After their initial match was twice postponed, Daniel Makabe and Arik Royal wrapped up their trilogy earlier this month.
With two matches over successive WrestleMania weekends having been cancelled, they finally met for the first time earlier this year at Have Fun, Be Sad over WrestleMania weekend. Royal left with the win in Florida, but Makabe took the win back in August in the SCI semi-finals, in matches I’d gone ***¾ in. The proverbial rubber match took place at ACTION’s last event of the year. We’re coming from the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, GA…
ACTION Championship: Arik Royal (c) vs. Daniel Makabe
This being in the middle of the show is a weird one, but this was a loaded card as Royal approaches the 300th day of his reign.
Kevin Ku seconded Makabe for this match, and we start with Makabe cracking Royal with a corner dropkick at the bell, before an early attempt at the Cattle Mutilation saw Makabe strip Royal of an elbow pad. The pace stayed high with Arik going for a Kobe to knock Makabe off the apron, but Makabe avoids it and came right back with a Fujiwara armbar that was escaped to end a breathless opening spell. A side headlock from Makabe’s pushed off, as a shoulder tackle proved fruitless… before Royal went for Kobe again, but Makabe goes back to the arm. Finally, Makabe charges down the big man, then went after the arm again, wringing it ahead of a modified Octopus as we’re then back to the mat with a wristlock.
Royal backs into the corner to break it up, but ran into a boot before a Big Unit punch was swatted away. Uppercuts from Royal follow, but Makabe charges under Arik, accidentally hitting the turnbuckle before Makabe’s shove off just earned a sorta-sliding pounce from Royal for a near-fall. A scissored armbar from Royal keeps Makabe down, but Makabe’s able to swivel to the ropes to force a break. Makabe blocks a suplex as he rolled through into a Kimura… but we’re right by the ropes as Arik gets a foot to force a break. Back in the corner, Royal charges his shoulder into Makabe, then lifted him up… a sunset flip’s blocked as Royal punched the mat, before a leaping knee took Makabe down for a near-fall.
A Corning hold has Makabe scrambling for an escape, eventually countering into a double underhook suplex. The pair get back to their feet, trading strikes, before another crack at the Big Unit saw Makabe throw himself outside as Royal ducked. Arik chases after him with a Kobe off the apron, only to leap into a Big Unit punch as Makabe finally found a way through with that punch. Makabe rolls back inside as Royal narrowly beat the 10-count, but into the path of another Cattle Mutilation attempt. That’s broken, so Makabe hits a German suplex with a bridge for a near-fall, before the pair traded abdominal stretches. Makabe breaks Royal’s grip and rolled him down into a leg lock, but Royal cradles Makabe for a near-fall. Kobe followed, but Royal can’t make the cover…
When Royal does get up, Makabe’s able to kick out at two. An attempted powerbomb from Royal’s slipped out as Makabe finally locks in Cattle Mutilation, then switched it as he rolled Royal into a pinning attempt for a near-fall. A rare trip up top for Makabe ends with him getting headbutted by Royal ahead of a big ol’ superplex attempt… but Makabe headbutts him down and joined him with Uncle Togi’s King Kong Knee! Royal kicks out at two from that, so Makabe positions Arik for the Makabe Lock π… but Arik rolls through for a two-count, sparking a bunch of near falls as both men looked to sneak out the result, before a POUNCE to Makabe’s knee set the scene. A second Acegawd’s Curse followed, and that’s the win. A fantastic outing with the early story being both men having scouted the other’s big moves, but when those moves finally hit, they made an impact. A worthy end to the trilogy – and well worth the wait!
Result: Arik Royal X Daniel Makabe in 15:44 to retain the ACTION Championship (****¼)