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HandWiki. Blading (Professional Wrestling). Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/30846 (accessed on 15 June 2024).
HandWiki. Blading (Professional Wrestling). Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/30846. Accessed June 15, 2024.
HandWiki. "Blading (Professional Wrestling)" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/30846 (accessed June 15, 2024).
HandWiki. (2022, October 24). Blading (Professional Wrestling). In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/30846
HandWiki. "Blading (Professional Wrestling)." Encyclopedia. Web. 24 October, 2022.
Blading (Professional Wrestling)
Edit

In professional wrestling, blading is the practice of intentionally cutting oneself to provoke bleeding. It is also known as "juicing", "gigging", or "getting color". Similarly, a blade is an object used for blading and a bladejob is a specific act of blading. The act is usually done a good length into the match as the blood will mix with the flowing sweat to make it look like much more blood is flowing from the wound than there actually is. The preferred area for blading is usually the forehead, as scalp wounds bleed profusely and heal easily. Legitimate, unplanned bleeding which occurs outside the storyline is called "juicing the hard way".

blading wrestling bleeding

1. History

1.1. Origin

Prior to the advent of blading, most storyline blood in wrestling came from one wrestler deliberately splitting the flesh over their opponent's eyebrow bone with a well placed and forceful punch.[1] In his third autobiography, The Hardcore Diaries, Mick Foley cites Terry Funk as one of the few remaining active wrestlers who knows how to "bust an eyebrow open" in that manner. The forehead has always been the preferred blading surface, due to the abundance of blood vessels. A cut in this area will bleed freely for quite some time and will heal quickly.[2] A cut in this location will allow the blood to mix in with the sweat on the wrestler's face, giving them the proverbial "crimson mask" effect.

1.2. Contemporary History

In modern North American professional wrestling, blading is almost exclusively performed by and on male performers; blading of women is extremely rare due to the risk of adverse publicity and the increasing use of female performers as "eye candy". Typically, a wrestler will use a razor blade that is hidden somewhere on their body.[2][3] However, the wrestler always runs the risk of cutting too deeply and slicing an artery in the forehead.[4] In 2004, Eddie Guerrero accidentally did so during his match with JBL at Judgment Day in 2004, resulting in a rush of blood pouring from the bladed area. Guerrero lost so much blood because of the cut that he passed out backstage. The incident may have exacerbated his atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, which would eventually end his life a year later.

Some wrestlers like Abdullah the Butcher,[5] Dusty Rhodes, New Jack, Bruiser Brody, King Curtis Iaukea, Carlos Colón Sr., Perro Aguayo, Devon Hughes (Brother Devon/D-Von Dudley), Ric Flair, Steve Corino, Tarzan Goto, Balls Mahoney, Kintaro Kanemura, Villano III, Ian Rotten, Sabu and Manny Fernandez, have disfiguring scars on their heads from frequently blading throughout their careers. According to Mick Foley, the scars in Abdullah's forehead are so deep that he enjoys holding coins or gambling chips in them as a macabre party trick.[5]

Today, blading is a lot less popular than in the past, due to the prevalence and heightened awareness of AIDS and hepatitis.[2][4] In the 1980s, the willingness to blade was seen as an advantage of new wrestlers.[6] From July 2008 onward, due to its TV-PG rating, WWE has not allowed wrestlers to blade themselves. In most cases, any blood coming from the wrestlers is unintentional. To maintain their TV-PG rating, when a wrestler bleeds on live television, WWE tends to attempt to stop the bleeding mid-match or use different camera angles to avoid showing excessive blood. During repeats of said footage, WWE television programs often shift to black-and-white.[7]

Impact Wrestling, formerly known as Total Nonstop Action (TNA) Wrestling, used blading frequently until adopting a new no-blood policy in 2014. Wrestlers Abyss and Raven were famed for the matches involving the most blood in TNA before the new policy in 2014.[8][9][10]

AEW (All Elite Wrestling) is a company also known for its lenience and encouragement of blading. Vince McMahon, CEO of WWE, referenced this during a conference call in 2019, saying 'We're not gonna do blood and guts, such as is being done on perhaps a potential competitor.' [11] Following this, AEW launched a special event named after the phrase.[12]

2. Examples

Perhaps the most famous such incident was a bladejob performed by Japanese wrestler The Great Muta in a 1992 match with Hiroshi Hase; the amount of blood Muta lost was so great that many people to this day judge the severity of bladejobs on the Muta Scale.[13]

ECW was famous for their hardcore style wrestling employing excessive usage of blading. By far the most controversial incident relating to blading was the Mass Transit incident at ECW on November 23, 1996. During a scheduled tag team match between the team of Axl Rotten and D-Von Dudley vs. the team of New Jack and Mustafa Saed, Axle Rotten could not make the show and was replaced by a 17-year-old fan Erich Kulas who lied about his age, claiming to be 21. Before the match, Kulas asked New Jack (who was notoriously mentally aggressive) to blade him since he never had done it himself, and New Jack agreed. New Jack bladed Kulas with a surgical scalpel but cut too deeply and severed two arteries in Kulas' forehead. Kulas screamed in pain, then passed out as blood poured from his head, and was later hospitalized.[14] The incident generated much negative publicity and a lawsuit by Kulas's family, where New Jack was charged but the Jury dropped all charges as the blading was done per Kulas's request and Kulas had lied about his age. Erich Kulas later died on May 12, 2002, but no connection was made between his death and the incident.[15]

During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Mickey Rourke spoke about his experience with blading himself for a scene in the 2008 movie The Wrestler. Rourke agreed toblade at the initial request of director Darren Aronofsky in hopes that he would revoke the demand come production time. Indeed, later during filming, Aronofsky admitted that Rourke didn't actually need to blade; however, by his own will, Rourke decided to go through with it anyway.[16] In the film itself, Rourke's character is seen preparing for a match by wrapping a razor blade inside his wrist tape.

