Since there are no fans live and this seems to be becoming more of a monthly show now, they didn't do the usual fighter presentations at the start that I love, so this already feels less of a big deal. The venue looks good, far more appropriate than a ring shared with the rest of The Collective.
They've also added little vignettes before each match saying something about the competitor, which helped a lot with the early match MMA guys.
Max Bretos and Josh Barnett on commentary.
Diego Perez vs Gil Guardado - 4/10
Good little match, felt like a sparring session more than anything. Perez was the more impressive, but he looks quite generic, while Guardado's look is far more unique in wrestling. Perez submitted Guardado with a front choke after reversing a Kimura attempt.
Calder McColl vs Royce Isaacs - 6/10
Glad to see Isaacs here, ever since the NWA went into forced hiatus, he was a name that I missed the most from that promotion.
Match was mostly in the mat, a lot of countering and chain wrestling, but as they kept going, they did seem to get tired, or at least look slightly slowed. There's no rest holds in a Bloodsport type of match. McColl kept going for a chokehold, but Isaacs kept escaping until the third try, where he got the submission win. McColl looked impressive.
Bad Dude Tito vs Superbeast - 6.5/10
Superbeast has a great look, he has a Crossbones-looking mask, which by all means should work against you in a real competition like this, but dude is huge and jacked, stamina may not be an issue for him. His whole package was that of a clobbering powerhouse, but he lacked school, so Tito had a lot of trouble getting him down, but when he managed, he'd hurt Superbeast with locks. Eventually, Beast locked in a double wristlock for the win. Barnett has something with this Superbeast guy.
Alex Coughlin vs JR Kratos - 5/10
Coughlin had a lot of energy, but the size difference hurt the match a lot, I don't think it helped either that much. Coughlin couldn't really grapple as much, and Kratos beating up a smaller guy and taking some offense doesn't help either. Kratos is ok in the mat, but he's similar to Tankman, they're huge guys that I think do better when getting into striking fights and only go down to clobber people, not to chase submissions and counters. Kratos won with a knockout knee.
Kal Jak vs Nolan Edwards - Squash
This was another match with a huge size disparity and another match with a huge dude just beating the shit of a smaller guy. Jak won by straight up tossing Edwards into the wall and knocking him out.
Simon Grimm vs "Filthy" Tom Lawlor - 7.5/10
They referenced their history together, their matches on MLW. Grimm is using Junji Ito gear, I love it and I hate it at the same time.
Lawlor went after the midsection, while Grimm kept going for the arm submission. Every now and then they would stand up and exchange strikes, but end up in the mat again. At the end, after Grimm was really hurting in the rib area, they traded strikes and Lawlor landed a left and a running knee to the liver that bent Grimm and wasn't able to protect himself after Lawlor followed with hammers on the head. Good match.
Crazy to think that Grimm used to be a comedy geek in the fed.
Calvin Tankman vs Davey Boy Smith Jr. - 6/10
Short match, Davey gave Tankman a lot early on, but then just superpowered, dropped Tankman with a backdrop and got the submission with a LeBell Lock. Tankman is still quite green, but has places to go, his mat work looks off because of his size, and his striking needs some work, a lot of it looks soft, which would be ok in a pro wrestling match, but the whole Bloodsport idea is that this should be more violent.
Jeff Cobb vs "Dirty Daddy" Chris Dickinson - 7/10
Match saw Cobb be in the defensive most of the match, which showcased Dickinson, who we were told had been training a lot since his last Bloodsport performance. After a while in the mat, Cobb finally got to his feet and started suplexing Dickinson until he straight up knocked him out. I liked the dynamic of showing that Cobb has a big weakness in his submission chase, but at the same time, incredibly dangerous on his feet slamming you.
Barnett had a great call in this match, bringing up how Cobb is overly powerful and agile, but even if he knows submissions, he never goes for them, he is someone that will slam you and pin you when your body gives out, and that was something that could hurt Cobb in a KOs or submissions only ring.
Good show. Without fans and that one big main event, this Bloodsport felt less 'epic', but I get the impression that this seems to be turning into a bigger thing in the sense of serialized shows. If this is the case, doing a monthly Bloodsport, with recurring competitors, big names coming in and out, and simple gimmick and storyline development, there is a lot of potential of building something quite unique here.
Commentary was good, I liked how incredibly technical Barnett was, contrasting with Bretos, who knew his thing, but kept bouncing it back to Barnett for that extra knowledge.