Aaron Frobel (born December 13, 1986 ) is a Canadian professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Michael Elgin. He is best known for his work in New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he is a former one-time NEVER Openweight, IWGP Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion. He is also known for his work in Ring of Honor (ROH), where he is a former one-time ROH World Champion. In 2015, Elgin made his debut for NJPW, signing a contract with the promotion the following year, since then he won two of NJPW's most important titles as well as a trios champion with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yoshitatsu.
Outside Japan, he also appeared in Mexico where he won the Lucha Libre Elite World Championship Tournament.
Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]
Training and early career[edit | edit source]
Frobel had begun training at a wrestling school at the age of 14. He later moved to training at Squared Circle Training in Toronto, Ontario, Canada under Rob Fuego in early 2004. In late 2004, Frobel made his professional wrestling debut in Hamtramck, Michigan using the ring name Michael Elgin. By the age of 16, Frobel, as Elgin, was a regular competitor on the independent circuit. The Ontario Athletic Commission did not allow people under the age of 18 to wrestle professionally in the area, so Frobel travelled to Montreal, as well as to the United States to wrestle in the states of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2015–2019)[edit | edit source]
Through ROH's working relationship with NJPW, Elgin made his debut for the Japanese promotion by taking part in the 2015 G1 Climax between July 23 and August 15. He finished his tournament with a record of four wins and five losses, failing to advance from his block. Elgin quickly became popular among Japanese crowds and his performance in the tournament was called a "career resurgence". In November, it was announced he would team with Hiroshi Tanahashi in the 2015 World Tag League. They finished the tournament with a record of four wins and two losses, narrowly missing the finals due to losing to block winners Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in the head-to-head match. On January 4, 2016, at Wrestle Kingdom 10 in Tokyo Dome, Elgin unsuccessfully challenged Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship. On February 20, it was reported that Elgin had signed a two-year deal with NJPW. This was confirmed by NJPW on March 3. In his first tour under a NJPW contract, Elgin made it to the semifinals of the 2016 New Japan Cup, before losing to Hirooki Goto. On March 20, Elgin received his first title shot in NJPW, when he, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Juice Robinson unsuccessfully challenged The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks) for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship. On April 10 at Invasion Attack 2016, Elgin won his first title in NJPW, when he, Tanahashi and Yoshitatsu defeated The Elite to become the new NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions. They made their first successful defense on April 23 against Bad Luck Fale, Kenny Omega and Yujiro Takahashi. Four days later, Elgin unsuccessfully challenged Omega for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2016, Elgin, Tanahashi and Yoshitatsu lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship back to The Elite.
On June 19 at Dominion 6.19 in Osaka-jo Hall, Elgin replaced an injured Hiroshi Tanahashi and defeated Kenny Omega in NJPW's first ever ladder match to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion. From July 22 to August 13, Elgin took part in the 2016 G1 Climax, where he finished with a record of five wins and four losses. Elgin failed to advance to the finals due to losing to Katsuhiko Nakajima on the final day. On September 25 at Destruction in Kobe, Elgin lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Tetsuya Naito. On October 10 at King of Pro-Wrestling, Elgin suffered a broken left eye socket taking a dropkick from Naito. The injury would require surgery and forced Elgin to pull out of all future events, including a scheduled IWGP Intercontinental Championship rematch with Naito at Power Struggle. Elgin returned to NJPW on January 4, 2017, at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, winning the pre-show New Japan Rumble after entering as the first man in. On February 11 at The New Beginning in Osaka, Elgin unsuccessfully challenged Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. After being sidelined from NJPW due to the size of the promotion's roster, Elgin returned on June 11 at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall, losing to Cody. On July 1 at G1 Special in USA, Elgin took part in a tournament to determine the inaugural IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion, but was eliminated in his first round match by Kenny Omega. Later that month, Elgin entered the 2017 G1 Climax. Despite a win over 2016 G1 Climax winner and the reigning IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, Elgin finished second to last in his block with a record of four wins and five losses. Due to his win over Minoru Suzuki in the tournament, Elgin was granted a shot at the NEVER Openweight Championship on September 10 at Destruction in Fukushima, but was defeated by Suzuki in a lumberjack deathmatch. At the end of the year, Elgin teamed with the debuting Jeff Cobb in the 2017 World Tag League. The two did not get along behind the scenes with Elgin making disparaging remarks about his tag team partner in private messages that were made public while the tournament was still in progress. They finished the tournament with a record of four wins and three losses, failing to advance to the finals. On June 9, 2018 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, Elgin won the NEVER Openweight Championship defeating Hirooki Goto and Taichi in a three-way match. He lost the title to Goto on June 17 at Kizuna Road. From July 14 until August 10, Elgin took part in the 2018 G1 Climax, where he finished the tournament with a record of three wins and seven losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. Elgin participated in the 2019 New Japan Cup, losing in the first round to Okada. The tour surrounding the tournament featured Elgin's final match with the promotion on March 24, 2019, teaming with Colt Cabana and Toa Henare to defeat Tencozy and Shota Umino. On April 1, Elgin officially parted ways with NJPW.
Pro Wrestling Noah (2019)[edit | edit source]
On October 3, 2019, Riki Choshu announced that Elgin would face Takashi Sugiura on November 2 at Noah the Best 2019 in a match to crown the inaugural GHC National Champion. At the event on November 2, Elgin was defeated by Sugiura.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- Big Mike Fly Flow (Frog splash) – 2016–2019; adopted from Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Burning Hammer (Inverted Death Valley driver) – 2015–2019
- Elgin Bomb (Spinning sitout powerbomb, usually preceded by a turnbuckle powerbomb)
- Signature moves
- Corkscrew senton bomb
- Delayed vertical suplex
- Over the shoulder back-to-belly piledriver
- Over the shoulder single leg Boston crab
- Release german suplex sometimes preceded by a waist-lock backwards roll
- Sitout suplex slam from the second rope to a opponent on the apron
- Spinning backfist
- Vertical suplex side slam
- "Big Mike"
- Entrance themes
- "Unbreakable" by Yonosuke Kitamura
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Lucha Libre Elite
- Elite World Championship Tournament (2016)
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #14 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2014
- PWI ranked him #18 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
- PWI ranked him #76 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
- Ring of Honor
- ROH World Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- 5 Star Match (2012) vs. Davey Richards on March 31
- Japan Indie Awards
- Pro Wrestling Noah
- Best Bout Award (2019) vs. Takashi Sugiura on November 2