GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 8
March 31, 2022
Watch: FITE / The Collective Bundle (FITE)
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Bloodsport in October had what might have been arguably one of their best shows. Months later and they are back for WrestleMania weekend and once again ready to present their vision of pro wrestling and what they think it could be. Bloodsport has always been a personal favorite of mine, and once again I find myself looking forward to another event of strikes, grappling, submissions, and perhaps a few style clashes thrown in. As I look through this card I feel there might be a little bit of something for everyone, although it won’t be for everyone.
True, there are those who find Bloodsport boring, a slog, a chore to watch. I understand and respect it, it is a different presentation and style and even Bloodsport itself has always been tweaking and fixing the formula. Not just on the match aspect, but on the presentation, promotion aspects as well. It has always been a continuous work in progress, but back in October they probably got as close as they have yet to getting it all right. The question now is, will they expand on the foundation they have now laid, or will they fall flat on their face. With the lineup they have, there is a strong chance the former will be the answer to that question.
There is something for everyone on this card. Do you want beef versus beef? You got JONAH vs. Josh Barnett. You want style and highlights? You got Ninja Mack vs. Yoya. You want a grudge rematch, you’ll get Chris Dickinson vs. Minoru Suzuki. A great mixture of action. You got people such as Slade entering the fray against Bloodsport veterans in Alex Coughlin. A wonderful collection of experienced bloodsporters and first-timers.
Perhaps the match that catches my eye the most though is Biff Busick vs. Jon Moxley, a match I am absolutely champing at the bit for. Busick has been rejuvenated coming back to the independents and he no doubt is going to be wired up for this match. Moxley always, ALWAYS fits well in a bloodsport setting, and he is the unhinged violence the show always needs and I always crave. I sincerely feel this will be the best match of the show, both men will lay into each other and I would expect a bit of blood in the proceedings. Yes, I need that blood, and I hope I get it. Put the blood in bloodsport I say.
That’s not the whole card though. Take your pick. Yuya Umera vs. Mike Bailey is happening and that looks to be loads of fun. Masha Slamovich—who recently impressed losing to AC Mack in an IWTV Championship match—goes against Jun Kai which could be a lot of fun. There’s a nice collection of styles, clashes, personalities, and abilities on this card for you to take your pick from. If the grappling heavy matches don’t catch your eyes, maybe the harder strikes will (I personally think strikes should be more heavily focused on Bloodsport shows. I love grappling, but I do believe it gets too heavy-handed sometimes.) Are you not getting enough flash in your matches, I promise you one or two matches here will get you the flashes you desire.
This has a low-key chance of being a damn good show, it has the matches, it has the talent, now the performers just need to put it together. I have high confidence they will. I am absolutely looking forward to Bloodsport this year, which is nothing new. Barnett has created something that keeps inching toward the cusp of being something special instead of simply unique. In a world of pro-wrestling that continues to become more flash and flare (and I love that, don’t get me wrong) a more grounded and more competitive natured show is something that sicks out and stands out, and is welcomed by a selection of us in the fandom, if not by everyone. Which is okay, wrestling is a three-ring circus as Mick Foley once told us. If something in one ring isn’t catching your eye, something in the other two just might. Bloodsport is what my eyes will be on, I’m glad a promotion like this exists so I can scratch a few itches other promotions do not always offer up to do so. I hope they continue to grow and improve and I hope Bloodsport 8 continues the upward trend that 7 started them on. Fight.