Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport featuring Shayna Baszler marks a significant collaboration between WWE and the independent wrestling scene. Barnett recently unveiled the process behind selecting Baszler for the event.

The news of multiple WWE talents being scheduled to compete at Bloodsport, an event technically promoted by GCW, came as surprise to many. This is particularly noteworthy given that talents from AEW have also been featured on Bloodsport in the past. Historically, WWE has been cautious about allowing its talents to work independent shows, making this development unexpected and intriguing for wrestling fans.

Speaking on the Under The Ring podcast, Josh Barnett attributed Shayna Baszler’s upcoming appearance at GCW Bloodsport to his relationships within WWE. He emphasized the importance of trust and consideration when collaborating with a promotion, especially when dealing with valuable talents and significant investments.

“I guess the easiest way to describe it is just through my relationships with people there (WWE). That’s really what it comes down to.


“And with anybody, when speaking of a promotion, you’re always going to want, If you’re going to do anything outside of it, you want a certain level of trust and consideration given to you. And it’s hard to lend your toys out when there’s so much money put into them and the product itself.

Barnett acknowledged the rarity of cross-promotion in wrestling due to various factors involved, such as the financial stakes and the value of the athletes. However, thanks to the relationships he has nurtured over the years, he was able to facilitate Baszler’s participation in Bloodsport.

Expressing his gratitude and honor for the opportunity, Barnett expressed confidence in Baszler’s performance, citing his involvement in her training throughout her career.

“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 – it’s a reality now.

“And I’m just super happy and honored to be able to do it. And I know that Shayna’s going to do fantastic. I should know, I’ve been training her (for) her entire career.”

While there may not be a direct collaboration between WWE and GCW, it’s clear that there exists an amicable understanding between the two entities. Past instances of talent crossing over between the promotions have been met with good-natured amusement rather than contention. This suggests a level of mutual respect and cooperation, albeit informal, which allows for unique opportunities like Shayna Baszler’s appearance at GCW Bloodsport.

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.

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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