Raezor and ROOthless are newer members of the Cincinnati Rollergirls, but their history goes way, way back. Between the two of them, they have over two decades of roller derby experience, with Roo playing for the Cincinnati Junior Rollergirls in 2009 and Raezor starting with the Black-and-Bluegrass Roller Girls in 2013. They would both play for Black-and-Bluegrass a few years later – Raezor was one of the parents who helped establish the juniors’ team, and Roo started playing for them. Despite the pandemic, Roo’s graduation from school and subsequent enlistment in the United States Army, and Raezor taking a bit of time off from skating, their derby senses seem to have not dulled a bit. They both made the shift to CRG in 2022, and have been playing on the same team since.
When you hear them talk to each other, you can tell they’re family. I asked them some questions about their time playing roller derby together, and for quite a few of them, they almost seemed to read each other’s minds. When I asked them one of their favorite parts of playing derby, they agreed that traveling was a highlight when Roo was playing for the Black-and-Bluegrass Juniors. Raezor explained that they would travel all over the region for games and tournaments – from Toledo, to Indianapolis, all the way to Michigan, they both reminisced on the road trips and hotel stays. Raezor would drive Roo, in addition to other skaters whose parents couldn’t accompany them for longer trips. They both laugh as Raezor recounts a story from one of Roo’s tournaments; “I don’t remember what city it was,” she smiles, “but I remember there was one trip where we went down the hallways at one of the hotels and I taught the kids how to play ring-and-run.” Roo smiles at this and laughs as I ask, “That’s ding-dong ditch, right?” She nods, and they both chuckle as Raezor laments being a bit of a “bad influence” on the kids; but it’s a memory that both immediately thought of when asked about one of their favorite moments together.
Despite the shenanigans, Raezor and Roo are committed to their skills as skaters. Though they both played for different divisions of the same team for a long time, they finally had their debut on the same track at the Cincinnati Rollergirls bout at Cintas Center for the 2023 season opener. While they may be fairly new to bouting on the same team, Roo points out that she and her mother have always been committed to help each other get better. “We can give each other constructive criticism without getting our feelings hurt,” she explains. They also play different positions – Roo is a jammer, and Raezor is a blocker. You can see their years of experience in the way they skate, with Roo’s playstyle being very daring and offense-heavy; Raezor, on the other hand, is a level-headed, calm, cognizant blocker. Raezor points out that Roo likes to be close to the action – she recounted a story when Roo was playing in a juniors’ game and received a hard hit to the head. She was escorted off the track and onto a stretcher by medics, and her mom says, “I have a photo of it somewhere, but Roo was on the stretcher, still asking them to move her closer to the track so she could see what was going on.” It may sound a bit odd, but the way they reminisce about it makes it clear that their love of derby keeps them close.
Raezor’s face breaks into a grin when I ask her what their favorite part about playing on the same team is; she turns to Roo and says, “She gets to hit her mother!” Roo brushes it off at first, but ultimately, she smiles too.
By: Sam Fox
Header Image by: Chris Baker