After two losses in last month’s home opener, the Cincinnati Rollergirls will be summoning all of their roller derby superpowers for a sanctioned A-team game against West Virginia Roller Derby and a regulation B-team matchup against Chicago Outfit Roller Derby’s Shade Brigade on Saturday, April 7. CRG announcer-turned-writer Tank previews the action.

This Saturday night is the second annual Cincinnati Rollergirls Superhero Night. My first instinct with this article was to do a hacky “which skater is which superhero?” post, but I quickly realized how contrived and boring that would be.
Instead, I want to write about something that I recently heard on announcer Thadd’s “Fans of” Podcast, which is a series where he primarily interviews members of the Cincinnati Rollergirls. His most recent guest was longtime Cincinnati Rollergirls head coach Quad Almighty, who has been a part of the roller derby scene for well over a decade now.
At one point, Quad talked about the vast difference in skater ability in comparison to what it was just a few years ago, and he is absolutely right. If you took this Black Sheep team back in time, they would destroy any team from 10 years ago. It wouldn’t even be a game — it would be a total annihilation, with players skating backward, jumping the apex, positional blocking, etc. A team that today is trying to claw its way into the playoffs along with hundreds of other teams would be an unstoppable smashing machine in 2008. I think that speaks volumes about the sport of flat track roller derby and where it is progressing athletically, as the evolution of any sport is about what was once superhuman becoming the norm.
The second double-header of the 2018 home season will pit the 78th-ranked Cincinnati Rollergirls Black Sheep against No. 82 West Virginia Roller Derby. WVRD, a relatively new WFTDA team, is made up of several Beckley Area Derby Dames skaters and other skaters from throughout the state. The last time the Sheep took on the core group of this team, they won handily, 237-85. It will be interesting to see what adjustments have been made in the past year now that WVRD is a full-fledged WFTDA team.
One of the things that has changed from the old days of derby until now is the importance of team versus a player. Back in the day, one great player could dominate an entire game, because most teams didn’t have the teamwork and strategy in place to shut them down. That definitely has changed over time, as teams now have dedicated lineups like lines in hockey for specific jammers or just as part of their rotation. CRG players including Crum, Jillian Dollaz, Kitten Kicker and Poppy Chulo are pivotal linchpins in these packs, as they keep things together. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and having a veteran player that knows where they need to be on the floor is huge.
Speaking about important players, let’s chat about Train N Pain for a minute, who is back in action Saturday after being unavailable for the March 10 home opener. She is like a human Bouncing Betty on the flat track, as she stays low to the ground, but suddenly springs out of seemingly nowhere to deliver mass amounts of pain to anyone that is foolish enough to cross her path.
Also, keep an eye on Hustle in this game. I am confident in saying she has etched herself a permanent spot on the Sheep roster, as I have a hard time thinking of what this team would look like without her. She is the perfect example of what happens when you just keep showing up day after day, week after week to practice.
The second bout of the night will feature The Violent Lambs squaring off with the Chicago Outfit’s B team, the Shade Brigade. As I noted in the last preview, this Lambs team is the biggest mix of veterans, rookies and former juniors players that I have ever seen. It’s an extreme mix of experience levels and ages coming together to form one team. I am excited to see how Crystal Whip, The Slayer and Noah Pologies have advanced, as they are past that rookie stage of their career and now onto that next level as players and what they can contribute in a game.
Since I had to miss the first game of the season due to work, I am looking forward to this Saturday night and having the chance to assess both the Sheep and the Lambs live. Just like going to the latest Marvel movie, I don’t know exactly what I’m going to see, but I do know I’m going to have a great time.
Click here for more information about Superhero Night, which featured costumed superheroes, costume contests and more, and to buy tickets. Haven’t been to a CRG game at Schmidt yet? Read our game day tips.

CRG Black Sheep vs. West Virginia (6 p.m.)

Black Sheep: 13 – Little Bull // 135 – Jas Hubbard // 15 – Mae Murder // 23 – I, Caramba! // 27 – Poppy Chulo // 30 – Kitten Kicker // 34 – Jillian Dollaz // 43 – Wheezy // 533 – Royal T // 6313 – Ellie Stab’er // 79 – Train N Pain // 8 – Doom // 89 – Hustle // 92 – Sailor Scary // 93 – Crum // Alternates: 16 – Garden of Beatin // 26 – Mama Crass
West Virginia: 1 – Shorty Shorts // 1111 – Dae-O Reckoning // 1313 – MinnieHurl // 138 – Cupcake Cadaver // 22 – Phyllis Kill’er // 23 – Towanda Woman // 27 – Mega Psychotic // 3 – Liz Vicious // 44 – T Cooke // 444 – Vixon Von Hell Slinger // 47 – Hart // 65 – Sturdy Gertie // 7 – Roby // 8 – ArmenSlammer // 888 – Malice in Rollerland // Alternates: 88 Yula B Hurtin // 3 She Rollz Bye

CRG Violent Lambs vs. Chicago (8 p.m.)

Violent Lambs: 13 – Little Bull // 15 – Mae Murder // 154 – Crystal Whip // 16 – Garden of Beatin // 18 – Scrappy Sue // 21 – Ada Burnlace // 26 – Mama Crass // 27 – Poppy Chulo // 29 – Redrum // 4 – LoKo // 626 – Noah Pologies // 63 – Princess Derby // 713 – The Slayer // 83 – Jungle Lacy // 9 – CleoPAINtra // Alternates: 34 – Jillian Dollaz // 666 – Hail Skatin
Shade Brigade: 02 – Notorious RBG // 1217 – Gram Crack Her // 13 – Rowan Shade // 1333 – Ra Ra Boom // 1414 – D-Fleured // 16 – Crys Cross // 24 – Lethal Luxy // 269 – Braise Seitan // 36 – Sailor Doom // 40 – Casey Mace em // 5 – Fox Force // 53 – Korben Dallas // 77 – Eve ILL // 911 – Mary Hatchet // 975 – Ginny Wheezy // Alternates: 9 – Ronnie Maims Dio // 86 – Stryker Down