Daniel Makabe vs. Edith Surreal (SHPxLOL Euphoria 4/4/24)

Match Reviews

Featured image by Ami Moregore

This review was commissioned by Jesse Mack over on my Ko-fi account.

It’s hard for me not to have Timothy Thatcher in mind watching this. That’s not meant as an insult to Edith Surreal here, she’s so good in this, but a lot of things can’t help but bring Makabe’s most famous series of matches to mind. The most obvious connection here is that the match takes place on the same day as his final ever match with Timothy Thatcher at ACTION Wrestling’s DEAN~!!! For that reason, Makabe would no doubt have Thatcher on the brain, intentionally or not.

Another reason it comes to mind though are the circumstances of this match. Years removed from that first Thatcher match, Makabe’s now fashioned himself into something a little closer to what Thatcher was back in 2017. Makabe’s that well-respected veteran now, known for his abilities down on the mat and making his name traveling the indie scene to really put people to the test. Across from him, a talented star in Edith Surreal with the colorful vibe and mask that presents just a little more cartoony, a bright visage for Makabe to potentially underestimate.

I probably wouldn’t be drawing these parallels as much if at the start of the match, Makabe responds to the sound a ring bell audio file by demanding the sound of a “real” ring bell instead. The more things change, I guess.

As for the match itself, what can I say? It’s a joy.

Edith brings a fun aspect to the chain wrestling here. Can’t help but chuckle at the idea that Dan’s been digging into his BattlArts tapes, hardening his heart for the Thatcher match to come, only for Edith Surreal to come with more lucha-leaning llave stylings combined with World of Sport trickery. The tecnico/rudo divide feels so natural, and it’s something that only develops further as the match progresses.

Makabe’s not outwardly antagonistic to start out with despite the ring bell bit. But the more that Edith bamboozles him on the mat–baiting him, catching him in holds, tying him up–the more frustrated he gets. He’s huffy when Edith tries for the classic foot between the legs bait, and there’s a nastiness to how he ties her up to commence the leg work that will run through the rest of the match. It naturally escalates with his Danielson “I have til 5” and then being just really mean with manhandling Edith into the corner or laying in a big elbow strike while she’s on the ropes. Dan’s a real expert too in how to distinguish babyface grappling from heel grappling. In something like this, there’s such a bullying edge to the brutality he brings to it, enhanced by his smug grimace while working over Edith.

It helps too that Dan’s great at getting his comeuppance. We have a pair of those Jumbo-esque crashes into the ring ropes here, and seeing Edith make some head way, stay just one trick ahead of Dan each time while trying to overcome her damaged leg creates just classic pro wrestling drama.

Chalk it up as another match to make us sad that one of the world’s best will be leaving so soon.

Rating: ****

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