Gearing Up For #TheIronMatch

We checked in with both competitors from pro wrestling's first-ever intergender Iron Man match to see how they're both preparing for their upcoming battle

As we mentioned in last week’s PWI Weekly, independent workhorse Tony Deppen recently threw down the challenge to anyone who might want to face him in history’s very first intergender 60-minute Iron Person match. This was a bold move, to be sure, as Deppen just recently competed against Jordan Oliver in a two-hour Iron Man match at Game Changer Wrestling’s recent 24-hour Fight Forever show.

Quite a few would-be opponents thew their names in for consideration, but none of the potential match-ups drew such an electric reaction on social media as a singles contest between Deppen and the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling champion, Trish Adora.

Pro Wrestling Illustrated is proud to sponsor this bout—dubbed “The Iron Match”—which will stream LIVE and FOR FREE on YouTube this Valentine’s Day (Sunday, February 14) at 2 p.m. EST. It will be the first live broadcast from the mega-popular New England promotion, Beyond Wrestling, since last fall.

Ahead of The Iron Match, we wanted to check in on the two competitors to find out what moved them to participate in this highly anticipated clash … and what they’re each doing to ensure they come out on top.

TONY DEPPEN

PWI: For those readers who might not be familiar with you, describe yourself in one word.

TD: Fantastic. 

PWI: What made you want to wrestle another 60-minute match so soon after the last one?

TD: I feel like it’s a dying stipulation in the world of wrestling. Everyone wants that instant-gratification, satisfaction feeling with their wrestling, so I just wanted to do something different. 

Prior to working Jordan in our 2-hour match up, I’ve never gone over 30 minutes in a match before. These matches are also beneficial towards the workers because it helps them know where they are from a conditioning standpoint, also pushing them to work their matches and holds. Takes it back to the old days when they said “slow it down.”

PWI: Why did you specifically ask for an intergender Iron Person match?

TD: I’ve been wanting to do intergender matches for a while. I believe, to be the best wrestler, you have to wrestle the best, and wrestle people with different mindsets when approaching wrestling. 

Intergender happens a lot, so I wanted to approach it differently. And, with the internet talking about the match Jordan and I had, I was like why not? I posted online, and people kept tagging female workers in it. After it gained a little steam, Beyond and PWI said they would make it happen if I agree to have said match. 

Now, here we are. Ha. 

PWI: What did your two-hour match with Jordan Oliver teach you about Iron Man matches?

Pacing. Be smart about these matches, because if you’re not smart about your pacing, you could seriously hurt yourself. 

PWI: Trish Adora is quite an impressive technical wrestler. Do you think you can beat her in her kind of match? If not, what’s your strategy going to be?

TD: I’m not going to take her lightly at all. You could take her gender away, and she would still be a hell of a wrestler. However, I’ve been doing this for 12 years now, and I’ve wrestled the best technical wrestlers in the world, so to say that I have the experience factor over her is an understatement. Plus, to my knowledge, she has not worked in an hour match-up yet. So, I definitely have a big advantage over her in that department. 

Trish is someone that I’ve heard a lot of buzz about; she’s catching a lot of steam on the indies due to hard work and amazing abilities in the ring, so I’m definitely not going to sit back and act like my experience will easily lead me to victory. However, she needs to realize that I’m fresh off of an Iron Match—a 2 hour one. And, when you approach an Iron Match, you go in with a different mindset than a normal match. My mind is already in Iron-Match mode from two weeks ago. So, I already have that edge over her. 

TRISH ADORA

PWI: For those readers who might not be familiar with you, describe yourself in one word.

TA: Abundant; well supplied and more than adequate.

It's the Abundancy mindset that has helped me be more resolute and absolutely relentless in my wrestling pursuits. The pandemic has absolutely shifted the wrestling industry. And, to stay current, and to keep adapting, and to create professional growth anyway—and be able to continue to—is the mark of a champion.

I can't honestly believe something ISN'T for me. I am not bound by anyone else's limitations. Therefore, I'm never afraid to demand more from myself, my peers, and this business as a whole.

If I can dream it, it belongs to me.  

PWI: What made you want to accept Tony Deppen’s challenge for an Iron Person match?

TA: If you want to take the island, you've got to burn your boat. And me accepting Tony Deppen's challenge is me burning my boat and really shooting for all my wrestling ambitions. I haven’t yet wrestled under Beyond Wrestling nor wrestled Tony before, and certain athletes and certain venues can legitimize you.

I absolutely respect Tony Deppen as an athlete, and I want to test myself with the best. And to have the very first Intergender, 60-Minute Iron Match under the Beyond Wrestling banner is even sweeter.

PWI: What’s the longest match you’ve wrestled before this? What did it teach you that might help you here?

TD: The longest match I’ve had was on Feb 15, 2020, and it was the finals of the “Crowning of a Champion” for F1ght Club Wrestling in DC. Funny enough, it was tournament-style, so I had 3 matches that night. Collectively that night, I wrestled just under an hour. It is a bit different from doing it in just one match, but I do know how to conserve my energy and to evade even longer, feed off the ENERGY of anyone in attendance, and be “Strongest The Longest.”

PWI: Tony Deppen is known for a high-impact style that’s a bit different from yours. What’s your strategy for beating him?

TA: My strategy is to be “Strongest The Longest.” It’s not just a motto, it’s a testament. 

Since graduating from Team 3D in Florida, I have been working extensively with Jonathan Gresham at the Ring of Honor Dojo, and more recently, World Famous CB at Worldwide Dojo. And I have been studying the art of technical and Pure Wrestling. The art of slowing down, systematically breaking down the body, and conserving energy through no wasted movements. I can give hits like you've never felt before. I can take hits like you've never seen before. And I know Tony Deppen wants to take me to my limit. But I am DETERMINED to outlast.

PWI: Aside from winning the match, what’s your biggest goal for Sunday’s Iron Match?

TA: My biggest goal for Sunday’s Iron Match is to wake the entire wrestling world up to Trish Adora the Wrestler, the Performer, the Athlete, the Ironess, if you will! I want to unlock a new pathway, a new wrestling journey for myself and my people. I want more opportunities for us and on many different platforms, as well! I want to show the wrestling community that I can perform, I can go with the best for 60 MINUTES! And, most importantly, that I am Iron Clad.

I am honored to be able to have a platform like Beyond Wrestling, and coverage by a publication like PWI. Thank you. 

Don’t miss #TheIronMatch between Tony Deppen and Trish Adora:
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