Shayna Baszler is set to participate in Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport, marking a notable collaboration between WWE and the independent wrestling scene.

It was reported this past Friday that multiple WWE talents were slated to compete at Bloodsport, an event technically promoted by GCW. This revelation surprised many, considering that AEW talents have also been featured on Bloodsport, and historically, WWE has rarely allowed its talents to work independent shows.

Behind this development lie deeper insights into the relationship between GCW, WWE, and past efforts to facilitate such collaborations. It was revealed that Shayna Baszler was not the sole main roster talent approached for the event, and this wasn’t the first attempt by Josh Barnett to include WWE talent.

Years ago, Barnett had explored the possibility of Jessamyn Duke, then under WWE contract, participating in Bloodsport. While Duke was receptive to the idea, WWE did not grant approval at the time. Despite Duke’s background in training with Barnett, as well as her experience in UFC and The Ultimate Fighter, she has since focused on her Okay Gamer streaming platform following her release from WWE in 2021.


Sources within WWE informed Fightful Select that Josh Barnett and Triple H have had a longstanding relationship, with Barnett personally reaching out to request Baszler’s appearance on the show.

There have been claims circulating about WWE and GCW working together “again,” However that had previously clarified this wasn’t the case.

Two years ago, it was reported that a photo of GCW Owner Brett Lauderdale and Stephanie McMahon, along with several GCW talents and staff in a suite at WrestleMania, led to rumors of a partnership between GCW and WWE. It was later confirmed to be just a playful jest. The suite actually belonged to Orange Crush, a co-owner of Jersey Championship Wrestling, and McMahon was simply greeting everyone in attendance, regardless of their affiliation with GCW.

While the relationship between WWE and GCW may not involve direct collaboration, it’s evident that there is an amicable understanding between the two entities, with past instances resulting in good-natured amusement rather than contention.

Which other talents from WWE would you like to see work alongside Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport for future events? Let us know in the comments below.

Tags: WWE Featured
Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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