Sara Del Rey

Japan Tour 2005

Description: The 2006 Online World of Wrestling Female Wrestler of the Year has released her first (of hopefully many) DVD featuring some of her best matches from a tour of Japan back in 2005. Her name is Sara Del Rey and she got her start wrestling out in California and has trained with the great American Dragon Bryan Danielson. Her style is so similar to Dragon's that she shares his theme music and has adopted the nickname "American Angel." She also happens to be my favorite women's wrestler so it's going to be difficult for me to be biased. However, if you trust my judgment, and I hope you do, you'll realize that she is my favorite female wrestler for a very good reason. I had previously not watched any of Sara Del Rey's matches from Japan so I knew I was in for a treat.

As many of you know, Japanese wrestling is a lot different than American wrestling. The audience is less rowdy but a hell of a lot more respectful. They are relatively quiet throughout the match, politely clapping when prompted by a high spot or a wrestler's interaction. Because of this silence, you can hear all the grunts and groans the wrestlers make, and when its women in the ring it starts to sound like a Monica Seles tennis match. Just like with Seles, it add to the appeal. I don't get to see much Japanese wrestling but when I do I find it very fun to watch. I tend to route for any American wrestler who intergrates the Japanese style into their repertoire. It should be a required element for every wrestler to take part in, or at least study, Japan wrestling. Sara Del Rey is a great example.

The first match pitted Sara Del Rey against Manami Toyota, who has built a great reputation for herself in Japan. One funny thing I noticed was that the referee was wearing shorts, and pads on his elbows and knees - I'm surprised he wasn't wearing a helmet! Whenever a girl was thrown out of the ring, several ringside attendants would run over to protect the fans. This is something totally different to American independents where you practically have to sign a release form to sit in the front row these days. Great match.

There's not much different I can say about each individual match. Every match was exceptional and intriguing - all of her opponents (and partners) brought something new out of Del Rey. I don't know much about the Japanese women and with the exception of Toyota, I had never seen them wrestle before. Believe it or not, this was the first time I've ever seen my fellow Canadian Nattie Neidhart wrestle too! I am definitely a confirmed fan of female professional wrestling - it is so refreshing to see a crowd cheering for a wrestling move, as opposed to how much skin the participant is showing.

These are some hard-working athletes we're talking about. The matches are stiff, impactful, entertaining and painful for the participants (I spotted a nasty bruise on Del Rey's arm at one point). Lord only knows why the WWE doesn't feature matches like this - it is possible to have very good looking women wrestlers who are well-trained and know how to take bumps and live with the bruises. I'll never understand why they (WWE) put models in the ring to stage unrealistic fights. Anyway this review is about how awesome Sara Del Rey is, not how bad the WWE "Divas" are. I don't really ever expect Del Rey to make it to WWE, although I would love it is she did. She is pretty powerful and powerfully pretty - okay that's the cheesiest thing I've ever written but it describes her completely.

If you would like to purchase this DVD please visit Sara Del Rey on MySpace.

Matches Included on this DVD:

Sara Del Rey vs. Manami Toyota

Sara Del Rey vs. Hiroyo Muto

Sara Del Rey vs. Mika Nishio

Sara Del Rey vs. Manami Toyota

Sara Del Rey & Mika Nishio
vs. Manami Toyota & Shimoda

Sara Del Rey vs. Yumiko Hotta

Sara Del Rey & Mika Nishio vs.
Nattie Neidhart & Yuka Nakamura

Sara Del Rey vs. Manami Toyota

Rating: 8.5 / 10 - the best matches are the three against Manami Toyota, who is clearly Sara's top rival in Japan.

Reviewed by Brad Dykens on April 12, 2007.

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