I'm pretty sure roller derbies became huge in the 1970's, but I first "discovered" roller derby on ESPN in the early 1980's. Note, this was back when ESPN didn't really have enough options to fill their stations, so they relied on pro wrestling, roller derby, and Australian Rules Football back in the day.
Roller derby was interesting in that I think there were only 4 or 6 teams, and I specifically remember one being called the Bay City Rollers. It was all scripted, much like wrestling. There were "good guy teams" and "bad guy teams," and it usually depended on who the coach was.
I remember there being trades involving "good guys" going to "bad guy" teams, and all kinds of crazy storylines. But, as ESPN grew up, I guess they saw no need in roller derby programming anymore. Sad days indeed. I know that there was some sort of revival going on in roller derby, and I believe they even had a tv contract. Not sure where they stand now.
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