“The Warmaster” Josh Barnett was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast where he and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman chatted about Bloodsport, an event that Barnett will be hosting for a third successive year. Barnett discussed his thoughts on being able to host Bloodsport this year after the show was cancelled earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also revealed that the plan was to run four Bloodsport events in one year, but that was not able to happen.
“Good, I suppose. I always feel very strongly that Bloodsport is going to deliver and going to continue to try and pick up the ante every single time,” Barnett said. “So I’m glad for the opportunity. Not being able to do Bloodsport earlier this year during WrestleMania week was a big tragedy for us and GCW, and we had a really killer lineup put together, but obviously, the whole thing falling apart was out of our control as everybody out there, minus WrestleMania itself, everything was just dismantled by a pandemic.
“And understandably so much, as it sucks. Not much else that you could really say to that but I wanted to do four events this year if possible, and I’m glad that we’re at least going to be able to do one. While it’s not the third event of the year, at this point, that’s fine. We’ll work with it, and one is better than none. I feel like this one is going to deliver. It’s going to give people what they were missing out on.”
Barnett was originally slated to fight Moxley at Bloodsport. However, Barnett will not be participating in the ring this year citing other commitments like his upcoming bare-knuckle boxing match in Poland later this month. He did assure that Moxley vs. Chris Dickinson will be a great main event.
“Well, I have some other prior commitments, so I’m not able to actively participate in this one as a wrestler, even though, I will be there as a producer and booker, but Bloodsport isn’t just about getting in the ring,” Barnett noted. “It’s about the nature of the event itself. The design behind it, and I’m really happy to be able to have Moxley there against someone like Chris Dickinson. And I think they’re going to make for a hell of a main event, and we’re going to continue on that legacy that we’ve been establishing since our very first event.”
Barnett explained why Dickinson was chosen as Moxley’s opponent. He praised Dickinson and said that this will not only be a physical match-up but also a mental one as well.
“Well, Dickinson is as tough and gritty as they come. I know that he’s got all the skills to go out there and perform, but he’s got that something in common with Moxley and that is they’re just down and dirty, and he’s got the guns,” Barnett explained. “And it wasn’t just about how their skill set would match-up or weakness, strengths and vice versa, but it was about the mental match-up as well, that spiritual magic so to speak. They both have something in common in that vein, and I figured why not. This is like adding gasoline to the fire, and I love it.”
Moxley does not have a traditional MMA background, but Barnett noted that Andy Williams (The Butcher from The Butcher and The Blade) also did not have a “background in MMA”. Barnett explained that Bloodsport is not about people pretending to be or people packaged as MMA fighters, it’s about people who can actually fight.
“Well, I mean Andy Williams didn’t have a ‘background in MMA’ either. He had the background of knowing how to fight, and that’s what’s important,” Barnett pointed out. “It’s not about this build a create-a-wrestler where they all have to do all these specific moves and have this completely specific background. That’s not it, and that’s one of the things that makes our show so much different from what people perceive this kind of wrestling could be.
“It’s like, no, most of the time, I get a lot of people showing me someone faking these skill sets, faking being able to fight, some sort of show of it but not the reality of it. So it’s a lot of people trying to be the packaging for something instead of the actual thing and seeing that conflating that as being similar or being equivalent. That’s not what Bloodsport is about at all.”
Barnett also noted that the roots of professional wrestling are what make up MMA, pointing out that the term “No Holds Barred” was what MMA was called before. Barnett reiterated that the wrestlers chosen for Bloodsport are those that can fight for real and are not just pretending to be a fighter.
“Mox, if you want to say anything about MMA, he trained in professional wrestling. Professional wrestling’s roots are essentially what make up mixed martial arts. The term ‘No Holds Barred,’ which is what MMA was called in it’s earlier days, is derived from professional wrestling.
“I mean, if you watch his match vs. Jake Hager, you can see that he’s got skills that he spent time grappling and knows submissions skills, and the man just pure knows how to fight. And that’s what we need more than anything.
“If you’re in Bloodsport, it’s because I’ve seen something in you that shows that you can fight. You can go out there and let the fists fly. If you’re cut, your bleeding [or] you’re hurt, you’re not going to just roll over for anyone, and you’re not just out there trying to pantomime what you think a fighter is. You just are doing it.”
Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport takes place Sunday night, 7/6c, as part of GCW’s The Collective. It will stream live via FITE.tv. Effy’s full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it’s released Monday – Friday afternoon by clicking here.