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The latest episode of FIP Radio, which features Sara Del Rey as the special guest, is available for download at:

MSL: And we are back on FIP Radio, Mister Saint Laurent here, with our special guest this week, the SHIMMER Champion, Sara Del Rey. Sara how does it feel to be on FIP Radio?

SDR: It feels fantastic! Hello, people!

MSL: You seem really excited to be on the show!

SDR: I am, I love the radio!

MSL: We saw you recently compete in FIP in a 4-way match. Tell the fans who were not in Melbourne, Florida that night, how did that match go down? How’d you feel about coming back to FIP?

SDR: First, I love coming back to FIP, it’s such a great place to be and good fans, and all that kind of stuff.

MSL: Are you being sarcastic?

SDR: Of course not!

MSL: You really love it?

SDR: Florida, I like. What’s better? So, the match. Newly crowned, as you said SHIMMER Women’s Champion. There were a bunch of SHIMMER girls down in FIP wanting to prove that they had what it takes, to take my title. Lacey came out, victorious. With the assistance from Rain, I believe, and that’s not exactly the best wrestling techniques, but whatever. She came out, she won the match, she proved she has what it takes to stand toe to toe with me.

MSL: So, non-title match up?

SDR: Exactly.

MSL: And Lacey won.

SDR: Exactly.

MSL: Now as champion, don’t you feel that you owe Lacey a shot at the title?

SDR: Definitely. I’ll give anyone a shot at the title. Lacey’s definitely a contender. She went to the finals with me in the SHIMMER tournament.

MSL: 16 woman tournament, took place a few months ago.

SDR: She proved herself then. She proved herself again in Melbourne, so I’ll give her a shot.

MSL: Now how does it feel to travel around the country now, and basically, as long as you carry that SHIMMER title belt, you’re the face of women’s wrestling?

SDR: Yeah!

MSL: As far as people who take wrestling seriously, and don’t wrestle in pudding!

SDR: Right? It’s crazy. Ever since SHIMMER began, it’s really mind boggling to me, because it’s become what women’s wrestling, all of the world actually, is. And like, that’s just the face. And it’s just really good, and it’s an honor to be apart of it, and to hold the title. Because right now, women’s wrestling, it needs credibility, and I think with SHIMMER and especially me being the champion, I’m very proud to bring that to people, credibility for women’s athletes.

MSL: Now how do you feel, if you happen to turn on cable television, and you see how women’s wrestling is represented in other places? What is your opinion on that style?

SDR: I don’t even consider that wrestling, really. Because they’re not marketing what wrestling is, to me. So I don’t consider that wrestling, I tell everyone it’s a whole different game, it’s a completely different game. It’s like comparing apples and oranges, really.

MSL: So are you the apple champion, or the orange champion?

SDR: I don’t know. I might be a banana champion. I don’t know. I’m trying to think of my favorite fruit because that’s the kind of champion I’d want to be.

MSL: Okay, did you grow up a big wrestling fan?

SDR: Of course.

MSL: Who were some of the wrestlers that made you say, ‘I want to beat people up for a living!’?

SDR: That’s a little difficult. Okay, so, I started…my little wrestling story’s kinda’ different so…I started watching wrestling when I was a kid. And of course like WWE, and I was getting into the storylines there, I was such a fan of the British Bulldogs. But, Matilda in one storyline got stolen. I think Bobby “The Brain” Heenan stole her. I was so upset I cried, and cried, and cried, I wrote letters. And my mom was like ‘This is not cool!’, like, I was so upset and taking it to heart, so I couldn’t watch wrestling for a while. And then when I got back into it, just seeing how the women were wrestling, I didn’t understand. I loved it as a sport, but the women were not representing it as a sport. You could see a noticeable a difference between the women’s wrestling and the men’s. So, I got into Japanese women’s wrestling, and they were really what made me decide like, ‘I want to do this, and I want to be there, and I want to be a part of what they’ve created for the sport.’.

MSL: Now have you gone to Japan yet?

SDR: I’ve lived there!

MSL: You’ve lived there?! Tell the FIP Radio fans a little bit about that.

SDR: Japan is amazing. Just the work ethic, and the girls, they live wrestling. And that’s really important, I think that’s why wrestling right now for women in the states is so hard, because to dedicate yourself to it full time and not have another job. Just to dedicate yourself to wrestling, and everything it involves, the training, the watching the video tapes, the gym, eating schedules, and just everything you have to devote to being a professional in the sport. Like it’s just very hard to do it in the States right now. But the Japanese girls do it. Well when I went there, I started going there three years ago so, it was a different scene for the women, it’s sadly become very…dead. But..

MSL: Certainly, the women’s wrestling scene in Japan, not as popular as it once was. What do you think changed in Japan? Do you think it was the influence of Mixed Martial Arts over there? That maybe pro wrestling as a whole isn’t a big part of the culture?

