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: