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Thread: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

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    Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    So Bloodsport...it was awesome. The crowd was so hot for basically everything but the last two matches especially, and ESPECIALLY the main event. This was a no frills show, after a brief opening to talk about the rules and a brief promo, it was all action, just about 2 hours total.

    1. Phil Baroni vs. Dominic Garrini - I actually didn't like this very much. In fairness this was Baroni's first ever match but Garrini, for someone who has this great rep among indie fans never impresses me and definitely didn't here either. Baroni had a lot of heel personality but aside from that also wasn't impressive. The finish sucked too. Pass on this one. *1/2

    2. Simon Gotch vs. JR Kratos - This was basically a nothing match with a super awesome finish with Kratos doing a Superman Punch to Grimm while he was on his back. Catch the GIF of the finish but pass on the match. **1/4

    3. Kevin Kross vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. - Very strong match here with Kross in particular impressing and looking like he was really enjoying himself out there. I know a lot of people are impressed with DBS but he often comes across extremely bland and not charismatic and this didn't change my mind. But I would much rather see him do this style then being wasted in NJPW. Good match, worth the time. ***1/2

    4. Jonathan Gresham vs. Masashi Takeda - Although everyone thinks of Takeda as a deathmatch guy, his start was actually in Style-E which was a late 2000s shoot style fed, and he also has a winning record in MMA as well. He looked 1000x better here than any of his death matches IMO, and there's no doubt working with Gresham helped. The crowd was more into Takeda than Gresham and they did more of a Gresham style early which wasn't great, but when they went to the outside (the first time all show) and started beating the piss out of each other with Takeda getting busted open things got really awesome. The remaining match wasn't the longest but there was a great flurry from both men and Takeda's KO knee was probably one of two of the best strikes of the night. This turned into a great match. ****

    5. Andy Williams vs. Chris Dickinson - This was originally Williams vs. Tom Lawlor. It went pretty short and there wasn't much to it, but what they did was good stuff, the opening was fiery and very smart. Awesome stuff though I thought it was probably good they kept it as short as they did. **3/4

    6. Dan Severn vs. Frank Mir - Short and nothing to it. Will always have love for Dan Severn though. Mir didn't impress. **

    Afterwards Mir cut a promo calling out Brock Lesnar and since he couldn't kill him in the Octagon, threatened to kill him inside the ring. ...right.

    7. Timothy Thatcher vs. Hideki Suzuki - Thatcher got a huge pop (finally respected in the US) and then Hideki got an even bigger pop with the crowd clapping along to his Billy Robinson entrance theme. Just the entrances from these two showed we were in for a good one, tons of presence between the two. Phenomenal match as I and many anticipated and my personal match of the night. The early stuff was competitive and high level, but somewhat light in intensity grappling. Things built after Hideki was able to deliver some strikes, climaxing with a knee to Thatcher's head that was the best strike of the night in my opinion, sounded like a gunshot and the crowd went ballistic. Thatcher worked back after absorbing punches and was able to fight out, which led to much more intense matwork and grappling than earlier, which led to some excellent suplexes to close out the match with both men delivering some wild and devastating ones. Great pure wrestling match that also built and built to an appropriate finish. I would put this a shade below Thatcher vs. Ishikawa for MOTY rankings but it's in my top 5 and felt like a big match. Thatcher has to be WOTY candidate as usual and Hideki would be if he had more opponents of his caliber. ****1/2

    8. Minoru Suzuki vs. Josh Barnett - This crowd was special. I thought the match was very flawed personally though. Now I get these guys were super gassed probably the last 10-12 minutes but I don't wanna see chair shots and ref bumps in Bloodsport and that took me way out of this, especially after the much more pure wrestling we had seen all night. As I said they were very gassed by the end but for the last minute of regulation it actually benefitted them because it made it seem like we had seen an epic war. The last 5 minutes was cool and them trash talking saying I'm the man in each other's languages was a great moment and the crowd was electric for this whole thing. The finish was good and sets up basically an automatic rematch for the main event the next time we do this. Like I said, they had issues but they tried really hard with some great exchanges in between what I mentioned. Worth a watch for the spectacle but as the longest match of the night I didn't think it was as good as the top 3 for me. (Kross/DBS, Gresham/Takeda, and Hideki/Thatcher). That said I actually think this will be the most popular and get the most buzz because of the star power and the spectacle of it all. ***1/2

