Josh Barnett Explains How He Booked Big WWE Superstar Shayna Baszler For GCW Bloodsport

AEW Josh Barnett

Josh Barnett explains how he was able to get the latest bit of “forbidden door” crossover from WWE. Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport will feature an active WWE Superstar in Shayna Baszler competing outside WWE.

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GCW holds an annual event called Bloodsport or Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport. On a recent episode of Under the Ring: Pro Wrestling Conversations, Josh Barnett talked about how he was able to get WWE to loan out Shayna Baszler for Bloodsport.

“I guess the easiest way to describe it is through my relationships with people there. That’s really what it comes down to. With anybody, when speaking of a promotion, if you’re going to do anything outside of it, you’re going to want a certain level of trust and consideration given to you. It’s hard to lend your toys out when there’s so much money put into them and the product itself.

… Fortunately through relationships I’ve cultivated over the years something like having Shayna Baszler at GCW Bloodsport is a reality now and I’m super super happy and honored to be able to do it. I know Shayna is going to do fantastic. I should know, I’ve been training her her entire career.”

Josh Barnett via Wrestling Inc.

The Door Is Becoming Less Forbidden

WWE Claudio Castagnoli and Josh Barnett
Courtesy Of AEW

The concept of the “forbidden door” is becoming less and less of a rare thing. AEW and NJPW have loaned each other wrestlers many times. TNA/IMPACT and AEW have also had stars appear on the other’s programming many times. However, the one big promotion which has been very wary of opening the “forbidden door” in the past has been WWE.

In the new era of Triple H that door has opened quite a bit more. WWE loaned out Shinsuke Nakamura to wrestle The Great Muta in Japan. Most recently they allowed TNA star Jordynne Grace to appear in the Women’s Royal Rumble match. However, this particular case is a bigger deal because it is a US promotion on US soil.

Slam At Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport

TNA Masha Slamovich and Rosemary
Courtesy Of TNA

Baszler will face TNA’s Masha Slamovich. Slamovich is a former two-time TNA Knockouts World Tag Team champion and a former GCW World champion. She was the first and only woman to hold that championship.

Barnett is a well-respected MMA fighter and former UFC Heavyweight champion. He has moved over to the world of pro wrestling and has worked for NJPW, TNA and AEW. His MMA background made him the perfect person to hold the Bloodsport events.

WWE Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey
Courtesy Of WWE

The Bloodsport event is a complete departure from the traditional pro wrestling event. It focuses on a “worked-shoot” style of match. There are no ropes or turnbuckles for the ring. It is just a square canvas mat to give it a more shoot-style match reminiscent of the Bloodsport movie. The matches are also wrestled in a very stiff style.

Baszler’s MMA background made her the perfect choice from WWE to wrestle in the Bloodsport event. Barnett revealed that Baszler wasn’t the only WWE star he was looking at to wrestle for the event.

“I’ve spoken to CM Punk. It would be great to have Chad Gable or Bron Breakker or any number of people with amateur backgrounds. Charlie Dempsey is out there showing catch-as-catch-can.” H/T Wrestling Inc.

WWE Shayna Baszler
Courtesy Of WWE

This year’s Bloodsport will take place on April 4, in  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will feature TNA stars Nic Nemeth (Dolph Ziggler) vs. Mike Bailey, the legendary Minoru Suzuki will face Royce Isaacs and Barnett will face Johnny Bloodsport (John Morrison).

Having events like this is interesting and a great way to showcase a talent that is hard to show in regular wrestling matches. It will also show Baszler wrestling a stiff style and may give her fan support in WWE.

What do you think of Shayna Baszler wrestling in Bloodsport? Do you think it is smart for WWE to let their wrestlers appear in an event with an increased chance of injury? Out of Punk, Gable, Dempsey, and Breakker, who would you most like to see wrestle in next year’s Bloodsport? Do you think the “forbidden door” will ever be open enough to allow a WWE Superstar to wrestle an AEW star? Let us know on social media who from AEW and WWE you would most like to see wrestle at next year’s Bloodsport.

Sources: Wrestling Inc., Under the Ring: Pro Wrestling Conversations, Wrestling Inc.

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Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist