GnR's domination of the Betties began before the bout had even started on Saturday night: on very short notice, Cadillac's Mom showed her true rocker heart and stepped up to sing the national anthem. And she killed it.
(That we were still looking for someone only minutes before they would have sing does explain some previous national anthems—I guess some nights the question hasn't been "Can you sing the national anthem?" but "Do you know all of the words?")
The GnR hits also started early: for their intro, the GnR skated onto the track as glammed-up versions of the Breakneck Betties. No strangers to hair products or makeup (except when they're in Mongolia), the GnR traded their ratted hair and eyeliner for hot rollers and lipstick. What I thought was a hobby horse was, I have confirmed, a Chest-Nutz piñata that had been savagely beaten the night before. Cher The Pain was a dead ringer for Betties skater Domesticated Violence, though the rumor is that DV insists Cher was wearing far too much shirt to be her. And I think everyone in the hangar could clearly hear Marollin' Monroe say "Oh. My. God." as each GnR skated by, primping and preening.
Without a doubt, GnR dominated the pre-bout portion of the event.
When time was officially being kept, the GnR and Betties stayed close during the first period. Play then was often confusing (at least to me): lots of pile-ups, lots of skaters stumbling or falling for no clear reason, lots of skaters tripping over flailing skates, and lots of penalty situations where the call seemed to be "referee's choice." The first period ended with the Betties enjoying a narrow lead.
At halftime, in what I imagine was some attempt at retaliation for the GnR intro, the Betties had changed their derby names to silly things like "Napalm Meth," "Mel Cankles," "Lez Blows," "Cüntillac," "Hard Cox," and "Muffs So Furry." Really, I can't even imagine what some of those are supposed to mean. (Though I do have to admire the heavy metal aesthetic in the "Cüntillac" umlaut.)
Play appeared to clear up in the second period, but the Betties opened a wide lead early on. But they'd brought Rhea DeRange out of retirement (can we clarify that a skater knows what that word means before it's announced, really), and she burned up the track. Licker*n*Split had obviously eaten more nuts than usual and was shocking at full strength. And the recent experiments on SoulFearic ACID definitely paid off because after exposing her to cosmic rays, gamma radiation, various untested serums, radioactive spiders and other biting things, explosions in secret government labs, several museum collections of reportedly mystical artifacts, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Bikini Atoll, Area 51, the Hanford site, and a handful of random hazmat spills on I-84, she seems to have picked up a superpower or two.
Though GnR surged back in the bottom half of that period, they couldn't close the last 14 points, and the bout ended with the official score 107-93.
Despite the fourteen-point deficit, GnR skated rock-solidly. On offense, Blood Clottia and Cadillac both jammed well per their usual bit. Showing her increasing well-rounded-ness (no, she's not pregnant, sheeeeesh), Captain Cher The Pain put up points, and newcomer Boxcar Bethy showed that she's ready for full-price bouts not just the five-dollar scrimmages. Fist O' Fury rocked hard during her own power
ballad jam. And Hard Knox kicked some ass wearing the jammer cap too.
Defensively, the GnR blockers—particularly as I recall, Mel Mangles, Mercyful Kate, Napalm Beth, Hard Knox, and Axl Blows—made up for the Betties run at the beginning of the second period by holding the Betties to just a few points while the GnR rallied. Axl—I've realized that you have to watch her carefully—was all over, closing open lanes and moving their skaters out of advantaged positions and into disadvantaged ones. I saw Punchkin get in several strong and strategic hits of her own. And, as Rhea herself said, Mel owned her during the second half: "I was always behind her ass," Rhea said, "I thought I'd got around her ass, but there was just more ass!"
So about this "loss." I've seen some claims from those in the Betties camp that this ends the GnR World Domination Tour. To them I think I need to point out that the World Domination Tour is not over until the world is dominated. And while Satan may be trying to renege on his contract, GnR has plenty of newly drafted skaters just in case another sacrifice or two may be required.
Furthermore, I think we need to look at the score this way: if each GnR gets just 1 point for their intro, that's fourteen points right there. And I'm sure that Cadi's Mom's national anthem was worth at least 5 points. Add those points in, and the final score is Betties 107, GnR 112!
Unfortunately, team introductions are not yet scored under current WFTDA rules, and as Speed Bump, I believe, pointed out, Cadi's Mom hadn't been added to the official roster.
So I have just three words for GnR: Un I Tard.
As usual, photos courtesy of Sharkey. Full set here.
[Post edited 3/31/2010]