What a way to end the year! On Sunday, Connecticut’s Roller Girls debuted their all-star team ‘The Stepford Sabotage’ and crushed the visiting Long Island Roller Rebels in a spectacular show of speed and strategy. ‘Season’s Beatings’ was a monumental event, not only in its excitement but also in its significance. This battle for the ages was the first inter-league game hosted by Connecticut’s roller derby league, and it was an awesome sight to see. A frost in the air set the mood as crowds braved ice and winter storm warnings in order to come and cheer on their favorites. The two teams may have started friendly off the track but it seems skates can quickly turn women violent.
The bout launched into action with CT’s Pearl Jammer up against Long Island’s C-Roll. Pearl, the leading scorer for CT, started it off right pulling in a quick four points for the girls in green. Sabotage’s Pam Terror, a whirlwind of dynamite, followed suit against Summer Slam. The Stepford Sabotage, with her early lead, seemed poised for victory from the onset. But C-Roll fought back and showed the locals that these Roller Rebels would not go down easy. The third jam saw C-Roll pull 10 points against 0 for the Stepford Sabotage. It was this jam that gave CT a personal introduction to Long Island’s Captain Morgan. The only thing more menacing than her ability to keep the Sabotage at bay is her evil eye… which, rumor has it, can bring the toughest rollergirl shaking to her knees.
The CT roller girls rotated Doomcake into the jamming spot followed by Tina Colada. In the same way that cake and frozen drinks send you into a wild sugar high, Doomcake and Tina Colada left the audience in a dizzy coma; their sweet moves came at a good time: CT wasn’t risking wearing out there jammers. Instead the team threw skater after skater into the mix. The Roller Rebels with only 11 players (one of which, Trixie Timebomb, was hurt early on) were getting worn down. By the end of the first period the Stepford Sabotage had a commanding lead of 39 to 17.
Peekaboom!’s Skate. Up close and personal.
The second period roared with remarkable strategy and defense. The blockers barricaded their opponents with relentless energy and power. Eleanor Bruisevelt, Peekaboom!, and Miz Con SepJen were doing wonders at keeping Long Island Jammers C-Roll, Regine Bull, and Amaretto Sourpuss back. At the same time, Captain Morgan and Anna Tramp were holding back the CT Jammers with smooth skill and prowess. Jam after Jam came up scoreless. When the Jammers did break free of the pack they did so neck and neck, an invigorating derby ensued and all eyes were on the Jammers.
The period ended on a down note as Black Cherry took a bad spill. She clawed her way off the track in heavy pain where she waited grimacing until the EMT’s could come to her aid. Once Cherry left the track the Roller Rebels showed no mercy as Captain Morgan improved her reputation for brutality with a fantastic knock down of jammer Tina Colada.
Stepford’s Mascot, Dead End Cupcake (with butcher knife), anxiously watches the bout beside M.C. Hitman Hank
The final period saw even point scoring by both teams until the 6th jam of the period. Pearl Jammer took her place at her starting line next to Ragine Bull. The whistle chirped once, and the pack was off… it chirped again and the two jammers took to an all out sprint. The Stepford Sabotage had Parker Poison, Peekaboom!, Violet Riot, and Elenor Bruisevelt up front. As Pearl approached, her teammates opened the path for her and then immediately locked Regina Bull down. She was stuck behind the girls in green. Meanwhile Pearl skated viciously around the pink clad Roller Rebels, not once… not twice… but three times. Only once before in CT roller derby history has a roller girl succeeded in a triple grand slam against her rival. This 15 to nothing jam put the Stepford Sabotage up 91 to 43 with only minutes remaining. The girls cheered at their success, but the action was far from over.
Doomcake and Black Cherry skating to victory
Not three jams later, a series of penalties left Stepford in a dangerous situation. Pearl Jammer was up again, but her only defensewoman was Revengela. Long Island’s Summer Slam had an opportunity to take back points. Despite being the the only lonely green shirt in a sea of pink, Revengela was not intimidated. If anything, her bloodlust was only amplified. Summer Slam began her trip around the track. Revengela started hard and did an admirable job at keeping Slam back and getting Pearl through. Slam only got around once before the penalties expired and the Stepford Girls stormed the track again.
