This is a rematch from their block decider in the G0! tournament back in 2019 which Makabe won. Makabe used the title shot he earned by winning the G0! in an unsuccessful challenge for Desi Derata’s Solid Steel Championship (SOLID STEEL). Hall on the other hand comes to this rematch with a lot of momentum, having just won the Battle Rumble.
From the go, we get a lot of technical exchanges on the mat with Liiza keeping up pretty well with Makabe. Even from just their match in December, there’s a lot more energy and urgency to this match from the start even as they just exchange holds. One thing worth pointing out in this section is how well the 3-2-1 Battalion have acclimated to extended sequences on the mat. They actively cheer any small changes in control that Makabe and Liiza work, creating a strong atmosphere for the match that only gets better the farther along we go.
Makabe gets so frustrated by Liiza’s ability on the mat that he goes into Bully Mode which is always a fun change for his work. He drapes Liiza on the top turnbuckle, choking her with his boot the same way he did to Judas Icarus in their banger at the start of the year. Liiza stays a step ahead though, going for an Ankle Lock to regain control over Makabe.
Liiza spends a lot of time working over Makabe’s leg, going after it constantly with ankle locks and other submissions. It pays off for her too as it prevents Makabe from properly bridging on a German Suplex which allows Liiza to kick out. Things continue to escalate as Makabe gets a little more desperate to put away Liiza. There are some strike exchanges here that aren’t too great. Not a lot of oomph behind Liiza’s strikes. But once she gets back to working the grappling stuff, things move along quite nicely.
The struggle over submissions towards the end held a lot of tension as Liiza got Makabe’s own Makabe Lock on him before fighting for her own submission finish towards the end. Real sense of struggle here that makes the finish feel earned. Really great match that ramped up the energy as it went along and did a lot to make Liiza Hall seem like a million box as she charges into her title match against Desi Derata.
After the match, Makabe gifts Liiza with his Wrestling Genius scarf–mirroring the way Timothy Thatcher gifted him the Ringkampf scarf. It’s a significant moment, painting Liiza Hall as the next must-see technician from 3-2-1 Battle. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on her work this year to see how she lives up to that potential. On the other end of things, yet another banger from Daniel Makabe who continues to be the most compulsively watchable wrestler in the world right now. Less than two months into the year and he’s laying a solid foundation (SOLID FOUNDATION) for another strong Wrestler of the Year case.