GCW Bloodsport 9 Report: Ibushi vs. Speedball, Moxley vs. Coughlin

Photo Courtesy: GCW

GCW Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 9

March 30th, 2023

By: John Siino

Ukrainian Culture Center in Los Angeles, CA

Commentary: Lenny Leonard & Dan Barry

Match Card
  • Jeff Cobb vs. Calder McColl
  • Erik Hammer vs. Calvin Tankman
  • Marina Shafir vs. Killer Kelly
  • Mike Bailey vs. Kota Ibushi *RECOMMENDED*
  • Yuya Uemura vs. Bad Dude Tito
  • Harry Smith vs. JR Kratos
  • Johnny Bloodsport vs. Royce Isaacs
  • Alex Coughlin vs. Jon Moxley *RECOMMENDED*
  • Timothy Thatcher vs. Josh Barnett *RECOMMENDED*

Jeff Cobb (2-0) vs. Calder McColl (2-0)

Right away, Calder McColl goes for kicks and takes down Jeff Cobb. McColl gets a waist lock on Cobb and tries to twist up on his leg, but Cobb escapes. McColl sits on the mat and challenges Cobb to step in, as he traps the leg again, taking Cobb down, before they stand and face off again. Cobb then gets on the mat and challenges McColl who takes Cobb down into a head scissors. Cobb powers out and throws McColl down by the neck, but McColl gets right on top and starts swinging away at Cobb. Cobb strikes right back until they roll out to the outside. Back inside, Cobb takes McColl down, but he rolls through, gets out and lands a couple more strikes. Cobb catches a flying triangle attempt and power bombs McColl down, followed by mounting punches as the referee stops the match.

Winner: Jeff Cobb by referee stoppage at 6:04

Calvin Tankman (2-2) vs. Erik Hammer (3-0)

Right way, Calvin Tankman takes Erik Hammer down and starts landing punches down on the back of his head, and as Hammer tries to get up, Tankman tosses him back down and keeps the punches going until Hammer rolls to the outside for a breather. Back inside, they continue the punches as Hammer starts hitting some knees to the mid-section again until Tankman takes Hammer down with a suplex.  Hammer reverses out and starts landing multiple elbows to Tankman’s head. They switch back and forth until Hammer puts on a double wrist lock as Tankman taps out right away.

Winner: Erik Hammer by submission at 2:52

Marina Shafir (2-0) vs. Killer Kelly (0-1)

Right away, Marina Shafir takes Killer Kelly down to the mat, but Kelly gets out, going after Shafir who takes her down with a Judo throw. Commentary name drops Roderick Strong, Gunther and Jon Moxley’s comments on Shafir during the Renee Paquette appearance. Shafir starts toying with Kelly and pushes her to the outside where she goes right after her and starts kneeing her against the apron. Kelly takes her down with a double leg before entering back in, as Shafir enters back in at the nine count. Kelly takes Shafir down with a German Suplex before trying to trap her in a choke, but Shafir gets out. Kelly kicks Shafir off and hits her with another German Suplex. They tussle a bit before Kelly drops some elbows and starts stretching Shafir. Kelly lands a couple knees to Shafir’s face, but Shafir palm strikes and takes Kelly down with a big boot. Shafir takes Kelly right down and tries to put a choke on, before putting on a body trap before Kelly taps out.

Winner: Marina Shafir by submission at 5:45

Mike Bailey (0-1) vs. Kota Ibushi (0-0)

Great reaction to Kota Ibushi as his introduction is announced as his return to pro wrestling with commentary running down all the issues he had leading up to this including the shoulder injury he announced this week on Twitter. They start in a fighting stance with Mike Bailey going for punches and kicks as the crowd chants ‘both these guys’. Ibushi eats Bailey’s kicks and tries punches of his own and eventually knocking Bailey down. Bailey takes Ibushi down with a spinning kick and puts on a choke, but Ibushi gets right out until Bailey puts on a Triangle Choke. Ibushi gets out and tries a body trap on Bailey, who escapes out and starts dropping punches. Ibushi mounts Bailey, but Bailey kicks Ibushi off, as Ibushi goes crashing down to the outside, almost landing on his injured shoulder. Ibushi comes back in and starts landing some hard kicks to Bailey, but Bailey comes right back with a barrage of kicks himself. Bailey hits the flipping double knees and puts on an arm bar, but Ibushi gets out and puts on a waist lock, but Bailey escapes to the outside to try and break it up, but Ibushi holds on and hits a crazy looking suplex. They get into a double arm lock, as Bailey hits a headbutt but Ibushi comes right back with a Regal Plex followed by the Kamigoye, as the referee stops the match.

Winner: Kota Ibushi by knockout at 6:54

Erik Paulson – Lifetime Achievement Award

Chavo Guerrero comes out to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Erik Paulson as he runs down his accomplishments including name dropping people he’s worked with and trained like Shinsuke Nakamura, Brock Lesnar, Josh Barnett and many more. Paulson comes out and starts talking about his career which unfortunately has a couple of audio issues throughout. Chavo presents him with the award and flowers, as the crowd cheers on.

Yuya Uemura (1-1) vs. Bad Dude Tito (1-4)

Right away Bad Dude Tito goes right after Yuya Uemura, sending him to the outside. Inside, Tito goes after Uemura with a face lock and suplexes him down while holding the neck. Uemura comes back with some arm drags until Tito locks on a cross arm breaker. They twist and turn a bit until Uemura lands a very hard sounding slap to Tito’s back. Uemura gets on the mat, as they start kicking away at each other before Tito cartwheels. Uemura hits a belly-to-belly suplex and a dropkick sending Tito to the outside where he follows him with a diving crossbody. Back inside, Uemura hits a German Suplex, holding on, but Tito turns it into a knee bar transitioning into an ankle lock. Tito grapevines the knee bar in, as Uemura taps out.

Winner: Bad Dude Tito by submission at 5:08

Uemura extends the hand after, but Tito pie faces him.

Harry Smith (5-1) vs. JR Kratos (4-2)

They start the match slow, circling and testing each other until finally locking up as Harry Smith takes JR Kratos down with a double wrist lock. They twist and turn on the mat a bit, as Smith puts on a heel hock before they both go up to a standing position. Smith puts on a waist lock, taking Kratos down to the mat, but he gets on top and puts on a double wrist lock. Smith escapes out after clasping his hands and points to his head that he’s a ‘thinker’. Smith takes Kratos right down with a throw, but Kratos puts on a head scissors before transitioning into elbows to Smith’s face. Smith comes back with knees to Kratos face, but Kratos comes back with a smack as they start trading punches and more smacks. They take it back down to the mat before Kratos tries to block Smith’s strikes before driving some down himself. Kratos puts on a Boston Crab, but isn’t able to hold on long enough. Smith comes back with knees and elbows to Kratos ribs and face before picking Kratos up for a power bomb. Kratos comes back with a knee strike and a kick that sends both men down on the mat. They start trading strikes on their knees before standing and speeding it up. Kratos blocks a kick by Smith and tries a suplex, but Smith reverses it into a Crossface until Kratos taps out.

Winner: Harry Smith by submission at 10:59

Johnny Bloodsport (1-0) vs. Royce Isaacs (2-3)

They go for take downs right away, but Johnny Bloodsport is able to escape out of a waist lock attack on the mat from Royce Isaacs. They start teasing each other with kicks until Johnny lands a punch that gets Isaacs mad. Isaacs comes back with knees and a suplex, before mounting Johnny. They roll around a bit each trying to trap the other until Isaacs puts on a double wrist lock. Johnny escapes and drops some knees, as they tie up a bit more rolling around in the middle of the ring.  Isaacs stops this with three back to back German Suplexes attempts, but Johnny gets out of the third attempt and mounts with a bunch of punches, a kick, before flipping over into the Muta Lock. Isaacs breaks out and puts on a rear naked choke hold, that Johnny rolls out of into a double wrist lock. Johnny rolls into a cross arm breaker attempt, but Isaacs turns it into a Texas Cloverleaf. Johnny gets out and tries to take Isaacs down, but Isaacs stays on top of him before hitting the Storm Zero piledriver and tries to choke out Johnny. Johnny gets out with a gator roll and puts on a front choke as Isaacs quickly taps out.

Winner: Johnny Bloodsport by submission at 7:52

Jon Moxley (3-1) vs. Alex Coughlin (2-3)

They get right into each other’s faces before the bell rings, but as soon as it does, Jon Moxley starts kicking away, but Alex Coughlin takes him right down. They stand up and start trading smacks, before going right into a lockdown and a take down by Moxley. They start rolling around on the mat, before Coughlin tries to lift up Moxley, but Moxley gets up and pushes Coughlin to the outside. Coughlin lifts up Moxley and power bombs him onto the apron. Coughlin follows with a couple more suplexes in the ring before putting on a wishbone on Moxley. Coughlin puts on a calf crusher, but Moxley breaks it up by pulling on Coughlin’s hair and puts on a front choke. Coughlin powers his way up and slams Moxley down with a power bomb. They start trading quick short uppercuts before Moxley lands a bunch of headbutts before putting on a rear naked choke hold. Moxley follows with Dirty Deeds, but Coughlin gets right back up as they start trading quick smacks. Moxley follows that with a jumping knee before landing strikes to the back of Coughlin’s head. Moxley puts on the bulldog choke, but Coughlin amazingly powers up. Moxley brings him right back down and drives a knee into Coughlin’s face. Moxley keeps the choke on until the referee calls the match off.

Winner: Jon Moxley by referee stoppage at 6:31

Moxley asks for a hand shake after, and Coughlin gives it to him.

Josh Barnett (4-0-1) vs. Timothy Thatcher (1-2)

Right away they go to try to take each other down, until Timothy Thatcher locks Josh Barnett down on the mat with a wrist lock. Barnett turns it into an ankle lock attempt, but Thatcher escapes. They roll around a bit more until Barnett tries a knee bar, that Thatcher elbows his way out of. Thatcher starts kneeing and elbowing down on Barnett’s ribs before stretching Barnett out with a surf board. Barnett puts on a knee bar, but Barnett power outs with a suplex and mounts Thatcher who tries to cover and block Barnett’s punches. Thatcher gets out and puts on a Half Crab, but Barnett quickly turns it into a knee bar. Thatcher starts kicking away at Barnett’s face to escape out and starts raining down strikes. Thatcher starts stretching on Barnett’s elbow, but Barnett powers his way up and drops Thatcher right down. Thatcher starts dropping some knees on Barnett’s ribs, but he gets out and puts on a double wrist lock followed by elbows. Barnett puts on a guillotine, but Thatcher gets out and puts on a double wrist lock with his leg around Barnett’s neck. Barnett gets out as they go back and forth with holds until they stand where Barnett hits a Saito Suplex. Bit of technical difficulties, but when we come back, they are locked up as they both roll to the outside. When they get back in, Barnett challenges Thatcher to get up as they start trading strikes. Thatcher lands some uppercuts, but Barnett comes back with kicks. Thatcher lands an Enziguri and a belly-to-back suplex and tries to put on another double wrist lock. They stand as Barnett hits an Exploder Suplex followed by a powerbomb. Upon landing, Thatcher has the arm trapped before transitioning into a knee bar, as Barnett taps out giving him his first loss in Bloodsport.

Winner: Timothy Thatcher by submission at 12:50

Final Thoughts

My favorite part of the ‘Bloodsport’ shows is the pacing. Any match could end in any way or time, and anything you would expect in a regular wrestling show just gets thrown out the window. The removal of ropes makes some interesting spots and gets the crowd even more into it. Kota Ibushi got a great reaction in his first match back, but this just an appetizer and would love for him and Mike Bailey to get plenty more time in their next encounter. Marina Shafir impressed me here more than she has been able to show during her time in AEW recently, and Timothy Thatcher ending Josh Barnett’s winning streak definitely felt like a big moment. I know audio issues are a regularity in GCW, but when someone is being honored with an award that should be fixed, or at least record a video message instead to avoid any issues, as I would of really liked to hear what he had to say about his career. The show flew by hitting just over 2 hours, which is the right length and way to start your WrestleMania Week if you so choose this show as your starting point, which I highly recommend you do.

About John Siino 371 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer at POISONRANA, co-host of 'Collision Course' and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.