Preview by Josh Nason
Josh Barnett's Bloodsport returns for the second straight Saturday night, this time featuring a main event with former AEW World Champion Jon Moxley vs. the undefeated Davey Boy Smith Jr.
This will be Moxley's second Bloodsport stint following his debut win over Chris Dickinson last October while Smith Jr. is a perfect 4-0 thus far in Bloodsport competition.
In the co-main event, Jeff Cobb will look to get to 2-0 when he faces "Filthy" Tom Lawlor (2-2) in the co-main event. Cobb debuted with a win over Dickinson in the main event last week while Lawlor defeated Simon Grimm.
Other matches on the card include Dickinson vs. JR Kratos in a battle of Bloodsport veterans; Rocky Romero making his Bloodsport debut against the returning Grimm; Calvin Tankman looking to rebound against Nolan Edward; Alex Coughlin vs. Royce Isaacs; Kal Jack vs. Superbeast, and Bad Dude Tito vs. Calder McColl.
Unlike last week, this week's show is available on Fite.tv.
Our live coverage kicks off at 7 PM Eastern.
Calder McColl (1–1) submitted Bad Dude Tito (0–2)
This was a nice opener with fast back-and-forth grappling from the beginning. Scotland’s McColl wanted to keep the fight on the ground, even challenging Tito to switch from standing position to McColl’s open guard where McColl would attacking from a seated position. Tito rallied back with a big German suplex and landed some big strikes before McColl used a running flying knee strike and a rear naked choke to put the Bad Dude down. Both guys looked really good.
Calvin Tankman (2–1) defeated Nolan Edwards (0–2) by TKO
Tankman touched Edwards a number of times early on, peppering him with open palm strikes and a low kick before hip tossing the smaller Edwards to the mat. They were soon in a 50/50 position on the mat where Edwards attempted to lock in some sort of leglock or heel hook, but no luck. Tankman told Edwards to get back up and both were back on their feet. Tankman decked Edwards once more with a huge palm strike, knocking him to the mat. Edwards rallied back with a running knee strike, pulled guard and locked in a guillotine choke.
Tankman looked to be in danger until the big man slammed Edwards to the mat, breaking the lock. This move is actually banned in most BJJ and MMA tournaments today. Tankman continued striking Edwards on the ground until the referee called the match, giving Tankman the win by TKO. This was a much better showing for the MLW roster member than he had with Davey Boy Smith Jr. last week. Both were impressive in this short one.
“Grizzly” Kal Jack (2–1) defeated Superbeast (1–1) via ref stoppage
Superbeast could easily be a character in a redux of Saturday Night Slammasters for SNES. He wore spiky Road Warrirors-esque shoulderpads to the ring while Jack wore his custom bear skin. Bloodsport is great.
Both of these dudes are huge. Superbeast laid in hard strikes early on before Jack outwrestled the ‘beast to the mat. Jack gutwrenched him up into the air and planted him with a doctor bomb, but just moments later, Superbeast was back up and throwing high kicks. Jack again forced Superbeast to the mat and slowly worked for a type of head-and-arm choke, but Superbeast powered his way up to his feet and Jack suplexed him down to the mat once again. Jack went for another gutwrench bomb, but Superbeast slipped out to throw another kick. Jack caught the kick in mid-air and powerbombed him down to the mat, putting him to sleep out with a modified head-and-arm choke for the win.
Royce Isaacs (2–0) submitted Alex Coughlin (0–2)
These two look to be right about the same size. Coughlin scored two takedowns early on, but Isaacs found himself in top position soon after. This was constant back-and-forth grappling. Isaacs threw an elbow to Coughlin’s ribs at one point when he was in side mount, then moved to a single leg calf crusher lock submission before Coughlin reversed and found himself on top in full mount. He transitioned nicely to an armbar, but Isaacs slammed his way out of hit. Coughlin attacked the back and again went for the armlock, but again Isaacs powered out. He attempted a German suplex but Coughlin dragged him back down to the mat and again aimed to lock in the armbar. Isaacs escaped and locked in a Texas Cloverhold, but Coughlin dragged both men out of the ring to the floor.
Back in the ring, Isaacs went for a gutwrench, but Coughlin countered with a gutwrench bomb of his own, slamming Isaacs to the mat again. He locked in an STF submission before Isaacs escaped and drilled Coughlin with a backdrop suplex before locking in a grounded dragon sleeper (SANADA’s Skull End) for the victory to end a really good match. Both Coughlin and Isaacs have been standouts over the past two Bloodsport events.
Rocky Romero (1–0) submitted Simon Grimm (1–4)
Josh Barnett mentioned before the match that he’d actually trained Romero in catch wrestling back in the day at Antonio Inoki’s dojo in Santa Monica, Calif. This marked his Bloodsport debut against MLW and Bloodsport alum Grimm.
Romero took Grimm to the mat quickly with nice judo technique. He showed off some interesting catch submission attempts, like a choke where he’d attempt to use his own calf as the lever pushing down against Grimm’s head and neck. On their feet, Romero locked in a crevat necklock but Grimm brought things back to the ground.
Later, Romero locked in a front facelock and then transitioned to an octopus hold, but Grimm slipped out and applied an anaconda vice until Romero escaped into full mount and then to a turtle position where he threw a few elbows into Grimm’s ribs.
