Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sara del Rey v Mia Yim: Taking to a New Level

Sara del Rey v Mia Yim at RCW Supremacy  
 4.23.11  Baltimore  Photos by Marvin Atwell

Mia strikes a pose

Intended opponent Madison Eagles (photo: David Falcon)

This match was supposed to be Madison Eagles v Mia Yim.  I must admit that I was looking forward to Mia taking on the SHIMMER Champ 1 v 1 for several reasons:  (1) she had never faced her before and new opponents always bring out new responses from Mia  (2) Eagles is such a daunting physical specimen -- 6'1" pure muscle, with a mean streak, and a fearless athleticism that has her landing moonsaults and a devastating array of finishers.  When I heard Madison had been in a car accident and suffered a neck injury I was very concerned for her (get well soon, Madison!) and also disappointed that Mia would miss this match.  As Saturday approached a new opponent was announced, Sara del Rey, "Queen of Wrestling."  Sara is an awesome wrestler.  With Madison Eagles, Mercedes Martinez, and Cheerleader Melissa, they are considered the best indy workers today (all are featured prominently in SHIMMER weekends).  But Mia had faced Sara many, many times, so I was a little disappointed that this may be just another "Yim v SDR" match.  How wrong I was!  What I did not take fully into account, was that because Sara and Mia know each other so well, and because Mia has improved so much over the past six months, they are capable of pulling off an amazing match (in the way that Ayako Hamada and Ayumi Kurihara pulled off an incredible match on SHIMMER vol. 38).   So here's a summary of the action (to tide you over until the video comes out -- which I hope will be soon!)
Sara in full heel mode

Mia's green gear

Mia comes out to a cheer from the crowd.  She is a darling babyface and with her new Joshi attitude, she's cuter than ever.  Her hair has a summer blonde tint and she looks like she's just spent a week on the beach.  Mia is wearing her new green gear with the aqua-marine shimmer, white wrist tape and black knee pads.  Sara del Rey, also a California girl originally, comes out with a severe pissed-off expression on her face.  She looks like she wants to rip someone's head off.  She is wearing her blue tinted gear with the kickpads and black knee braces. 
School boy

When the bell rings to start the match, Mia goes out to the center of the ring to shake hands, but Sara greets her with a boot to the face that stuns Mia followed by lightening quick power bomb. It's as if Sara wants to be done with this and go eat some crab cakes.  But Mia recovers enough to kick out.  Sara hooks Mia up for a german suplex, but Mia reverses into a waist lock momentarily; del Rey reversed back into a waist lock on Mia, she moves to lift Mia up for another german suplex, but Mia ducks out and quickly rolls Sara up for a victory roll finisher. The Queen of Wrestling kicks out. She gets up and the two circle each other.  Sara goes for a super kick but Mia ducks it and goes for a school boy pin.
Mia focuses on taking away Sara's powerful legs

Del Rey kicks out and staggers to the corner. Mia charges her, but savvy Sara slips to a drop toe hold that sends Mia crashing into the buckle. With Mia's head on the buckle, Sara kicks her hard and then picks her up for a flatliner.  Mia's world is rocked, but somehow she kicks out.
Mia's knee to Sara's face

At this point Sara goes into full-on wicked-heel mode.  She begins to mock Mia, kicking her, talking trash, and slapping Mia's head around the ring.  Sara then starts nudging Mia with her leg, but Mia reacts immediately, grabs her left leg in a wrestling hold and twists her knee. Sara is in a lot of pain.  This is in keeping with Mia's intelligent strategy for this match -- use your opponent's strengths against her -- it's an ancient judo principle to use someone's own force against them:  the victory roll, the school boy, and now the leg hold to weaken Sara's power base (SDR has the most powerful lower body in women's wrestling).  After Mia rides the leg for a while, Sara kicks her off.  Del Rey flexes the left knee and when she gets her feeling back, she gives Mia an ax kick and drops on top of her for a pin.  But somehow Mia kicks out.  Sara revs up her engines and whips Mia into the ropes, the crowd could feel her anger and frustration with the resilient, upstart, Mia Yim. 
Sara tries to get her knee back

Sara grabs Mia by the arm and whips her off the ropes and sets up a superkick to the head, but Mia ducks her kick, and then lets the fans know why she -- Mia "Blasian Barbie" Yim, is a force to be reckoned with in women's wreslting.  Mia pivots and turns on The Queen with a step up hurricanrana! This she follows up with a deadly combo of snapmare, stiff kick between the shoulder blades, and a knee to the face -- BAM!!   Mia goes for the pin and the most memorable victory of her young career, but this is the Queen -- and she kicks out.  Mia is still stoked on her revival so she climbs to the top, but before she can execute a finishing move, SDR recovers climbs up and gives Mia a rolling kick.  That would unseat most workers, but not Mia, she stays up top.  But Del  Rey climbs up again she sets up for a superplex (a suplex from the top rope)!  BANG!  A devastating move -- surely this is the end for Mia.  Del Rey goes for the pin. 
The Superplex!

Not only does Mia kick out, to the shocked delight of the crowd, but she locks on to Sara's knee again -- but this time the right knee.   Now Sara is in a world of hurt.  She is in intense pain.  She scratches and claws her way to the rope and Mia is forced to break the hold.  Mia picks her up and makes ready to whip her across the ring, but Sara reverses, they break, Sara goes to kick, Mia catches the leg, spins her around into her Spinning Seoul Kick to the face.  Mia, amazingly acsendant at this late stage in the match, again drops for the pin and the sweet taste of victory, but the Queen kicks out.  Mia again goes to the top rope to deliver the highspot move that will gain her the victory.  She dives toward Sara with a soaring cross-body-block, but Heel-par-Excellence, SDR, kicks Mia's knee in midair.  The great Sara del Rey then slams Mia for two successive german suplexes -- HARD -- and then wraps her into the brutal finisher the royal butterfly -- lift and SMASH!  Game over.  Mia succumbs:  1 ... 2 ... 3.
Mia stays on Sara's knee
German suplex

The buzz about this match was fantastic.  Lee Canfield called it "one of the best matches of the night."  Ryan Botwinik said, "Mia lost, but she did a great job!"  Justin Christopher Wile said, "You [Mia] and Sara freaking killed it. Best women's match I have ever had the pleasure of calling."
The aftermath:  Mia is defeated

Mia herself called it a "privilege" to be in the ring with the Queen of Wrestling.  In the first year of Mia's career, any encounter with Sara was a potential squash match, and if it was to go longer than five minutes, it's because SDR "carried" Mia to a better match.  Those days are gone, much to the relief of both wrestlers who not only have great mutual respect, but they also genuinely like each other.  Now, Mia's skill level, experience, and conditioning are such, that they can go toe-to-toe for 10 minutes and deliver the "match-of-the-night."  They have taken their feud to a new level, and from all accounts, it was a match-of-the-year candidate for 2011.  The lucky RCW Supremacy crowd was treated to a gem on Easter Eve.  The next time these two meet, I will drive 300 miles to be there!
Mia clutches her leg

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