Daniel Makabe. Carlos Romo. A debut in the UK against someone looking to break out anew. Let’s do this!

This was meant to have been the first part of Breed’s big weekender, culminating with Starrcave… unfortunately, that show got postponed days before, so instead all eyes were on Sheffield’s rebranded Temple nightclub – with one match in particular catching the eye.

Daniel Makabe vs. Carlos Romo
Well, Sheffield clearly knew who Makabe was judging by the pop that completely overwhelmed his music. It’s a Montreal kinda day for Daniel…

Makabe looks for the arm early on, but the takedown’s stuffed as Romo looked to go for the wristlock instead. ABBA-themed chants serenade the Canadian as he rolled Romo up then down to the mat, with the pair going seamlessly between moves. Rolling up into a STF, Makabe’s left frustrated as Romo got to the ropes… More quickfire exchanges on the mat see Romo return the favour, but this time he goes for a bow and arrow hold, albeit right by the ropes as referee Chris Sharpe called a break. Romo changes tack, taking Makabe into the ropes for a dropkick as he got an early two-count, following it up with a full nelson on the mat that took Makabe to his feet for an escape… but he’s right back in it. D’oh!

Romo stays on Makabe with that hold like a dog with a bone, but Makabe tweaks a wrist and counters with a full nelson of his own, only for Romo to escape as we’re back at square one. Until an elbow smashes into him, that is. More thunderous shots meet Romo in the corner before Makabe crashed and burned with a dropkick, allowing the Spaniard to get ahead… but his slingshot cutter’s blocked as a Makabe Lock ends in the ropes as we got the ol’ Bryan Danielson “I’ve got til 5”. Classic. Makabe takes out his frustrations on the chants by catching Romo in a chinbar, before a swatting chop put Romo on the mat for a near-fall. Romo issues a response with a chop of his own as the pair then bust out some back-and-forth sunset flips for near-falls, until Makabe picked the leg and swiftly caught Romo in a STF.

Another rope break means Makabe’s going back in with strikes, walloping Romo with elbows before Carlos fought back with body blows and a leaping knee. That sends Makabe outside as he staggered into the path of a tope, then into a Busaiku knee back inside for another near-fall. There’s no let-up in the pace either as Romo looked for a cutter, which he landed at the second attempt ahead of a Code Red, as Romo started to show signs of frustration. Elbows from above just rile up Makabe, who spins into an Octopus hold that again ends in the ropes, then another STF as he was piling on the pressure on Romo. Yet another rope break keeps the Spaniard’s hopes up, but a corner dropkick and a strait-jacket suplex spikes Romo as the momentum continued to build. Romo’s out of gas… or so we think as he surprises Makabe with a roll-up, then a crossface choke that he swiftly turned into a crucifix for some back-and forth pins, ending in a Fujiwara armbar as the pair continued to flow seamlessly.

In the end though, Makabe crucifixes his way out before he grabbed a leg lock on Romo, who grabbed Makabe’s free leg to make this a battle of wills. A battle that ended with palm strikes that quickly escalated, leading to another battle of full nelsons, more back-and-forth pins and a Euro clutch that almost ended things! Would a German suplex finish it? Nah, another Busaiku knee flips Makabe down as we were back to square one, returning to palm strikes and forearms until Makabe ducked a shot and wrestled Romo down to the mat, using some Danielson elbows… then a cracking headbutt to the back before he floated Romo into a Makabe Lock, but he couldn’t lock hands!

Romo tries to steal a pin, but Makabe kicks out and goes back to the elbows before he floated over into a sitting cattle mutilation (I think it was once called the Makabe Lock π), and there’s the submission. Some fantastic mat-based wrestling on show here – both men came in with a game plan, as they kept going back to strikes, but in the end Makabe had that extra gear and was able to fold Carlos like a proverbial pretzel to get the win. If you’re into mat-based stuff, this is going to be right up your alley. Right… who’s booking the rematch, and where can I see it? Ideally in person… ****¼

Afterwards, we see Makabe and Romo outside cooling down shaking hands and putting each other over. Romo’s unhappy at having lost twice in Breed, but he wants another shot against another technical great… and now I really want to see Carlos Romo vs. Timothy Thatcher. Someone… book it!