After splitting their last double-header against the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes, the Cincinnati Rollergirls’ Black Sheep (1-1) and Violent Lambs (3-0) return to the Cincinnati Gardens on Saturday, April 25 to battle the Blue Ridge Rollergirls. Tank has a recap and a preview.

I have always been an avid video game player. Ever since my dad brought home an Atari 2600 in 1984, I have grown up with a controller in my hands. One of the biggest games in the history of video games was Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. While I could easily type 5,000 words about a scar-covered Russian pro wrestler, the amount of pomade needed to keep Guile’s flattop in place, or the controversial name change of M. Bison becoming Balrog for the U.S. release of the game, that’s not what this article is about. This is about Ryu vs. Ken, or what we saw in the last game, the Cincinnati Rollergirls Sheep vs. the Ann Arbor Brawlstars.
In Street Fighter II, even though Ryu and Ken looked different, they had they exact same move set: The Shoryuken, the Hadoken, and the Hurricane Kick. The difference was that Ryu always seemed to be the more powerful, go-to player, and that was the way this game between the Sheep and Brawlstars felt as well. Even though they mirrored each other and were doing the exact same thing, the Brawlstars were just better. The Sheep took an early lead, but the Brawlstars won it in the end, 205-153.
Cincinnati has really committed itself to the idea of three on one or four on one defense against the opposing team’s jammer. In this game, we saw both teams forming triangles with three blockers, creating the traditional wall but with an extra layer of reinforcement from a third blocker who is skating backward. All game we watched every jammer from both teams have to contend with these uneven odds, but in the end, Ann Arbor was better at executing this game. As my friend and co-announcer Dave F’n Powell said to me at the after party over a couple delicious MadTree pints, “The Sheep didn’t lose that game; the Brawlstars won it.”
Three things really stood out to me in this game:
1. La Bruja’s isolation blocking ability. Bru has an uncanny skill of getting her body on an opposing jammer, and once her hips make contact, she does not let up.
2. Jas Hubbard. Jas is what you need a jammer to be in the modern game of roller derby. She is all muscle, a natural athlete with the agility of a ninja, and she doesn’t fear a damn thing. I watched this woman barrel into multiple situations where she should have been annihilated and yet she bounced out and gets lead jammer. It doesn’t matter that this was her second game with the Sheep; she is officially one of the key members who will determine this organization’s success.
3. Track Magic. I hate to end things on a down note, but currently CRG doesn’t have an answer for a physically strong jammer that can move their walls. TM tore through CRG’s pack like a rhino, just lowering her shoulders and destroying anything that stood in her way. If CRG wants to get back to the Division 1 level, they have to figure out how to deal with a jammer of that caliber.
Straight up, the Violent Lambs vs. The Arbor Bruising Co. was one of the most wild-ass games I’ve ever seen. The story of this game was ABC came out of the blocks hot, dominating the Lambs, and then over the course of 43 minutes the Lambs fought back to get a lead change and get back into this game, eventually eking out a 217-200 win.
This game saw Hot Slice go out with a leg injury and come back in to contribute late in the game as well as Sista Shovechild’s left skate breaking, getting new skates, yelling at us in the booth to tell us what was happening and then going back out to skate some more. Big Ugly and V.C. (pictured) also put up solid jamming performances, escaping unscathed.
I also really like what Jennocide does in the pack, constantly dominating the other team’s jammer and intimidating any blocker that comes near her. I love this Lambs team and its mix of wily veterans and young skaters that will become major contributors to the Sheep down the road (i.e. Skunna Hurt). And while this team is a mix of talent with different abilities, everyone on this squad wants to win, and this game drove that point home.
This Saturday night, the Blue Ridge Rollergirls of Asheville, N.C. come into town to take on CRG. These two teams look to be evenly matched based on Flat Track Stats, and it should be a fun matchup. I think we will see both the Lambs and Sheep gel more in their respective games and hopefully both bring home wins. I cannot stress this enough: This team is starting a new chapter and it’s something that you need to see live.
For tickets and more information, click here.
Can’t make the game? Watch ICRCTV’s Livestream Presented by Tom + Chee here.

Cincinnati Violent Lambs vs. Blue Ridge French Broads (6 p.m.)

Violent Lambs: Annie Tomical 91 // Chainsaw 80 // Cherry Choke 0 // Cincy Psych-O 22 // Ellie Stab’er 631 // Hot Slice 71 // ¡I, Caramba 23 // Jennocide 14 // Jillian Dollaz 14 // Mama Crass 26 // Poppy Chulo 27 // Ruthless Chris 5 // Skunna Hurt 69 // V.C. 96 // Alternates: Polly Rocket 63 // Royal T 533
French Broads: Pocahotmess 13 // 9lb. Hammer 144 // Lexistenstial Crisis 15 // Disgrace Slick 2112 // Boss Lady 24 // Towanda 260 // 2 Chainsawz 336 // Shadow of Beth 34 // Tofu Hustle 5150 // Sparkle Plug 57 // Levee BreaksHer 76 // Drag’n SlayHer 999

Cincinnati Black Sheep vs. Blue Ridge All-Stars (approx. 7:45 p.m.)

Black Sheep: Anne Bones 77 // Big Ugly 72 // CandyKICKass! 32 // Hannah Barbaric 85 // Jas Hubbard 135 // Kitten Kicker 30 // La Bruja 66 // Macrum 93 // MIRDERHER 44 // Nuk’em 86 // Penn Tupanga 360 // Pistol Whippin’ Wendy 38 // Sailor Scary 92 // Sista Shovechild 2 // Alternates: ¡I, Caramba! 23 // Ruthless Chris 5
Blue Ridge All-Stars: Brutal 00 // Princess Suck It Up Buttercup 033 // Ashevillain 10 // Dixie Kicks 1081 // Hopi-wan 1138 // Skelley-Tor 2 // Beer Wench 23 // Coma N. Ducer 315 // Boot Scootin Bully 36 // Lady Rider 5 // Distressa 505 // Knotty By Nature 7 // Polli Slamherass 75 // Rolli Cannoli 83 // Alternates: Shadow of Beth 34 // Waggle 4