MMA and pro-wrestling star Josh Barnett recently spoke with Denise Salcedo from UpNext Fighting to hype up this Thursday’s Bloodsport 9 special, which is being done in conjunction with GCW as a part of the promotion’s Collective weekend.
During the interview, the former UFC Heavyweight Champion discussed his relationship with members of the industry, and how the entire idea of the event is to make show people a different side of themselves.
A lot of what you see at Bloodsport is because of my relationship with people and my reputation in the industry, and my time spent with literally the gods of this sport. I have been very lucky to get to say that I had time under Karl Gotch and Billy Robinson, and Antonio Inoki has been a mentor. Never in my wildest dreams. But the most important thing is to honor that with how I approach pro wrestling, how I teach, and how I hold myself as a pro wrestler. That bleeds into everything I do, and when people recognize that, then they’re willing to do for me that which they wouldn’t do for other people. In return, I try to give them the purest, most open opportunity for them to show what pro wrestling is straight from their hearts.
Barnett would then be asked about his process for booking the Bloodsport events, one that he says is methodically thought out.
I would say the biggest challenge is trying to create those matchups that I really feel are going to show exactly what Bloodsport is about, and to keep up, not only the aesthetic but the spirit of that show. Plus, I want to make sure that these are top quality fights that you’re not gonna find anywhere else. Or if you’ve seen this happen somewhere else, that you didn’t see it like this. You can watch John Hennigan in a lot of places as Johnny Mundo and John Morrison and Johnny Everything, right? But what you see with him in Bloodsport is not what you’re gonna see anywhere else, and people aren’t gonna be aware for the most part that, ‘Oh yeah, John’s trained boxing under me for four months now, five months.’ He has a boxing match coming up in April in Creator Clash. He’s an ex-high school and collegiate wrestler. He’s not just coming in out of here as a guy trying to fake it until you make it. He’s the real deal.
He adds that the environment and style of Bloodsport matches are unlike anything else you’ve ever seen in wrestling.
Giving these guys a look that you’re not gonna see anywhere, watching them take off all the other aspects that you’re used to from seeing them in pro wrestling and seeing them in this pure environment, making those kind of proper matchups sometimes means I need people to have faith in this guy or gal that they’re not as familiar with, but I know they’re gonna see something special. Also to raise expectations of other particular wrestlers that might show up there. I’ve had quite a few high-flyers in Bloodsport that are out there shooting doubles and hitting arm locks and leg locks on people that you don’t see them do in other matches. It’s a challenge to find appropriate athletes for this. This is not a show for everyone. I don’t say that to be arrogant or to diminish or to talk bad about other wrestlers out there. But this show needs something that isn’t found in most of the people out there in the world of professional wrestling. But that’s okay, that’s why we exist.
In a separate interview, Barnett spoke about wanting to use WWE talents for future Bloodsport events. You can read about that here.
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)