Pro Wrestling Illustrated may still hold the pretence that wrestling is totally legit (oh, don’t act like you didn’t know) but there is still a lot of buzz around who will top its annual PWI500 list, which runs down the top 500 wrestlers in the world. This year’s was won by CM Punk, as the magazine still recognises wins and title reigns as more important than anything, so it was obvious that he would sit atop the heap. However, our interest lies in who sits in spot 430 – it’s Sara Del Rey.
While PWI generally doesn’t observe women for its list, the magazine says Del Rey’s inclusion comes down to her victories over men in promotions like CHIKARA, where she has seen off the likes of Tim Donst, Ophidian, Ares, Kodama and the massive Tursas over the last 12 months – most as part of the 12 Large: Summit, of which she almost reached the finals.
Sara is the fourth woman to be featured in the men’s list – preceding her are Jackie Moore (back when she was Miss Texas), Chyna and Madd Maxxine – the latter of which we had to do some research on, but she was a 6’2″ West German wrestled briefly for the WWF‘s women’s division in the mid-1980s and also fought some mixed and intergender matches in the Universal Wrestling Federation, teaming with Jack Victory or facing the likes of Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer) on her own.
However, women’s wrestling fans have known about Del Rey’s greatness for a long, long time. There is the reason that she is the backbone of many a women’s division and can be relied upon to put on quality matches every single time. One example of this is from Jersey All Pro Wrestling‘s event in Beachwood, NJ on September 12, 2009 when Del Rey defended the JAPW Women’s Title against Hailey Hatred. The two recently met at AIW‘s Girls Night Out 7, but as you can see, they were certainly no strangers to each other…