    So yeah, this was a show of the year contender and I'll be really surprised if anything from WM weekend tops it. Loved the show and it's very easy to watch. WAY better than last year's. The commentators were a real mixed bag, at times making good points at the differences between MMA and wrestling in a kayfave sense, but others really missing the mark in tone. Still, they didn't ruin the show by any means. I just think a more subdued approach would have worked better for this style of show. I also think they should adapt to having ropes next year. It just more or less made the ring look smaller more than added anything to me, but I can see why Josh wanted it to stand out. The crowd deserve special mention as they were hot for virtually everyone and blew away the EVOLVE crowd and I'm certain the others. Bottom line. Josh Barnett for booker of the year, people.

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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    This was a great show, in my opinion. All the bad/not so good matches were short, the good matches varied in length. It all worked and felt fresh. Normally I pick one of DDT's big shows but I don't see anything topping this.
    Last edited by MC 16; 04-05-2019 at 02:20 PM.

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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    Barnett needs to actually wrestle and could make a scary heel whether in Japan or America. He really has good ring sense and knew exactly how to work the match. It was cool to see his respect for the game of wrestling as he held back on a lot of his strikes when the fans wanted him to tear apart Suzuki at the end of the match. Baroni on the other hand, I feel like he didn't know it was a shoot and just straight leveled that chubby jiu jitsu guy.


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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    Switchblade can go wrestle Barnett once he drops the title tomorrow night.

    Will try to watch this.

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    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    Would like to give special thanks to the man himself, Josh Barnett for reading my review and saying some very kind words to me (and even though his match stylistically didn't move me as much as it did virtually everyone else and he was still cool!). In wrestling there aren't many real ones out there like that, so gotta give him props on a personal level. What a guy and now that WM weekend is basically over it's still been the best show of the weekend for the record.

    Thank YOU, brother.

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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    See I loved Suzuki/Barnett and thought it was the best match on the show. Thought they really blended the styles well and gave the crowd what they wanted outside of a clear winner.

    But there's good news Zero, I really liked Suzuki/Thatcher! It was going by quite nicely until the first stiff shot and then the atmosphere of the match changed and I was really hooked into the match. I was actually disappointed it ended how and when it did because I wanted 5 more minutes at least.

    Greaham/Takeda rocked as well.

    I don't think it was a show of the year contender, but as a bite size show it's gonna stand out on this weekend for it's length, it's quality and it's uniqueness. It definitely has a place in this mania lineup and you can bet it'll be the most anticipated, non-big organisation show of the year in Tampa in 2020.

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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    Watching this now - Gresh-Takeda rocked - but I have to say it is really fucking surreal seeing Andy from Every Time I Die on such a 'major' show

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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    Watching now. Wasn’t really into it at first but Takeda/Gresham really hooked me in.
    -------
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    Re: Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport Review

    You know when you name an Event from one of my favorite Movies of all time Bloodsport you better come hard and this Show for sure did. I didn't see it last time around, and seeing this Show makes me want to see it right now I'm that high not with just Caffeine, but with appreciation with what I saw during this whole Show. Every Match kept elevating, even Mir/Severn short and sweet was fine for what it was. Severn just be out there and still proving he can go at his age is a great thing.

    We should be thanking Gresham vs. Takeda because after their Match it seemed like everyone was going for it harder than the Matches before theirs. I love their fighting and that Knee from Takeda to Gresham was fucking vicious what a Match.

    Suzuki vs Thatcher. I'm used to Suzuki bringing his Suitcase to Ice Ribbon Shows, when I'm seeing this guy going toe to toe with one of the baddest and purest Wrestlers in the business it was a treat. I'm happy Suzuki shook Thatcher's hand I thought he was going leave without doing so another banger of a Match here.

    Suzuki vs Barnett. I could legit watch these two battle all night long. The Rules being changed on the fly I didn't mind that all, because hello Bloodsport had guys wrapping their fists with Glass not really the most legal thing either. I love it though Suzuki I heard was telling the Referee to come here till he knocked him out

    Suzuki breaking rules when he gets pissed makes sense to me as Barnett hanging on and giving as much as he was taking during their fight kept me popping with what these guys were doing to the other. Go down on your Shield is how I like it and these guys looked great in a Time Limit Draw let's do this next year with no Time Limit and no DQ. Blood and Guts let's do it, that should be the Title: Blood and Guts.


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