Time for a dip into the IWTV catalogue for another random match review – and it’s somewhat timely…
This one’s up on IWTV for free as part of their build for WARHORSE’s debut on AEW last week as part of the TNT Championship Open Challenge. It’s from Without A Cause’s show from this past January, “Presents 2020”… available at https://independentwrestling.tv/player/lx4RBVd4NO
WARHORSE pinned Daniel Makabe to retain the Independent Wrestling Championship in 14:30 (***½)
Independent Wrestling Championship: Daniel Makabe vs. WARHORSE (c)
Makabe had thrown down the gauntlet on a prior WAC show, so he was more than ready for this. He opened up with a handshake that WARHORSE instead met with a fistbump, before a lock-up ended in the corner with WARHORSE having to break.
Makabe comes in for the arm, working into a hammerlock and a side headlock, before some World of Sport-inspired trickery made WARHORSE scold the challenger… en route to a cross armbar that quickly ended in the ropes. WARHORSE ducks under a clothesline and returns with a chop, but gets taken into the corner by Makabe… and responds by headbutting the turnbuckle.
WARHORSE makes Makabe headbang the buckles, sending him outside through dizziness, but Makabe drags him into the apron and ties him up on the bottom rope ahead of a Shibata-ish dropkick. Shades of Paradise. A tope follows to keep WARHORSE on the outside, which led us back inside as Makabe gets a two-count on a pin before he went for an armbar. Makabe switches it up into a STF instead, before he looked to work up into a Makabe Lock, but WARHORSE stands up and heads into the ropes… where Makabe just tied him up with an Octopus hold instead. The referee orders the break as the pair head to the apron, where WARHORSE returns with a dropkick and a flying double stomp to the doubled-over Makabe, before a missile dropkick back inside landed for a near-fall.
WARHORSE clubs away at Makabe as the crowd seemed to be evenly split, leading to a scoop slam that almost ended this at the five minute mark. A deft bridge from Makabe breaks that pin, before the pair tee off on each other with right hands, leading to Makabe edging ahead with an uppercut before the Big Unit punch got ducked. Makabe lands it at the second time, but WARHORSE hit a shot at the same time as both men crashed to the mat.
Back to their feet, WARHORSE throws a chop before we get see-saw shoulder tackles that Makabe won out on. Another Octopus hold ends in the corner, before Makabe headed up top for a missile dropkick to a crouching WARHORSE with impressive accuracy. WARHORSE headbutts out of a side headlock, then comes back with rolling German suplexes… only for Makabe to counter the third into an armbar. WARHORSE rolls away and completes his hattrick. A massive top rope elbow followed for a near-fall… but Makabe counters a piledriver with a back body drop before a Euro clutch almost snatched the win. Chops follow from both men as Makabe wangles his way into an Octopus hold… with another back body drop countering again.
Makabe comes back as he searches for the Makabe Lock, but it’s pushed away as WARHORSE lands a clothesline, then a Tomorrow Driver (as I look for a new name for that over-the-knee brainbuster), and a powerbomb for a near-fall. The crowd’s getting closer to 50-50 after being pro-WARHORSE earlier… right as WARHORSE called for a double stomp. Perhaps calling it out was a bad idea? Yes, Makabe catches him on the top rope with a superplex, before he rushed in with a Makabe Lock as they teased the title change. Makabe lets go, then goes for a roll-up for a near-fall, before WARHORSE went for another German suplex… which Makabe rolled out of, turning it into a Dragon screw.
A German suplex from Makabe follows as the near-falls keep piling up. Makabe heads back up top for a superplex, but this time he’s knocked down… recovering in time to stop WARHORSE… but a top rope ‘rana’s pushed away as WARHORSE comes back with a double stomp off the top for the win. Makabe pushed WARHORSE hard, but in the end this was yet another successful defence as that Independent Wrestling title continued to tour the US. ***½
It absolutely is the nerd in me over-thinking things, but at this point that IWTV title for the most part has been something that has changed hands on Beyond shows or on IWTV-promoted events. Sure, we had the few changes at Black Label Pro’s Turbo Graps event, but you get the point – which means that it can be hard to really expect a title change on a show that isn’t being live-streamed. Still, I beg you to look past that and tuck into a fun sprint of a match that you can dip into for free.