What’s that? A match between two of the world’s favourite technical grapplers is up for free on YouTube? Let’s take a look…

This one’s coming from the Showbox in Seattle, Washington. 3-2-1 BATTLE is perhaps one of the smaller promotions in the Pacific North-West, certainly not getting the same kind of hype as, say, DEFY. We’re looking at the “first half main event” from their April show, BattleMania.

Daniel Makabe vs. Jonathan Gresham
You may have seen photos of Makabe – he’s the guy who wrestles in football/soccer shirts, and bills himself as a wrestling genius. Hence why this is a tasty match… Today, he’s got a Mecha Shotei scarf, and a Chelsea shirt for those wondering about fashion choices. I wonder what it’d take to add a Sunderland shirt to that cycle…

We’ve got live commentary over the house mic, as we’re told “this match is going to be wrestling.” Good to know. They shake hands from the off, as the pair looked to match each other move-for-move. An attempted knuckle lock gets countered on the mat as Gresham’s forced to turtle up amid a buttery-smooth exchange, ending with an armdrag taking Gresham to the mat. Makabe snuffs out Gresham with a slam after he’d fought his way up, but the tables quickly turn as Gresham scored with a kick to the arm before landing an armdrag of his own. Gresham looked to chain that with a hammerlock/armbar combo, before he threw in an ankle lock on top of that as the commentary team seemed to be having the time of their life.

Makabe wasn’t though, but at least he got to the ropes to stop it.

Gresham stays on the arm though, torquing the Canadian’s wrist and almost forcing a pin as Makabe was really unable to get into the game. Another armdrag keeps up the focus on the arm, as Makabe began to hide his left arm… but it doesn’t work as Gresham kept up that laser focus. Makabe manages to get himself an opening, pointing out that Gresham had an untied lace… giving him a chance to crack Gresham with a huge dropkick in the corner as he began a comeback. A comeback with one arm, admittedly, but hey, that’s nothing for a wrestling genius, eh? Gresham’s dumped with a double underhook suplex for a two-count, before some uppercuts to the back of the head left the Octopus in the ropes.

Gresham fought back though, only to get caught with some more clubbering forearms as Makabe put his good arm to use. Thing is, with two good arms, Gresham was able to get free and dish out some receipts as the pair scrambled on the mat. The damage to Makabe’s arm was really starting to restrict him, but he was able to use the right arm to try and restrict Gresham’s offence somewhat… and those clubbing shots to the back left Gresham with a bad back that made those suplexes tougher to pull off.

Another dropkick in the corner missed as Gresham quickly capitalised on Makabe’s rude landing. A butterfly backbreaker looked to put Makabe back in it, as did a German suplex, but Gresham kicked out, then came in with a Quebrada as he went back in with a La Magistral for another near-fall. Hey, this match hasn’t had that many pinning attempts, eh?

Gresham tries to mount Makabe with an Octopus, but it’s shrugged off as the pair went back to throwing forearms, going after their original targets. There’s a cheeky shot to the head from Gresham which escalated between both men, ending when Gresham flips out of a German suplex, only for Makabe to tie him up in knots with a seated version of the Cattle Mutilation, as the Makabe Lock 𝜋 forced Gresham to tap quickly. My God, that was a goddamn sprint of a match, with both men not wanting to go for incessant pinning attempts, instead looking to wear down their opponent until the opportunity arose. ****

Yeah, we’re a little late on the Makabe hype train, but this guy is for real… and if you’re in Europe, he’ll be over here later in 2019 for Breed’s Starrcave weekend in Sheffield and the Peak District, before heading over to Germany for the Ambition Wildcard show as part of World Tag Team Festival. If you like your wrestling technical, get your ticket!