SDR: Definitely now, I think that’s what the issues are, just ‘cause Mixed Martial Arts is so big right now over there. But for the women, I don’t know. It just seemed like they’d branch out to different companies, and all the top stars were in all these different places. And the fans could not invest in the girls, because they didn’t know where they were gonna’ go, they couldn’t’ get behind them, they were going to other places and just moving on. So they were really hard to have the fans invest in them, is what I found really. And to have them invest in a promotion to support, like back in the days it was just All Japan women. But, since those days, like the 80’s, 90’s, there’s just been numerous promotions, all the top stars have branched out and had there own promotions, and it’s just harder.

MSL: Now do you think they were maybe influenced by the men doing the same thing? We’ve seen in the past, with Mutoh leaving New Japan to go to All Japan, or when Hashimoto left and started Zero-One, or Misawa leaving All Japan to start NOAH. Do you think that maybe set a trend of all the top stars wanting to have their own groups?

SDR: Maybe, possibly. I mean, I can’t say no. That would definitely play a part. I don’t know what it is. Because when I was there, I didn’t really experience egos and whatnot. Because one, that language barrier, but I mean you could just tell the girls that were, because of the system and the way it works, like the older girls were just so taken care of. And I don’t know if it just got to the point where there was too many top dogs in the promotion, that they started branching out, and that’s what happened. I’m sure the guys influenced their decision, and they saw how successful like NOAH and other branched off promotions became.

MSL: Now we’ve had Roderick Strong on the show in the past. And we’ve talked to him how, as the FIP World Heavyweight Champion, he’s really representing Florida everywhere he goes, he’s kinda’ taking Florida wrestling and put it on his back. Is that a lot of pressure on you? To see what women’s wrestling has become, in the United States, and to know that maybe you can the person that makes the difference, to put a more serious version of women’s wrestling on the map here in the U.S.

SDR: I hope. That’s definitely I want. Because, I mean, I look at myself, and I think of all the things of done, and all the training, and how much I really love the sport and dedicate myself to the sport…I think, especially with Ring of Honor, and other places, like the fans, they don’t quite know what to make of the women, and their silent and whatnot. But to me, we love the sport just as much. Just ‘cause we’re girls, to be given the chance, I mean, I love pro wrestling. I can’t help how I was born. I love it, I train it, I live it, I breathe it. I’ve totally dedicated myself to it, so if I can be the example for women, and be the face of women’s wrestling, that’s awesome for me. Because that’s just apart of me.

MSL: Now do you think maybe some things need to change in our culture? To maybe shift women’s wrestling. Like when you look at other sports, perhaps the WNBA, and you start to see women’s softball is on television more now, do you see our culture shifting maybe more so that there’s more interest in women’s sports?

SDR: I’d like to say yes. But as a whole, I don’t know. I was watching the news last night and all the coverage was about Paris Hilton, and like who cares about her? Who is she? She’s never done anything. And like, why do people care about this girl? So I think our culture is really flawed in that, what they find as entertainment. I think it’s awesome to see women as athletes. And they definitely do have their fan following, and stuff like that. But our culture is…odd.

MSL: When you look at the SHIMMER product, what do you think is the primary demographic? Are they looking to maybe make more females become interested in professional wrestling? Or are they appealing to a niche part of the male market?

SDR: I think a little of both. When you watch the SHIMMER shows, there’s such a diverse group of girls, and what they do, and their characters, and all this kind of stuff. So, there’s something for everyone watching the show, and who they appeal to. I have girls come up to me all the time, and…Alright…

MSL: Roderick Strong once again, interfering with our interviews here.

SDR: Did he just put his butt on me?

MSL: Yes, he did.

SDR: Roderick!

MSL: Roderick Strong’s posterior has been placed on the back of Sara Del Rey. And, he is the World Heavyweight Champion of FIP, he can kinda’ do whatever he wants. When you’re in the SHIMMER locker room, do you behave in a similar way?

SDR: I put my butt on everyone!

MSL: You can put your butt wherever you want, basically.

SDR: No! The SHIMMER locker room is such an awesome place to be, because there’s so many different girls with experience levels, and places they’ve been and things they’ve done, and it’s just an exciting place to be.

MSL: How do you feel about SHIMMER coming to Florida now?

SDR: It’s awesome!

MSL: Is this going to be a more permanent thing? Or is this a one time deal or…?

SDR: I hope. We’ll see how well the Florida fans like us. But hopefully we’ll be able to come back, it’s an awesome place to be.

MSL: This interview being recorded before SHIMMER makes it’s Florida debut, July 1st, in Inverness. You’ll probably be hearing this after July 1st. So we don’t know yet, how it’s going to do. Certainly, I hope for the best for SHIMMER. I hope for the best for you, thank you Sara for coming on the show!

SDR: Thank you!

MSL: Sara Del Rey, the SHIMMER Champion, on FIP Radio! We’re gonna’ take a quick break, and we’ll be right back!