After an impromptu open challenge last time out, the White Belt holder’s up against someone who’s more apt to wear a scarf, in the form of MJF.
Matt Lott’s still in the studio, but presumably not against his will as he recaps the happenings from the last episode, where Ricky Starks’ title reign was short-lived. This week, Maxwell Jacob Friedman is the challenger, and we’re straight into the B-roll, where Aaron Solow expresses his disappointment in how everything panned out.
Solow notes that if he wins the Black belt, he’s going into ROH with a win over one of their guys… and there we’re into Maxwell Jacob Friedman’s profile piece. For everyone who wondered “what is MJF?”, well this piece is a hell of an introduction into the background of a wrestler whose character is a lot more than being an obnoxious loudmouth.
Aaron Solow vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
There’s the usual trash-talking from MJF during the intros, but it’s “MJeff” who starts out on offence early, charging down Solow with a shoulder tackle before we reached an early stand-off.
MJF offers a handshake, but it’s not entirely on the level as he tried a cheapshot… which Solow ducks as he comes back in with a dropkick, sending MJF to the outside ahead of an attempted dive… but it comes from Friedman as he hits a Sasuke special after a missed plancha from Solow. I was NOT expecting that out of the Burberry lover.
Solow returns fire with a tope as MJF was too busy trash talking to the camera. Next, MJF tries to use the referee as a human shield, which helps him turn it around as he catches Solow and throws him into the turnbuckles as the methodical beat-down began. An armbar’s locked in and almost fought out of by Solow, just as the crowd began to chant against the “trust fund baby” MJF.
Solow manages to escape and hit a flying elbow as both men were left on the mat… but it’s Solow who keeps up the pressure with an Exploder suplex before MJF uses the referee as cover. Undeterred, Solow jumps anyway, leaping over the ref into a crossbody for a near-fall, before MJF mounted a comeback with a double stomp to the arm then some more armbars, turning one into an Angle Slam for another near-fall.
Boo/yay punches come next, with Solow looking to regain a lead, but MJF just spits on him, then pokes him in the eye. Dastardly stuff. Solow hits a superkick, but it just sparked a brief run of rebound shots, ending with MJF grabbing another armbar as Solow fought on… only to escape and get caught with a see-saw piledriver in the ropes – or the Bliss Buster if you’re that one Josh Bodom fan.
Another armbar from MJF looked to force the submission, but Solow rolls him up for a near-fall before rolling into a crossface on Friedman, flipping him back into the middle of the ring as we get the WrestleMania 20 finish, and Aaron Solow gets the win! The pure babyface Solow outlasts Friedman, and he’s now two matches away from that ROH shot, with Shane Strickland next in line. ***¼
We’ve a post-match interview from Rob Johnston, which leds to Solow expressing his happiness at making MJF tap out, before declaring that Aaron Solow isn’t an underdog. The amount of steam they’re putting into him at this stage, you’d think they’re going all the way with Solow here, eh? We’re down to Solow, Strickland or Cobb for that title shot… it’s going to be interesting to see where they go and how they get there. Which is how wrestling should be!