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Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 4 live results: Cobb vs. Dickinson

Preview by Josh Nason

Josh Barnett's Bloodsport returns for the first of two straight weeks of Saturday night action with a surefire hard hitting main event of Chris Dickinson vs. the debuting Jeff Cobb. 

Their last event was in October during The Collective weekend where Jon Moxley debuted and defeated Dickinson (1-3) in the main event. While still under the GCW banner, the fourth event in the series has its own dedicated website on which to order and watch the pay-per-view and not Fite.tv as in the past. 

The show will also feature Harry Smith looking to remain undefeated at 4-0 when he faces Calvin Tankman who debuted with a win in October; "Filthy" Tom Lawlor looking to make it two in a row when he faces MLW foe and Bloodsport regular Simon Grimm; the returning Kal Jak and JR Kratos and plenty of debuts.

Our live coverage kicks off at 7 PM Eastern.

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"When there's nothing else left to do ... we fight."

Josh Barnett did an introductory voiceover before the event kicked off. The production and overall aesthetic for tonight's event looks super slick, very distinct and not much like anything we've seen from pro wrestling so far. It looks and feels more like Karate Combat than traditional pro wrestling.

Diego Perez (1–0) defeated Gil Guardado (0–1) via submission

Perez tapped Guardado in a really nice opening bout. Both have MMA backgrounds: Guardado with what Barnett described as a more "open style" of MMA, though he also mentioned it was both their first real attempt at pro wrestling. We saw lots of tight grappling between the two with Perez dominating from the top throughout most of this. Guardado submitted when Perez locked in a front facelock from the mount position to take the win.

Calder McColl (1–0) defeated Royce Isaacs (0–1) via submission

Isaacs was most recently seen working for the latest iteration of NWA as a former Tag Team champion with Thom Latimer. He has a background in college football and also looked pretty natural on the mat here against Scotland's McColl, also making his Bloodsport debut. Isaacs was agressive in trying to take McColl down and staying in a top offensive position. McColl went for a triangle choke early, but Isaacs was able to block. McColl and Isaacs traded top side positions before Isaacs locked in a modified head and arm choke from a kesa gatame position before letting go, since he didn't fully have the hold cinched in. McColl used a de la Riva-type sweep and caught Isaacs in a rear choke attempt.

Isaacs powered through that and locked in a Americana from the top. The rest was a good back-and-forth between these two. Isaacs went for a single leg crab, but couldn't lock it in. McColl again went back to the triangle submission from guard but it was tight enough and Isaacs powered out again, using a German suplex to plant McColl on the ropeless mat. He tried another wrist lock on McColl but the Scot was able to escape. Finally, after a third attempt, McColl choked up on the triangle choke and got Isaacs to tap in the end. This felt more like traditional pro wrestling compared with the first bout. Good stuff here.

Super Beast (1–0) defeated Bad Dude Tito (0–1) via submission

Both fellows are from the California indie scenes (Sacremento and Los Angeles, respectively). Super Beast wore a mask that reminded me of Crossbones, the Captain America villain. Tito, who wrestled Nick Aldis for the NWA title in the recent past, was missing a front tooth. The Beast muscled Tito to the mat, but the Bad Dude quickly rallied back and took control of things with a hard side headlock—until Super Beast drilled Bad Dude Tito with a nice backdrop suplex. He moved right into a armlock attempt, but Tito made his way out of it pretty quickly and kept on the attack.

Super Beast slammed his way out of one of Tito's submissions, but Tito again wasn't too phased and fought back, trading blows until Tito threw a jumping enzuigiri kick that connected. Super Beast responded with a German suplex, or the third suplex of the match. Super Beast then muscled his way into a double wrist lock from side position, one that Tito valiantly fought off until the Beast used what Barnett called "brute force" to finish the submission and get the immediate tap from Tito. This was great for two guys I'd never seen beforehand. All hail the Super Beast.

JR Kratos (2–0) defeated Alex Coughlin (0–1) via TKO (knee strike)

NJPW Young Lion Coughlin, who we haven't really seen in New Japan recently because of the pandemic and a neck injury, dashed to the ring like he was ready for the opening match on NJPW Strong, just this time, his entrance music happened to be Behemoth instead of NJPW Young Lion stock music. He has a thick cop 'stache now, too.

Speaking of NJPW Strong, Kratos looked like a monster on his way to the ring. Coughlin is a big kid but Kratos looked a lot bigger. They stared each other down before the match started, but once they got into it, the match felt even, more or less, particularly because of how aggressive or relentless Coughlin was on offense. On commentary, Barnett spoke about both Coughlin and Kratos training with him, either with Barnett at CSW with Kratos, or when NJPW trainer Katsuyori Shibata sent Coughlin down to train with Barnett while Coughlin was at the LA Dojo for some additional training.