The last jam saw C-Roll in her prime. C-Roll had been pushed to her limit with an ABSURD 19 Jams under her belt. Despite this, she still pulled in 10 more points for her team in the final jam. The refs watched carefully. As Miz Con Sepjen slammed into yet another unexpecting Roller Rebel, a ref called her out on Tripping. Miz Con SepJen’s eyes glowed with Fury and she exploded back at the ref. She brazenly refused to leave the track. The ref, fed up, threw his hand in the air and ejected her from the game. Complete insubordination is not taken lightly. As Miz left the track she raised her hands to the crowds and encouraged them to cheer for her teammates still in the battle. The crowd exploded in cheers. It was an extremely entertaining display of defiance. The refs were fools to mess with Miz. Her crowd appeal is said to rival that of Bono.
When the buzzer sounded the final score stood at 106 to 61. Pearl brought home a grand total of 45 points. C-Roll stood in for the most jams, Ragine Bull snagged the most penalties (14).
Next up for the Roller Rebels is some relaxation. Their season has ended. The CT Roller Girls will be back at it on January 27th as their season starts with a show down between the Elm City Bone Crushers and the Widowmakers. To get more information check out CTRolleryDerby.com
Sunday night I witnessed some of the most entertaining Roller Derby I’ve ever seen: the 2007 CT Roller Girls Championship. The Iron Angels met the Widowmakers for one final showdown. Hundreds of fans came to show their support and the ring was overflowing with excitement – the Iron Angles had come back from a 0-2 season start, the Widowmakers had endured consistent success throughout the season. This would be one for the history books.
The girls came out sporting new uniforms: The Iron angels in short gray military skirts, the Widowmakers in short black and purple skirts – fishnets optional.
The bout started in the typical fashion: introductions, intense rock music, and a derby how to. Once the formalities were out of the way, the girls got down to business.
Iron Angel Pearl Jammer and Widowmaker Black Cherry started the bout. Both teams were putting their best out front. Pearl was followed by Pam Terror… Black Cherry by Slick Shoes. The Angels took an early, dominating lead. Despite this, Black Cherry continued to inspire awe with her ability to drop her shoulder and lurch into her opponents. Some say her shoulder is extremely sharp, and judging by the force with which the Iron Angels were hitting the floor, I would believe them.
The Widowmakers fell into a bit of trouble at the end of the first period – widowmakers were getting hurt. Black Cherry took a fall – she winced getting up – but she still continued skating for the rest of the jam. When the whistle blew she noticeably slowed and collapsed in front of her team’s bench. Her ankle was shot. She would need some rest time before coming back out to Jam.
Roller Girls wait for the jam to Start
The second period started much like the first with Pearl, Pam Terror, and Dead End Allie dominating the jams. The Widowmakers sent in Miz Con SepJen to pull in points for their team. At one point as Miz flew around the ring she slammed into an Iron Angel and went careening out of the ring and straight into a referee. The ref, Johnny Arson, was thrown backwards over the penalty bench where he buckled into a heap on the floor. The crowd exploded in cheers.
The score after the second period.
The Widowmakers were trailing heavily… but something changed in the third period. Suddenly the mood was a bit more vicious and more playful at the same time. Widowmaker Peekaboom was aggressive like I’ve never seen. Girls were getting smashed out of the ring left and right. At one point the fans pulled back in fear as lead jammer Pyroclastic Pistol was clobbered by the rejuvenated Black Cherry and rolled violently out of the ring into the crowd… all the while tapping her hips repeatedly to strategically end the jam.
Band KissKiss performs at the Intermission. Note the sweet Les Paul guitar.
The Widowmakers continued to struggle against the Angels. The girls in black and purple were working a few new strategies mainly… hold back Angel Pearl Jammer. Pearl was cleaning up. She’d averaged about 35 points or so per game for the season, and Sunday night was no different. Two thirds of the way through the third period Widowmaker Miz Con SepJen got in front of Pearl and skated with a wide stance, swerving slightly, keeping Pearl at bay. After some success she even began to taunt Pearl, shaking her booty mockingly in Pearl’s face. The crowd cheered.
But Pearl proved patient. She waited, and waited, and in a manner that us mortals will never understand, Pearl was suddenly in a full sprint! She snaked through her opponents as if it were child’s play. Pearl can skate. That’s for certain.
When the final buzzer rang the Iron Angels had 110 points to the Widowmaker’s 46.
The Iron Angels Won! The Iron Angels are the 2007 CT Roller Derby Champions!!
(photo by Slim Fast/Megan Moss Freeman)
As the team gathered for their photos with the Roller Cup (and the CT roller girl cheerleaders shown in front), the MC’s asked who would be the MVP. All at once the girls started chanting “PEARL PEARL PEARL PEARL!”
The cup was passed to Pearl Jammer who raised it high above her head. The applause from the crowd was deafening.
It was a powerful moment of Derby.
The Iron Angels did indeed dominate. Pearl, Dead End Allie, and Pam Terror were the top scoring jammers with 35, 24, and 20 points respectively. Pearl’s dominance was further evident in that she pulled off lead jammer status in 11 of the 15 bouts in which she jammed (amazing!). Miz Con SepJen and Black Cherry were the high scorers for the Widowmakers and Peekaboom won the ‘most aggressive’ award with an amazing 8 trips to the penalty box. EIGHT!
Yes, Sunday night was some of the best Derby I’ve witnessed. But the end of the season doesn’t mean the end of the entertainment. On December 9th the Long Island Roller Rebels will be coming to CT to feel the wrath of the CT Roller Girls Stepford Sabotage.
Let me know if you’d like to come! It’s going to be amazing.
On Sunday Sept 9th, Roller Magic hosted the CT Roller Girls in Waterbury for yet another battle of furious speed and mayhem. The Iron Angels were up against the Elm City Bone Crushers – a highly anticipated rematch. The Angels were coming in with a bitter taste in their mouths after having been defeated by the Elm City Bone Crushers at their last meeting. This was sure to be another good bout.
I arrived at about 6:15 with my friends Nicole and Shaun. They were both Roller Derby virgins. Nicole was rooting for the Iron Angels. Shaun, swayed by player ChaCha LaRue’s devilishly attractive Derby photo, was rooting for the Bone Crushers. As we anxiously awaited the start of the match, a handful of little kids danced in excitement.
The action started with the piercing riffs and fist pounding bass drum of AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’. We did everything we could to hold back from chanting “THUNDER” as the Iron Angels stormed out for their introductions.
The Elm City Bone Crushers (ECBC) came out next, equipped with bats, chains, severed arms, and skulls pierced with spears. Van Halen’s ‘Hot For Teacher’ boomed from the amps. It was freakin’ Awesome.
After a demonstration explaining the rules (the Bone crushers had to put down their bats; weapons are not allowed) the Derby girls got out on the starting line. The first few jams went back and forth with each team strategically ending the jams after looping through the pack once, thus securing a quick four points.
The Iron Angels took an early lead – their pack was producing holes in the ECBC defense, and the jammers were taking full advantage!
In the fifth jam Dead End Allie took up the Angel’s Jamming position next to the ECBC’s ChaCha LaRue. The Jam started and the girls took off. Dead End Allie pulled some sweeet moves and achieved the first Grand Slam of the evening.
Grand Slam: When a Jammer successfully passes the entire opposing team and then proceeds to loop around and also pass the opposing jammer for a total of 5 points.
The Angels were taking their revenge out on the Bone Crushers and it was getting violent.
Let’s take a step back from the action and look at how all this Derby goes down.
There are about 10 girls on each Roller Derby Team. Five of whom are out on the ring at any one time. Each team has a captain and an assistant captain. Outside of the players themselves, there’s a horde of referees, officials, EMT’s, and volunteer support staff who help out with keeping statistics and running the show. There are typically a few MC’s, a DJ, and a memorabilia shop that sells all sorts of hip roller girl paraphernalia. It’s a pretty huge operation.
*picture from Ct Roller Derby site
I had a chance to talk to referee Ian Fluenza and ask a few questions. As the Roller Girls skate furiously around the ring the refs have to keep track of points, penalties, and point out the lead jammer to the eager crowd (the lead jammer is the jammer who gets through the pack first and as a result has control over the length of the jam). My obvious question was: do the refs get dizzy? Strangely enough, I guess they don’t. But Ian Fluenza did comment on how it can be tricky counting points as the Jammer’s weave in and out of the pack.
Out on the ring the 4 girls in the pack play both the roll of defense and offense. They do their best to help their team’s jammer through and keep back the opposing jammer. This match had among others: Susan Bea Anarchy, Vixen Vega, Victoria Deck’em, and Jenghis Kahn for the ECBCs and Nelly Nuckles, Niki Nitrous, and Slaughterhouse Sadie for the Iron Angels. There’s a lot of rotation of positions with Derby Girls moving in and out of the jamming position and the pack.
At the first intermission the Angels were winning by over thirty points.
Despite the slow start, Captain Damanda Beatin’ and her Bone Crushers weren’t letting up. In the midst of the second round the Bone Crushers seemed to get a sudden boost of energy. Chelsea Grin took a 12 point round followed immediately by a Grand Slam by Ether Bunny. But Iron Angels Pearl Jammer, the leagues highest scoring Derby Girl, and Tina Colada kept fighting back.
By the end of the second period the gap between the teams had widened and the angels had passed the 100 point mark.
The Action continued into the last period. Despite the score gap the Bone Crushers pushed on. When Judy Scarland grabbed lead jammer status during a jam in the third period and swung her fist in the air the cheers from the crowd were deafening. Still the Iron Angel’s were rolling with incredible momentum. Their jammers kept pulling in points.
At numerous times during the bout our mouths fell open in awe at the insane maneuvers being pulled off. Nicole turned to me in the third period, stunned, and commented:
“that jammer just grabbed the hips of her teammate to whip herself forward!”
The determination and drive of the girls was very noticeable. I can only imagine how exhausting it is to skate sprint around aggressive opponents for a 20 minute period.
As the clock ticked down those final seconds the official scoreboard settled on the final tally: 143 to 72. The Iron Angels took a victory lap around the ring to the hollering cheers of their fans.
Pam Terror celebrates the win.
Sadly, I got word from Ian Fluenza that Bone Crushers Demanda Beatin’ and Chelsea Grin both were injured in the bout. Chelsea with a nasty shoulder separation that’ll keep her off her skates for a bit. From all of us here at MikeDiDonato.com we wish you a speedy full recovery.
The next bout will be the Bone Crusher’s vs. the Widowmakers on October 14th! Check out the CT Roller Girl website for more info!!
On Sunday, the crowds gathered once again at the Waterbury RollerMagic rink for a taste of Roller Derby. The Iron Angels (0-2) would be taking on the Widowmakers (2-0) in a bout that truly lived up to its hype.
I had been looking forward to this one for awhile. The Angels were coming back from a bout break and the Widowmakers were returning from a brutal slaying of the Elm City Bone Crushers back in June. The last time these two teams met the Widowmakers took the victory. Could they repeat the win?
After a quick and always entertaining demo explaining the sport, the whistles blared and the girls got skating.
Iron Angels Pearl Jammer, Tina Colada, and Pam Terror started the bout switching off as Jammers. Their speed was devastating! Within the first 4 minutes the Iron angels had pulled off numerous 4 and 5 point rounds. But the Widowmaker Jammers Barbie Q and Pepper Grind-Her were answering each point run with one of their own.
It wasn’t long before the action dropped its first skater. The Angel’s assistant captain Dead End Allie took a violent spill on the near side of the ring. After struggling for a moment she tried to get up but her ankle buckled and she fell back to the ground. Even as the EMT’s ran across the ring to assist her, Dead End Allie, showing unmatched dedication, tried unsuccessfully to get up yet again, wincing in pain all the while.
She left the ring on crutches.
The Widowmaker defense wasn’t fooling around. Revengela, Ruby Wreckingball, and Slick Shoes were hitting hard.
And then there’s Black Cherry.
Perhaps she is the most feared by Iron Angel Fans. There were a number of rounds where Black Cherry, as pivot, skated furiously in front matching her speed to that of the oncoming jammer… then she’d unexpectedly drop her shoulder and swing violently into her opponent. On more than one occasion she sent the Angel’s jammer careening out of the ring a good 10 or 15 feet… the crowd (including her mom in this sweet t-shirt) rewarded her with deafening cheers.
The match remained close through the second period and into the third. Soon, there were ten minutes left and the Widowmakers trailed by 9 points. A lead for the Angels to be sure, but hardly a comfortable one. The Widowmakers suffered a short setback when Eleanor Bruisevelt fell after getting a roller skate in her back… though she didn’t stay down for long. After two or three rounds of rest she was right back out there beating back Iron Angels.
