Take two guys from the North American scene with a lot of buzz, stick them against each other… it’s time to take another look at 3-2-1 Battle!

It’s been quite the last few months for both these guys – with Alex Zayne breaking out over the summer after, of all things, an appearance at GCW’s Backyard Wrestling show, while Daniel Makabe’s profile has seen him pick up a bevy of international bookings, most recently finishing as a runner-up at wXw’s Ambition Wildcard Edition tournament. This one comes from 3-2-1 Battle’s hallowe’en themed show, “Horror Business”, nestled in as the first half’s main event. The show’s from the 3-2-1 Battle Palace, also known as Evolv Fitness in Seattle…

Daniel Makabe vs. Alex Zayne
On a show full of fancy dress, Daniel Makabe “came as Daniel Makabe”, although he is rocking the new Chelsea shirt, so there’s something else that came out of his recent Euro excursions. Meanwhile, Alex Zayne… came as Ivan Kiev but with longer hair? Oh yeah, referee Aubrey Edwards, along with the rest of the officials, were dressed as the Count. Ah ah ah.

We open with wristlocks as Zayne looked to out-play Makabe at his own game, only to end up in the ropes as the tables turned. Shoulder tackles follow, going back and forth like a Newton’s cradle until Makabe took down Zayne, then countered his leapfrog with a sunset flip for some near-falls. Forearms follow before Zayne countered the baseball punch, heading onto the apron to kick out Makabe’s knee, only to rush in with a shooting star press that was caught with a cross armbreaker that somehow Zayne reversed. They’re countering before they even get moves in!

Forearms from Zayne get replied to with a German suplex from Makabe, which gets a solid two-count (no, I’ll leave Seattle to join in with the chants), before Makabe began to rough up Zayne with some grinding elbows ahead of a chinlock. More switcheroos lead to Makabe locking in an Octopus hold… before Zayne escaped and tried to springboard out of the corner… only to land in the path of a Makabe Lock, which he tried to escape, but to no avail as he just got elbowed back down.

Zayne mounts a comeback though, landing a clothesline and a running shooting star, before a falling powerbomb led to a near-fall (after one of Twitch’s many ad breaks!). More switcheroos see Zayne charge the ropes, sending Makabe outside ahead of a flip dive that almost went awry, with Zayne taking a hard, arse-first landing onto the apron. It could have been so much worse, but thankfully not this time.

Makabe has more luck with his tope, wildly throwing himself at the Taco Bell-lover, as the crowd Sesame Street’d the referee’s counts. “One, ah ah ah…” etc. Back inside, Zayne’s up top, but he 450’s into a cross armbar, fortunately landing right by the ropes before the pair traded forearms… until Makabe looked for a trapped-leg German. It’s elbowed away as Zayne hits a Saito suplex, forcing Makabe into the corner… but Zayne just keeps up on him, heading up top as Makabe rolled to the outside to avoid further punishment. Fortuitous.

A forearm from Makabe resets things, before he snuck in a bridging German for a near-fall. That prompts more forearms from Zayne, along with an enziguiri despite a baseball punch, following up with a springboard enziguiri that almost led Zayne into a rear naked choke… which just stopped. Instead, Zayne hits a springboard Phoenix splash for a near-fall, before Makabe rolled in for a STF… but again, they’re way too close to the ropes.

Makabe misses a dropkick in the corner, allowing Zayne to push on… landing a sweet flip ‘rana off the top rope, only for Makabe to roll him through into a Japanese leg clutch for a near-fall, thanks to his neck giving way. That Saito suplex took too much out of him, and Zayne instantly pounces with a pumphandle driver, and that’s enough for the win! These two were insanely even throughout, but it was that one suplex that proved to be the decisive factor in the end. A little rough at times perhaps, but this was a fantastic little scrap. Get this watched! ***¾