There is one notable incident of blading in association football. In 1989, Chile an national team goalkeeper Roberto Rojas bladed himself to prevent a loss, by blaming the injury on fireworks thrown by opposing fans. FIFA saw through the ruse and ended up banning Rojas for life and banning Chile from the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Rojas's ban was lifted in 2001.[17]

Canadian wrestler Devon Nicholson pressed charges against Abdullah the Butcher, claiming that he contracted hepatitis C after Abdullah bladed him without consent.[18] An Ontario court ruled in favor of Nicholson and ordered Abdullah to pay $2.3 million.[19]

During their King of the Road match at Uncensored 1995, Dustin Rhodes and The Blacktop Bully bladed, which was against the policy of World Championship Wrestling at the time, and they were both fired as a result.[20]

Another incident that occurred was in November 2008 of Raw (soon after WWE's transtition into the PG Era) in which Batista bladed himself during his steel cage match with Chris Jericho, resulting in Batista being fined for $100,000, while Jericho, then-road agent Dean Malenko and referee Mike Chioda were each fined for $5,000.

During the Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon 2005, "Cowboy" Bob Orton, who had hepatitis C and was at ringside with his son Randy against The Undertaker, deliberately bladed himself and spilled onto The Undertaker, who was later enraged at then Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, who was aware of Orton's condition and allowed him to compete beforehand while never informing The Undertaker causing Orton to be fired and The Undertaker was tested negative thereafter.

In a rare example of "juicing the hard way", in the 2012 Extreme Rules event, Brock Lesnar caused John Cena to bleed without blading with a vicious elbow to his head and further hard strikes to Cena's body; this was not considered a disqualifying act, and the match was allowed to continue.[21] However, in 2016, Lesnar would do the same to Randy Orton at SummerSlam; this time, however, the match was stopped immediately.

References

  1. The History of Blading http://www.ddtdigest.com/features/blading/
  2. Jerry Lawler and Doug Asheville. It's Good to Be the King...Sometimes (p.83)
  3. Matt and Jeff Hardy. The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire (p.48-49)
  4. Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Les Thatcher. The Professional Wrestlers' Workout & Instructional Guide (p.106)
  5. Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.201)
  6. Mick Foley. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.123)
  7. Gray, Richard (2013-02-26). "WWE’s Anti-Blood Policy, Swagger To Be Suspended?, Android App, Piledriver Banned". Wrestling News World. http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/wwes-anti-blood-policy-swagger-to-be-suspended-android-app-piledriver-banned/. Retrieved 2013-03-22. 
  8. http://www.wrestlingforum.com/impact-wrestling/1515233-no-more-blading-tna-contract-news.html
  9. http://www.smarkoutmoment.com/2010/08/tna-hardcore-justice-2010-results.html
  10. http://www.wrestlinginc.com/wi/news/2014/1216/587762/news-on-changes-to-impact-wrestling/
  11. http://stillrealtous.com/vince-mcmahon-comments-on-aew-being-competition-for-wwe/
  12. https://comicbook.com/wwe/news/aew-blood-and-guts-revives-wargames-takes-shot-wwe-vince-mcmahon/
  13. Mancuso, Ryan (2006-09-11). "Complete Playbook: The Great Muta Vol. 2 Revenge of Muta Commercial Tape". 411mania.com. http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/44204. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  14. Forever Hardcore (DVD). Big Vision Entertainment. 2005.
  15. 2004 interview with wrestler New Jack http://gumgod.com/derek_shoot_newjack3.htm
  16. Jimmy Kimmel Live!, January 15, 2009
  17. Edwards, Piers (18 June 2014). "World Cup scandal! The unbelievable plot to eliminate Brazil". CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/17/sport/football/brazil-chile-world-cup-scandal/. Retrieved 28 June 2014. 
  18. "Ottawa wrestler claims WWE legend gave him hep C". CBC. July 29, 2011. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-wrestler-claims-wwe-legend-gave-him-hep-c-1.1096801. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  19. "Ottawa wrestler 'Hannibal' wins $2.3M hepatitis C lawsuit". CBC. June 3, 2014. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-wrestler-hannibal-wins-2-3m-hepatitis-c-lawsuit-1.2663253. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  20. "Dustin Rhodes". DustyRhodesWrestling.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. https://web.archive.org/web/20070929121730/http://www.dustyrhodeswrestling.com/dustin_rhodes.htm. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  21. https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1166171-wwe-extreme-rules-results-john-cena-may-have-a-legit-injury
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