Earlier this week on DD360, we talked to Sara about the buzzworthy encounter, which headlines tonight’s opening night of JoshiMania in Philadelphia, PA, as well as discussing her thoughts on CHIKARA presenting this three-night extravaganza.
Del Rey reveals that despite being a world-traveled star herself, she’s excited for JoshiMania as a fan. “I was first told [about JoshiMania] when it was just an idea being thrown around and I thought it was amazing. I mean, I’m a huge fan, obviously. Even as a fan growing up, just having the opportunity to see some of these girls live would blow my mind, so I was really excited as a fan and then I didn’t realize, ‘Wait, I’m actually going to be wrestling some of them’.”
“Being a part of it is just a huge deal for me because as a lot of people know, the Japanese women really influenced me,” Del Rey continues. “They’re my motivation and desire to keep wrestling the way I wrestle. Just seeing them and the legacies that the girls coming over have built is just incredible, and I’m super, super, super excited to be part of it.”
The veteran concedes that she might get nervous once she arrives at the arena, but is excited about facing her idol, Kong. “The first Japanese stuff I saw was of Aja Kong, and I think Manami Toyota, and Aja just blew me away. She’s just amazing. Most of the girls were very feminine and their roles were kind of limited, but she was just this brute. It didn’t matter what she looked like, it didn’t matter who she was against — she was just awesome in the ring, and I just loved her and admired her. She’s been my favorite forever.”
Sara says that she has met Kong before, but never had the opportunity to wrestle her. She concludes: “This is amazing to me.”
Toyota Legacy Award “well deserved”
The Queen of Wrestling also weighs in on Diva Dirt’s decision to honor Manami Toyota with our annual Legacy Award, which will be presented tonight at the JoshiMania event. Sara believes “it’s well deserved”.
“For wrestlers everywhere, men and women, she’s just transcended it all. She’s definitely someone to look up to.”
“Manami is [an] incredible talent, and she has all the femininity and grace. In the ring, she’s so smooth, but you never doubt for one moment that she can get down and kick your butt. She really fuses this idea of a hard wrestler with a soft exterior. ”
“You can see from every single match she’s been in, she puts 100% into it.”
Listen to our interview with Sara by catching a replay of DD360 at this link.
For more information on JoshiMania and tickets click here.