Putas del Fuego vs the Rhinestone Cowgirls
The mood was anxious yet exited as two teams who have yet to put a victory under their belt took to the track this Saturday to fight it out at the Thunderdome. The Rhinestone Cowgirls came to the rodeo wearing their biggest belt buckle and shiniest halter top ready to bear down and ride that bucking bovine of Spanish fury: las Putas del Fuego. Both teams had been surprised by a loss early in the season and they each had something to prove as the lights came down and the skates hit the track. The Putas came in like a bull in a china shop and the Rhinestone’s were the cowgirls who had to rope it if they wanted to save their collection of Lonesome Dove cut-crystal stemware.
The first quarter would start with excitement as las Putas del Fuego’s Lyka Boss would jump the apex at turn one and come away with 2 points, but the Rhinestones were hiding in her shadow and stole 3 points themselves before Boss called off the jam. Despite their tenacity, the Rhinestones would be plagued with early penalties that saw their go-to jammer Sassy Squasher loose an arm wrestling penalty to Lyka Boss (Remember that one time Boss lost arm wrestling? No? That’s because it didn’t happen.) who celebrated by flipping the table at Sassy. The ever impressive Sabataj would come into her final bout ready to fight as she knocked skaters left and right in her jamming runs. The penalties would continue to plague the Rhinestones and keep their score in the single digits. Rhinestone Hired Gun Break n Bake would fight hard to get past the blocking of Bidi Bidi Boom Boom but only bring home one point on the jam. The Putas would seem to hit a stumbling block late in the first when they get a major and two minor penalties on one jam, and then Rhinestones Cold Warr and Catty Whompass would show some impressive blocking as they held Lyka Boss in check on the next jam. But the CEO wasn’t about to let a hostile takeover stop her and she managed to break free and bring home five more points (just to remind everyone why she’s the Boss). The Rhinestone’s weren’t about to take it lying down, though, and speedster Mad Maxican had to give it three tries but finally get through on the jam for one more point. At the close of the first quarter the Rhinestone’s were showing promise, but the Putas were in the lead with 32-5.
The Rhinestones would come out swinging at the start of the second and Sassy Squasher would edge out Puta Knock Out for one point. But Lyka Boss would soon steal a jam from Mad Maxican, and the Rhinestones would start to get a little banged up with players like Bad Apple taking a hard hit. But Cowgirls are built tough and Gnarly Carly would edge out Sabataj on the next jam for another point. Continuing to fight hard, Rhinestone Break n Bake is able to get around a long defensive wall of Putas, but as soon as she’s free the Putas execute an effective runaway defense and leave Baker cold with no points to show for it. The Putas defense would stay strong with Cora Zone and Putahontas forming a solid blocking core that bounced players off like they were playing Angry Birds. Puta veteran Smitey Mouse would lend her talents to the cause and evade Cold Warr’s blocks to bring in four more points for her team. But it wasn’t all fiestas y flores for las Putas as Lyka Boss would get sent to the penalty box and Buffy Basher would get penned in by Ablazin Grace, allowing Mad Maxican to earn some much needed points for the Rhinestones. Towards the close of the half, the Rhinestones would still be at a substantial point deficit and emotions started to run high when Catty Whompass got tired of seeing the back end of Knock out and tackled her like a cheetah on a gazelle. No good deed goes unpunished though, and this was Catty’s third major of the night. She was forced to do the walk of shame as she was ejected to close out the second quarter with the Putas still up 44-11.
