BloodSport 9 Review (3/30/23)

BloodSport 9; Mox vs. Coughlin match card

Here is our BloodSport 9 review for the latest edition of Josh Barnett’s BloodSport.

The camera opens to a hot crowd and a packed Ukrainian Heritage center. The show opens with introductions and rules as participants make their way to the ring.

Bloodsport 9 Review

Calder McColl vs Jeff Cobb

Jeff Cobb enters first as commentary mentions his previous participation in the Olympics for Guam. Next up, McColl joins the ring representing his heritage via kilt.

Testing each other, McColl takes Cobb down with a shot at the legs, followed by some great chain wrestling. Both stand as the crowd acknowledges the ability of both talents. Continued chain work between both as Cobb uses his weight advantage against McColl. Both men roll to the floor and the fight is brought back inside. An attempted flying triangle allows Cobb to deliver a HUGE powerbomb for the win! | This showing was a great opener and showcased the strength of both men. The big determining factor was the strength and size of Cobb.

Kota Ibushi def. Mike Bailey

Speedball is out first to a hyped crowd. The crowd comes alive for Kota Ibushi’s entrance and recognition is served. Incredible show of respect between both to start the show. Bout starts with both talents sizing each other up. Ibushi catches Bailey slightly knocking him down. Groundwork between both competitors leads Bailey to mount strikes on Ibushi. Roles are reserved as Ibushi goes on the offensive. Bailey throws Ibushi outside via modified monkey flip! Ibushi renters and begins throwing kicks, taking Bailey down. Bailey with kicks and takes Ibushi down! Double knees to Ibushi and attempted arm bar is reversed. Ibushi brings Bailey from the floor back into the ring with a German Suplex! Regal plex to Bailey and Kamigoye gives Ibushi the win! | AWESOME start for both talents busy weekends! Watch this one again and get some study time in!

Bad Dude Tito def. Yuya Uemura

Yuya Uemura enters with a 1-1, having previously lost at BloodSport 7 to Davey Richards and defeating Speedball Mike Bailey at BloodSport 8. Tito joins the record with a 1-4 record in BloodSport. Both men lock up and walk to the edge of the ring. Yuya gets Tito off his feet with a leg takedown. Face lock takedown by Tito. Tito works Yuya on the ground with an arm lock. Tito takes Yuya to the ground again after attempting to stand. Yuya goes prone attempting to pull Tito down to no avail. Tito has taken to the floor with Yuya diving out after. Tito and Yuya return to the ring and Tito locks an ankle lock in and Yuya taps. | This matchup was a slow build but finished strong in the end. Good chain wrestling and some strong grapples made it a worthwhile match.

Johnny Bloodsport def. Royce Isaacs

J. BloodSport is the first to enter and followed closely by Isaacs. This match started with a typical wrestling lockup; which is almost out of place. BloodSport looks to take Issacs down via leg takedown to no avail. Trading kick attempts end with Issacs getting BloodSport in a leg trap suplex. Both men take it to the ground and Johnny Bloodsport ends up in a double wrist lock. Side mount reversal with knees to the ribs by BloodSport. Insane German suplexes by Royce Issacs to BloodSport. BloodSport recovers and applies a float over the chin lock. BloodSport attempts an arm-breaker and Issacs reveres into a Texas cloverleaf. BloodSport manages to take a pile driver and after the attempted choke, grabs Issacs into a front-face guillotine for the win. | This has been the sleeper match of the night! Didn’t expect a lot out of this but it certainly surprised many with a few big maneuvers and a desperate ending.

Erik Hammer def. Calvin Tankman

Tankman enters first followed by Erik Hammer. Hammer comes in with an undefeated streak in the open judo world. Hammer attempts to take Tankman down but it is blocked. Tankman uses his size to maneuver Hammer to the mat. Tankman with a massive side suplex to Hammer. Hammer recovers with rear mount and repeated strikes to the back. Hammer locks in an arm bar and Tankman taps. | First glance, it was certain that Tankman was taking the win, but Hammer remains 4-0 in BloodSport. This match was another great battle.

