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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Friday Night: Bay Area Derby Girls' Mud Wrasslin' at CELLspace

Posted By on Sun, Jun 29, 2008 at 12:35 PM

(Click the image for more photos.)

Last Night: B.A.D. Girls Mud Wrasslin'

CELLspace (Bryant St.)

June 27, 2008

Notes and Photos by Edward Paik

Better than: The hour spent covered in mud on a blocked off, southbound Highway 101 after the wrestling - which apparently had something to do with a gun-involved homicide.

A Derby Girl goes arms-deep into a pit of beige paste to check its consistency, just in case the content may be too diluted or still in its powder form. Across the room, other members of the league at CELLspace tonight serve Pabst in red Solo cups and still others man the front door, selling tank tops, shirts and posters. They’re here for a cause, says Kimfectious, director of the Bay Area Derby Girls (B.A.D. Girls) community service, because tonight may be the difference between going to the regionals in Portland, Oregon or staying home.

The four-year-old organization has had its trouble coming up with the money for venues, traveling and competing around the nation. “We need money to survive,” said Taxi Scab, 29, a captain of the Oakland Outlaws, one of the league's three teams. So to raise funds for the first women-owned and operated roller derby league in the Bay Area, the Derby Girls are mud wrestling, and the 300 expected guests will help.

With $15 admission, merchandise, raffle tickets and alcohol, the second B.A.D. Girls Mud Wrasslin’ event since February hopes to draw from the same fan base that supports the sport, said Kimfectious. “We haven’t had as much success with car washes and baked sales, you know, the typical fund raiser.”

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It’s 8:36 p.m. - roll call. Taxi Scab calls the participating girls into the back room where one by one they march without word, alcoholic energy drinks in hand. Their return is a bit more vivacious with yells and fist pumps, but they’ll have to wait till they can apply theie newfound enthusiasm. Coming out, these girls have the names to compliment their attitudes: The Executioner, Shiela Err, Golden Skate Warrior.

“The individuality of the skater and the mud wrestler is showcased in both sports,” said Miss Moxxie, captain of the San Francisco ShEvil Dead. So are, we assume, the tattoos, strange uniforms, ass-slaps and profane chants.

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Preliminaries

Miss Moxxie can tell you why the girls are all here. “It’s just kind a sense of empowerment,” she said, and then there's that strange sense of camaraderie that comes from pounding your friend into the mud.

The match-up calls for Shiela Err v.s. Golden Skate Warrior. Err’s most likely been here before, and is the first one to step into the pit, to kneel and wait. Her eyes behind aviator goggles try to match those of her opponent’s. The Warrior, on the other hand, is a newbie who insists on keeping her Luchadora wrestling mask on - and why not, seeing how it compliments her blue one-piece bathing suit. From up close she’s frail, but that’s misleading. The warning sounds off: “Those in the front two rows will get mud.” No one moves. After three one minute rounds, the referee grabs and lifts Golden Skate’s wrist.

For others matches are brief, usually due to disqualifications from forbidden chokeholds or from standing. At other times, matches extend the full three rounds that can include premature decisions from the refs, more acquainted with the roller derby events they normally preside. The girls who can last in the pit emerge as mere shapes plastered in mud, but a B.A.D. medic will provide saline eyewash and towels on the spot. For those watching in the front rows, they’ll have to wait till the show’s over.

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Semifinals

“Get behind her!”

“Kill her! Kill her!”

“Reeeeeffffffsss!”

Shouts and advice pour in from around the pit, where the eight wrestlers have been whittled down to four. Announcers have handed the viewers judgment over these rounds, but their applause following a wrestler’s name is rarely differentiable.

Golden Skate Warrior is up against a larger gal. “It’s a matter of physics. It’s a matter of physics,” repeats someone from behind the nylon-stringed barrier. The second of three rounds goes to her opponent, but Warrior’s two should-have-been pins in the third ensure survival.

Now there are towels, wristbands and an earring lost between the clumps of mud in the pit, some of which has managed its way onto surrounding shirts and faces.

Half-time

Highlight: a woman spanks a man.

The raffle awards shirts, Derby tickets and a Beaver (dildo) to lucky attendees. The last prize is the crowd's choice of wrestlers going head to head in the pit, but somehow this manages to yield four Derby Girls in the mud at the same time.

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Finale

The crowd has begun to disappear, and the ones left are in for the ending: The Executioner versus Golden Skate Warrior. Now intoxicated to the point of being shit-faced, how the Golden Skate Warrior has managed till this point is unknown, but she won’t give up.

There’s sight delay: The Warrior’s bathing suit keeps slipping down, but its an opportunity for a woman in a red Oakland Outlaws sweater to pull her to the side. With her arm wrapped around the Warrior she says: “You’ve been ready for this your whole life. Everything and anything.” She shakes her fist. “Fuck her up.”

Critic’s Notebook:

Personal Bias: Please don’t chuck mud into the crowd. I just bought this shirt.

Random Detail: Golden Skate Warrior: Bay Area Derby Girls’ Mud Wrasslin’ Champion, June 2008.

By the Way: The San Francisco ShEvil Deads welcomes the Oakland Outlaws on July 12 at Fort Mason. The next away-game for the Bay Area Derby Girls’ all-star team will be on July 19 in Sacramento.

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Janine Kahn

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