Josh Barnett and Game Changer Wrestling presented their latest installment of “Bloodsport”, a tribute to the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie where there are no ropes the only way to win is by submission or KO. There was a mix of seasoned pro wrestling vets, up and coming indy talent, and former MMA fighters in this hybrid shoot-style event.
Best Match: Jon Moxley vs Chris Dickinson
The moment Moxley came out of the curtain you knew he was a next level star. Charisma just oozes through his pores and the crowd just ate him up. This match was a labor of love for Moxley as he has been wanted to participate for a while and it was also meant as a coming out party for Dickinson. Before the match began, if you didn’t know any better you would think Dickinson was just window dressing for Mox’s return to the indy’s, but halfway through the match Dickinson showed his fire and toughness that has made him so popular. The two had a hard fought battle, with Moxley taking cheap shots in an attempt to be heel (to no avail) that went back and forth and by the end of the match, Dickinson’s star had risen. Moxley won with the “Paradigm Shift” variation in to a bulldog choke for the win. If Dickinson doesn’t get a steady deal from a TV promotion after this its a real shame, he is really good and proved that he can elevate his game to the level of one of the biggest wrestling stars in the world.
Wildest Match: Filthy Tom Lawlor vs Homicide
This match had me on the edge of my seat. There was a real style clash as Homocide has zero credible shoot experience and Filthy Tom would be a top 15 fighter in two divisions if he were still in the UFC and somehow this worked really well. Very hard hitting and even brutal at times. At one point Homicide straight stomped on Tom’s face to get out of a submission. The ending saw Homicide went for the “Cop Killa” only to be reversed in to a choke to secure the win for Filthy Tom.
Lenny Leonard, the former Evolve announcer handled the broadcast duties and was awesome. Major upgrade from the usual crew GCW uses which never takes the show seriously and often times focuses on telling bad jokes and getting themselves over. Leonard was a total pro, doing the play by play solo and made the gave the feeling that we were watching a sport.
Lindsay Snow has a unique look appears to be tough as nails and is perfect for this style. She won both of her matches relatively quick and has a charisma about her that can can get over on TV. Wouldnt be surprised to see her pop up on national TV soon.
“Grizzly” Kal Jak came out to the ring wearing a dead bear and I immediately popped. Hes a big strong collegiate wrestler with credibility who has some WWE pedigree. His match with Erik Hammer was stiff, believable, and very good and despite the loss I came away thinking Jak has a huge upside and could be a player somewhere.
Behind Moxley, the most popular guy on the show was “Heavyweight Hustle” Calvin Tankman. The crowd erupted when he came through the curtain for his match against Alexander James and they stayed solidly behind him throughout the match. the match was not particularly very good and Tankman seemed lost during grappling exchanges ala the early days of UFC. Ut was clear he had no MMA training and Lenny Leonard said as much, but he still came off as a big, tough, athletic, credible, ass kicker and picked up the victory in the end. Tankman is signed with MLW and should become a top guy there.
Minor Knitpicks: For a show called “BloodSport”, they didn’t have any blood. I’m probably in the minority here but I love a good bloody brawl. Not asking for a ton and I certainly do not want hardcore on this show, but some blood to make the show would make it even more believable.
Davy Boy Smith Jr vs Josh Alexander was an utter disappointment. These two guys can flat out go, both have extensive MMA training, and are stars at a higher level than most on the card, but for whatever reason the match was a one-sided squash for Smith. I do not understand the thinking at all, especially considering this was one of the most anticipated matches. It did appear that Alexander was knocked loopy early on but that also could have been a part of the story of the match. Either way, total miss.
Not being able to hear the ring announcer of anyone who was speaking in the ring was very distracting. This is typical for indy shows, but when you have a star the caliber of Moxley in your main event, you might want to shell out a few extra bucks for a better sound mixer to get that part of the audio feed in.
Final Thoughts: This show was paced well and was just over two hours. I highly recommend checking it out on FiteTV. While you cannot do these types of shows often I really do think GCW and Josh Barnett have something here and they should do 2-3 a year. I would even like to see them incorporate titles and create their own unique ring and setup. They should also build an elevated ring without the posts to give it more of a feel of Bloodsport.
Jon Moxley def. Chris Dickinson by submission (Bulldog Choke)
Tom Lawlor def. Homicide by submission (Choke)
Davey Boy Smith Jr. def. Josh Alexander by knockout
Calvin Tankman def. Alexander James by knockout
Erik Hammer def. Cal Jak by submission (double wrist lock)
Simon Grimm def. Matt Makowski by knockout
4 Woman, 1 Night Tournament Semi-Finals
Lindsay Snow def. Allysin Kay by submission (heel hook)
4 Woman, 1 Night Tournament Semi-Finals
Lindsay Snow def. Leyla Hirsch by submission (heel hook)
Allysin Kay def. Killer Kelly by submission