We had the Summer of Cena. Now we’re having the Autumn of Suzuki.
When (if?) his run with AEW wraps up this week after his Lights Out tag match with Lance Archer against Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston, Minoru Suzuki won’t be done in the United States. New Japan’s announced him for their NJPW Strong dates in Texas and Philadelphia, and now he’s headed to popular independent promotion GCW, too.
GCW already had him booked for a dream match with another man who’s stepped through Tony Khan’s Forbidden Door, Nick Gage. A shared desire to kick Mox’s ass won’t stop Gage and Suzuki from throwing down at War Ready on Sat., Oct. 23 in Los Angeles.
Now we learn the mixed martial arts pioneer will have a busy late October weekend in Southern California. No opponent’s been announced yet, but the Pancrase founder is also set for Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 7 on Fri., Oct. 22 in L.A. It will be a return to the MMA hybrid franchise for Suzuki; he main evented against the headliner in 2018 when it was called Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport, and against Barnett the first time the show bore the Warmaster’s name the following year.
The latest Bloodsport show will also feature two women who were most recently associated with WWE’s NXT brands: Marina Shafir & Killer Kelly.
Shafir was signed along with Jessamyn Duke back in 2018, when WWE seemed to have plans to bring together Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler’s Four Horsewomen group on their programming. She & Duke were associated with Baszler on NXT, but never advanced past escorting her to the ring or working brief matches. She was released back in June.
Portuguese wrestler Kelly competed in the second Mae Young Classic tournament, and made a few appearances on NXT UK. She was released by WWE in January of last year. Kelly worked a 2020 Bloodsport show, losing via submission to Allysin Kay.
*LA BLOODSPORT UPDATE*— GameChangerWrestling (@GCWrestling_) September 19, 2021
KILLER KELLY returns to BLOODSPORT on 10/22 in LA!
Tix on Sale TODAY at 5PM PST!https://t.co/uxxx0RX8j1
Josh Barnett's Bloodsport 7
Friday, Oct 22rd - 8PM
The UCC - LA
Streaming LIVE on @FiteTV! pic.twitter.com/YtnkwGTvWW
As with Suzuki, opponents for Shafir & Kelly haven’t been announced. MLW’s Calvin Tankman has also been announced for Bloodsport 7.
Hyped for the Autumn of Suzuki? Or just for more of Barnett’s worked-shoot MMA-style Bloodsport action?