wrestling / Video Reviews

Timothy Thatcher vs. Daniel Makabe Trilogy Review

July 29, 2019 | Posted by TJ Hawke
Timothy Thatcher Daniel Makabe
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Timothy Thatcher vs. Daniel Makabe Trilogy Review  

It’s a real simple review. Daniel Makabe and Timothy Thatcher had a match in 2017. They had a rematch in 2018. Then they just completed their trilogy in 2019. All the matches took place in (**cringes**) 3-2-1 Battle. (I know. Such a shindie name.)


July 28, 2017 – Match #1

You can watch this match here.

This match told one of the best stories that exists in professional wrestling: a far superior wrestler beating the shit out of their opponent.

While this story has been told countless times extremely well before, these two still managed to find a way to make it their own. Thatcher was not taking Makabe lightly as evidenced by his unusual willingness to come out of the gate swinging (in the form of a running big boot at the bell). Makabe came firing back though and almost pulled off an immediate upset after connecting on a fastball punch.

From there, Makabe continued to battle to make Thatcher earn every inch. All that did was make Thatcher’s eventual ass-kicking of Makabe all the more earned and impressive. And what a thorough domination it was. Thatcher proved to be clearly a class or two above Makabe as he seemingly stayed  a step ahead of him at every turn.

That clear demonstration of how much better Thatcher was though caused the finish to feel unearned and a bit cold. Makabe continued to fight back until he managed to tap Thatcher out cleanly with his version of cattle mutilation. It just seemed a little hallow in the context of this specific match.

If you really wanted a Makabe win after that beatdown from Thatcher, it would have felt more appropriate for Makabe to win in a manner that made him seem lucky to escape with his life as opposed to pulling off a victory with a somewhat convoluted submission move. (***1/2)


July 13, 2018 – Match #2

You can watch this match here.

After Makabe upset Thatcher a year earlier despite getting thoroughly dominated by the latter, it was a huge question mark as to how this match would play out. The first match established that Thatcher was infinitely better than Makabe, but Makabe managed to win cleanly. Where do you go from there?

Whatever you may feel about the structure of the first…battle…this one did a great job of following up on it.

Thatcher was still in control early on like in the first match. However, he was far less ferocious here. In the first match, there was almost a sense of glee in Thatcher at how much he managed to always stay a step ahead of Makabe. He was clearly a bit shook about losing though, and he was moving here like he was far less confident.

Naturally, Thatcher was not able to stay in control for as long this time. If his overconfidence may have possibly left him vulnerable in the first encounter, here his lack of certainty gave Makabe an opening to jump him from behind and get a control segment of his own.

From there, this match became all about Thatcher fighting back in the second half and attempting to regain dominance over Makabe. He was never able to fully do that though, and instead the match was both guys trading periods of slight control over the other until Thatcher eventually pulled off the submission victory.

Much like the first match, the finish seemed a little out of place in the context of everything that came before it in the match. There is just a disconnect between how the stories are unfolding their matches and the ends they eventually come to each time. (***1/2)


July 12, 2019 – Match #3

You can watch this match here.

Welcome to the conclusion of a really-well done trilogy that took place over two years.

Makabe went for the boot right away, but Thatcher avoided it. This was a great callback to the start of their very first contest.

Makabe was probably smart to go for a big shot right away because he was completely outmatched as soon as things settled down. Thatcher absolutely dominated him. It seemed like every time Makabe showed some signs of life, Thatcher was right there to cut him off.

This was different than their first match when Thatcher dominated. There, Thatcher almost over-compensated. It was like he was exerting so much energy because he was unsure of what to expect. Then in the second match, Thatcher was not able to dominate for long, as he was left shook by his loss in their first match.

That is all to say that Thatcher’s dominance here was different to the control he had in the first two legs of this trilogy. It was not overly aggressive or tentative. Instead, it was measured. Thatcher felt comfortable with who Makabe was and had sized him up. He was calm with his control, and it seemed like Makabe could do nothing about it.

Finally, Makabe had a big opening, and he managed to apply Cattile Mutilation. It may have seemed like a stretch to go for a submission victory when you’ve done so little damage to your opponent. But with the way Thatcher was working here, Makabe innately understood that his margin of error was going to be small. He had to take advantage of any opening he had to go right for the victory because there might not have been any more openings to follow.

The Cattle Mutilation was what got him the win in match #1, but this time Thatcher got to the ropes to stave off defeat.

They continued to battle, but the Mutlilation near-finish weakened Thatcher enough to give Makabe more room for success. They both continued to battle and struggle. Makabe knew Cattle Mutilation was still his best bet so he folded up Thatcher and applied it again. This time he prioritized applying it in the middle of the ring so Thatcher could not escape to the ropes, and it was enough for the victory.

This was a great match in its own right, but it was even better as a finish to a trilogy of matches. (****)

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
It's rare that you see a series of matches that contain so many positives. Each match had a cohesive story that served it well in its own bubble but also contributed to the larger story of the matches. Both wrestlers were working with purpose and as if they were always trying to win. The only missing thing was that Makabe really needs to get nastier in the ring. Once he adds the meanness and brutal physicality, he will come closer to reaching his full potential as a performer. As he stands now though, he's a pretty good hand that would add variety to any card he's on.