The US indy scene is slowly starting to pick up again – and we continue to look at matchups that leap off the page for us. Here’s one from this past weekend in Hillsborough, New Jersey.
Synergy Pro is one of those promotions you may have glossed over on IWTV. They’re based out of New Jersey, and frequently run with names you’ll have heard of if you keep up with that area: the likes of KTB, WARHORSE, LSG, and a few guys from Chikara (back when that was a thing) too. Their show last weekend was a fundraiser towards first responders in this current pandemic – and while I was a little disappointed that the match that’d tempted me into buying the show had been cancelled (Blake Christian vs. Alex Zayne), seeing the refreshed line-up more than made up for that. And without further ado, let’s dig into this one from the Polish Falcon’s Nest… complete with commentators Jon Alba and Nicholas Kaye, wearing masks. Take that, non-believers.
Tony Deppen pinned JD Drake in 11:30 (***½)
Tony Deppen vs. JD Drake
Hey, even the ring announcer is wearing a mask! Unfortunately, with the mask he sounded a little like Joe from Family Guy, and now I can’t get that voice out of my head. After watching the GCW Backyard Wrestling show the prior weekend, I was a little sad when I remembered that the current pandemic had meant that we’d lost out on a Tony Deppen tour of Europe… and JD Drake at the rearranged wXw Catch Grand Prix.
Anyway, this was a qualifier for the Golden State Invitational tournament that Synergy will be holding on July 25… Drake shoves down Deppen at the bell, sending him into the corner as he was in no mood for Deppen mouthing off. Shooting for the leg was a bad idea for Deppen, as Drake easily gutwrenches him up… but Deppen slips free and ends up having to duck chops before he went for an abdominal stretch. Good luck with that. Drake tries a hiptoss, but Deppen floats out before finally taking down Drake… who pushes him to the outside with his legs. Another waistlock from Deppen ends with him getting hiptossed this time, before he tried to stick and move against the much larger Drake. Kicks to the leg just served to annoy JD, who slapped back, before a leaping knee took Drake to the outside, with a tope following… but Drake caught the dive and threw Deppen into the apron!
A forearm on the outside takes Deppen back inside, before kicks to the back and a back senton flattened Deppen for barely a two-count. Deppen tries to chop back, but Drake’s chops were harder, leading Deppen down before a Kokeshi-style falling headbutt forces Deppen to kick out once again. Deppen pulls himself up in the corner, as Drake laid in with some right hands before a boot choke kept Deppen down. Drake keeps going with a running splash for a near-fall, before another chop felled Deppen like a bowling pin. Strike! Deppen tries to fight back from his knees, before some palm strikes and kicks led to Deppen faking out Drake ahead of another diving knee. That takes Drake outside again as Deppen for a nice tope con giro, before a springboard missile dropkick helped as they went back into the ring.
Running forearms from Deppen trap Drake in the corner, leading to Drake covering up… so Deppen just kicks JD’s leg out of his leg, before a running Meteora smashes Drake into the corner. Deppen heads up top next for a double stomp, which gets a near-fall, before Drake turned a side headlock into a back suplex. Drake followed that up with a spinebuster for a near-fall, which meant that Deppen was again on the back foot… but he somehow managed to turn a powerbomb into a Code Red as he found a second wind. A superkick gets another near-fall, before the pair got back to their feet and traded forearm shots. Drake seemed unimpressed, as he WALTER’d up, putting his hands behind his back to offer free shots to Deppen, who blew a snot rocket on him… and ended up getting the remaining snot chopped out of him.
Deppen flips off Drake, then struck first with some overhand chops before he was flattened in the corner with a clothesline. A belly-to-belly’s next from Drake as he took down Deppen for a Vader bomb… but Deppen got his knees up to block! Deppen goes up top, but gets pulled down into a Stunner from Drake, who squashes him even further with a cannonball… but a goddamn moonsault misses, allowing Deppen to snatch the win with a La Magistral cradle! A fun opener, which saw Deppen have his game plan and stick to it – but while Drake’s power game almost got him the win, in the end Deppen proved to be the proverbial 7/10 split that he couldn’t overcome. ***½
Wrestling might be in a really weird spot right now, what with the tentative comebacks of shows and general unease for one reason or another. At least for those of us who are in it for the matches, we’re not seeing as much of the proverbial ring rust that you may have feared…