ALL-STARS & LUNACHIX WISCONSIN-BOUND FOR TOUGH TILTS!
by Muckety Muck, Derby News Network Contributng Writer – Photos by Bob Dunnell
The two squads of the Arch Rival Roller Girls – the ARRG All-Stars and the Saint Lunachix – are mere days away from one of their most important road trips of the season.
The third installment of the invitational takes place at the US Cellular Arena in downtown Milwaukee, WI.
The All-Stars – currently 4-1 and ranked eighth in the WFTDA North Central – face off against a pair of region rivals, one currently ranked above and one currently ranked behind.
This Saturday at 10:45 am, the All-Stars face the fourth-ranked Detroit Derby Girls (0-0). Then on Sunday at 1:30 pm, ARRG faces the ninth-ranked Cincinnati Black Sheep (3-3).
Meanwhile, the Saint Lunachix (4-0) tangle this weekend with a tough pair of “b-teams.” This Saturday at 10 am, the Chix meet Ohio Rollergirls’ Gang Green (4-3). Then on Sunday at 10:45 am, the local rollers battle the Naptown Warning Belles (4-2).
(NOTE: Although it hasn’t been confirmed as of press time, there is a chance that Midwest Brewhaha may be webcasted live on Derby News Network. Check ARRG’s Facebook page for the latest updates!)
Last year, both squads posted solid Brewhaha wins that propelled them throughout the summer. At Brewhaha 2011, the ARRG All-Stars grabbed victories over Chicago Outfit (129-72) and Burning River (147-87) while the Lunachix thumped the Brewcity Battlestars (166-85) and Madison Team Unicorn (200-92).
The event itself is large in scope. Over the span of two days, over 20 bouts featuring 25 teams will take place. Sixteen “A-teams” will skate, which includes eight of the top 10 teams in the North Central region. Seven “b-teams,” one WFTDA apprentice team and one independent league will also participate.
Aside from the annual region playoffs, Midwest Brewhaha has arguably become the yearly showcase for WFTDA North Central franchises. It often provides an early gauge as to how teams and the region rankings could potentially progress throughout the summer. In fact, this often provides a barometer as to how the next set of rankings – voted upon in July – could stack up.
Needless to say, it’s an important weekend for the locals.
Here’s a look at the ARRG match-ups at this weekend’s Midwest Brewhaha:
SATURDAY 6/2, 10:45 AM – NC #8 ARRG ALL-STARS (3-1 REGION, 4-1 OVERALL) VS. NC #4 DETROIT (0-0)
Regarding Detroit’s record, what you are reading is correct. The match-up with ARRG will be its first travel bout of the season. In fact, it will be Detroit’s first WFTDA travel bout since last October.
Granted, Detroit has been extremely busy with its intraleague schedule, which just concluded one week ago. And don’t think for one moment that Detroit doesn’t have something to prove at Brewhaha.
Entering the North Central playoff last year as a number three seed, many predicted that Motown’s finest would challenge region powerhouse Windy City for the title, or at least find itself as one of the top three playoff finishers and earn a bid to the 2011 WFTDA Championships. Yet, a semifinal loss to #2 Minnesota and a third-place loss to #4 Naptown stumped its national tourney hopes.
They finished the year 8-13, out of the Hydra Trophy playoff picture….and extremely pissed. There’s really no other way to describe it.
Detroit certainly has the firepower and the experience to right the ship in 2012.
Jammer Racer McChaseHer has been the lynchpin of the Detroit jamming rotation for numerous years. Captain Cookie Rumble and veterans Honey Suckit and boo d. livers will add to the talented four-woman rotation. An equally-experienced collective of blockers, paced by Bruisie Siouxxx, Cool Whip, Fatal Femme and Jackie O. Noyoudidnt, lead the charge up-front.
Historically, Detroit has won its previous battles against ARRG quite easily. In January 2009, DDG roughed up ARRG 153-91. In August 2010, Detroit beat the locals 195-65 at the ARRGegeddon Invitiational.
Yet, there will be many North Central eyes watching this one closely. Detroit knows it has its naysayers following the rough finish in 2011 and its recent region inactivity. They would love nothing more to silence the critics by roughing up ARRG to start this year’s campaign.
But the “pink and black attack” have grown and evolved as a franchise since their last meeting in 2010.
