I have a confession to make. Anyone reading the last recap (Deadly Rival Roller Derby’s Super Brawl) might’ve noticed a few subtle oddities in the action. Such as why isn’t Maliboo Brawlbie and/or Freak Show slaughtering half the track? One, perfectly valid, theory is that they were holding back since they knew they had an upcoming bout against Tampa Bay in just a couple of weeks.
Anticipation was high, as this would be Tampa’s first meeting with its neighboring league since Deadly Rival started. To keep things fair, Tampa agreed to send out its rookies to face off against the Deadly Rivals’ own novices. Be that as it may, this pairing still brought about a stomping that immediately brought to mind Deadly Rival’s bout last year against the Lakeland Roller Girls.
The Deadly Rivals had a total of three jams before Tampa had sized them up. Jam One: Captain Lil Bit Breaker scores 18 while Anita Bopabitch, Dr. Break-N-Hurter, and Suzie B. Catastrophe boxed Rival (and ex-Darlin) Freak Show out (18-0). Jam Two: Tampa jammer Ph. Diesel fouls out, leaving Sindy Lou Who with a power-jam. One of DRRD’s top jammers, Sindy puts a sizable dent into the lead (18-9). Jam Three: Maliboo Brawlbie pulls a quickie; jumping the apex, scoring, and calling the jam off quick (18-10). A sign things could get interesting…
Until the next jam, where a Freak Show penalty started one of the longest, most relentless, poundings seen lately. A Bop power-jam (26-10), followed by a Lil Bit one (33-10), capped by Vaude Villain skating circles around her competitors who were otherwise occupied by Bop and Chuck Clitorris (42-10). At which point Rival C. C. Slyder managed to add two points for her team; unfortunately, Tampa’s Peppy Longlegs’ had already scored three (45-12).
Tampa’s was a two-pronged attack, with their defense leading the way. New Derby Darlin Destructra (Bradentucky Bomber P.B. Arlene) and Miss Ahree using the time honored staggered wall approach on Rival Shoe Whore (56-16).
(The staggered wall being the technique that had worked so well against Tampa by Houston. One where each skater is located slightly ahead of the other, so that when the opposing jammer hits it, they’re funneled right out of bounds.)
Even when the Rivals did get an edge, such as with a Freak Show power-jam, Tampa’s squad would merely speed up and outrace the penalty clock (64-23). Or they’d stall the next jam’s start, so that the returning Ph. Diesel could hit the track flying, and (still) grab the lead (73-23).
One thing that can be said for the Deadly Rivals, though, is that despite the disparity between the teams’ skill level, they still made the bout fun to watch. Blocker Toxic Desire doing everything possible to try to slow Vaude Villain down (82-23). Or Freak Show using her experience, as well as her stature, to simply plow through the occasional Tampa wall (86-27). Small gains sure, but also the types of plays that fans love to watch.
After a short short halftime break, the Deadly Rivals (re)took the track; this time focusing on engagement. Maliboo Brawlbie squaring off against Peppy Longlegs, netting a few points (115-35), and also showcasing the Rivals’ undying resilience.
Tampa tries to “goat” Sindy Lou Who during a power jam? She fights through Tampa’s defenses (137-35). 120 points down late in a bout? If anything, this made Brawl, Shoe Whore, and Poco D. Bear hit Destructra harder (166-42).
Then there’s Rival jammer Spyro Nova. Who, throughout the bout, was constantly pushing, getting knocked down, and getting right back up. The personification of the Rivals’ whole philosophy, Nova shocked the crowd when finishing up a power jam. Skating beside Tampa’s Suzie B. Catastrophe, Nova went for the block, rather than just call the jam off. Nova was floored, but not without first giving an impressive display of defiance (166-42).
A display so impressive that I missed an entire Vaude Villain jam writing notes on it (170-45)!
No amount of enthusiasm could stop Tampa though. Who rolled on to victory: 216-48.
The bout’s Most Valuable Blockers were Sindy Lou Who (Deadly Rival) and Dr. Break-N-Hurter (Tampa), while the Most Valuable Jammers were Maliboo Brawlbie (Rival) and Lil Bit Breaker (Tampa).