WWE developmental has a core group of trainers who—if you think about it—are not the most decorated bunch of wrestlers the business has ever seen.
Bill DeMott wrestled as Hugh Morris (among other monikers) and was best known for his run with the Misfits In Action. Joey Mercury found some success with MNM (teaming with Johnny Nitro and managed by Melina). Norman Smiley is known around the world. For “The Big Wiggle.”
All three are tremendous workers, and every developmental talent can learn a lot from each. But the WWE obviously felt there was something missing, especially on the Diva side of things.
Enter Sara Del Rey, who credits former World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan as one of her trainers, is a well-traveled pro who has been wrestling for 11 years. She’s 31 years old, and is one of the most respected women’s wrestlers in the entire world.
According to a report from Diva-Dirt, head trainer Bill DeMott sent out a Tout that showed Del Rey with the other trainers, confirming her status with the company. Diva-Dirt provided a screen shot (pictured) of Del Rey in the FCW/NXT offices with Smiley and Mercury.
This should end any real speculation about Del Rey being an active member of the Diva roster. If the need arose, she could step in and make a quick impact, but I wouldn’t expect her to be on television anytime soon.
Since becoming a trainer, how often do you see Mercury wrestling on television? What about Smiley and DeMott? While many fans of independent wrestling want to see her on television, common sense tells us that we won't.
It's entirely possible that the potential to move away from in-ring competition made this move easier. Wrestling is torturous on the bodies of those who perform just at a local level. Add in the travel and pressure of being a WWE Superstar, and Del Rey might feel that she can extend her earning potential from the business by moving into the trainer role.
Del Rey is the perfect candidate to train the future Divas of the WWE. With TNA recently releasing several Knockouts, the WWE has an opportunity to build a division that fans can get into. The bulk of that division sits in FCW/NXT, but with the help of Del Rey, they can make it to television and have a real impact.
But what makes Del Rey the future of WWE developmental? The answer lies in simple attrition.
Sara Del Rey is 31 years old. Joey Mercury is 33. Bill DeMott is 45. Norman Smiley is 47. It’s very easy to assume that one or more of the men on this list could end up on the road with the WWE as a producer in the next few years, provided they enjoy the travel.
Del Rey, being the youngest, could end up as head trainer in the next 8-10 years. As head trainer, she would be responsible for driving the program that trains both the men and women in the company.
Look at any of Del Rey’s matches. They are smooth, crisp and clean. She tells a great story, and tells it with great wrestling. She will pass that on to her trainees. It’s entirely possible that the main event of WrestleMania 40 will feature two wrestlers who list Sara Del Rey among their biggest influences.
You may never see Sara Del Rey on WWE Monday Night Raw, or on any WWE programming for that matter. If not, it’ll be because you won’t be looking close enough. Sara Del Rey, through her trainees, will be entertaining fans for many years to come, long after her in-ring days would have ended had she remained an active, touring wrestler.
Greg DeMarco is a wrestling fan of over 28 years and has also worked on the independent circuit as a promoter, announcer, character and booker. More of his work can be found at www.411Mania.com. Greg also hosts a weekly radio show found atwww.blogtalkradio.com/gregdemarco and streaming worldwide each weekend at www.vocnation.com.