Our Featured Skater for the month of November is none other than Kimbo Slicerrr of the Midtown Misfits!
Name: Kimbo Slicerrr Current Team(s): Midtown Misfits, KCRW Travel Team Number: 303 Position(s): Blocker, Jammer Seasons with KCRW: 1
Q: How did you get involved with the Kansas City Roller Warriors?
“I moved to Kansas City from Wisconsin in September of 2019, and three months later, the pandemic completely shut everything down. I was laid off and at home all the time, as I did not know anyone yet in the city.
One day, a few months later, I was watching a sports special about roller derby and my partner asked if I ever wanted to play derby. I had, but I was never in a big enough city that had a local team—that, and I was moving constantly.
Once the idea was reintroduced into my brain, it was all I could think about, especially since I planned to be in KC for awhile. I went to the local skate shop the next day and bought my first pair of skates. Fast forward one year, and the Kansas City Roller Warriors were starting to regroup and restart after a long break. I joined the WIT [Warriors in Training] program, and the rest is history. I now play in both the home league and travel league and plan to be involved with roller derby until I die.”
Q: Tell us about the origin of your derby name.
“In college, I was a preschool teacher and would always be singing the ‘bo-bim’ song (Kim, Kim, bo-bim, banana-fana fo-fim, me my mo-mim, KIM).
Eventually I was known by classmates as Kimbo. One time after introducing myself to a new student, he called me Kimbo Slice. I thought it was funny but had no idea that he was referencing a real person.
About nine years later, the dots connected and I learned about Kimbo Slice, an amazing MMA fighter, boxer, and pioneer of street fighting. I thought it was quite funny that I was compared to him at one point, and when thinking about my derby name, Kimbo Slicerrr just came to be.
The three Rs are intentional, to make D’Nouncer Duane say it in his special way every time.”
Q: Any derby idols?
“Every single KCRW vet, new and old. The ones I have trained with hold such a special place in my heart for sharing their wealth of derby knowledge and kindness.”
Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?
“When I moved 600 miles away from home, I had very few people in Kansas City that I knew. When the lockdown occurred, I knew even fewer. Once I was able to join derby, I also joined a community of folks who care deeply about one another on and off the track. I have made countless friends and done so much I would not have been able to without roller derby. I also lost 60 pounds and gained a shit-ton of muscle. But the family I made is what matters most.”
To learn more about Kimbo Slicerrr and the Kansas City Roller Warriors, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and X, formerly known as Twitter!
Roller derby fans, this is what we’ve all waited for.
Months and months and months of wishing, hoping, and finger-crossing have paid off. This Saturday night, your hometown Kansas City Roller Warriors will kick off the 2023-24 season… and finally, they’re doing it back at home at Memorial Hall.
And even with only three house teams (at present), they’re still putting on a double-header, as they always have.
First up is a Thanksgiving-themed mash-up called the Gobblepoclaypse Mashup and features The Week-Old Leftovers facing off against The Fresh Feast Fighters. As of press time, we don’t have the rosters for these two ad hoc teams, but given who KCRW is fielding this season, it’s guaranteed to be the perfect comeback for this phenomenal league.
Then, to wrap up the evening and officially kick the season into high gear, the 18th & Vines take on the Strawberry Hellions in Game 1 of the new season.
Doors open to the public at Memorial Hall at 5:00 p.m., and the first bout starts at 6:00 sharp. Embrace the Grape will have a cash bar, and Blended Vibes will take care of the menu. Adult admission is $15, certainly the best sports value in the city, and kiddos 5 and under are admitted free.
Join us trackside this Saturday night as the Kansas City Roller Warriors come home for good and kick off a new season. We’re so excited to be back at Memorial Hall, and you should be too. There’s no better venue in the city for this brand of derby action!
Our featured skater for the month of June is Hellvetica of the Kansas City Roller Warriors!
Name: Hellvetica Current Team(s): 18 & Vines and KCRW All-Stars Number: 24 Position(s): Jammer Seasons with KCRW: 2010-2014 with the KCRW Juniors; 2019-present with KCRW
Q: How did you first get involved with the Kansas City Roller Warriors?
“My mom, Murphy’s Law, joined KCRW in 2007 after seeing an article that KCRW won nationals. She helped start and coach the first KCRW Juniors program in 2010, so of course I had to join! I always enjoyed skating growing up, and I loved watching my mom play, so I was excited to get out there and try it. After aging out of Juniors, I took some time off to go to school, but after I graduated I was at the first tryout KCRW had.”
Q: Tell us about the origin of your derby name.
“I am a graphic designer by day, and Helvetica is one of my favorite fonts, so after some thinking, Hellvetica was born! Now that I am the Communications Officer for KCRW and do a lot of the design/marketing for us, it makes even more sense. You might hear people on the track shortening my name and calling me Vetti, though!”
Q: Any derby idols?
“It is so tough to just name a few skaters. There are so many that I look up to! To name a few of the usual suspects, I would say Loren Mutch, Bonnie Thunders, and Freight Train. After going to Denver to watch BIPOC Bowl this year, I would add Crank Dat, Yeti, Jams Bond, and Tarantula to that list. And I, of course, can’t help but name a few current and past KCRW skaters like Bricks Hit-House, Bones, Bruz-Her, Eclipse, and Track Rat. There are too many great skaters out there, past and present, to name them all, though.”
Q: Roller derby changes every life it touches. How has it changed yours?
“Being surrounded by a group of people I get to hit (or I guess be hit [by], in my case) and then still grab drinks and call my friends after is just unmatched. I have met so many amazing people through this sport and continue to meet more and more as KCRW continues to grow! I have learned new skills, skating related and life related, just from being a part of this league—but also through holding a leadership role. I had the opportunity to help lead our home team rebrand, which was so exciting to be a part of from a designer’s perspective. Every day, I am reminded of how lucky I am that I get to play this amazing sport surrounded by some of my best friends. I love this league and all the people that make it possible to be a part of it!”
To learn more about Hellvetica and the Kansas City Roller Warriors, find and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
This Sunday night at Skate City West, the Kansas City Roller Warriors are finally back to a regular schedule in what they’re calling their Mini Home Team Season.
And as D’Nouncer Duane put it on draft night, “It is the dawn of a new era.” Because, my fellow derby fans and enthusiasts, you are witnessing just that.
If you haven’t heard the news, the Kansas City Roller Warriors are making history by not only redrafting all the teams but also creating new house teams altogether.
You read that right. Our hometown teams, the Dreadnought Dorothys, the Victory Vixens, the Black Eye Susans, and the Knockouts have seen their last games. That could be the biggest news in the history of the league, apart from when the teams were first formed to begin with. As you’ve probably guessed, we’re not sure how to feel about it, but first, let’s take a look at what’s ahead.
The 2023 Season
When the pandemic hit, the first things to shut down were sports and recreation leagues. No one knew what to expect; some even speculated we’d be back in action in only a few weeks. That… isn’t quite what happened, and in the meantime, a lot of people put a lot of thought into what’s important and what they wanted to do moving forward.
As you may remember, the 2019-20 season promised big things—chief among them more than a half-dozen returning veterans from years past that old school fans like myself could only dream of seeing on the flat track again.
But the pandemic changed a lot of things. Some players who may have been on the fence about continuing to skate perhaps saw an opportunity for a clean break. Others decided to mix it up a little more and joined Fountain City Roller Derby since that league began playing quite a bit earlier than KCRW did. Any way you cut it, the Roller Warriors found themselves with far fewer available players than before the world ended, which explains not only the delay in restarting house team competition but also the decision to rebrand with three new house teams.
Our new Kansas City Roller Warriors house teams are named after well-known Kansas City locales, and they are the Strawberry Hellions, the 18th & Vines, and the Midtown Misfits.
We couldn’t be more thrilled with the thought and creative design that went into these new teams, their names, and their mascots. Big picture, the whole thing frankly couldn’t be more perfect. When Dead Girl Derby changed its name to Fountain City Roller Derby at the end of the 2014 season, they did so to better tie the league to its beloved hometown. It was a brilliant move.
And although saying goodbye to the four house teams we’ve loved and cheered on for more than a decade isn’t easy, we’re equally excited about how these new house team names will reflect where they’re from and represent Kansas City at least as well as their predecessors did.
Some Final Thoughts
The Glitter Mafia will live on in our hearts. “Black Eye or Die” will forever be a trackside battle cry in Kansas City. The Vixens made us love the red, white, and blue in a way we never thought possible. The Dorothys’ six-year championship streak may never be duplicated.
The memories we’ve shared with this league since we discovered it in late 2009 are practically endless. We watched in awe every season as the Dreadnought Dorothys steamrolled team after team, taking home trophy after trophy, seemingly impervious to the skill and tenacity of the teams with whom they shared the track.
We celebrated with the Victory Vixens in 2012 as they became the first non-Dorothys Rink of Fire champions in league history.
We held our breath as the Black Eye Susans captured their first Rink of Fire title the following year in one hell of a nailbiter that featured the very first overtime jam we’d ever seen.
