Samuray Del Sol
Samuray del Sol was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States, but spent his first years living in Mexico City, Mexico. In the mid-90s, when he was still in primary school, Samuray's family moved to Chicago, though they also kept making regular trips to Mexico City. Samuray grew up a fan of Mexican professional wrestling, or lucha libre, especially workers like Tinieblas, whose mask and physique caught his attention, and Octagón, whose in-ring style caught his attention. As a child, Samuray bought both Tinieblas' and Octagón's replica masks. After moving to the United States, Samuray started watching World Wrestling Federation (WWF), World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), taking influence from the likes of Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam and Sabu. In high school, Samuray started watching independent promotions like Ring of Honor (ROH) as well as Japanese promotions. Samuray has a sports background in gymnastics, taekwondo, amateur wrestling and football.
Early career Samuray del Sol was initially trained in professional wrestling in 2006 at Windy City Pro Wrestling's (WCPW) training school in Chicago, where he was trained in not only American professional wrestling, but also lucha libre by a former Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (AAA) luchador.Samuray made his debut for WCPW after only three weeks of training. Combining his Mexican and Japanese influences, he adopted the ring name Samuray del Sol, choosing to use the spelling "Samuray" in order to differentiate himself from several other workers using the name Samurai. Much like his childhood idols, Samuray also began wrestling under a mask. During his first years in the business, Samuray made a name for himself on the Chicago and Midwestern United States independent circuit. During 2010, Samuray began branching out of the Midwest, making his debuts for Pennsylvania-based International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) and New York-based East Coast Lucha Libre (ECLL). On September 25, 2010, Samuray worked in a dark match put together by Berwyn, Illinois-based All American Wrestling (AAW) for Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA), where he unsuccessfully challenged Silas Young for the AAW Heavyweight Championship in a three-way match, which also included Gran Akuma. During 2010, Samuray made his first wrestling tour of Mexico. During another tour of Mexico in April 2011, Samuray suffered a serious injury, when he landed head first on the concrete floor, when diving out of the ring onto his opponents. In the aftermath of the injury, Samuray fell into depression and contemplated quitting professional wrestling, before receiving a call to take part in a three-day tryout camp for WWE.
Asistencia Asesoría y Administración (2011–present) During mid-2011, Mexican luchador Crazy Boy, who saw Samuray during his Mexican debut, got him a spot in Asistencia Asesoría y Administración's (AAA) reality television program ¿Quién Pinta Para La Corona?. While taking part in the program, Samuray also wrestled for Crazy Boy's Desastre Total Ultraviolento (DTU) independent promotion. During the taping of the program, he also underwent further training under veteran luchador Gran Apache, whom he credits with "perfecting [his] career". Although he did not earn a contract with AAA through the program, Samuray was able to make his AAA main card debut on August 19, 2012, when he teamed with Joe Líder and Juventud Guerrera in a six man tag team match, where they were defeated by the villainous La Sociedad trio of Daga, Dark Dragon and Psicosis. During September, Samuray worked several multi man tag team matches against Los Inferno Rockers (Devil Rocker, Machine Rocker, Soul Rocker and Uro Rocker), losing all of them. On October 7, 2012, at Héroes Inmortales, Samuray was placed in his first storyline in AAA, when he, not identified, referred to only as a "mysterious fighter", approached Octagón backstage after a match. Shortly afterwards, AAA revealed that the fighter had been Samuray del Sol and he had requested for Octagón to start training him, which Octagón, having been impressed by the newcomer ever since noticing him on ¿Quién Pinta Para La Corona?, accepted. On November 15, Octagón was ambushed during an in-ring interview by El Consejo members Silver King and Toscano, who, however, were quicly chased out of the ring by Samuray del Sol. Afterwards, Octagón gave Samuray a new mask similar to the one he was wearing himself and officially adopted him as his protégé, renaming him "Octagón Jr." Prior to making his in-ring debut as Octagón Jr., Samuray wrestled one final AAA match under his old name and mask, when on November 18 he teamed with AAA World Heavyweight Champion El Mesías to defeat El Consejo members El Texano, Jr. and Silver King via disqualification. Octagón Jr. made his in-ring debut on December 2 at Guerra de Titanes, where he, Octagón and La Parka defeated his debuting storyline nemesis, Pentagón Jr., La Parka Negra and Silver King in a six man tag team match.
Combat Zone Wrestling (2012) After returning from his ¿Quién Pinta Para La Corona? stint in Mexico, Samuray, looking to showcase the "new Samuray del Sol", made his debut for Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) on February 4, 2012, in a match, where he was defeated by AR Fox. Samuray credits the match as opening him doors to bigger promotions, including Dragon Gate USA. On March 10, Samuray and Uhaa Nation survived an eight-man elimination match to qualify for the Best of the Best 11 tournament. The tournament took place on internet pay-per-view on April 14 and saw Samuray defeat Chuck Taylor and Johnny Gargano in a three-way first round match. Later that same event, Samuray was defeated in his semifinal match by AR Fox.
Dragon Gate USA and Evolve (2012–present) In March 2012, Dragon Gate USA announced that the promotion had signed a "mystery luchador" to a contract. On March 29, Samuray made his Dragon Gate USA main card debut at an event co-promoted by DGUSA and CZW, appearing as Masato Yoshino's surprise opponent and defeating him in the following singles match. The following day, Samuray made his pay-per-view debut at Open the Ultimate Gate 2012, defeating Johnny Vandal. On the third and final day of the triple shot weekend, Samuray wrestled in a six-way match at Mercury Rising 2012, which was won by El Generico. On April 13, Samuray made his debut for Evolve, a promotion closely affiliated with Dragon Gate USA, losing to Chuck Taylor in a three-way match, which also included Johnny Gargano. Samuray then had two singles matches against El Generico; the first on June 28 at Evolve 14 was won by El Generico and the rematch the following day at Evolve 15 was won by Samuray. Samuray returned to Dragon Gate USA on July 28, when he and El Generico were defeated in a tag team match by AR Fox and Cima. Samuray and El Generico finished their trilogy of matches against each other on September 8 at Evolve 17, where Samuray was defeated in a main event. On November 4 at Dragon Gate USA's Freedom Fight 2012, Samuray teamed with El Generico in a tag team match, where they defeated Genki Horiguchi and Ryo Saito.