Josh Barnett talks booking Shayna Baszler for Bloodsport: “It’s really a big deal”

Photo Courtesy: Game Changer Wrestling

Josh Barnett has talked about how he booked WWE star Shayna Baszler for the Bloodsport X show.

It is the first time an active WWE talent has been allowed to work an independent show during WrestleMania week.

In an interview with Phil Strum for the Under the Ring podcast, Barnett put the booking down to relationships that he had built up over years.

When Strum asked how the appearance came to be, Barnett replied:

I guess the easiest way to describe it is just through my relationships with people there, that’s really what it comes down to.

And with anybody, when speaking of a promotion, you’re always going to want to — if you’re going to do anything outside of it — you want a certain level of trust and consideration given to you.

He added:

It’s hard to lend your toys out when there’s so much money put into them and the product itself.

In general, of course, we see cross-promotion happening out there in the world of wrestling, but it’s really a big deal when you think about all the different things involved with it and the value of some of the athletes that are going back and forth.

But fortunately, through relationships I’ve cultivated over the years, something like having Shayna Baszler at GCW Bloodsport is a reality now. And I’m just super, super happy and honored to be able to do it. And I know that Shayna is gonna do fantastic.

I should know, I’ve been training her her entire career.

Shayna Baszler faces TNA’s Masha Slamovich at Bloodsport X. The show takes place at Penns Landing Caterers in Philadelphia on April 4th.

Later in the interview, Barnett talked about his booking philosophy and keeping “trade secrets” in an era when people understand the business better than ever.

The lines will forever and always be blurred. Our guys are not supposed to talk about it after matches. No, don’t break it down. Don’t get literal with it. Leave it in the air.

And every time we have a show, people will comment and I see it online, tons of comments: “That guy got hard-wayed”, or “I think that actually turned into a real one.” And you know what? I’m never gonna tell them.

He raised the incident when Cody Rhodes suffered a bad cut to the head from a Shawn Spears chair shot.

It’s a lot like Cody taking a chair shot way back when in AEW. And then everyone’s like, “My God, that was an unprotected chair shot.”

Then everybody started freaking out and telling everyone how it was a trick chair and how it was supposed to be.

It just ruined it, just blew the whole thing.

The thing is, everybody’s concerned about Cody getting hit. Well, we can talk about it when you’re the people doing the bit, right? Whether this was safe or not. That’s their discussion, not to mention, Cody chose to do that. He wasn’t forced into it. In fact, it was his concept and it was his idea.

But to then undermine the whole thing by reassuring everybody that it’s fake, so to speak, now it wasted the sacrifice that Cody made for the moment. And it completely destroyed whatever could have been created out of it.

About Neal Flanagan 840 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, Neal Flanagan is a former newspaper journalist and copy editor. In addition to reporting for POST Wrestling, he co-hosts The Wellness Policy podcast with Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman.