Former Pancrase Openweight and UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett was on a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily. He discussed his upcoming headlining match against AEW star Jon Moxley at Bloodsport 6, and Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked his thoughts on Moxley in the Bloodsport environment so far.
“I look at him as being a living, breathing example of will. That’s what it is,” Barnett stated. “He showed up because he wanted to get in there, and he has done nothing but grow in his preparation and then let that shine out in his performances. He has just continually stepped up to the plate. Whatever that line for that next needed aspect of himself is, he finds it, and then exceeds it and then just keeps moving forward.
“As I see Moxley in Bloodsport, it’s whatever you saw the first time he was in the ring and whoever you saw a prior to even that, ain’t going to be the same. The best parts of him are going to keep moving along. That indomitable will, that no quit attitude, that thriving and chaos, that’s all going to be there, except it’s going to be backed by a guy who’s just getting better every single damn time.
“He’s not reducing. He’s not becoming easier to beat. He’s not becoming less skilled. He’s not becoming less capable. He’s only becoming more so and with that, becoming even more confident. The thing is, if I had to face Moxley at Bloodsport 2, it would have been a radically different individual than what I’m going to face in Bloodsport 6, and the reality is, Bloodsport 6 Moxley would kick the ever living crap out of Bloodsport 2 Moxley. So this guy is just on an ever-evolving path.”
Hausman then asked Barnett what his mindset is heading into his fight with Moxley.
“Well, if you don’t want to quit, then I guess it’s his own grave. That’s all I can say,” Barnett admitted. “My job is not to be concerned about what they need. My job is to make them suffer in some sort of living hell. My job is to tear that person apart, find their weaknesses [and] exploit them. They’ve always got the opportunity to say, ‘I’m good. I’m done. Let me out,’ but I don’t envision that being the case for Moxley. I don’t envision him saying, ‘Yeah, I’ve had enough.’ I don’t think he ever has enough.”
Moxley’s last Bloodsport appearance saw him defeat Davey Boy Smith Jr. using his Death Rider finisher. Hausman asked Barnett about his thoughts on Moxley using that move, and Barnett explained the rare occurrences of the DDT being used in MMA.
“Well, I mean there’s actually a lot of examples in MMA, especially, of people getting, well even incidentally, DDT-ing themselves off of big double leg takedowns and driving their heads straight into the canvas,” Barnett noted. “I think it was Gray Maynard vs. [Rob Emerson] One guy gets tanked into the head, and the reality is that Mox has won a lot of matches with that move. And it’s not really favorable to slam yourself headfirst into anything really, let alone if your arms are stuck.
“There’s no way you can try and give yourself any sort of relief or any deflection of energy from your cranium into something else. It really wouldn’t be all that pleasant to have your head driven into a canvas, but you go with what you know. What your strengths are are always going to be the things that you’re going to go back to, especially in the that spot where you need to draw from deep within. You’re tired. You’re exhausted. The ability to really think things through is highly reduced from being in the midst of battle.
“So if you’re fighting a guy who’s a he’s a wrestler at heart and he’s starting to lose those striking exchanges and that fights getting tough, you know they’re going to shoot a takedown and put you on your back. Well the same with Moxley, he saw the opportunity, and as soon as Davey Boy Smith Jr. was bent over enough to get it, put his head through the floor. That’s the kind of thing that makes Moxley dangerous, maybe not just his opponents but to himself. He will just pull something like that out, and if it failed, maybe now he’s on his back and someone’s on top of him, and maybe it’s back to getting elbowed in the face again. But when it works, it’s not so good for the guy on the receiving end.”
Bloodsport currently does not have a title for competitors to fight for. Barnett explained why and stated what Bloodsport plans to do in regards to a prize that competitors will fight for.
“We’re not going to do any titles in Bloodsport,” Barnett said. “That’s really just for a very very very simple reason and that is because as an indie wrestling promotion, there is no guarantee that we can ensure that we can have return on talent. If someone gets picked up, there’s nothing we can do to make sure we keep them. There’s no way to properly control our title. None of that exists in this space.
“So instead of having all this work go towards building up a champion, let’s say, and somebody putting all that effort in then having them just get plucked off or who knows what and so without that, I don’t see any real reason to do a championship. But what we will do instead is we’re going to have annual tournaments. Just like we did a woman’s tournament, we’re going to do a men’s tournament.
“We’ll do them all in one night, and we will create a perpetual invitational where every time, we will bring people in. They’ll battle it out, and someone will win it for the year. And then we’ll move on to next year and it’s like, well, you gotta prove it again. I would say it’s similar to the RINGS Mega Battle Tournaments. Exactly the reason why we don’t have titles because it’s like, ‘oh yeah, this guy just won the the Gotch-Robinson Cup, cool.’ WWE. AEW. Gone.”
Josh Barnett headlines Bloodsport 6 against AEW’s Jon Moxley as part of GCW’s The Collective on Thursday April 8th. For tickets and more info please click HERE. You can find the full audio and video from Josh’s interview below: