- Dominic Garrini def. Phil Baroni via reverse decision
- J.R. Kratos def. Simon Grimm via knockout
- Davey Boy Smith Jr. def. Killer Kross via submission
- Masashi Takeda def. Jonathan Gresham via stoppage
- Chris Dickinson def. Andy Williams via submission
- Frank Mir def. Dan Severn via submission
- Hideki Suzuki def. Timothy Thatcher via knockout
- Minoru Suzuki vs. Josh Barnett went to an overtime 25-minute time limit draw
The bar has been set very high.
And that rounds off an absolutely amazing, thrill-a-minute show. The whole thing was a shade over two hours long but nobody in the building or watching at home will have felt short-changed.
WWE and indy wrestling could learn a LOT from this show.
If there is a better match than Suzuki-Barnett this week then it will be a MOTY contender.
Go out of your way to catch this on FITE.
. . . and we get five more minutes! The crowd loved that! Barnett exploded with kicks but Suzuki no-sold them and the crowd went even more insane. After no-selling a second time Barnett locked in a rear naked choke which Suzuki responded to with a stuck out tongue then repeated biting. Like I said earlier, the ref did not want to die so did not call for the DQ.
“I am a man” screamed Suzuki as they traded blows again. With two minutes to go Suzuki locked in an octopus which turned into a chicken wing variation. Barnett escaped. They rolled around a bit more and the time limit ran out again . . .
— Tai5 (@Tai__5) April 4, 2019
This time there is no restart. The official result is a 25-minute time limit draw. Well, that was a little bit of a flat ending but my GOD what a fight that was.
It is difficult to imagine anything this week topping that. WATCH THIS NOW!
Minoru Suzuki vs. Josh Barnett
This was the one everyone came to see.
Suzuki is the most over man in the building, as he always is when he ventures outside of Japan.
“Nothing scarier than a dude that can kick your ass and talk s**t” – say the commentators. That pretty much sums up Suzuki.
Suzuki controlled a lot of the early going but Barnett was able to evade most of his submission attempts. Barnett managed to power into a fujiwara arm bar but Suzuki refused to quit.
— GG (@roheblius) April 4, 2019
Suzuki took over with a choke but Barnett powered out again into a suplex, which Suzuki took on his head and shoulders. More immense ground work followed with Suzuki locking in a creative leg submission that almost caused Barnett to tap.
Suzuki began to lay in with vicious knees and a ridiculous forearm strike that rocked Barnett, but the big man kept fighting and launched some shots of his own.
Suzuki survived a suplex and went for the Gotch piledriver but Barnett managed to block it repeatedly and lock in a half crab then a crossface variation. Suzuki’s arm dropped twice but, to the delight of the crowd, not a third time.
A back suplex from Suzuki put both men down and the wily Suzuki wisely rolled to the outside for a much-needed breather. Suzuki battered the ref so he could use a chair but Barnett shrugged it off and blasted Suzuki with big shots and kicks.
— Ben (@iFightGiants) April 4, 2019
With the ref out there was nobody to call the DQ so the match kept going in the ring. Barnett continued to pound Suzuki then tried to grind him down with a headlock with just five minutes left on the clock.
With the ref back and deciding he would rather live than DQ Suzuki, the two men destroyed each other with yet more violent forearms. Suzuki laughed it off. Because of course he did. They traded forearms more and it all went a bit mental with one minute left.
With 30 seconds left the place was on its feet as they went apes**t decking each other with open handed strikes until the time limit expired . . .
Hideki Suzuki vs. Timothy Thatcher
Thatcher is the master of this style, having won wXw’s very similar Ambition 9 tournament in March last year. Suzuki is no slouch either, mind you.
From the way they worked this early on it look like it was going to go the distance.
After a lot of very methodical but proficient mat wrestling, Suzuki brought the strikes with a violent kick that thudded around the building. They took turns hitting each other with forearms and punches before Thatcher connected with a gutwrench suplex at the halfway point.
— Tai5 (@Tai__5) April 4, 2019
From there it was back to the mat wrestling only with more intensity. Suzuki turned it up, throwing Thatcher around then dropping him on his head with a ridiculous throw/suplex that I cannot even describe. Suffice to say it was brutal enough to knock Thatcher out and give Suzuki the win.
This was very good.
Frank Mir vs. Dan Severn
This was a first-time-ever battle between two UFC legends and the crowd was into it in a big way before the bell even sounded.
Both men fought in t-shirts, which rather killed the illusion somewhat. No fighter would ever compete in a real fight wearing a shirt!
— GG (@roheblius) April 4, 2019
Compared to everything else on the show thus far this was not at the same level – which is a crazy statement when you consider who is involved. But both men are years past their peaks.
It went about 2 minutes and Mir won with a leg submission. Well, talk about underwhelming.
After the match fans chanted “sign him Regal” about Mir. So yes, William Regal is in the crowd. He loves a good shoot fight.
Andy Williams vs. Chris Dickinson
For the uninitiated, Andy Williams also looks like Luke Gallows . . . with Silas Young’s moustache. Dickinson is a local and thus very popular, unlike Baroni earlier.
The furious pace continued as this started with a ridiculous haymaker brawl. There was no finesse to it whatsoever but it was brilliant and the crowd ate it up.
Williams used a powerbomb to take over and shrugged off some blows to the head to keep Dickinson grounded. Dickinson survived a suplex variation (I have no idea what it was to be honest) then locked in a rear naked choke for the fairly quick win.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Masashi Takeda
Big Japan’s Takeda is covered in scars from head to toe. Light tubes will do that to you.
Gresham is an immense amateur wrestler and is perhaps second in the world when it comes to mat wrestling behind only Zack Sabre Jr. – who he has defeated three times in a row.
Lots of mat wrestling at a slow pace until they fall out of the ring and Takeda bangs his head and gets busted hard way. A fist fight ensues and Takeda tries to grab a chair. Thankfully the refs (and the fact several of them are tied together) stops him.
Back in the ring, with five minutes gone Takeda is bleeding quite a lot. Gresham pounds away at the wound but Takeda is used to seeing his own blood and is able to keep going.
Gresham brings kicks but Takeda smashes him out of NOWHERE with a knee to the jaw and then flurries on him. The ref stops it and Takeda is the winner.
This started slow but also got real good real quick.
Killer Kross vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr.
It’s Impact Wrestling vs. New Japan Pro Wrestling!
Lots of wrestling on the mat to start and this is a very different Killer Kross to the one you have probably seen in Impact. The ground work from both was really solid.
Controversy reigned when Davey locked in an arm bar but the ref made him break it because Smith had a foot outside the ring. That Bryce Remsburg is a stickler for the rules!
Again Davey looeds to have it won with a key lock but Kross managed to roll it over and reach the edge of the ring, which put Davey’s feet outside of the ring again and caused another break. Smart wrestling from Kross.
They exchanged periods of control before opening up on each other with brutal slaps. Davey’s stand up game was way stronger but he got cocky and allowed Kross to kick him in the head. Hotdogging does not get you anywhere!
Smith stayed alive and another hard-hitting strike battle followed with Smith absolutely tagging Kross. My word that man can hit. One crossface later and Smith won via tap out.
That was incredible. This show is incredible.
Simon Grimm vs. JR Kratos
Grimm is formerly Simon Gotch in WWE tag team the Vaudevillians. He has no moustache today and thus looks nothing like how he looked in WWE. Kratos is a beast. Imagine a shorter and less defined Luke Gallows with Baron Corbin’s stomach.
After a slow start this got good when Kratos slapped the piss out of Grimm and it turned into a slugfest momentarily before returning to the mat.
— We are (Shemetov to) Rizin Podcast (@WeareRizinPod) April 4, 2019
We then had our first blood of the evening as Kratos got his nose busted. Grimm then powered out of a hold and launched open hand strikes at Kratos. Kratos reversed an arm bar then smashed him with a forearm of DEATH to the face and that’s all she wrote. This was fun.
Baroni wins via knock out . . . only he doesn't
Garrini kept going for an arm bar but Baroni evaded it and went to the eyes. With Garrini dazed, Baroni smashed him in the mouth and scored a mock pinfall. Of course, pinfalls don’t count so he was just doing it to be an asshole.
Baroni wins via knockout after laying his hands on the referee, leading to the commentators questioning “What the f**k is going on here!?”. The decision was reversed, so Garrini wins.
So much for every fight ending via knockout or submission! Although, as I say that the commentators point out that reverse decisions/DQs are also enforced.
Dominic Garrini vs. Phil Baroni
Everyone hates Phil Baroni, even though he is from New York. Must be a New Jersey thing . . . Garrini is known for jujitsu and is in a jujitsu outfit. Baroni is in black trunks and he is ripped.
And here we go . . .
The crowd is red hot here at the White Eagle Hall in New Jersey, chanting “GCW” as the show kicks off.
- No strikes to the throat or groin, no hair pulling, fish hooking, outside interference, foreign objects, eye gouging. No count outs but the matches must end in the ring. You can only win via submission or knock out – no pinfalls. No rope breaks either, because there are no ropes! This should be great.
TIME FOR #BLOODSPORT!!!!
— Will Mahoney (@HeelWillMahoney) April 4, 2019
Live coverage will begin when the show starts at 4pm ET (9pm for our friends in the UK). If you are watching along with us be sure to tweet us and let us know.
Tonight's the night fighting solves EVERYTHING.
Josh Barnett's: Bloodsport live from the White Eagle hall in Jersey City, NJ. 4pm est and streamed LIVE on @FiteTV.
— ??? ????????? (@JoshLBarnett) April 4, 2019