We live in simpler times, heading towards a period where wrestling moves targeting the head and neck are happily banned from one show, blood appears as many times as the Undertaker and controversial, reaction-provoking jokes earn removal from the job.
We still have male stripper gimmicks, though, so times aren’t that simple.
CM Punk’s recent bloody exhibition left many fans debating over the authentic nature of the wound, something far inconsequential in these times. (No, really, why are you squandering so much energy when Alberto Del Rio is still at large?) The better question to ask, keeping the unrelenting dictums and dogmas of PG in mind and Linda McMahon’s senate campaign, is whether making our wrestlers bleed (by blading or otherwise) is the right thing to do anymore.
What these wrestlers do in the ring and what we actually see is separated by an abstract barrier far more sophisticated than the simple television screen. Blood (on a wrestler) helps shatter that solid pane of fiction and reality by adding credibility.
To know that those steel cages are indeed lethal, and our favourite superstars are unfortunately human enough to bust their skin open with vicious blows and strikes, makes them relatable. It makes everything more relatable, ergo sparking fan interest.
If I know Dolph Ziggler is still human and vulnerable despite being a WWE superstar, I’d want him out of the way of an enraged Kurt Angle who's been denied his milk even more.
Consequently, it helps add extra drama to a match. To a person bleeding profusely from the head, even an incoming Five Knuckle Shuffle would make viewers cringe and sadly resign themselves to the worst. Blood sadistically paints and taints our perspective of wrestling moves, making them all appear much more legitimate. This in turn distorts our perception of the quality of a match—a bloody, hardcore Hell In A Cell between Otunga and Brodus Clay (stay with me here) might seem just as fantastic as a technical Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk. We are easily swayed. Yes WWE, we’re that easy.
If we consider the moral aspects of this bloody affair, I, for one, don’t see this having a hugely negative impact on the young viewers. Most of us here, and those interspersed within the IWC all over the expanse of Internet, are grown up enough, enough for them to be kids throughout the pre-PG era.
We’ve grown up with a WWE containing blood, barbed wires, thumbtacks, blazing tables and live burials and as far as I can tell, we’ve all turned out fine.
Unless the present generation has undergone a colossal uplift in mindset, it’s hard to believe hardcore wrestling and its perks would affect a child’s growth. It didn’t affect me (I hope)*.
Moreover, such injuries and scars on our heroes actually convinced us that what we were seeing was done by trained and gifted athletes and not something we should be trying at home, not even if that annoying neighbor’s kid deserved a Brogue Kick into oblivion. Blood drilled the message deeper in our minds than those foreboding DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME stills.
Of course, we live in a different age of wrestling, where our views and ways of viewing this business might have undergone alterations. We can live without seeing our wrestlers bleed, as we have for some years now. It isn’t a necessity, and nor should athletes be forced to thrust blades in their skin for our entertainment all the time. It’s just a perk, but a good one to be used on rare occasions, or one not to be used at all?
Thanks for the read, all.
*Not subject to discussions, thank you.
Shalaj Lawania is now virtually old enough on the Internet for you to recognize him, but still miraculously n00by enough for you to keep being mean to him (at least there's some progress, however minimal). He is also a contributor for WrestleEnigma.com, so do check it out if you love him and his works and are very sweet. For more love, you can follow him on Twitter if you have a good annoying tweets threshold. For the rest, use Wikipedia.