Triple H Is Right, WWE Doesn't Need More Blood

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured Columnist IIISeptember 28, 2022

Triple H Is Right, WWE Doesn't Need More Blood

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    Triple H is no stranger to a crimson mask, but his stance on that not being a more regular thing in WWE is the right call. (Credit: WWE)

    Since becoming chief content officer in July, Triple H has already instituted several changes to the WWE landscape, with many more sure to come as he settles into his role.

    One of those changes some fans were hoping for would be the return of a more hardcore product that would see blood become less taboo.

    However, in a recent interview with David Shoemaker and Oliver Lee Bateman of The Ringer, The Game said those fans shouldn't hold their breath waiting for a return to regular crimson masks on WWE television:

    "The world has changed. The world has evolved. I don’t think it’s necessary. If we have talent that gets [cut open], usually you’ll see them roll out and they’ll get looked at to make sure that there’s nothing dangerous. I’m just of the opinion right now, given the state of the world and the pandemic, and at the end of the day, what we do is dangerous enough without intentionally making it more dangerous. Yes, we did [feature bleeding] for a long period of time, but we’ve changed that practice. And it’s irresponsible to go back."

    Some might consider that a disappointment, but the WWE head of creative is making the right call. More blood isn't the missing ingredient that will save the product from recent years of lackluster programming. If anything, it would just create even more problems.

Less Is More

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    Would this moment be as iconic for Becky Lynch if there was a bloody face on every episode of Raw? (Credit: WWE)

    It's human nature to crave more of something you're fond of, but there are many instances when the "less is more" philosophy makes things much better for our overall enjoyment.

    With blood in wrestling, the less often we see it, the more powerful the imagery is when it does happen.

    "Stone Cold" Steve Austin passing out to Bret Hart at WrestleMania 13 with claret dripping down his face is an iconic shot largely due to how infrequently people bled back then. That was some next-level brutality which shocked the audience into buying the moment as special.

    Ric Flair would be cut in virtually every match to the point that it was just expected of him. No longer was it a symbol of things being taken to a new limit.

    In All Elite Wrestling today, Jon Moxley fills a similar role to Flair. What separates a normal bout from an Exploding Barbed Wire Death match if he's a bloody mess in both?

    In WWE, though, if someone gets busted open the hard way, you know they've had to go through something rough, which instantly becomes a talking point many fans will use to upgrade the match's quality.

    On the rare occasions when blood comes into play, the more those matches stand out as special treats, much as that sounds barbaric.

Safety Trumps Entertainment

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    Credit: WWE

    Many fans might not want to be honest enough to admit it, but it's selfish to say wrestlers should bleed more often just because it makes matches feel more epic.

    Yes, this is the sports-entertainment business, but we're still human beings, after all.

    This isn't CGI or a video game where characters can take an endless beating and have no lasting effects. Putting on these stunts is dangerous and should be respected.

    Professional wrestlers already take extreme risks in regular matches. Every risk should be managed and calculated. If the payoff isn't worth it, it shouldn't be done.

    Bleeding isn't harmful to just the person suffering the injury, either. It is a potential hazard to everyone else who comes in contact with that blood.

    In 2014, Devon "Hannibal" Nicholson won a lawsuit against Abdullah the Butcher after contracting hepatitis C from a match they had together in 2007. The condition cost him a place on the WWE roster and ruined his career.

    As a fan, would you rather see someone have a full career or just do one bloody spot that could ruin it all?

WWE Is Still a Business

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    Credit: WWE

    It's the responsibility of those who run a company to concern themselves with everything behind the scenes.

    Maybe you don't think less is more, and you never get tired of something, but WWE isn't trying to please an audience of one. Maybe you don't care about a wrestler's well-being, but WWE has employed them. The company makes money on their ability to perform. All assets need to be protected.

    The company also needs to think about advertisers. If being TV-PG is what earns millions of dollars more, allowing a handful of Superstars to be signed and other employees to handle other aspects of the company, which would you rather pick?

    Almost every movie in the top 100 highest-grossing films of all time is rated PG-13 or PG. Why should wrestling have a different approach?

    Also, if you were responsible for hearing all the complaining parents threatening to ban their children from watching, would you rather deal with that and lose out on that money, or tone it down to keep everyone happy?

Can't Quench Your Bloodlust? Watch an Alternative!

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    Credit: AEW

    Even dating back to the early days of buying up the territories, WWE has always drawn criticism from people who mistake being the most popular company with having a monopoly on the business.

    There have always been alternative promotions on television and the local indie scene that act as counter-programming to what WWE produces.

    There's no shortage of bloodshed on the indies. Check out a Game Changer Wrestling or Combat Zone Wrestling show if you want to see Nick Gage run a pizza cutter on someone's head or for there to be more light tubes broken than there are DDTs.

    Even at its bloodiest peak, WWE never advertised itself as the most monstrous form of sports entertainment. It's always been a family show that can dip into more adult themes and have its fair share of questionable content, but the material in large has been what we see today.

    WWE doesn't have zero blood. It doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" extreme.

    But if push came to shove, and it had to choose between banning it entirely or making the product as gory as your average slasher film, the company's core values and mission statement would lean toward a bloodless show.

    As long as the wrestlers are putting on good matches, the promos are fun to listen to, the storylines are engaging and WWE is earning plenty green, there's no need to add more red.


    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, Spotify and everywhere you find podcasts. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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