Davey Boy Smith Jr. def. JR Kratos

Davey Boy Smith Jr. returns to BloodSport with an emotionless expression. He enters the ring with a 5-1 record. Kratos follows suit to the ring with a 4-2 record. Stare down starts things off and continues with both talents feeling how the other will move. Smith goes for the arm lock and takes Kratos to the ground. Mat work continues with Smith leading into a leg lock. Standing again, Smith shoots and Kratos blocks with a headlock, as Smith escapes. Smith with an arm lock takedown into an attempted short arm bar. Kratos with a side mount but Smith out maneuvers Kratos and begins kneeing the head of Kratos. Massive elbow exchanges and both men return to the mat. Smith and Kratos return to standing and Smith with a MASSIVE power bomb on Kratos. Kratos stands and delivers a spinning heel kick. Both men are down on their knees while throwing elbows. Returning to a standing position, Smith takes Kratos into a Crossface and taps. | Another slow yet appropriately paced matchup. The ending went smoothly and wasn’t predictable. Both big men delivered in this one.

Marina Shafir def. Killer Kelly

Shafir approaches the ring in a very calm and focused manner with a stone-faced look. Commentary mentioning the extensive MMA background of Shafir. Killer Kelly follows suit with a big smile while staring Shafir down. Introductions set the tone for an intense opening. Groundwork starts the matchup, as Shafir takes Kelly down with a judo throw upon standing. Shafir continues to throw Killer a Kelly around the ring. Taken outside, the fight continues. Shafir has taken to the floor by Kelly. Kelly goes for a rear choke and follows with a German suplex. Kelly traps Shafir in a stretch followed by repeated knees to the face. Shafir makes a comeback and lands a float-over suplex! Shafir locks in an intense triangle hold and gets the win. | Fantastic back-and-forth match-up. Both women showed they can handle some serious punishment in terms of MMA styles.

Jon Moxley def. Alex Coughlin

Coughlin makes a quick entrance and Moxley follows right behind. Coughlin attempts to put Moxley down but fails. Moxley outmaneuvers Alex Coughlin and works him to the ground. Moxley goes for the triangle but Coughlin reverses. Moxley sends Coughlin to the outside and locks a triangle in. Moxley gets power moved on the ring apron edge. This allows Coughlin to take Moxley into the ring and work into a stump puller submission. Both men continue the groundwork until Coughlin is able to powerbomb Moxley. Upon standing, Moxley deliver headbutts and applied a bulldog choke. Moxley clubs Coughlin and locks the Bulldog Choke in for the win. | Great showing in such a short amount of time. Moxley looked to be in great shape and handled the younger Coughlin well.

Josh Barnett vs Timothy Thatcher

Thatcher enters to an excited crowd. Barnett enters to an excited crowd. Both men look ready to send the other home early. Bell rings and the grappling begins. Thatcher takes Barnett to the ground, but Barnett easily counters. Thatcher looks for an arm breaker on the ground and Barnett recovers to Thatcher’s legs. Both men continue to counter each other’s groundwork. Thatcher is using strikes and knees while Barnett continues to use the ground to his advantage. Front face suplex by Barnett to Thatcher changes the pace. Barnett attacks every limb and Thatcher returns the favor. Thatcher applied short-arm scissors, slowing the attacks down. Thatcher continues to attack Barnett’s ribs with several knee strikes. Barnett shifts to the offensive and manages a brief front-face guillotine. Thatcher reverses into an arm lock and locks it in. Barnett counters with a Saito suplex. Both men stand and start attacking with harsh strikes. Barnett gets hit with an enziguri. Returning to their feet, Barnett with a powerbomb, but Thatcher counters and ends the fight via a leg lock roll to Barnett. | Both men played to their strengths and weaknesses. The ending was a great surprise as many may have expected Thatcher to take the loss. Fantastic main event and features so much technical art. Definitely worth a watch!

Video montage honoring Erik Paulson and showcasing his MMA career. Chavo Guerrero enters the ring, and discusses and honors Paulson’s career as he is presented with the Josh Barnett Lifetime Achievement Award. Erik Paulson enters to accept his well-deserved award and shows his appreciation for it.

Overall Thoughts: BloodSport 9 featured so much great technical wrestling and awesome striking/grappling combos. Even if you are not a fan of MMA styling, this show had something to offer you. Thatcher closing the show by taking the win made this one feel a little more special compared to previous BloodSports. Highly recommend it if you enjoy catch-style wrestling or MMA.

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. Bloodsport 9 aired on FITE+