The third quarter would start with a double penalty for the Putas that had Eduskater down for a major and Putahontas with a minor. The penalty was a chance at payback for Putahontas, but it was not to be as Gnarly Carly dug in and beat her for the second time of the night on a tug of war penalty. The Rhinestones would dig in like an Alabama tick and try to ride it out as Mad Maxican got two hard-earned points by chasing down another Putas runaway defense. Putas Boom Boom and Cora Zone would consistently form solid blocking walls, but that wouldn’t stop Boom from taking a hard hit from Bad Apple who continued to show that the Rhinestones don’t pull their punches. Unfortunately, the Rhinestones would continue to get beat up in the second half when Gnarly Carly takes a fall and gets a face full of kick rail that would have her shaking the cobwebs out while she got the once-over from the medical staff. The Rhinestones would keep swinging, though, and Hired Gun Domme Draper and Cold Warr are able to keep Boss in check and let Break n Bake get out in front, but the Putas still keept them just out of reach of any points. The pressure would start to get to the Rhinestones late in the third as Mad Maxican and Bad Apple suffer major penalties, Sassy Squasher can’t break free from the blocking of Lyka Boss, and Break n Bake and Sabataj get into a tussle on the start line. Even the Rhinestones bench manager and captain Dusty Doublewide showed her frustration in a heated exchange with head ref Wright On where she could be heard (even from the back row of the Thunderdome) explaining to him that she thought he may be fornicating and perpetrating a prank on her person. Mad Maxican would once again show hope for the Rhinestones late in the third as she gets the edge on Smitey Mouse who seemed to loose her footing a bit. Mad was poised for an impressive jam, but was only able to bring home four points when an assist form Bad Apple missed it’s mark and sent Mad stumbling to the track. At the end of the third, the Rhinestones had chipped away at the Putas lead to make it 68-19.
Mad Maxican would start the final quarter skating like she’s one with the speed-force (Yes, the W.C. watches The Flash, and you should too, that show is the tits!) and racks up two points jamming against Sabataj. Then Sassy Squasher is able to get out in front for the Rhinestones but Boss rails her hard and takes control of the jam. Sassy doesn’t give up, though and is able to get four points off the jam to Boss’s three. Ablazin Grace had been showing a fantastic reverse-block all night until Sabataj gave her a hit like she tried to cut in line at all-you-can-eat-buffet night at the Golden Corral. Sabataj would continue to evade the valiant blocking attempts of Rhinestones like Bake n Break to add more points to the Putas commendable lead. Gnarly Carly would emerge late in the bout as a threat for the Rhinestones and force Putas Hired Gun Bambi Blow to call off her jam for fear of being overtaken. Ablazin Grace (not to be outdone by Carly) would zip through the pack like it’s not even there on her next jam. But the pressure would get the better of the Rhinestones again as Sassy Squasher tackled Putas Hired Gun Nicola Virus, Gnarly Carly steals Wright On’s flags after he hands down another major penalty to Ablazin Grace, and Bad Apple and Putahontas duke it out in another scuffle. The bout would close with Mad Maxican showing off her formidable speed and earning the Rhinestones five points, the highest scoring jam they had all night. In the end, though, the mountain of points that the Putas built couldn’t be overcome and the bout finished with the Putas victorious at 91-33.
The vast difference in scores belies what was actually a very well fought game on both sides. The Rhinestone Cowgirls came to play and delivered the hard hits that you would expect from a team being coached by Dusty Doublewide. And they have the stand out players that you would expect from the Rhinestone pedigree: Sassy Squasher, Mad Maxican and Gnarly Carly are all three explosive jammers. Cold Warr and Catty Whompass are solid blockers. But something about their strategy didn’t come together, and it may just be mental. The Putas came into the bout clearly thinking they were going to win. Their game was psychological as well as physical. They asserted themselves on the line and made sure that whatever they were doing, either with blocking schemes or even using a runaway defense, they were doing it as a unit. Even with two of their core blockers (Pea Khante and Juicy Cooter) away with the All-Scars for the Battle on the Bank IX, the Putas come together to fill the gap with Lyka Boss doing double duty jamming and blocking, Boom Boom becoming a presence in the pack and even Knock Out doing some reverse bracing. The Rinestones have passion and the weapons are there to be honed and focused. It’s only a matter of time until they’re back on top form, and with the draft coming up they’re in a position to make that happen sooner rather than later.
On a special note: This was the final bout for Puta Sabataj. That fedora clad fuego has been burning up the track ever since I started attending bouts. Her presence was as huge as her biceps and she cut an intimidating figure in black, red and gold. The W.C. hates to see her go, but wishes her all the best.
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