During its eighteen years of operation, Arch Rival Roller Derby has brought its high-octane, quad-wheeled mayhem to area fans.
And in evolution, the franchise has seen its cache advance from being a primary local fixture to blossoming to a league that fields three separate travel teams that compete against other regional, national and, in specific cases, international competitors.
Surprisingly during that time, there has never been an event for all aforementioned ARCH interleague squads – the Arch Rival All-Stars, the Nemesis and the Fleur-De-Linquents – where they all skated at the same venue in separate games within the same night.
Well, until now.
This Saturday at Midwest Sport Hockey (570 Weidman Rd., Ballwin, MO), ARCH hosts a triple-header against the Windy City Rollers from Chicago, Illinois.
In the triple-header that begins at 4 p.m., the Arch Rival All-Stars – the league’s primary travel team that competes against upper-echelon leagues and participates in post-season international tournaments – battles the Windy City Roller All-Stars in a 60-minute game.
Next at 6 p.m., the ARCH Fleur-De-Linquents, a roster consisting of newer and developing skaters, challenge WCR’s Third Coast.
The 8 p.m. finale features the ARCH Nemesis, the league’s b-squad of tenured skaters, meeting WCR’s Second Wind.
Saturday’s showdown against Chi-town holds significance for the St. Louis flat-track tri-force.
“Having all three teams be able to play together is monumental!” said Arch Rival League President Outlaw Josie Wheels. “ It’s the first time it has happened since I joined the league. I think it’s great to be able to show how much talent spans across the league.”
“We’ve been putting in massive amounts of sweat equity leading up to this triple-header,” added Nemesis co-captain Violet. “At this point, the All-Stars are well known but it’s great that a wider audience will get a chance to see what we’ve known for a long time: that ARCH’s B and C teams are outstanding in their own right.”
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Arch Rival to showcase the diversity and range of talent in one night against our long-time rivals,” said Fleur-De-Linquents co-captain Warpath O’ Jen. “Fans will be able to watch their favorite veteran skaters as well showcase our newer skaters and their potential to move up to the higher-level teams.”
The Arch Rival All-Stars, currently 2-1, last competed at June’s Sibling Rivalry invitational held at Midwest Sport Hockey, where they collected wins over Montreal (273-72) and Sweden’s Crime City (218-92) and suffered a 185-110 setback to the Rose City Rollers’ Wheels of Justice, the defending champions of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).
Rostered for the All-Stars include co-captains Vicious van GoGo and Shear-Ra Powers alongside jammers Annie Swanson, Jedi Knight-N-Gale, Hart and Pork T’Choup Slamwich and blockers Bolt Action, Cloak N’Drag-Her, Pegasass, Splatter, dadbod, Cruella Belle-Ville, LuxFurious, K. Woodward, and Eirinn Go Brawl.
The Windy City All-Stars (3-2) pushed its ledger to the winning side with a 167-98 victory over Ann Arbor in late-June.
The ARCH Nemesis – billed as the league’s B-team – pushed its WFTDA-sanctioned record to 2-0 in July with 394-27 win over the A-team of the Cincinnati Rollergirls at the Skatium in South St. Louis.
“As the season has progressed, the Nems have evolved from a group of talented individuals into a more cohesive whole,” analyzed Violet of her team’s progress. “Every game, we’ve tightened things up a little more, had more success with our strategies, and really begun to gel as a unit. I think Cincinnati was an encouraging continuation of this trend!”
Jammers rostered for the game are Violet alongside Skeevie Nicks, Spider Monkey, TriAngel, Tempo Tantrum and M. Squared while blockers POW!, WyldeSyde, She’Kill O’ Neal, Girl Fawkes, Birdsong, DeeBomb, Soup Beans, Atropos, Regrets and Miss N’ Link provide assistance.
They anticipate a tough challenge against the Second Wind, who are also 2-0 after notching a tight 128-112 victory over Minnesota Nice in June. All-time, the WCR b-team sports a 2-1 win record over the Nemesis thanks to a 47-point triumph last November at their home track.
“We’ve been friendly rivals for a number of years now,” assessed Violet of the opposition. “We’re expecting a hard-fought game. I think the challenge from a team of their caliber is exactly what the Nems need. As we establish ourselves in the WFTDA rankings, it’s crucial that we continue to push ourselves and play teams ranked within a close range of us.”
Finally, the ARCH Fleur De Linquents – the league’s C-team – returned to the flat-rack in May after a four-year absence and decisively notched victories for its current 2-0 non-sanctioned record. A 171-111 June triumph over Kentucky’s Vette City Roller Derby provided plenty of optimism.
“(The) FDLs are a mixture of talent with players who have been skating for years and also players who are new to the sport, but we really worked well together to win our last two games,” said Warpath O’ Jen. “An important piece of playing on the FDLs is keeping a positive attitude, uplifting our teammates when they are successful on the track and the helpful constructive criticism given to us by our Coaches.
Alongside Warpath and Wheels, the roster includes co-captain Betty White Trash, Miss N. Link, Strawberry MILFshake, TriAngel, Ellen R.I.P.ley, Lisa Shank, Hells Spellz, Shortstack, Catra, Bruja, Trasher, Sin, Comet, Natural Disaster, Slamrock and Alisin Wonderbra.
In two prior meetings historically, the FDLs have never bested the Windy City C-team but the last meeting between the pair was four years ago and breaking the goose-egg is the missive.
Tentatively, this is the final game for the FDL’s this summer but will use the match-up against Windy City’s Third Coast (1-1) for any potential late-2023 opportunities.
“We are open to the possibility of adding additional games or scrimmages if something arises,” said Warpath O’ Jen. “When we have competed with other leagues this season, it has been a reminder that we get to practice with some of the best skaters in the world and, in doing so, we have been able to work really well as a team and execute the skills we learn at practice.”
A three-game sweep is the goal for the locals. High caliber of play can make that a reality and a sizable, supportive cheering squad helps the cause.
“Having a large crowd is important and adds to the buzz of the game,” said Wheels. “Getting a reaction for good plays (and dramatic falls) can really get everyone pumped up. I think sometimes we forget how physical our sport is!”
Tickets at the door are $15 while children 10 and under are free.
By trade, he is a six-time, regional Emmy Award-winning news videographer/editor for KTVI/KPLR-TV. By hobby, he is a writer for Arch City Media, dating back to February 2014. Emphasis is on featuring and promoting local women's sports, but will cover anything that is not reported by traditional media outlets. Also a contributor to local concert reviews.