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Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 8 preview: Moxley vs. Busick; Suzuki vs. Dickinson + more

Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 8 preview

Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 8 takes place in Dallas tomorrow. Bloodsport is produced by Barnett in conjunction with Game Changer Wrestling and is part of The Collective, a 12-show package over WrestleMania weekend put together by GCW of shows. Despite its irregular schedule, Bloodsport has become recognized for offering the realistic, hard-hitting pro wrestling promotion in the States at the moment.

With Barnett at the helm and its clear working relationship New Japan of America, Bloodsport has become the de facto successor and spiritual continuation of UWF-style wrestling in the West. Fight promotions like Pancrase, Shooto, UWF and UWFi/U-Inter popularized this style of wrestling Japan in the late ’80s and early ’90s into the late ’90s, ahead the rise in popularity of MMA during the early ’00s.

  • Jon Moxley vs. Biff Busick

    • Moxley returns to Bloodsport and will take on Biff Busick, formerly Oney Lorcan from WWE NXT. Busick always seemed like a perfect fit for Bloodsport, so it’ll be fun to see him and Mox rip it up on the Bloodsport mat. Will there be violence? Yes, tons. Will there be blood? Wouldn’t surprise me. What I’m most looking forward to, though, and what I imagine a lot of other fans are excited about as well, is seeing Busick off the leash, defanged. He managed to be great in NXT without having to fully compromise his in-ring style, but now, with the shackles off, I think he’ll finally be able to show fans the “real” Biff Busick.
  • Minoru Suzuki vs. Chris Dickinson

    • “Dirty Daddy” had a scare late last November when he injured himself at the NJPW Strong show in San Jose, but thankfully Dickinson will be back and ready for action at Bloodsport. He’ll take on Minoru Suzuki in a rematch from the last Bloodsport in Los Angeles. This will actually be their third televised match; the other was at NJPW Strong in Philadelphia last year, a traditional pro wrestling rules match. I assure you, this will not suck.
  • Josh Barnett vs. JONAH

    • Since leaving WWE NXT, JONAH (formerly Bronson Reed) seems to have doubled his value on the market. He’s become a regular for NJPW Strong and IMPACT. Him having a chance to face “Warmaster” Josh Barnett feels like he’s getting the proverbial rub. This is Big Boy stuff. I’m glad to see JONAH getting the spotlight he deserves, and I’m excited to see what kind of match they’ll put together on the show. The size difference is key here; it’s pronounced. I wonder how this will affect their approach.
  • “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Yuya Uemura

    • “Speedball” is a unique talent. While he wasn’t able to work in the US for a while over visa issues, he sharpened his craft in Europe and Japan, which is evident upon his recent return to the American wrestling scene. Before debuting for NJPW Strong this weekend, he’ll take on Yuya Uemura of the NJPW LA Dojo. Ueumura has become a regular face on the West Coast scene since he arrived from Japan for his excursion last year. He’s bulked up a ton. Ueumura had a great match with Davey Richards at Bloodsport 7 and I predict he’ll have another great one with “Speedball,” albeit very different in style.

  • Timothy Thatcher vs. JR Kratos

    • Former NXT superstar Thatcher returns “home” to Bloodsport and will take on NJPW Strong’s Kratos. Both come from California, and both are known for their hard-hitting style in the ring. Thatcher appeared on the first three Bloodsport cards, including the Matt Riddle-produced show in 2018. Expect fireworks from these two.
  • John Hennigan vs. Simon Gotch

    • Hennigan is back from his most recent cup of coffee with WWE. The style we see in Bloodsport isn’t the style you’d immediately associate with Hennigan, though he is said to have a background in BJJ and other grappling arts, plus he’s a Parkour master. He’ll take on Simon Gotch, another ex-WWE guy. Actually, that’s an unfair characterization of Gotch. Over the past few years, he’s looked to have busted his ass in rebuilding his character, his body and his wrestling style, and, in my eyes, has become one of the mainstays of these Bloodsport shows. He’s been on all but one of the Josh Barnett-produced events. I can’t predict how this will go or how it’ll look, which piques my interest.
  • Masha Slamovich vs. Janai Kai

    • Slamovich has been on a tear through IMPACT’s Knockouts division recently. Her internet buzz is stronger than ever right now, too. GCW’s Janai Kai has been on Bloodsport events in the past and has regularly been popping up on indies across the US since then. Kai has a background in Muay Thai, which is an interesting contrast to Slamovich’s more traditional pro wrestling powerhouse style.
  • Marina Shafir vs. Zeda Zhang

    • The very underrated Zhang called out Shafir at the last Bloodsport in Los Angeles last November, so this is the blowoff. I thought Shafir had one of the best matches of the night last time with Masha Slamovich. I expect this to not only be a banger, but it could also end up the dark horse match of the night. Eyes on these two.
  • Alex Coughlin vs. SLADE

    • NJPW Strong’s Alex Coughlin returns to Bloodsport to take on wildman SLADE in a match that, after a moment of thought, could steal the show. SLADE has heel’s blood running through his veins, while Coughlin has become the new standard for the tough-guy babyfaces worldwide. Of course this will be violent, but will it get bloody? Probably.
  • Ninja Mack vs. Yoya

    • GCW Ninja Mack takes on relative newcomer Yoya, who has appeared on Bloodsport in the past. He’s talented, and I imagine he and Mack will have a unique match, or distinct in terms of Bloodsport style standards.
  • Bad Dude Tito vs. Royce Isaacs

    • NJPW Strong-sponsored offer. Both Tito and Isaacs are able to adjust to the Bloodsport style just fine. They actually seem to have become regulars now, with each having appeared on the last three or four Bloodsport cards against different opponents. This should be a good Big Boys battle.

Bloodsport 8 is available on FITE.tv. It’s also available as part of GCW: The Collective 2022 streaming package, also available on FITE.

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