The jamming quartet of Mighty Mighty Boston, Downtown Dallis, Black Market Baby and South City Shiner have been a formidable force against the competition this travel season. Just when the opposition thinks they have a solo ARRG jammer in control points-wise, the three others more than compensate. This depth has resulted in keeping the opposing packs on their toes.
And this is quite a daunting task to begin with, considering an opposing squad has to deal with All-Star blockers Chewblocka, Shimmy Hoffa, Party Foul, Science Friction, Mayor Francis Slayer, May Require Stitches, Party Foul, The Educator and Grave Danger from the onset. The ARRG jammers will be the first to recognize the effectiveness of the walls set-up by the blocking schematic.
And we’ve personally seen ARRG this season launch early leads to dictate the pace in numerous bouts this season. I remind you of the 46-0 start in March against Cincinnati, the 43-0 start against Memphis in April and the 42-4 start against Bleeding Heartland earlier this month.
There’s no better time to have one of those quick sprints out of the gates than against a squad taking its first jams of the travel season.
In short, the first ten minutes of this bout will more than likely set the tone in this one.
SUNDAY 6/3, 1:30 PM – NC #8 ARRG ALL-STARS VS. NC #9 CINCINNATI (2-2 REGION, 3-3 OVERALL)
A team that can’t wait for Brewhaha to arrive would be the Cincinnati Black Sheep, the North Central’s ninth-ranked team that would love to gets its revenge on ARRG from an earlier bout that they would rather forget.
On March 10, ARRG used a 46-0 opening sprint to top the Buckeyes 158-118 in Cincinnati. It was the second straight win that the locals had posted over the Black Sheep.
Since the 40-point setback, the Black Sheep have split their last two North Central region bouts against teams resting on opposite ends of the spectrum.
On March 31, Cincinnati posted a 203-122 victory over NC #18 Demolition City, a smaller league from Evansville, IN. Earlier this month, the Black Sheep faced NC#2 Minnesota and were sheered 257-102.
Cincinnati has split their bouts outside of the region in 2012. They bested South Central #6 Tampa Bay by seven points in April and fell to East #10 DC Rollergirls 162-132 two weekends ago.
If anything, Cincinnati is still a hard team to gauge due to its mixed results, which makes them extremely unpredictable.
The Black Sheep will once again go with its jamming triple-threat of K. Lethal, Wheezy and CandyKICKass in this one. The trio was held in check early in the March ARRG battle, but all three seek redemption.
The blocking schematic will see one major change since the earlier ARRG battle. Veteran blocker Nuk’em broke both her tibula and fibula prior to the April Tampa Bay bout and was replaced in the line-up by Cherry Choke. Otherwise, blocking up front will be paced by Mirderher, Karma Krash, Sk8r-Kinney, Buckhead Betty.
Cincinnati would love to win the re-match and a large point differential could potentially result in a flip-flop in the next set of region rankings.
The All-Stars certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend. Neither bout will be easy.
Now onto the weekend tilt for the Saint Lunachix:
SATURDAY 6/2, 10:00 AM – ARRG SAINT LUNACHIX (4-0) VS. OHIO GANG GREEN (4-3)
The Lunachix have sprinted out to an undefeated record thus far in 2012 with the same attributes that has characterized this franchise historically, a “take-no-prisoners” approach in the first half.
St. Louis’ b-team has outscored its opposition this season, 683-323. This includes a 165-124 victory over Bleeding Heartland’s Code Blue Assassins on May 5.
The blocking up front will be paced by returning Brewhaha vets Boom Boom Pow, Rhino Might, Bareknuckle Smack, Ginny Beastly, The Forecloser, PolkaDot Yr’ Eyeout and Deathica Steele.
Blockers Beaster Bunny, Eveready, The Oregon Betrayal, Euax Baby, Biohazard Betty, Shell Shoxx, Shacgyver, Megalodominator and Toe-Stop Belevin’ will be making their first Chix trip to Brewhaha this weekend.
It’s a full line-up for ARRG’s b-team. They’ll have their hands full in their Brewhaha opener.
If not for a few misfires, ORG’s Gang Green could have easily been 7-0 heading into Saturday’s match-up with the Saint Lunachix.
