It was an eager mood at the Thunderdome this Saturday as two well-pedigreed teems took to the track for what promised to be a rough and tumble showing as the Cherry Bombs took on the Rhinestone Cowgirls. The Rhinestones rolled in with their usual western swagger, confident and brash despite the noted absence of their star player, Dusty Doublewide, who would be pulling bench manager duty for this bout. And tumbling in with their usual frenetic chaos, the Bombs fielded a team full of veterans who have a reputation for producing points. As toe stops and bad attitudes squared off on the boards, the crowd settled in for an old style shoot-out between two of the best teams in the league.
It was an inauspicious start for the Rhinestones when the Cherry Bombs put up the points early and often with jammers like Ninja Please slipping through the pack with all the skills of, well, a ninja. Once Gnarly Carly finally managed to score a point for the Rhinestones, they still technically had nothing the board because early penalties had put them at a scoring deficit (a first to behold for this commentator). But with true Cowgirl grit, the Rhinestones bore-down on that bucking bronco of a Cherry Bomb and Mad Maxican wrestled enough points from the beast to bring them above zero on the scoreboard. Knocking the dust from their chaps, they brought the quarter to a close with the Bombs on top 30-4.
The Bombs would continue to field strong veterans throughout the first half, with Train Wreck Trina, as always, putting up a solid performance. For the Rhinestones, Mad Maxican continued to give a valiant effort, but with her blockers being effectively shut down, she was not able to bring home many points. The second quarter gave us the debut jam of Lois Slay’n as a Bomb. It was an explosive (pun fully intended) start and she snatched up nine points on a double, but perhaps was a bit overzealous and racked up a major penalty for good measure. Shortly after this there was a tense few minutes in the Thunderdome as Hired Gun Ramona deFlowers took a nasty spill outside the track and had to be tended to by the medical staff. She was soon on her feet, though, and the crowd showed support as she took a break to shake the cobwebs out. The half would end with Ninja Please shifting gears and helping the Bombs put up a great defense and taking the opportunity to press her advantage and toy a bit with a Rhinestone team that was clearly on it’s heels. But the Rhinestones aren’t a team of quitters and Hired Gun Bambi Blow impressively stole lead jammer status from Bendy Davis at the close of the half, showing that there’s still a fight left in this rodeo, even if the half ended with the Bombs up 62-9.
After the half, the Rhinestones would start to fight back with Sassy Squasher capitalizing on penalties and trying to give her girls some momentum. Unfortunately, the Bombs would continue to dominate the track throughout the quarter, looking dynamic in contrast to the Cowgirls static-wall style of play. The pressure started to get to the Rhinestones and they were spittin’ mad when Catty Whompass got her blood up and cut the track to tussle with Cherry Bomb jammer Zara Problem. The third quarter would close with little improvement for the Rhinestones as they were down 86-16.
The tension would carry on in the final quarter as Rhinestone Cold Warr picked a fight with Lois Slay’n. The bad news would continue for the Rhinestones when Gnarly Carly clearly puts up two points on a good looking jam, but the officiating team, lead by Hatchet Ma, only award her with one. A travesty of injustice? Only future generations will be able to decide. Standing out late in the game for the Cherry Bombs was Hired Gun Break N’ Bake, who could easily become the hottest draft pick this side of Rocky Casbah, and Hired Gun Vanna Fook, who looks like she’s found her skate legs in her second bout this season. In the end, the Rhinestones lost there cool like a cowboy getting sucker punched at a Dwight Yoakum concert and they started so many fights that you lost track of who was punching who. Ironically, the bout would close with veteran Cherry Bomb Rolla Parks getting ejected (to no ones surprise) for her third major penalty. While it would normally be disheartening to see the Bombs loosing their star blocker, it had little effect on the outcome of the bout with the Bombs tipping the Cowgirls with a victory of 105-24.
It was a tale of two teams at the Thunderdome, with the Cherry Bombs looking every bit as aggressive and dynamic as you would expect, but the Rhinestone Cowgirls feeling static and out classed with a less-than-expected outing. The Rhinestones were taking some risks and fielding more than a few new players, but the team as a whole seemed rudderless as the Bombs dominated from jam-one. It was clear to see that they sorely missed the presence of their star player (and one of the leagues best) Dusty Doublewide. Dusty’s coaching was clearly evident in the Rhinestones techniques, but without the physicality of Dusty to go along with it, the team just couldn’t bring it together. They have some promising new blood in players like Bikini Killer, and hopefully with a bout under their belt they will come back just as strong as ever for the rest of the season.
Thanks for stopping by, and we’ll see you next time from the W.C.!