The pace slowed as Grimm worked for a kneebar. They eventually both stood back up and started trading strikes until Grimm had Romero back to the mat in an amrlock attempt. Again, Romero wound up on top and went for a triangle or armbar, but Grimm reversed that. No dice there, either.
On their feet, Romero moved back to the crevat and grapevined Grimm’s leg so that he wouldn’t move. Grimm eventually muscled out of the predicament with a capture-hold suplex. Romero was later able to lock in the octopus hold for a second, but Grimm blocked it. Romero transitioned to a high armlock from his guard. When Grimm tried countering, Romero held on and was able to roll and sink the hold in even deeper, causing Grimm to tap almost immediately. This was a nice showing in Romero’s first Bloodsport outing.
Chris Dickinson (1–4) submitted JR Kratos (2–1)
Kratos stormed out of the gates. He used a vertical suplex seconds after the match started, but Dickinson was able to collect himself and score a takedown. He caught Kratos with some short body shots while in side mount, but Kratos methodically muscled his way back to the top, throwing a few strikes and short headbutts before moving to side control and then full mount.
Dickinson found a way out of the larger Kratos’ control and attempted a toehold which forced Kratos to stand up. Dickinson landed a kick flush to his chest while Kratos angrily threw hard palm strikes. Kratos dropped Dickinson with a big power bomb, slowing him down and went for the attack on the mat, but Dickinson slipped away and grabbed on to a waistlock and heaved Kratos over his head with a gutwrench German suplex which looked wild. Look for the .GIF of that one when it goes up on social media.
Dickinson locked in a rear naked choke which forced Kratos to tap for the win. I hope to see more of these two go at it on NJPW Strong.
Jeff Cobb (2-0) submitted Tom Lawlor (2-3)
Cobb tried avoiding Lawlor’s standup striking by getting him down to the mat and outwrestling him. In some ways, this was a great demonstration of what a wrestler with a primarily BJJ background but no MMA background can do. Both fought with different approaches which made for an intriguing match from the get go.
Lawlor attempted a number of leglocks throughout. He transitioned from a kneebar to a double wristlock/Kimura lock, released it and used a running legdrop, making sure Cobb stayed on the mat. Cobb used a rough cradle to stretch out Lawlor’s legs, making him uncomfortable enough to release position, giving Cobb an opening to escape to his feet. He was able to throw Lawlor back to the mat with a judo-style head-and-arm throw.
Lawlor locked in a guillotine choke next, despite being thrown, and wouldn’t let go until he was in full mount position on top, where he tried striking his way to victory. Cobb hiip bumped Lawlor off him, caught him in a waistlock and planted him with two German suplexes. Cobb went for a third, but Lawlor defended, so Cobb cinched in a tight full nelson, forcing Lawlor to tap out.
Jon Moxley (2–0) defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr (4–1) via TKO
Moxley came out to Hole’s “Violet” while Davey Boy Smith Jr. used Loverboy's "Turn Me Loose" as an entrance, which was great on a few different levels.
Moxley went in for a takedown early but Smith controlled the pace from the top and from back position. Moxley attempted a double wristlock to escape out of DBS’ waistlock, so Smith simply launched Moxley out of the ring to the floor.
In the ring, Smith locked Moxley in a crucifix, but he slipped out and worked his way into a slide facelock. Smith, with his back to Moxley, used a toehold to create pain and escape out of Moxley’s hold. Moxley kept working for armlocks, but Smith defended well, standing up eventually and forcing the fight to a contest of strikes for a bit. Moxley attempted an uchi mata but pulled his leg back, but Smith eventually pinned Moxley’s leg in a grapevine, forcing him back to the mat and moving into a d’arce choke attempt before he unloaded a dozen vertical elbow strikes to Moxley in mount.
Moxley turned to his stomach to avoid the strikes, but Smith continued his assault and attempted a sleeper choke. Moxley put his back to the mat again and this time he was able to fight his way from under Smith and started going wild. Moxley was bleeding from the forehead at this point. Smith saw the blood and tried opening it up even more with elbows, grinding his fists into Moxley's head. DBS planted him with a backdrop suplex. Moxley “hulked up” toward the end, and then with a crazed look in his eyes, he went to unload everything in his arsenal from strikes to elbows to various attempts an armbar and a guillotine choke. Smith answered with a nice Northern Lights suplex and transitioned to a double wrist lock.
Moxley fought his way out of it, and later on their feet, he and Smith traded more hard strikes before, seemingly out of nowhere, Moxley spiked Smith with a Paradigm Shift double-arm DDT, knocking Smith out cold to take the win.
At the end of the show, Bloodsport promoter Josh Barnett’s voice sounded over a black screen: “Jon Moxley is always searching the world for fights to make him feel truly alive. Barnett granted Moxley his wish announcing that Barnett vs. Moxley will finally happen at Bloodsport 6 on April 8th.
This was an even better show than last week’s with a hell of a main event. There wasn’t a bad bout on the show and at just around 90 minutes, the card flew by. If you like a grittier, no nonsense, no silliness kind of pro wrestling, Bloodsport is the alternative and I say that with utter conviction.