Sara Del Rey vs. Ayako Hamada

Background: In a long-awaited rematch, the legendary Ayako Hamada took on former SHIMMER champion and CHIKARA Pro mainstay Sara Del Rey in the final match of a three-night, Joshi-centric series of events held by CHIKARA.


JoshiMania: Night 3

New York, NY

December 4, 2011


Sara Del Rey vs. Ayako Hamada



It was Sara Del Rey throwing the first strike by elbowing her way out of a waist lock. But the pace quickening actually helped Hamada as she not only arm dragged her, but also tied her opposition in position for an early two count. Del Rey, apparently realizing trying to match speed with Hamada, looked to muscle her way to an advantage. Unfortunately for Del Rey, her strategy worked against her as Ayako used the closeness to sweep Sara again for submission and pin attempts. A head-butt exchange suddenly broke out when Hamada decided she was done with grappling. This became Del Rey’s chance as she turned the head-butts into a series of kicks. Coming off the ropes, Del Rey ran into a kick topped by the leaping DDT. Recovering, Del Rey fell victim to another head-butt that put her on the floor. Hamada, ignoring the short distance between the ring and guardrails, wanted to unleash that impressive moonsault off the top rope to the floor. Del Rey stopped what Ayako had in mind, only to be driven against the ring’s edge with another DDT. Rather than go for the pin, Hamada came off the top with a moonsault … to earn a near fall!

Del Rey kicked out, using the nearest arm of Hamada to roll her into a crossface. It quickly became obvious “Death Rey’s” focus had moved to the arm and back of her opponent. But taking took much time setting up a flying attack cost her as she was caught on the top, yanked to the mat with a modified iconoclasm and the PK. Kicking out the follow up pin attempt, Del Rey utilized a German suplex after ducking a roundhouse kick. Like Hamada, it was Del Rey throwing a kick that cost her as she got slammed and taken down with the Liger Bomb. Somehow Del Rey not only kicked out, but also stopped Hamada’s ascent to the top rope with a superplex … to gain a near fall!

Fighting spirit powered Hamada off the mat, giving her the chance to land that roundhouse kick. Del Rey responded with her capo kick not once, but twice before locking in the Royal Butterfly. Hamada refused to submit, only to feel the slam portion of the hold … that gave Del Rey another near fall!

The fans were split in support of whether or not Del Rey could win. Hamada, almost limp, slipped underneath her opponent to spike her on the head with the Michinoku driver. Del Rey kicked out of the first driver and even the second after feeling a roundhouse kick to the face. The AP Cross seemed to be on Hamada’s mind, but Del Rey was having none of it. So Hamada executed an ace crusher off the second rope to pick up another two count. Countering the third driver, Del Rey unleashed a third capo kick. Hamada tried to power through the attack, but felt the piledriver and the subsequent three count in Sara Del Rey’s favor.


Winner: Sara Del Rey (14:52)


Is It A Classic: Not surprisingly, two women who epitomized what would become the standard set by women on a mainstream level years later delivered an incredible contest to cap off a historic weekend. It was hard-hitting almost throughout in front of a hot crowd and ended at the perfect time.


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