Game Changer Wrestling (GCW)‘s annual Bloodsport event, held during WrestleMania week, found a new host for the second annual event this year in former UFC Champion Josh Barnett (taking over from last year’s host, Matt Riddle, who has since signed with NXT). So far Barnett has announced several names, with Timothy Thatcher, Jonathan Gresham, Hideki Suzuki, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Frank Mir, Dan “The Beast” Severn, Minoru Suzuki and Barnett himself all early announcements. On Friday, he made the latest announcement and its another former UFC fighter, Phil Baroni, who joins several other new announcements over the past few weeks.
A former MMA star, Phil Baroni debuted with UFC after his first professional MMA fight in 2000, joining UFC in 2001 at UFC 30 with a victory over Curtis Stout. He would go 3-5 with UFC from 2001 through 2005 when he left the promotion. He would go on to work with PRIDE, going 4-2 with the Japanese promotion, before leaving PRIDE in 2006. He faced Frank Shamrock in Strikeforce in 2007, and after that worked for a multitude of different promotions, from EliteXC to ONE to return bouts with UFC. His last major MMA fight was with Bellator in 2014, after which he decided to enter the world of pro wrestling. Training under D’Lo Brown, he’s worked a handful of matches, and this spring will enter the Bloodsport event to join fellow MMA graduates Barnett, Severn, Lawlor, and Mir.
“The God of War” JR Kratos is a West Coast indie talent who has been a powerhouse since he started out in 2012. A regular with All Pro Wrestling (APW), he’s a 2x APW Universal Heavyweight Champion who has also worked with Alternative Wrestling Show (AWS), Supreme Pro Wrestling (SPW) (he’s a 3x SPW Heavyweight Champion) and various other West Coast indies, including PCW ULTRA, where he’s been featured in the tag team Border Patrol alongside Colt Stevens.
Dominic Garrini is a product of Ohio who trained out of Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) with Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae. Debuting in 2016, he’s since gone on to work with EVOLVE Wrestling, as part of Catch Point, and is now part of the tag team Sadkampf alongside Kevin Ku.
An international star who competes for NJPW (where he’s a 3x IWGP Tag Team Champion with Lance Archer in Killer Elite Squad), Major League Wrestling (MLW) in the US (where’s the reigning MLW Tag Team Champion with cousin Teddy Hart in the Hart Foundation) and with World of Sport in the UK (where he’s the reigning WOS Tag Team Champion alongside Grado), Davey Boy Smith Jr. is also a legit shoot fighter, having trained under the legendary Billy Robinson. The former WWE Tag Team Champion is gifted with the power of his father, WWE Legend “British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith, and the submission mastery of his grandfather, Stu Hart, and is a tough competitor for anyone due to his size and skill.