As time ticked away the roller girls began to get a bit more vicious. Check out this video of Widowmakers and Angels exchanging blows:
Soon, there were only 45 seconds left on the clock. The Widowmakers were trailing by 15 points… and Pepper Grind-Her was sent out as the Widowmaker Jammer. The bout got started and she got in front… Angel defense was doing everything in their power to keep her back… but she slipped through.. again and again.
The points started racking up… and up… and up… All eyes were on the clock as it ticked the final seconds away.
The final count? Pepper Grind-Her brought in 10 points for the Widowmakers… An extremely impressive run but just shy of what was needed. Final score?
Widowmakers 75, Iron Angels 80.
The Iron Angels Won!
Queen’s WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS exploded from the speakers, the crowd erupted in cheers, and the Iron Angels piled in a heap of skates and skirts celebrating victory.
While I may still be an inexperienced Roller Derby fan, I think it’s safe to say that Sunday’s skating was the best I’ve seen. To witness Violet Riot pull slick maneuvers to escape a crushing blow from the likes of Miz Con SepJen and to see Black Cherry’s intensity first hand… it’s exhilarating and like no other sport out there.
The next match is Sunday Sept 9th, it’s going to be the Elm City Bonecrushers vs. the Iron Angels: A rematch that will surely rival Sunday’s bout in bruises. Check out the Roller Girl website for more info.
A few more pictures:
Roller Derby is THIS sunday at 6:30pm!!!
Fire me an e-mail for more info:
mikedidonato AT gmail D0T com
At the Roller Derby bout on Sunday we got an opportunity to chat with Ivanna B. Choo during one of the intermissions. She mentioned that Roller Girls come up with their own names. Not only that… there’s a database of names and once a name is chosen by one roller girl, it is off limits to all other roller girls.
And the database… is huge.
I challenge the readers of MikeDiDonato.com … can you come up with sweet unique Roller Girl names?
On Sunday the CT Roller Girls met in Waterbury to lay waste to each other. The Elm City Bone Crushers took on the Widowmakers. I was excited despite the fact that the Iron Angels wouldn’t be making an appearance.
I was rooting for the Widowmakers. Jesse was rooting for the Bone Crushers.
Roller Magic was decked out in all sorts of Roller Derby getup. The bout had a western theme, so cowboy hats and boots were a common sight.
After an unexpected delay (due to a Puerto Rican parade) we settled in by the air hockey table with a prime view of the roller action.
The girls got serious fast.
The Widowmakers started off strong with three consecutive dominating rounds. In a mere 15 minutes the score was heavily favoring the purple vixens. This did not make the match any less exciting. Bone Crusher’s Cha Cha LaRue and DoomCake (fantastic names!) were bringing in big cheers.
Widowmaker Slim Fast’s swinging arms mesmerized us.
Black Cherry, another Widowmaker, showed incredible skill. When she first took the position as Jammer all our group could do was mutter “Wow” over and over again. That girl can skate.
The roller girls did not hold back. There were more than a few full layouts of pack members doing their very best to take down the opposing jammer. Here, Widowmaker Pepper Grind-Her is about to lay down the hurt on Bonecrusher Ether Bunny.
At the end of the first round, things were looking grim for the Bone Crushers. But the Bonecrushers persisted. Ether Bunny, of the bone crushers, seemed to break free. She successfully navigated through the barrier of blockers with surprising ease. That, coupled with a huge number of penalties given to the Widowmakers, kept hope alive.
Suddenly as the clock ticked to 6:23, catastrophe struck. Widowmaker captain #7 Miz Con SepJen took a bad fall. EMTs ran out to her. She was hurt.
She had dislocated her shoulder when pulling off a monster block. It had to be popped back into place… and that’s not an enjoyable process. When she finally got to her feet, with EMTs at each side, the crowd applauded profusely. Shortly thereafter the game got started again and the Widowmakers rallied behind their fallen captain and took the game.
Unfortunately for CT Derby fans, this was Slim Fast’s last night with the Widowmakers. She’ll be headed to NY to start her own league.
Meanwhile, the rest of us will be waiting intently for the next bout. It’ll be July 22nd and is a showdown between the Widowmakers and the Iron Angels. Prepare yourself for action.
Special thanks to Ryan L. for his Sick photos. Check out all of them here.