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Author: Subject: Abundance of blood in mid-2000's WWE
gobbledygooker
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 12:34 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Abundance of blood in mid-2000's WWE

This thread may die a quick death (especially since it's in Retro) but I just had to say -

I've started watching the recently-added 2006 WWE Raw episodes on WWE Network and holy shit, was anyone NOT bleeding in their matches at that time?! Cases in point -

The first episode from January 2006 has Kurt Angle vs. John Cena in the main event in a First Blood match. Obviously having no recollection of this match or who won, I figured someone would just tap a little small cut and that would be it. Nope - Cena taps a GUSHER. It was leading up to that year's Elimination Chamber so the other combatants all come out to basically end in a schmozz and there's Cena, bleeding all over himself and everyone else. It really made me remember all the hardcore/bloody stuff Cena has contributed to over the years

Case in point #2 (as this is the only other episode I've watched) - Raw from February 2006 where Big Show and HHH wrestle in the first match of the show in a match that is for a tournament to wrestle for the title at WrestleMania 22 (another thing I have no recollection of). Big Show gets rammed into the post and he starts bleeding all over the place as well! First match of the show. And it's actually a pretty damn fun match but I don't know that blood was really called for.

All this is to say - I don't really know what I'm trying to say. Basically just how shocking it is that they did SUCH a complete 180 and went from everyone blading to a year or two later when the PG era was upon us. Granted, blood isn't everyone's thing and the, say, 2002-2006 eras definitely had some incredibly low points but if you wanted blood in your WWE programming (Eddie's infamous MASSIVE bladejob against JBL at, I think, Great American Bash 2004 comes to mind) - That was the place to be!

[Edited on 8-17-2016 by gobbledygooker]





"Hulk Hogan have the sex with some dumb bitch on the TV. The girl smart if she make the $$ from his bald ass but she also desperate to have sex with the howdy doody like Hulk Hogan. He worse than Mel Gibson and I think now %10000 he prove he have grasshopper dick and raisin balls." - The Iron Sheik

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Flash
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 01:11 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The WWE definitely got to point where everything went to its extreme outcome, and as a result meant less and less (which in turn meant they had to push the envelop even further).

*Chair shots in every match

*Blood in every match

*Table spots used too much

*etc

I think what "saved" the WWE was that they were still trying to tell stories around these spots... They never quite stopped down to the point of garbage or backyard wrestling where people were smashing light bulbs over their heads... In a lot of ways the PG era might have saved wrestling... now spots can mean something again... I remember thinking that the chair to a head hit they did between Taker and HHH in one of their WM matches was just brutal and devastating... 10 years ago that would not have been the case.

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gobbledygooker
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 02:34 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Excellent first response, Flash, and basically what I was looking for with this discussion. It's just crazy to think how MUCH it changed in the past 10 years. And just to add to the craziness, I've been watching a bunch of '96-'97 ECW and it's a mindfuck to think that was even 10 years EARLIER. But that's an excellent point that they couldn't have kept going at that pace (short of introducing glass tubes and explosives) and sustained at that level. It's kinda like the 80s when they ceased blading around the dawn of the Rock n' Wrestling era. I would say it's all a cycle and blood will come back again in WWE but another part of me says the further and further we go with the "wellness era", etc. it will probably eventually lead to a "Hey guys, it's probably not a good idea to cut yourself' mentality going forward.





"Hulk Hogan have the sex with some dumb bitch on the TV. The girl smart if she make the $$ from his bald ass but she also desperate to have sex with the howdy doody like Hulk Hogan. He worse than Mel Gibson and I think now %10000 he prove he have grasshopper dick and raisin balls." - The Iron Sheik

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merc
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 02:41 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Blood (color) used to be planned into the card. Similar to finishers, you didn't go there without permission. IIRC, Bret Hart share a story in his book where he got a legit cut in an early match on the card and got taken to task for it.

Going back further, find a 1977-82 PWI, blood will be on the cover. Typically it set up the blowoff match and was only used to build a major heel or in the main event.





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gobbledygooker
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 03:28 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Yeah I definitely think they went wrong as there have been cage matches in recent years that I really think would have benefited from blood but it didn't happen. I'm hoping for some kind of happy medium going forward where we can get blood in, say, Rollins vs. Ambrose FOR ALL THE MARBLES but Neville doesn't need to bleed on Main Event just because.





"Hulk Hogan have the sex with some dumb bitch on the TV. The girl smart if she make the $$ from his bald ass but she also desperate to have sex with the howdy doody like Hulk Hogan. He worse than Mel Gibson and I think now %10000 he prove he have grasshopper dick and raisin balls." - The Iron Sheik

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Flash
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 03:29 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Thanks 'Gooker!

