 2012, Solow began to expand his portfolio, both in the U.S. and Canada.
By 2013, Solow, who rocks the red hair in tribute to Tatanka, one of his early inspirations to get into wrestling, had started to wrestle for IWA-Unlimited, the National Wrestling Alliance, AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined, Saint Louis Anarchy, and Ring of Honor. His first match in ROH was in March 2013. A few months later he had his second, teaming against Mike Dean and Travis Banks in a losing effort against Nick Merriman, Cheeseburger, and Will Ferrara. Both were dark matches.
Solow added Full Impact Pro and EVOLVE to his resume in 2014, along with WWE, where he worked two dark matches for NXT. Solow also returned to ROH, first to work a dark match in April, but then in his television debut in October, where he lost to Adam Page. A year later, Solow made his NXT television debut against Tyler Breeze in a short squash match.
Following near misses with WWE (Solow was an alternate for the first-ever Cruiserweight Classic) and ROH, Aaron Solow, alongside Extra Talent-Ed tag team partner, Ricky Starks, hit the UK circuit in 2017. The two wrestled matches for Fight Club: PRO, PROGRESS, Southside Wrestling Entertainment, ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, HOPE Wrestling, and Over the Top Wrestling. In the states, they made their BAR Wrestling debut against the World’s Cutest Tag Team (Candice LeRae and Joey Ryan), as well as for WrestleCircus, where the two won the WC Big Top Tag Team Championship against Scarlet and Graves (Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz). The title marked Solow’s fifth tag team championship, three of which came in American Combat Wrestling alongside Jason Cade.
Newly engaged to Bayley, who he had met when the two were training together in California in 2010, Solow returned to WWE, alongside Starks, in a loss to the Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson). It was his Monday Night Raw debut. From there, he headed to Dojo Pro as the fourth seed, which is where he made history. In his first match, Aaron Solow faced Cheeseburger in an open challenge after his match with Starks was called due to the latter’s inability to compete thanks to injuries he sustained the prior week against Joey Janela.
If you've been following #DojoPro you've heard the name @aaronsolow! Inspired by @NativeTatanka and @IAmJericho, trained by @LanceStorm. He enters Dojo Pro with 9 years of experience. Binge watch today on @PrimeVideo & @FiteTV . More info on https://t.co/RcE3FdzQJ8 #roh #dojopro pic.twitter.com/bsOXLD2K7Q
— Dojo Pro (@dojoprotv) August 21, 2018
Following the Cheeseburger bout, Aaron Solow took down a trio of wrestlers, whose accolades speak for themselves. First was MJF, Major League Wrestling World Middleweight, and Combat Zone Wrestling Champion (Plus he’s ALL IN). Next was Shane Strickland, EVOLVE, PCW Ultra Light Heavyweight and Lucha Underground Trios Champion. Finally, Jeff Cobb, who is former Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Tag Team Champion, LU Champion, current All Pro Wrestling and PREMIER Heavyweight Champion, and one of the most coveted free agents in the sport. Cobb, as the top seed, received a bye to the finals where Solow defeated him in what was perhaps, the biggest match of his career.
Defeating Cobb required a Herculean effort but for Solow, the journey doesn’t get easier from here. He’ll face another daunting challenge in Punishment Martinez. Trained by Monster Factory and having begun his career in 2004, Martinez had his own breakthrough moment when he won the ROH TV title in June of this year. Since then, he’s successfully defended the title twice, first against Adam Page and most recently, against Scorpio Sky. At Honor Re-United, he also picked up a big victory against Jimmy Havoc in a street fight.
— Aaron Solow (@aaronsolow) August 20, 2018
Despite the task ahead, Aaron Solow is confident about his chances, even so much as to say that more pressure is on Martinez to win than the other way around.
Imagine the Position He’s (Martinez) going to be in with the company once he loses the tv championship to me – a guy who doesn’t work for ROH.
– Aaron Solow
“Solow has been among the hardest-working, most-well traveled independent stars in the world, racking up championships and victories almost everywhere he goes,” ROH wrote in their advertisement of the match. “Solow made his only ROH Television appearance in late 2014 against Adam Page and has only seen his stock rise since then, competing in WWE, NXT, AAW, CHIKARA, and more.”
ROH’s preview goes on to say that Aaron Solow will face an uphill battle, of that much, is true. But the Dojo Pro Black Belt winner is ready for the challenge.
In my 9 year career I have won multiple tag titles with multiple tag partners but never a singles championship until now. I am the @dojoprotv Black Belt Champion and on August 25th I’ll also become the @ringofhonor Television Champion.#DojoPro#ROH#BlackBelt pic.twitter.com/c0H5HA2Fxc
— Aaron Solow (@aaronsolow) August 15, 2018
“This opportunity means so much,” said Solow. “It’s my chance to show the ‘industry guys’ what they’ve been missing out on this whole time. A few years ago, I did the Ring of Honor camp. At the end, they tell you if they think you are ready to be in ROH or not. They told me no. Now, here I am – the guy they told no – coming after their TV Championship.”
Limited tickets still remain for the TV taping, which takes place on Saturday, August 25th at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA. You can watch Dojo Pro at anytime through the FITE TV app or Amazon Prime Video. Follow @dojoprotv on Twitter for updates.