SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
GCW’S THE COLLECTIVE RESULTS
JOSH BARNETT’S BLOODSPORT
OCTOBER 11, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON FITE TV FROM INDIANAPOLIS, IN
-The show began with an big introduction in the middle of the ring without ropes. From there, they worked through an opening ceremony in which all of the fighters were introduced. Each walked to the ring and stood as the audience clapped and cheered.
Heydorn’s Analysis: Tremendous way to start the show. Unique and effective in presenting the product in a very serious and sport-like way. Really nice touch. Pops of the ceremony go to Jon Moxley, Chris Dickinson, Homicide, and Calvin Tankman.
-When the ceremony was over, Josh Barnett was introduced. He walked to the ring and talked a little about the concept of the show before selling it and talking about what to expect. From there, the fighters left the ring and the announce team ran through the rules of Bloodsport. Rules included the fights could only be stopped by referee stoppage be it KO, TKO, or submission. When finished, the first match began.
(1) SIMON GRIMM vs. MATT MAKOWSKI
Both men stood to start things off to little avail on either side. Grimm went for the takedown out of the gate and held control for a bit until Makowski rolled him and took control himself. Both men rolled out of the ring which forced a restart. When the restart happened, Makowski hit Grimm with a vicious kick to the mid-section. Grimm was hurt, but was able to secure another takedown. There, he once again held control to start, but Makowski took over with punches. Both men continued to wrestle on the mat with Makowski flipping Grimm again – this time with a moonsault. Both men then got to their feet after Makowski insisted before connecting with a punch to force the issue. In the end, Grimm connected with a half and half suplex over his head out of a punching exchange to win the match.
WINNER: Grimm via referee stoppage
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not a lot of excitement in this one, but the mat work was interesting to watch – especially the moonsault transition that Makowski pulled off. Grimm got the win, but it was so out of the blue that it was hardly definitive. A good tone setter for what the Bloodsport concept is.
(2) KILLER KELLY vs. ALLYSIN KAY – Women’s Tournament Match
The crowd was split in terms of who they wanted to win and showed it with dueling chants as the bell rang. Kay started things off with a takedown and got it, but her control was short-lived as Kelly escaped. Both women worked to get the upper hand standing up, but Kay won that battle and took Kelly to the mat. Once again, Kelly battled out and escaped. From there, they battled for control standing up again, but again, Kay took Kelly to the mat. This time though, she controlled the wrist of Kelly. Eventually, Kelly battled out with elbow strikes. Both women exchanged kicks and other strikes until Kelly took Kay down with a drop toe hold. There, she crushed Kay with a cross face shot to the forehead. Kelly hit a second, but Kay was able to avoid a third and lock in a leg submission. Kelly broke that hold, but was visibly hurt. Kay and Kelly battled standing up with strikes as the crowd chanted for Kelly. As that happened, Kay destroyed Kelly with a punch and then ran over to mount her before delivering another flurry of punches. Kelly then followed suit with the same tactic. Kay slowed Kelly by flipping the mount position. There, she locked in a cross arm breaker, but Kelly escaped. Her escape didn’t matter as Kay put a leg submission on her again. In the end, Kelly escaped countless attempts by Kay to put her away including a vicious run of elbows to the face. Kay finally locked in a head scissor submission which forced Kelly to tap out.
WINNER: Kay via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Good intensity throughout. Both women really sold the pain well and fired up believably. Kay has a great look and one that fits perfectly in this environment.
(3) LINDSAY SNOW vs. HIRSCH – Women’s Tournament Match
The beginning part of the fight took place on the mat. Both women exchanged holds and control with some intermittent strikes in between. Hirsch brought the the fight to a standing position and worked to exchange strikes, but Snow dominated her and dropped her with a kick. Snow then immediately locked in a heel submission to get the tap out and win.
WINNER: Snow via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Short, but sweet. Hirsch was presented by commentary as out of element a bit and the fight proved that out.
(4) CALVIN TANKMAN vs. ALEXANDER JAMES
Tankman worked to take the momentum early with some power shots, but the fight went to the ground after them. Tankman controlled on top and connected with punches as the audience chanted his name. From there, Tankman continued with control and hit some punishing strikes. Tankman worked to keep control with a submission hold, but James reversed it and put Tankman in a rear-naked choke. That looked like it would end him, but he reversed it into the same mount position that he used to control the early part of the fight. In the end, Tankman reversed a choke submission by dead lifting James to his feet. There, both men exchanged punches until Tankman dropped James and followed with a vicious punch that ended it by referee stoppage.
WINNER: Tankman via referee stoppage
Heydorn’s Analysis: Calvin Tankman showed some range with this performance. He looked intense and like a credible fighter. The crowd certainly helped him along too as they were behind him at every turn. Because these GCW shows are in Tankman’s hometown, he comes off as a star due to the reactions that he gets. He’s riding that momentum. Good for him.
(5) ERIK HAMMER vs. CAL JAK
The bout started on the mat and stayed their for most of the fight. When the fighters did make it to their feet, they exchanged strikes until Hammer dropped Jak with a suplex. From there, Hammer controlled the match and locked in a armbar submission for the win.
