Preview: GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5 (2/20/21)

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One week removed from Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 4, Game Changer Wrestling is set to return with more hard-hitting action. Airing from Electric Pony Studios in Los Angeles, California, GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5 looks to deliver a greater impact than its predecessor. Last week, GCW made a huge announcement for this upcoming event, pitting a man undefeated across multiple Bloodsport events against one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling. Take a deep dive into the full card, as well as a few highlights, to prepare for this upcoming show.

  • Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Jon Moxley
  • Jeff Cobb vs. “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
  • JR Kratos vs. Chris Dickinson
  • Rocky Romero vs. Simon Grimm
  • Alex Coughlin vs. Royce Isaacs
  • Kal Jak vs. Superbeast
  • Calvin Tankman vs. Nolan Edward
  • Bad Dude Tito vs. Calder McColl

A Tour of Two Islands

Last week, Jeff Cobb made his GCW debut a win. At Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 4, he took on long-time GCW competitor Chris Dickinson. Though “Dirty Dickinson” put forth a valiant effort, it was the former NEVER Openweight Champion in Cobb that secured a victory. This was a hard-hitting affair, as one would expect from Cobb and Dickinson, and it allowed the “Hawaiian Juggernaut” to start his GCW j0urney off on the right foot. Cobb’s accolades are numerous; in addition to New Japan Pro Wrestling, he has held gold in such promotions as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring of Honor. However, heading into Bloodsport 5, Cobb will take on yet another challenge.

Enter “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, who had his own success at Bloodsport 4. During the event in question, the former MLW World Heavyweight Champion successfully knocked out Simon Grimm; the latter opponent will have his hands full at this upcoming event, as we will learn later. In any event, the proprietor of “Filthy Island” stands as one of the most dangerous men in the history of Bloodsport. What many fans may not know, however, is that Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5 won’t be the first time that Cobb and Lawlor stand toe-to-toe in singles competition.

Cobb and Lawlor have taken on one another in different organizations over the past few years. Their first encounter took place in 2017, at an MLW event; on this night, Lawlor emerged supreme. From there, they’ve met in promotions including Preston City Wrestling and Absolute Intense Wrestling, trading victories along the way. It can be argued that Bloodsport 5 is the biggest stage where they’ve battled yet. Expect this encounter to be nothing short of violent.

Rocky Romero Makes GCW Debut at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5

In one of the big stories heading into Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5, Rocky Romero will be making his GCW in-ring debut at the event in question. Longtime New Japan Pro Wrestling fans will undoubtedly be familiar with Romero’s work and accomplishments. In NJPW alone, Romero became a one-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and eight-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Romero secured gold with different competitors during his time in NJPW, including current AEW star Trent. This weekend, the always-on hypeman for Roppongi 3K will be in for a different challenge as he steps into his first Bloodsport fight.

At Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5, Romero will take on Simon Grimm. At last week’s Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 4, Grimm battled “Filthy” Tom Lawlor. Despite a spirited effort by the former NXT Tag Team Champion, it was the leader of Team Filthy that emerged victorious in their hard-hitting encounter. However, Grimm isn’t a competitor to let a loss keep him down. In addition to being an accomplished professional wrestler, the man also known as Simon Gotch has a martial arts background to his name as well. Grimm brings an old-school style of combat to Bloodsport that makes him an extra challenge for the debuting Romero.

This isn’t to say that the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion will enter Bloodsport unprepared. While Romero is an accomplished wrestler in his own right, not unlike Grimm, he holds an MMA background of his own. Romero has adopted such techniques as the Fujiwara armbar and octopus stretch, both of which may be on display as he battles Grimm at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5. Will Romero make his GCW debut a win at the expense of Grimm, or will it be Grimm that stops his opponent’s momentum dead in its tracks?

“I’m Gonna Rip His Head Off and Put It On My Wall.”

At GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 4, Davey Boy Smith Jr. battled Calvin Tankman in the second-to-last match of the evening. Though Smith had been successful in previous Bloodsport events, the up-and-coming Tankman proved to be an extra challenge. Despite the sheer power of “Heavyweight Hustle” himself, it was the multi-generational star that was able to pick up the win via submission. With this victory, Smith continued his undefeated in Bloodsport. Smith is one of the most successful stars in the event’s history. At Bloodsport 4, however, GCW made a major announcement that threatened this spot.

It was confirmed, at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5, Jon Moxley would be making his return to GCW. More importantly, he would be doing so by challenging Smith at the aforementioned event. The former AEW World Champion acknowledged Smith as the toughest competitor in Bloodsport. Thus, Moxley was gunning for him. “I’m gonna rip his head off and put it on my wall,” promised Moxley. Strong words from the “Death Rider,” to say the least. From the moment this vignette aired, high stakes were immediately created heading into Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5.

Not unlike Smith, Moxley is undefeated in Bloodsport competition as well. At Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 3 late last year, Moxley defeated Chris Dickinson. Furthermore, this will be the first time that Smith and Moxley will meet in-ring. Keep in mind that while Smith’s career in WWE was winding down, Moxley’s time in the same company was just starting to come to fruition. Since then, both men have become more grizzled and experienced, plying their craft in different organizations. The love for the art of wrestling will have to take a backseat at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5, however. For Smith and Moxley, combat for supremacy is the name of the game. Who will be dealt their first Bloodsport loss?

GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5 will take place at Electric Pony Studios in Los Angeles, California on February 20, 2021.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 5 is set to air on Saturday at 7 PM EST on iPPV. It will also be broadcast via

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