The GateKeepers are headed to New York in quest of a title.
All the sweat and sacrifice was for this moment. On October 22nd, the GateKeepers will have an opportunity to bring home the first ever MRDA Championship as they participate in the Big Apple Beatdown! The top six teams in the MRDA rankings will compete in the tournament, but only one team will be crowned “Champion”. The GateKeepers have their work cut out for them as the entire tournament will be held in one, grueling day. Fortunately, as the #1 seed, the GateKeepers will have a first round bye along with the #2 seed New York Shock Exchange.
Here is the schedule: (All bouts will be available via streaming on DNN!)
All six teams participating in the tournament are dangerous. Much like we saw at Monumental Mayhem, the possibility for upsets are there. Here is how I see the tournament playing out:
(#3) Magic City Misfits vs. (#6) Dallas Deception
The first bout of the tournament features a battle between the #3 and #6 seed teams. Magic City comes into the tournament with probably the most talented skaters from top to bottom. A flashy team comprised mostly of jam skaters, Magic City likes to dazzle and confuse opposing blockers with their quick moves. Dallas comes in as the underdog, but also boasts some great team speed along with powerful blockers. Magic City is heavily favored in this bout and having seen both teams in action at Spring Roll I can understand why. I expect Magic City to win pretty easily.
Players to watch: For Magic City, keep your eyes on Just the Tip as he is lightning fast and Megasoreass for his bone-crunching hits. For Dallas, it is all about Matomic and Ninja Please as they look to put points on the board in bunches.
(#4) Puget Sound Outcasts vs. (#5) Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen
The second bout of the first round will see the #4 and #5 teams facing off for the opportunity to face the GateKeepers in the second round. Puget Sound has an excellent combination of speed, agility and veteran leadership. Quadzilla is a legend in roller derby and leads Puget Sound by example. Pioneer Valley won a lot of fans at Spring Roll this year with their fundamental style of play and their guts. These guys give you their all every jam for sixty minutes. This is going to be a tough and close bout, but I see Puget Sound pulling out the win and moving on to the second round.
Players to watch: For Puget Sound, you want to watch Quadzilla who is a wily veteran who can make you pay for any mistake and Hollywood “Chuck” Berry who is a big guy who can hurt you while jamming or blocking. For Pioneer Valley, Jurasskick Park is always fun to watch as he is pretty much always at full speed and Mongo who likes to hit anything and everything.
(#2) New York Shock Exchange vs. (#3) Magic City Misfits
The second round starts with a bang as the New York Shock Exchange will face off against the game on winner of either the Magic City Misfits or the Dallas Deception. The Shock Exchange feature a solid line-up from top to bottom and have what amounts to home field for the tournament as it takes place in their backyard. They also get the luxury of a first round bye and I think that combination will allow them to move on against either Dallas or Magic City. I see Magic City in this bout and I think it is going to be a really close one, but I think the bye coupled with solid fundamental play will give the Shock Exchange the edge they need to get by a more talented Magic City squad.
Players to watch: For New York, all eyes will be on Rinkworm and Ladies Knight. These two will put a lot of points on the board. For Magic City, the same combo of Just the Tip and Megasoreass.
(#1) St. Louis GateKeepers vs. (#4) Puget Sound Outcasts
In what is likely to be the first bout of the day my readers care about, Puget Sound will face off against The GateKeepers. These two teams faced each other in April at Spring Roll in a bout that Puget Sound would like to forget. The GateKeepers made a statement in that first Spring Roll bout cruising to a 201 – 78 shellacking of Puget Sound. Puget Sound no doubt wants to avenge that loss in a big way and I expect them to come out firing and playing very physical. I think that the first round bye coupled with the late afternoon start time of 3:00PM(EST) favors an already heavily favored GateKeepers’ squad and I see them winning a much closer contest than the Spring Roll bout.
Players to watch: For the GateKeepers, watch Magnum P.I.M.P.. His blocking is quite possibly the best in all of men’s derby. Also keep a close eye on Gnat King Kill who has burst onto the scene as possibly the most talented player on the GateKeepers’ roster. For Puget Sound you have to watch Quadzilla, he can hurt you in so many ways and Hollywood “Chuck” Berry will be the physical presence that the Outcasts need if they want to pull off the upset.
(#1) St. Louis GateKeepers vs. (#2) New York Shock Exchange
The whole season led to this. A rematch of one of the most spectacular bouts of the season, these two teams faced off at Spring Roll and the GateKeepers made history as they handed the Shock Exchange their first lost in franchise history. The GateKeepers only won that bout by 25 points, but that score was a bit misleading as it was made that close by a huge last jam by the Shock Exchange. New York has had many months to look at the tape and see where adjustments could be made so I expect this bout to be a close one. The GateKeepers have had this Championship as their number one goal all season and they have prepared for it accordingly. This bout will come down to who plays cleaner and smarter. The team that makes fewer mistakes will come out on top and I fully expect that to be the St. Louis GateKeepers.
Players to watch: No one plays bigger in clutch situations than Magnum P.I.M.P. and you can expect him to be a shutdown blocker. Also watch Short Knocks as he has been absolutely on fire as of late scoring monster points in pivotal situations. For the Shock Exchange keep a close eye on Rinkworm and Ladies Knight as they were very effective scoring in the last meeting between these two squads.
The Big Apple Beatdown is going to be some of the most amazing men’s derby ever seen and it will all happen on one day. I’ll be there announcing so be sure to watch Facebook for my quick hits after each bout.
See you at the bouts!
Star-Spangled Hammer is the announcer for the St. Louis GateKeepers.