GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 8
March 31, 2022
Watch: FITE / The Collective Bundle (FITE)
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Bloodsport 8 in every single outing promised to bring the violence, and my friends, in some of these matches they delivered exactly that. While not everything was a home run, Bloodsport 8 was a successful outing, in the top tier of Bloodsports with at least two matches I thought absolutely delivered in spades.
My match of the night was easily Biff Busick versus Jon Moxley. This was violent, bloody and everything I wanted out of this match. This was hard men going hard against each other with hard as hell sounding hits. Neither gave an inch, but managed to take miles out of each other all the same. Busick absolutely belongs in Bloodsport and I want to see him back over and over again. He was dripping absolute buckets of blood in this match and it was a gruesome and awesome sight. Moxley clearly loves being in this environment, and he and Busick just clicked hardcore. This was the stuff Bloodsport delivers the best when it presents it. These two men bonded together in their love of violence and delivered a brutal display of it. This was a great pro-wrestling match and I don’t give a single solitary damn what you think about Bloodsport as a concept, you should be checking this match out. Top notch shit. When writing notes for this match every note I wrote was in capital letters because I was going in hard on everything that happened in the match.
The third match between Dickinson and Minoru Suzuki went like it should, hard hitting, good grappling, two hate filled bastards. One hate filled bastard not wanting to lose finally, and the other hate filled bastard wanting to win so desperately. Wanting that win would win out as Dickinson finally gets that big victory over Minoru Suzuki and the crowd boos the hell out of him for it in a surprise. Dickinson cuts one hell of a short promo afterward letting every know he’s back. On the strength of the top two matches alone, this show was a success. They both presented and relished in the style that Bloodsport excels at. Violent, hard hitting, nose grinding, no backing down, no bullshit action. Something that I feel other matches on the card might of benefitted from.
Ninja Mack versus Yoya was a fun affair, with Ninja Mack taking off his mask to show how serious he was taking the Bloodsport presentation. While he might have been too flippy for some, I thought this added flair worked well and in the end it popped the hell out of the crowd (especially the 540 kick ending). A little color and a little pizazz isn’t a bad thing, as long as it’s done in moderation in this setting.
Slade against Coughlin was a lot of fun with Slade bringing his style into Bloodsport 8 and seemingly enjoying himself hardcore. I loved how commentary put over Slade’s losing pretty much came down to lacking of training, and it puts over how important technique and strategy is as Coughlin had to keep going to the well to figure out a well to subdue and defeat Slade. This was a lot of fun and I want more Slade in Bloodsport.
Also a highlight was the second half of Thatcher versus Kratos. There is no middle ground with a Thatcher match. It’s either a dud to me or very damn good, this ended up on the very damn good. Once the shoot headbutt made Kratos bleed everything else rocked with Kratos getting the surprise victory putting Thatcher down with a diving forearm. Crowd did not enjoy that decision one bit, but since Thatcher has not done this style in a long while it makes sense he would lose coming back, he has to work his way back to being top form to this type of thing. I enjoyed this greatly.
As for misses, Shafir versus Zhang and Barnett versus Jonah did not do anything for me. Neither match seemed to click in my opinion and seemed to be missing something. Jonah versus Barnett just seemed to be missing needed urgency and energy while Shafir versus Zhang just did nothing to keep my attention. That’s not to say they couldn’t get it right with another go, but this was the time to get it right and neither match did. Jonah versus Barnett in particular I wish had hit the spots I was looking for but alas, they did not.
Throughout the rest of the card Slamovich won a short but sweet opener against Kai with a beautiful Northern Lights Suplex into a cross arm breaker. Royse Issacs defeated Bad Dude Tito by rolling him into a guillotine in a short affair that was fun. Gotch versus Hennigan was okay and I’m willing to give Hennigan another chance in Bloodsport although this outing he didn’t get in sync with me. Finally we got Uemura versus Mike Bailey which was really fun and entertaining and a welcome addition to this card.
Overall I would highly recommend Bloodsport 8 to regular Bloodsport watchers, and I’d recommend the final two matches to anyone in general. ESPECIALLY Busick versus Moxley. No doubt it will end up being one of my personal highlights of the weekend, and a match I was looking forward to highly, and delivered just as high if not higher. Bloodsport 8 came to Wrestlemania with a mission to continue to explore, expand, and explain their vision of pro-wrestling and with a few misfires succeeded at exactly that. I give a thumbs up to this show, (probably a little bloodied at that) and recommend giving it a chance, especially for the final two matches.