In April 2018, GCW thought outside the box a bit with the debut of Bloodsport, a hybrid MMA and wrestling show taking part during WrestleMania weekend.
The show was branded by Matt Riddle, who competed in the main event against Minoru Suzuki.
When Riddle signed with WWE, Josh Barnett took over the concept.
Speaking about Riddle's Bloodsport on Pro Wrestling 4 Life, Barnett said, "I was glad to see it and it was good for a lot of athletes there and helped them out quite a bit, but it was not my vision. That's why I refer to the first Bloodsport, I refer to my first one, not the prior one because I see that as a different product."
When asked what was wrong with Riddle's Bloodsport, Barnett replied, "The way the matches were structured, the way they were agented. I would just say that the quality of being able to put together shoot-style matches, everybody obviously gave it their best in the first Riddle Bloodsport, but nobody knew what they were doing for the most part. It was not their fault by any means. Not to mention, I felt like the booking was not taking into consideration important things towards shoot-style matches. My job is to not yell at people for what they don't have, it's the first show, they were working with a conceptional idea and putting it together based on what they knew how to do, which of course means you're going to treat (Bloodsport), which is not the same, as these other products and it won't look the way you think it will and won't come out exactly correct."
Barnett went on to say that wrestlers just aren't trained to wrestle with hybrid style anymore and that's why it didn't come off as well.
One aspect from Riddle's Bloodsport that Barnett kept was having no ropes. However, according to Barnett, he wishes that concept wasn't used.
"That was part of the gimmick, so it stuck. Having ropes makes it easier. Having rope escapes makes it easier to craft matches and create stories. People look at things as restrictions, restrictions give you things to play with in the realm of pro wrestling. By removing that element, you have to learn to work around it and work around what you could have used. We've done a good job of doing so and have incredible talent," he said.
Barnett praised the talent for listening and being willing to learn to execute his vision at the events.
Six Bloodsport events have been held under Barnett's name. The most recent took place in April and was headlined by Jon Moxley against Barnett.
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