Kratos dragged Coughlin over with hard vertical suplex, and from here Coughlin looked to finally be losing a little bit of fire or energy after all the punishment the bigger Kratos dished out through this. He dug deep to throw Kratos with a hard slap to the face, knocking Kraots off his feet, then a nice deadlift gutwrench suplex, but ultimately it wasn't enough: When Kratos slammed his way out of Coughlin's arm lock, he blasted Coughlin with a hard knee to the head and the referee decided to stop the fight. This was fun and violent pro wrestling.

"Grizzly" Kal Jack (1–1) defeated Nolan Edwards (0–1)

Tennessee's Edwards has only been wrestling for two years but has an amateur background from high school and didn't look out of place here. He was aggressive in trying to land an initial takedown, but the massive Jack took control with ease, pretzeling Edward up with a number of spladles, single leg roll-throughs and suplexes. The commentary team spoke of his background as an NCAA All American wrestler and also a part of Chael Sonnen's camp in the past.

The last few minutes of this were all Jack, who mauled Edwards toward the end in a really dominant looking fashion. Edwards exploded with a jumping headbutt and knocked Jack off his feet, but suddenly, we got the best finish of the night and maybe from pro wrestling all year when Jack hoisted Edwards over his head and launched him at the brick wall across from the ring. Once Edwards hit the wall, that was it, the match was over as Jack won in dominant fashion.

"Filthy" Tom Lawlor (2–2) defeated Simon Grimm (1–3) via TKO (knee strike)

F4W's own Lawlor came out to New Kids on the Block song but no short shorts like we've seen on NJPW Strong in the past. Commentary spoke about how neither of these guys really took a break off from training during the pandemic. Barnett mentioned that Lawlor is on the PFL roster for this year, plus how Grimm has been training in grappling outside the ring more and more. Grimm has an entirely new look compared with how he looked in WWE, losing a ton of weight and dropping the curly mustache.

He and Lawlor fought for takedowns early on. Lawlor landed some nice open hand strikes to the body, but Grimm was in control for a number of minutes as he worked for a submission on the wrist, possibly an armbar setup, while he kept Lawlor on the mat scissored in a crucifx. Lawlor unsuccessfully fought out of Grimm's grip and Grimm transitioned to a kneebar when Lawlor tried standing up to escape. Lawlor had sucess with the standing escape and then locked in another front face lock before Grimm went back to the armbar attack. These two let their hands go late and while they both landed some nice strikes, it was when Lawlor blasted Grimm in the liver with a knee that the match was over, that was it. Good stuff.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. (4–0) defeated Calvin Tankman (1–1)

Tankman is a big boy while Smith looks like hasn't taken any days off from training. DBS struggled to get Tankman down to the mat because of his size, and Tankman found himself in top position early on. He wasn't really laying in his punches and it was obvious because if Tankman let his hands fly, I think he'd knock a lot of people out cold. It didn't take much away from the match, though. Barnett explained on commentary how he took to catch wrestling like a fish to water, developing a lot more of his game in his time away from active competition. Tankman landed a nice high angle German suplex on Smith. The two then got into it with the strikes, but when DBS checked one of Tankman's kicks, he found an opening and hurled Tankman over his shoulder with a backdrop suplex, tappeing Tankman out with a crossface submission to win and remain undefeated at Bloodsport.

Jeff Cobb (1–0) defeated Chris Dickinson (1–4) via TKO (suplexes)

It was pretty even between these two from the beginning, though Dickinson wrestled as the aggressor. Cobb used a beautiful bridge to lift himself out of Dickinson’s kneebar control and transitioned to the top for a moment, landing a hard palm strike. Dickinson reversed and laid in a few of his own. This match felt the most like UWF or UWFi because of the pacing -- a slow burn with intermittent barrages of strikes.

Dickinson continued to control and attack from the ground position, both from the side mount and back position. The wrestler, Cobb, seemed to struggle against the more BJJ-centric attack Dickinson employed. When he went for an omoplata submission, Cobb finaggled his way out and tossed Dickinson with a bodyslam, but Dickinson was quickly able to remount his offense and went after Cobb's ankle with an achilles' lock. This didn't last long for Dickinson, though: Cobb finally exploded with three suplexes, including two Germans that put Dickinson out for the bout. The referee waved the match off and Cobb walked away with the win in this very good match.

*****

"I'm gonna rip his head off and put it on my wall."

Before the end of the broadcast, Jon Moxley's voice was heard and he called out the 4–0 Davey Boy Smith Jr. It looks like we'll see on the next edition of Bloodsport next Saturday.

*****

Final thoughts:

What an awesome show. This feels like an actual alternative to traditional pro wrestling, with high quality production, knowledgable and top-shelf commentary, but also a very specific vision of what pro wrestling is, or should be. There wasn't a hint of irony on the show either, no milquetoast jokes on commentary, nothing that'd really insult a new viewer. What stood out most  to mewas that despite not being familiar with everyone on the card, I enjoyed every match and found myself wanting to see more of these guys.

Even though next week's full card hasn't been announced yet, if it's anything like tonight's, it'll be rock-solid. And it seems like Harry Smith vs Jon Moxley is slated for the next card, according to tonight's final vignette.