WINNER: Hammer via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: This was slow, but methodical. If you like that kind of fight, this will certainly be for you. That part was good, but it lacked the intensity of the others. Still, the suplex was damn impressive.
(6) TOM LAWLOR vs. HOMICIDE
Lawlor took Homicide down to start things off, but couldn’t gain full control as Homicide was able to escape all hold attempts. Lawlor continued the attempts, but Homicide passed all of them and flipped Lawlor the bird for good measure. Eventually, Lawlor got Homicide down and tried to capitalize with kicks, but Homicide yelled out “F**k you” and got back to his feet to the crowd’s pleasure. There, both men exchanged some vicious strikes. Lawlor held momentum after that with consistent punches that floored Homicide. Lawlor went for a kick, but Homicide countered it into a submission. Homicide kept the submission in place, but Lawlor eventually took the back and the control of the fight. The fight got to the standing position again and both men exchanged punches. The strikes caused the action to back down to the mat and there, Homicide took control with some vicious stomps directly to Lawlor’s face. After about ten, Homicide let up and Lawlor got his bearings. He then rushed Homicide for takedown and locked in a submission. Lawlor held that for a bit until Homicide countered it with an exploder suplex. After, he went for the Cop Killer, but Lawlor escaped and put Homicide in the half crab. Homicide worked to get to the ropes, but couldn’t make it tapped out.
WINNER: Lawlor via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: That was a war. Lawlor eating about 10 stomps to the face was intense to watch and the climax of the fight. Both men brought intensity. The verbal work at the beginning of the fight by Homicide set the hook for the audience. The rest of the drama was all built on that. Really fun stuff.
(7) JOSH ALEXANDER vs. DAVEY BOY SMITH JR.
Davey Boy Smith controlled this entire match. Alexander was able to cause a few breaks in the action, but Smith figured out a way to get control out of those breaks each time. In the end, Smith and Alexander exchanged forearm strikes in the center of the ring. Smith took the upper hand with harder shots and dropped Alexander to the mat with his third unanswered shot. With Alexander down, Smith hit a powerbomb which in turn caused the referee stoppage.
WINNER: Smith Jr. via referee stoppage
Heydorn’s Analysis: Not much to this one. Davey Boy Smith looked dominant, but also a little like he didn’t belong. He controlled the match and though the ground stuff lacked intensity, his striking at the end was legitimate. Not awful, but probably the worst fight of the night to this point.
(8) ALLYSIN KAY vs. LINDSAY SNOW – Women’s Tournament Finals
Kay worked to maintain control on the mat throughout the early part of the match. She did so, but was not able to inflict much damage with that control. Both women tied up again and went down to the mat near the outside of the ring. There, Snow locked in her heel hook and Kay immediately tapped out.
WINNER: Snow via submission
Heydorn’s Analysis: Just like her first fight, Snow was positioned as the favorite via commentary. The heel hook came out of nowhere, but definitively put Snow over as the winner.
-After the fight, Josh Barnett walked out and awarded Lindsay Snow with the tournament trophy.
(9) JON MOXLEY vs. CHRIS DICKINSON
This was hot right out of the gate with the audience firmly behind Moxley, but respectful of Dickinson as well. Both men exchanged ground work and stood and struck throughout the entirety of the bout. Moxley tossed Dickinson into the ring post which gave him the advantage. From there, he worked to build on it and was successful until Dickinson was able to counter the Moxley offense into a series of back suplexes. Soon after, Moxley recovered and locked in a choke hold on Dickinson and took the win.
WINNER: Moxley via referee stoppage
Heydorn’s Analysis: That was a blast. The audience really responded due to Moxley’s appearance and was firmly in his corner. Dickinson really delivered though and hung with Jon. Not just in terms of the ring work, but in presenting as a star of the match. Surprised he hasn’t been gobbled up by AEW or WWE by now. Glad they left the big ring post spot for this match as it was the main event and meant something because we hadn’t seen it before.
-After the match, Jon Moxley took the microphone and cut a promo on keeping indy wrestling alive. In it, he put over indy wrestling and Chris Dickinson in particular.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a fun show to watch for a variety of different reasons. For one, it was unique in terms of presentation and style. It was also fun seeing stars out of their element and in the middle of that new environment. Some of that uniqueness didn’t work though. The mat work in some matches was flat and very similar bout to bout. That was especially true for some of the lower card bouts in which the participants were unknown. The stars translated well as the unique environment drove interest and made the monotonous ground work interesting because the audience cared. Moxley and Dickinson was the highlight. They had a fully invested crowd and they used that to their advantage. Not all of this was successful, but I give an A for effort and would watch again.
NOW CHECK OUT HEYDORN’S OTHER GCW COVERAGE: GCW’S THE COLLECTIVE RESULTS: Heydorn’s report on For The Culture featuring AJ Gray vs. Dezmond Xavier, ACH vs. Lee Moriarty, JTG vs. Trey Miguel, and more