Last night, at the start of RAW, CM Punk came out for the standard Nexus beatdown on Randy Orton, as is to be expected with the feud where it is now. While Orton was held by Nexus, Punk was getting ready to lay in on him.
Then, Orton fought back and kicked Punk square in the face. The kick came a little too close for comfort, and left Punk with a legitimate broken nose. Punk bled, and the strangest thing happened. No medics came out. Officials didn't stop the promo in order to take care of the blood. Somebody made the order to just let it go.
Not only that, but later on the program, Punk's bloody nose was clearly visible, focused on and commented upon during replays of that same event. Ladies and gentlemen, it appears the WWE is not afraid of blood anymore.
We haven't seen trainers and medics come out to stop a match in quite some time. The last time I can really remember was last summer during Jack Swagger's world title run or the CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio match during last year's Over the Limit PPV.
Obviously, stopping a match to attend to a scratch breaks the continuity of a match and just causes undue hardship for the wrestlers trying to put on a show. That idea ran for a few months, but was quickly scrapped because it just looked silly to anybody watching.
Still, we didn't really see anybody bleed on TV (at least I never did), or if bleeding did happen to occur, camera angles and the wrestlers themselves would try to obscure the fact and keep the amount of blood actually seen to a minimum. We saw Trent Baretta do this just a couple of weeks ago on SmackDown.
Things changed last night, though. At first, camera angles were moving this way and that in order to not spotlight the injury, but eventually someone decided to just focus on Punk and his bloody nose.
At one point in time, the camera zoomed on Punk's face, only to have a glob of blood just drop out onto the ring apron. Not only that, but Punk never changed his taped fists last night and over the course of the night we saw the fresh blood on his arms coagulate and turn brown. This was the theatrics of blood at its best.
I don't revel in blood. I think blading is a trick of another time and rather unnecessary. I think the banning of chair shots to the head is a wonderful idea and will ultimately save the lives of more wrestlers. I never went for the hardcore thing when it was popular.
But I never liked the idea of stopping a match for five minutes to attend to what was merely a flesh wound. And if a wrestler did happen to get hurt and bleed during a spot, well, that does add to the dramatics of the show. The initial promo, including the theatrics of a bloody CM Punk, was about the only thing decent on RAW last night.
Are we going to see a First Blood match in the WWE anytime soon? No, and so be it. Blood is gimmicky. But blood, I must admit, it's good to see you back in the WWE. So, welcome back!