And the Knockouts completed the set as they won their first Rink of Fire championship the year after that, something that would’ve been practically unthinkable just a few short seasons earlier.
We mourned alongside our Roller Warrior friends in 2016 at the untimely passing of the legendary Coach Ice, who (among many other things) helped lead our All Star team to the national title in 2007.
We cheered again for the red, white, and blue in 2015 and 2016 as the Vixens became the first team since the Dorothys to win back-to-back championships.
In 2017, the 3-3 Susans defeated the 6-0 Dorothys in one of the most shocking upsets in Rink of Fire history up to that point.
Not to be outdone, the 2019 Vixens topped even that as they entered the Rink of Fire with a dismal 2-4 record and soundly defeated the 6-0 Knockouts in an outcome no one could have seen coming, no matter what they tell you.
For all the years, all the cheers, all the tears, and everything else we shared with these four house teams: Thank you.
Thank you for the endless talent, dedication, patience, and commitment it took to keep this incredible labor of love afloat all these years, and thank you, as always, for the opportunity you’ve afforded us to join you in promoting and enjoying the Greatest Sport in the World… in the greatest city in the world for it.
We will miss the Ruby Reds, the stars and stripes, the Ladies in Teal, and the Black & Yellow, certainly—but we also look forward to a future in which a new generation of Roller Warriors action takes the track and makes new memories for a new generation of roller derby fans… right alongside the old ones.
Onward and upward, Roller Warriors. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got for us next.
Once or twice in a lifetime, if you’re especially lucky, a sports team comes along that defies incredible odds to take home all the marbles… and a little piece of forever.
No one expected the 1969 New York Mets, who had lost 101 games only two years prior, to take the World Series against the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles — but they did, four games to one. They called them the Amazin’ Mets.
In the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, the U.S. men’s hockey team took a roster full of amateurs and upset the Soviet Union, the four-time defending gold medalists, in a medal-round game that would become known as the Miracle on Ice. Team USA would go on to defeat Finland for the gold.
And this weekend at Memorial Hall, the 2-4 Victory Vixens soundly defeated the 6-0 Knockouts to take home the Tim Warder Trophy and cement their place in Kansas City roller derby history as the ultimate unstoppable underdogs.
We’ve never seen anything like it, and neither have you. In the long and storied history of the Kansas City Roller Warriors, a 2-4 team has never even gone to the Rink of Fire, let alone taken home the win. The 2017 Susans won the championship on a 3-3 record — an incredible feat on its own — but that’s as close as we’ve come to the insanity that gripped Memorial Hall Saturday night.
No matter what they tell you, no one could have predicted a team that didn’t even win a bout until May would take home the trophy and all the bragging rights in the world just two and a half months later.
The Victory Vixens have overcome the most incredible odds we’ve ever seen on the flat track at home, and we congratulate them on their tenacity, their resilience, and their championship attitude.
Many thanks to the entire Kansas City Roller Warriors organization for one of the most entertaining seasons in recent memory, and thank you for allowing us to be a part of it once again. We look forward to sharing the track with you for many years to come!
Last weekend’s bouts at Memorial Hall gave Kansas City roller derby fans more to cheer about, and while one of the evening’s games ended a bit predictably, one certainly didn’t, keeping things fresh as the march to the Rink of Fire continues.
It’s never a good idea to count anyone out, but the way this season has progressed so far, almost no one expects the Knockouts to start dropping games now. This year’s Black Eye Susans are pretty scrappy and formidable, but the Glitter Mafia has been pretty unstoppable, bringing home five wins in five games by an average of 54 points per game. Last Saturday night was no exception as they took the win over the Susans 205-134 in the second bout of the evening.
The real story, of course, was the resurgent Victory Vixens who, up to this point in the season, hadn’t brought home a win all year. It wasn’t for a lack of trying — they even gave the Knockouts a solid run for their money in Game 2 back in February — but somehow, victory managed to elude these Vixens consistently until Game 5 two Saturdays ago when they pulled out a stunner against a Dreadnought Dorothys team many people were expecting to make a Rink of Fire appearance again this year.
They may still; both they and the Susans sit at 2-3 on the season, and they don’t face each other again for the rest of the year, so depending on what happens next month in Game 6, the league may have to do some number crunching to determine which team makes a championship run alongside the Knockouts.
With that in mind, the Vixens’ 147-140 win over the Dorothys last weekend may have marked a turning point in the season for more than just the Red, White, and Blue.
Regardless of where the teams land, it was nice to celebrate a win with the Vixens.