Following a 250-point quad stomp of River City to launch the season, Gang Green suffered a six-point loss to Bleeding Heartland’s Code Blue Assassins in early March.
The squad would split their next four bouts, with convincing wins over the b-teams of Ft. Wayne (171-44) and Grand Raggidy (167-94) and tough-luck losses to the b-teams of Cincinnati (120-113) and Burning River (111-97).
Gang Green jumped above the .500 mark with on May 20 with a 163-107 win over Toronto’s Bay Street Bruisers.
Their output so far this year has told this story: either they win big or lose by little. The fact that the cumulative total of points was only 27 in their three losses shows that the squad is ultra-competitive through a bout’s entire span.
The jamming rotation is paced by rookies The Smacktivist, who has posted an average of 50 points in her last two bouts, and Bigg Rigg, who netted 105 points in her Gang Green debut earlier this season. Paige Bleed and Rachel Wrecker will also don the star to contribute. KaSlammity James, Ava Tarr, Blitz Lemon and Dixie Heartless contribute to the Gang Green blocking schematic.
The Chix would love to avenge the loss suffered by its “A-team” sistren against Ohio in March. A win over Gang Green would give the league an “a/b” split in the record column.
SUNDAY 6/3, 10:45 AM – ARRG SAINT LUNACHIX VS. NAPTOWN WARNING BELLES (4-2)
No one can deny the hard charge of the league from Indianapolis the last two years within the Midwest derby scene. What was once a league just content in playing has now become a nationally-recognized derby franchise. Naptown’s A-team – The Tornado Sirens – placed third in last year’s North Central region playoff.
Success has certainly trickled down to Naptown’s b-team, The Warning Belles, a scrappy group of skaters that is comparable to the Saint Lunachix.
After picking up the runner-up trophy following a 2-1 finish at February’s B-Cup Invitational in Bloomington, IN, the Warning Belles thumped the Dutchland Blitz 257-30 on March 24. One week later, the Belles fell to Windy City’s Second Wind 171-79.
In April, a 155-97 victory over Steel City’s Blitzburgh Bombers improved their record to 4-2.
Belles’ jammers Willa Hoeflinch, Piper Sonic, Bloody Waters set the tone in the scoring column. Keep a close watch on Hoeflinch as she is the physical and emotional leader of this squad. Throw her off her game, and one should expect good things.
The goal for the Lunachix this weekend is to post the sweep, which will maintain their undefeated streak at Brewhaha historically and overall in 2012.
We’ll have full recaps from all four ARRG bouts from Midwest Brewhaha 2012 on Monday here in the ARRG Newscenter.
If four ARRG bouts weren’t enough viewing pleasure this weekend – although one will probably have to resort to dual screens due to Saturday’s ARRG bout overlap – there’s plenty of other interesting action to be found online during DNN’s “potential” weekend coverage of Midwest Brewhaha.
Might I suggest the following bouts to follow, since you’re already going to be watching anyway, and I – for the first time ever – will make predictions, since ARRG is not representin’ in these bouts. I will only look at the WFTDA-sanctioned A-team bouts and will put these in the order of significance to me:
7:30 pm – Track 1 – East #3 Charm City vs. NC #2 Minnesota: This will be the marquee match-up of Brewhaha Day One…and rightly so. The two faced each other in the first round of the WFTDA National Championships this past November and the rollers from the Gopher State won by 39 points. Charm City pummeled North Central #5 Chicago Outfit by 150-plus points earlier in the year. Minnesota posted a 35-point win over NC #3 Naptown in early May. Minnesota has twice as many games played this year as Charm City. I go with strength of schedule in this one… and the point differential will be slightly more than what was recorded in 2011. Prediction: Minnesota 162, Charm City 112.
3:15 pm – Track 2 – NC #11 Grand Raggidy vs. NC #7 Ohio: The two faced each other on April 28 and the Buckeyes won 156-121. I actually think this one could go down to the wire and MIGHT provide a potential upset. Grand Raggidy is a smart team and should learn from what didn’t work last time out. Lower score than last time out as GR plays cerebral, but there is a reason I put MIGHT in ALL CAPS and made it bold earlier in the paragraph. In the end, it’ll be 2-0 for Ohio in 2012 over the team from Grand Rapids…but barely. Prediction: Ohio 128, Grand Raggidy 113.
