Maybe it was because of the holidays, but last Saturday's roller derby extravaganza against Seattle was effin' festive. The Heartless Heathers were sporting neon, the brand-new pep squad Purple Reign was cheering, and the Rose City Rollers were kicking Rat City's butt with three out of four games in Portland's back pocket. Even the last, losing game against Seattle—with the Break Neck Betties falling to Grave Danger—was a knuckle-biter 'til the last jam, with a final score of Grave Danger 102, Betties 78.
There were some spectacular moments, like Scald Eagle from the Guns N Rollers laying waste to Ophelia Mellons on the Derby Liberation Front (go to the 9:22 mark—the hit is breathtaking); her fans were starry-eyed (that pic by Frank Lavelle Photography is amazing). Watching the Heartless Heathers get their first win in a blue moon—and looking like a new team while they did it with some kick-ass defense. New GNR jammer Ivana Thrasher's moves, which are fast and furious. Fresh blood skaters on High Rollers like Hari Kari, and vets Minstrel Psycho and KicKassedy looking top-notch. Eavesdropping on High Rollers' Napoleon Blownapart staring up at the Winterhawks portrait banners, saying, "Someday we'll be up there." And getting to see a fresh lineup of Betties skate after a bevy of last year's crew retired. Plus NO MORE MINOR PENALTIES! Love!
Quick recaps of each game after the jump.
Portland's Heartless Heathers vs. Seattle's Sockit Wenches
It was a slow start for the Heathers, with two jams ticking off the clock before they scored, while the Wenches were racking 'em up with an epic first jam by Sami Automatic. It wasn't until the latter half of the game that the Heathers started finding a nice cruising speed and letting jammer Slay Miserables do her thing—BTW, that thing involves a ton of jumping and scoring. But it wasn't just the scoring proclivities of Slay and the Heathers' other top scorer Tatty Munster, the Heathers' blocking looked great with Behexen, French Tickler, and Mel Mangles keeping defense strong. FINAL: Heartless Heathers 95, Sockit Wenches 72.
Portland's Guns N Rollers vs. Seattle's Derby Liberation Front
It was fun seeing the hulking Über-jammer Scald Eagle line up against Seattle's teeny Kamikaze Kim on the first jam. Big-small dichotomy is fun... unless you're Biggie Smalls than you're dead. All of GNR's jammers were looking great out there, with a final 20-point pounding by Scald in the second-to-last jam of the game. The scoring blitz was too much for the DLF, who never managed to get a lead on the scoreboard. FINAL: Guns N Rollers 99, Derby Liberation Front 63.
Cheerleaders! Doing crazy jumps!
Portland's High Rollers vs. Seattle's Throttle Rockets
We saw the Throttle Rockets take on the Guns N Rollers at the Hangar in October. It was a dern close one. Same with this battle with the gambling lassies on the High Rollers. It was a crazy back-and-forth with four lead changes during the game, but what put the nail in the Rockets' coffin was a massive jam by HR's Minstrel Psycho—35 points! It certainly didn't hurt that teammate Napoleon Blownapart was on fire too. FINAL: High Rollers 126, Throttle Rockets 88.
Portland's Break Neck Betties vs. Seattle's Grave Danger
The Betties got an early lead on Grave Danger, which they held onto until the second half of the game. They never got it back, but it wasn't for lack of trying. Scouts On'her was blocking the bejezus outta Grave Danger, and newbie Devilla Jukes was a blast to watch. On the Grave Danger team: I kept looking at the 4'8" Nehi Nightmare and wondering what the game looked like from her perspective—probably like how Muppeteers feel when they're working by actors' crotches. Anyhoo... in the last jam the Betties were down by 9 points, but a penalty sent Betties jammer Licker N Split to the icebox, while Grave Danger kept their lead and tacked on another 15 points for a FINAL score of Grave Danger 102, Break Neck Betties 78.