Match Review: B-Boy vs. Daniel Makabe (3-2-1 Battle. January 26 2018)
Solid Steel Championship
B-Boy (c) vs. Daniel Makabe
Daniel Makabe shot into the collective consciousness of the Internet Wrestling Community thanks to a banger against Timothy Thatcher for 3-2-1 Battle last year. When I heard he’d been at it again, and bringing that goddamn symbolism by carrying the scarf Thatcher gave him, I had to check it out.
B-Boy, the New Age Punisher, is a veteran now. Pushing 40. He was a big deal back in the day, a star in PWG and CZW. He was somewhat unlucky because if he’d hit the scene a decade later he could have been a bigger star. Instead he’s an 18 year pro who never made it to the big leagues.
There was a spell there, around 2004, where he was coming up with the other guys who made it to WWE/TNA and he never followed suit for whatever reason. His style is certainly most welcome in the modern era. He’s a hybrid wrestler with bits of lucha and strong-style littered throughout his offence. They have a cracking little storyline here. Against Thatcher, Makabe approached it as an underdog. Here he’s an asshole, going after B-Boy’s injured hand with an air of malice. I like that they use the right hand, to make it feel more legitimate, and use the injury to eliminate B-Boy’s surly veteran chops.
B-Boy’s desperation and survival instincts are incredible. The bit where he escapes an armbar by biting Makabe’s foot is great stuff. I also like how he modifies everything to suit that hand problem. Hooking the leg with his left hand, instead of the right, grabbing his right wrist with his left hand on the STF. Wrestling doesn’t have to be a load of head drops and flips. You can tell very simple stories, as long as you’re consistent with them, and still have a great match. Like Keith Lee vs. Justin Sysum in 3CW. Or Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki for New Japan. This match doesn’t have the excellent execution of those two but the storytelling is solid.
The commentary is weird on this. It’s the ring announcer yelling the commentary into the house mic. Which means when he starts talking about what a big deal B-Boy’s injured hand is, Makabe can go after it. The match picks up down the stretch into the near falls but they still pay tribute to that hand injury. B-Boy unable to execute a suplex because he can’t maintain a grip. B-Boy does some great work in removing his wrist tape and using it to tape his fingers together, thus giving him a little extra support. They work in a clever ref bump, just long enough to miss a low blow, rather than lying around selling for 5 minutes, and Makabe uses that for the finish. This was such a clever little match. Building and escalating like any other match, in terms of the beats, but constantly referring back to the match’s focal point; B-Boy injured hand. There are seasoned veterans who could learn a thing or two from the logic employed here. Beautifully executed.
Final Rating: ****