2:15 pm – Track 1 – NC #5 Chicago Outfit vs. NC #9 Cincinnati: With the Outfit losing both 2011 North Central region playoff MVP Sweet Mary Pain and top-notch blocker Gaygan due to transfer, I’m not as high on the Syndicate this year as the current rankings would suggest. Outfit jammer Lola Blow has to have a solid bout here, but I’m not sure if the Sheep will let her have it. My primary upset of Brewhaha that will put the North Central lower ten in a kerfuffle for the next set of rankings and will make the Outfit/ARRG match-up in July very interesting. Don’t hate me for the predicted outcome. My heart hopes for a close bout, but my head says otherwise. Prediction: Cincinnati 145, Chicago Outfit 90.
5:45 pm – Track 1 – NC #6 Brewcity vs. NC #4 Detroit: The closeness of the rankings will not sway me one bit. Detroit will win…and win convincingly. This one will be decided late in the first half and Detroit will turn off the jets, allowing Brewcity to make the point differential closer than what it should be…and it still won’t be close. Host city silenced early. As a result, Horny Goat beer sales skyrocket at US Cellular. Prediction: Detroit 178, Brewcity 107.
12:30 pm – Track 1 – NC #4 Detroit vs. NC #2 Minnesota: The bout that contains the most intrigue for me and for probably the whole North Central region. Detroit is still steaming from their 21-point loss to the rollers from Minneapolis last year in the semis of the North Central playoffs. This one is a coin flip, but I’m taking Minnesota in a scrum. Minnesota leads throughout, but never gains more than a 20-point spread. A potential gut-wrencher that will make you reach for the Pepto-Bismol due to Motown’s peskiness. Prediction: Minnesota 140, Detroit 124.
7:30 pm – Track 1 – NC #1 Windy City vs. East #3 Charm City: This will be Windy City’s lone appearance at Brewhaha…and they won’t fail to pick up a “W.” I do, however, expect a tighter bout than the Minnesota/Charm City bout from the day prior. Let the triangulation debates commence afterwards. Minnesota skaters will watch this one in the stands and rabble-rouse, knowing that they could take Chicago’s best in Niagara Falls later in the post-season…and potentially win. Prediction: Windy City 155, Charm City 138.
5:45 pm – Track 1: NC #6 Brew City vs. NC #7 Ohio: Brew City bested Ohio at last year’s playoffs by 26 points, 104-78. I predict more points, but a tighter differential. I also expect close to double-digits in lead changes, but inevitably, the Buckeyes take it on the chin. I feel sorry for Demolition City, the team that faces Ohio two weekends after Brewhaha. As a result of Ohio being surly after this loss, Demo’s going to get pummeled. Evansville, hide your children. Prediction: Brewcity 152, Ohio 141.
9:00 am – Track 1 – NC #15 Toronto vs. #25 Fox Cityz: Two things are a given here while eating your Cocoa Krispies on Sunday morning. (1) Toronto will win in a lop-sided affair and (2) Fox Cityz announcer Rev. N0rb will make a reference to professional wrestler Baron Von Raschke sometime during the bout on DNN. Expect ‘snap, crackle and brain claw’ while wishing you would have ate pancakes instead. Prediction: Toronto 205, Fox Cityz 52.
11:45 am – Track 2 – #17 Tri City vs. #11 Grand Raggidy. These two played two weekends ago and saw Grand Raggidy win by 12. Grand Raggidy might potentially make the push into the North Central Top Ten and trade positions with region-idle #10 Madison if they should score the upset on Saturday against Ohio and win big here…which they should do more convincingly this time out. Tri-City still wins, hands down for me, as the best league logo at Brewhaha. I really, really, really wished they sold their merch online! Prediction: Grand Raggidy 158, Tri-City 114.
Without a doubt, Midwest Brewhaha will deliver the premiere regular-season event in regional roller derby.
ARRG’s goal is to be one of the top stories talked about when the weekend concludes.
COMING UP NEXT MONDAY IN THE ARRG NEWSCENTER: A full recap of ARRG’s journey to Midwest Brewhaha PLUS a preview of the Saint Luncahix match-up vs. the Brewcity Battlestars at Midwest Sport Hockey on Saturday, June 9.