Shayna Baszler to take part in Josh Barnett's Bloodsport X during WrestleMania weekend

GCW and WWE made a huge announcement as Shayna Baszler will take part in Josh Barnett's Bloodsport heading into WrestleMania weekend.
WWE Monday Night RAW
WWE Monday Night RAW / Alex Bierens de Haan/GettyImages

Fightful Select reported some interesting news on Friday. Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport will repeatedly include “multiple” WWE talent. This is a huge step as WWE slowly pulls back its isolationist approach to professional wrestling. Looking at what Bloodsport is to wrestling, there are several names on the WWE roster that stand out as potential participants.

Bloodsport is an interesting presentation of professional wrestling. Held under the GCW banner, it takes the idea of the 1988 classic martial arts film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and applies it to the world of scripted combat. The event started back in 2018 with Matt Riddle set as the featured name but has since transitioned to Josh Barnett.

When thinking about shoot fighting and WWE, fans will immediately roll their eyes at the thought of Raw Underground. It was WWE’s attempt to do something similar, and while it was a nice shot to try something different, it eventually fell flat. It’s come back under WWE NXT, but still hasn’t found the same type of reception as this show under GCW.

With several performers on the WWE roster who have participated in some form of combat sports, a few names jump off the page as the perfect candidates to take part.

First and foremost, there’s none other than Shayna Baszler. She’s a pioneer in women’s MMA and has close ties to Barnett. Baszler trained under Barnett for much of her fighting career which included bouts in many of the top organizations that welcomed women’s fighters well before the UFC changed its stance on women competing in the Octagon.

Barnett announced via Twitter that she will be on the card against an opponent to be named later.

Sticking with the women’s division, Lola Vice is another name that could show up. She’s one that quickly caught the eye of decision-makers, and after a quick run toward the top, her placement seems to have cooled a bit. But if WWE wanted to get eyeballs on their inclusion in Bloodsport, it would make sense to have a fighter who took part in multiple bouts for Bellator take part in the show.

Transitioning over to the men’s division, Eddy Thorpe, also known as Karl Fredericks, is another competitor that would fit on the card. Thorpe is well-known for his time in New Japan, ROH, AEW, Warrior Wrestling, and several other groups that GCW caters to. He’s also in the most recent NXT Underground battles, defeating Damon Kemp and Dijak. He’d be the right fit to gain traction with fans of independent wrestling as he already has a following in that base.

Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport X is set for Thursday, April 4 from Penn’s Landing Caterers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The announced main event is Takuya Nomura versus Fuminori Abe. Other announced matches include Barnett versus Johnny Bloodsport (you know him as Johnny Nitro, Mondo, Morrison, or whatever name he’s going by today). It will be available to view on Triller TV.