Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X results: Vetter’s review of Shayna Baszler vs. Masha Slamovich, Nic Nemeth vs. Mike Bailey, Josh Barnett vs. Johnny Bloodsport, additional WWE wrestlers appear

By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X
Replay available via TrillerTV+
April 4, 2024 from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at The Auditorium at Penns Landing Caterers

If you aren’t familiar with Bloodsport, it is no-ropes, no pinfalls. So, it’s either submission or knockout to win; this is the most authentic-looking worked matches I’ve ever seen but they do tend to be short. This is probably my fifth Bloodsport event; I don’t think I would watch it if it were weekly, but as a once-a-year event, it’s really a treat. This building is PACKED. I guessed 600-750 earlier in the day for the Defy Wrestling show, but this is now close to 1,000 fans in here.

* All the wrestlers booked for this event were introduced. I was surprised to see Charlie Dempsey! I wasn’t aware he was announced. Huge pop for Minoru Suzuki. Shayna Baszler got a huge pop, too. The four women in the mini-tournament were introduced last. Lenny Leonard and Dan Barry provided commentary. Good to hear Leonard on the call as he’s been inactive.

1. Victor Benjamin defeated Akira Way via ref stoppage at 5:06. I’ve never seen Akira having a last name before. I’ve seen Benjamin just a few times; he’s bald and really muscular. Victor hit some punches to the ribs and was booed. Akira hit a German Suplex. Victor caught him with a spin kick to the head. Akira applied a hammelock. Benjamin hit another spin kick to the head, and the ref determined Akira was out. The crowd booed; Victor didn’t cheat but Akira is definitely the hometown favorite.

* A video package aired of Nic Nemeth and Mike Bailey.

2. Nic Nemeth defeated Mike Bailey at 5:05. It’s only mid-day on Thursday and this is my third Bailey match; he has eight or so planned for the weekend. Nemeth avoided some early kicks. He grabbed a leg and nearly tossed Bailey to the floor (no ropes!) but Bailey held onto the post. The ref had them re-set to the middle. (I like this sports-style presentation.) Nemeth flipped him, and Bailey fell to the floor at 2:00. They tied up again but Nic again shoved him out of the ring. In the ring, Bailey caught him with a kick to the face! He hit some punches to the face and locked in a crossarm breaker. Nic applied a rear-naked choke, and he hit a Danger Zone (Zigzag) and Bailey passed out! The crowd booed this one, too. Entertaining match.

3. Lindsay Snow defeated Lady Frost in a semifinal tournament match at 2:14. Snow comes to the ring to Vanessa Carlton’s “1,000 Miles,” which is kind of funny. She is tattoo-covered and always makes me think of Luna Vachon. She’s barefoot; I don’t think I’ve noticed that before. No elaborate wrestling outfit on Frost; she’s dressed for the MMA style fight. It appears Snow is a bit taller and maybe a 15-20 pound weight advantage. Snow applied a crossarm breaker at 1:30. Frost applied a rear-naked choke. Snow hit some punches, grapevined the legs, and Frost tapped out!

4. Marinia Shafir defeated Janai Kai in a semifinal tournament match at 3:55. Shafir has a height advantage and she tied up Kai’s legs early on. Kai hit some spin kicks to the thighs; she dropped Marina with a kick to the head and that popped the crowd at 2:00. Shafir hit a mule kick to the chest, and they re-set, and we got a “bloodsport!” chant. Kai hit more spin kicks to the abdomen and thighs. Marina grabbed her, pulled her in and applied the “Mother’s Milk” front choke, and Kai tapped out. Yes, these matches are short, but this was a blast, and the crowd popped for this one. Marina limped to the back, and the commentators noted she took more of a beating than Lindsay Snow did in her semifinal.

5. Charlie Dempsey defeated Matt Makowski (w/Tracy Williams) at 6:23. Anthony Henry’s broken jaw caused some of the lineup to be shuffled, including this match. Dempsey has a notable height and weight advantage. Dempsey grounded him with a headlock, and he worked the left arm. Makowski applied a leglock around the neck, and he locked in a cross-armbreaker. Dempsey hit a butterfly suplex at 3:30. He applied an anklelock, but Matt escaped, and Matt applied a rear-naked choke. Matt hit a hard back elbow and some kicks to the thighs. Charlie dropped him with a European Uppercut, then hit a German Suplex. He applied a hammerlock, and Matt tapped out. That was fun.

6. Takuya Nomura defeated Fuminori Abe at 7:36. These two compete as the tag team called “The Astronauts” and they recently competed on a pair of GCW shows. Abe has his hair nearly shaved bald. Takuya’s hair is a bit longer and he appears to be bigger and thicker. Abe hit a headbutt that made them both stumble. They traded hard slaps to the face. Takuya hit some running punt kicks to the ribs. Abe hit a stiff kick to the spine at 3:00. Abe tied him in an Octopus. He hit a dropkick to the face. Takuya hit a German Suplex. Abe hit a punch to the jaw, and a headbutt, and they both went down, and that headbutt popped the crowd.

Takuya hit some hard forearms. Abe hit a kick to the ear and a running knee, and Takuya was wobbly. Takuya hit a clothesline and a German Suplex, and he’s busted open on his forehead. He hit a Dragon Suplex at 6:00, then he applied a half-crab. Abe grapevined the leg and had a heel-hook. Takuya hit some blows to the head and he choked Abe out. The ref finally determined Abe was out and he called for the bell. That was stiff, stiff, stiff action. We got a “That was awesome!” chant.

* A video package aired to highlight the Blake Christian-Joey Janela feud.

7. Erik Hammer defeated Lou Nixon at 3:46. Hammer is bald with a handlebar mustache; I remember he won a match at last year’s Bloodsport that surprised me. My first time seeing Nixon; he is shorter with a good physique. They blocked each other’s kicks. They tied up on the mat and traded slaps to the face. Hammer hit a German Suplex, applied a hammerlock, and Nixon tapped out.

8. Minoru Suzuki defeated Royce Isaacs at 8:37. Royce is half of the West Coast Wrecking Crew and he’s in tremendous shape. They tied each other up on the mat. Minoru applied a crossarm breaker as he leaned backward outside the ring at 3:00. Nice. (The little things you can do differently when you don’t have ropes.) Suzuki stalled on the floor in a bit of comedy. The commentators noted they are now “trending No. 6 worldwide” on Twitter/X. Back in the ring, Royce grapevined the leg at 5:30. They broke the hold and reset.

They stood up and traded forearm strikes and the crowd chanted “you f—ed up!” at Royce. Suzuki dropped him with a forearm; Royce popped up and hit a German Suplex at 7:30 and applied a crossarm breaker. Suzuki applied a rear-naked choke. He then nailed a Gotch-style piledriver and the ref called for the bell. That was really entertaining.

9. Timothy Thatcher defeated Axel Tischer (f/k/a Alexander Wolfe) at 7:52. They traded quick mat reversals and standing switches. Thatcher applied a half-crab at 5:00, and he flipped him over into a bow-and-arrow. Axel hit a German Suplex. They got up and traded European Uppercuts. Axel hit a brainbuster. Thatcher applied a Fujiwara Armbar out of nowhere, and Axel tapped out.

* A really good video aired with Masha Slamovich. She vowed to Shayna Baszler “I am going to taste your blood and I’m going to put you down.”

10. Shayna Baszler (w/Zoey Stark) defeated Masha Slamovich (w/Jordynne Grace) at 7:12. I actually expected this to be the main event. Nice to see Jordynne accompany her to ringside. A LOUD “holy shit!” chant before the introductions and a “F— her up, Masha!” chant. Shayna hit a quick slap before the bell. They quickly traded mat reversals. Masha hit a kick to the head. Shayna fired back with a back suplex at 2:00. Masha grapevined the leg. Shayna hit a series of punches to the kidneys at 3:30. Masha applied a crossarm breaker and this crowd is 100% behind Masha. Shayna applied a Stretch Muffler leg lock around her neck.

Shayna hit a suplex. Masha re-applied a crossarm breaker. Shayna applied a rear-naked choke and the crowd loudly booed, but Masha was able to shake her off and apply her own choke. Masha nailed a pump-handle back suplex and re-applied a rear-naked choke. Shayna escaped and applied an anklelock, but Masha hit a kick to the face to free herself! Shayna repeatedly stomped on Masha’s back as Masha covered up, and the ref called for the bell. Masha did NOT tap out. We got a loud “F— you, Shayna!” chant. This was a blast; this wouldn’t have been allowed to happen a year ago.

* The trophy was brought out for the winner of the women’s mini-tournament.

11. Marina Shafir defeated Lindsay Snow to win the tournament at 7:44. They tied up each other’s legs on the mat early, and Snow switched to a front headlock. They stayed on the mat with Snow typing up Marina’s leg. Lindsay hit some blows to the face at 6:00. Marina kept tying Snow in a pretzel, and she slammed Snow a coupe times to the mat. Marina hit a roundhouse kick that knocked Snow to the floor, and the ref called for the bell. Okay match. Marina is now 5-0 in Bloodsport competition.

12. Josh Barnett defeated Johnny “Bloodsport” Hennigan at 7:57. Hennigan has both elbows heavily taped. Hennigan hit some kicks with each foot. They tied up on the mat for several minutes and reset at 4:00. Barnett grapevined the leg and they nearly rolled to the floor. Johnny hit a series of kicks to the spine and tied up Barnett’s head. Johnny hit a discus clothesline at 7:00 and tied Josh up on the mat with a rear-naked choke. Josh hit a hard back suplex, then a spinning heel kick to the face! Josh nailed a gut-wrench suplex nearly tossing Hennigan out of the ring. The ref checked on Johnny and called for the bell. Okay match; there were a few exchanges where they didn’t quite to be on the same page.

* Josh Barnett got on the mic and announced another Bloodsport for June in Japan!

Final Thoughts: What a show. We had wrestlers from WWE/NXT, AEW, TNA, Japan, and stars of the indies. It’s really surreal to see all these promotions allow their wrestlers to work a show like this. I loved Masha-Shayna. The fans were so invested in it. Sure, WWE was going to be the heel in this matchup, but it was so cool to see them in the same ring. While it’s cool that Shayna and Charlie Dempsey were allowed to compete, I do have to wonder if they would have been allowed to lose. I’ll go with Takuya-Abe for second, ahead of Minoru-Royce for third.

Like I said at the top, I don’t know if this would capture my attention if this were a weekly one-hour show. But boy, as a once-a-year event, it sure is fun. There were only a couple misses for me.


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