I know it's still early into Brand Split II: The re-splittening, but I think they are missing the boat on an opportunity here; a chance to reset and build a new kind of wrestling.... not changing the topic, this will fit nicely into the bloody topic at hand (I think!) because in a lot of ways, from then to now, blood in wrestling is representative of change.

I think when you are trying to change people's minds, or rebrand yourself with an existing product you are bound to get resistance.... look at all the complaining about the PG era we suffered through for many years and the group think about how the Attitude Era was the greatest thing ever (I had a running thread for a while there as I worked my way through the A.E., and there were many peaks... but a lot.... a lot of crappy stuff in there).... but slowly the WWE re-taught it's audience certain basic things; blood is verboten, table and chair spots are devastating and heinous again, and the HITC is more than just a cage match; it's something legendary (despite the damage that the annual HITC match probably did to the concept as a grudge match of all grudge match feud ender)....

The brand split is a chance to take the product in a new direction; except from a fresh starting point... want to recondition your audience to longer TV matches? More mat wrestling? A multi-cultural roster where promos and quips aren't the be all and end all? (ect). Raw could have taken a slower evolving approach, whereas SD could have taken a scorched Earth from the ground up approach with some find tuning along the way.

On the topic of blood and rougher or extreme wrestling being on a bit of a cycle... tough to say, and time will tell... Mat wrestling and showmanship was the order of the day for decades; the late 70's and early 80's saw a rise in colour and violence, with another peak again in the late 90's... throughout those bloodier years we still got a lot of good wrestling and wrestlers. I think the landscape has changed like you said 'Gooker, the wellness policy and even just the modern athletic landscape has changed for the positive so a cycle emerging might be unlikely... throw in that we now have UFC as a source of "real" violence as an alternative and "fake" violence might not hold as much interest (although I guess you could say that about wrestling as a whole- and again why I think the WWE should have taken this opportunity to try something new with SD).... of course we could always get the Rollerball-esque future where we reject the prim and proper and bring on the blood sports!

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gobbledygooker
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 04:23 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
And literally as I was reading your post I thought of the fact that we have guys (and girls!!!) blading in Lucha Underground so there's that. I'm really not a fan of the women gushing blood but I guess it already is evolving in that realm.





"Hulk Hogan have the sex with some dumb bitch on the TV. The girl smart if she make the $$ from his bald ass but she also desperate to have sex with the howdy doody like Hulk Hogan. He worse than Mel Gibson and I think now %10000 he prove he have grasshopper dick and raisin balls." - The Iron Sheik

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posted on 8-18-2016 at 04:50 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
No one is a fan of women gushing blood...

Well, maybe this guy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppuMaQ4hZE4

I think you'll always have the outliers who are trying to offer something different, or who look back and see something that worked and that there's still a niche for it and money to be made...

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GodEatGod
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 01:39 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I don't know that fan is the right word, but I don't have any more problem with them blading than I do with men doing it. Which is to say, it should probably be fairly rare and limited to matches where it counts and with the maximum number of safety measures in place to keep the performers safe.





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CM Crunk
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posted on 8-18-2016 at 09:09 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I have no idea what you're talking about.



It's funny (in a non-funny way, I guess) but while I remember being somewhat off-put at the sight of Cena covered in gore at the time, after so many years of gigging being a no-no in WWE it's downright SHOCKING to see even a FRACTION of that color these days.

There were some nasty ones around that time. Eddie. Flair. God, remember when Joey Mercury broke his face in that ladder match?

I'm glad I'm not so desensitized to it anymore. In fact, it really bothers me when you see fans calling for more bloodshed in the weekly product. No, we don't. It has it's place as a dramatic storytelling device, sure. But it's not dramatic if it's being done in every other match. Hell, I think I'm against blading as a whole now. But I won't get up in arms if someone goes hardway and it's not pre-meditated. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Bálor at Takeover: Dallas was a prime example of how it can still serve to tell a story, even if it wasn't the story they set out to tell.





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posted on 8-18-2016 at 09:38 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm begrudgingly coming around to giving PG era WWE its props. The blood definitely reached its saturation point along with the Dudleys calling for tables every match - it was done too much and lost its value. Seeing a pile driver once in the past ten years will make it so much more effective when we see it again too.

I hated the cartoony bits of PG era (especially regarding Hornswoggle), but dialing back the blood has definitely worked out. I think it still has a place in certain matches and feuds, though.

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gobbledygooker
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posted on 8-19-2016 at 02:56 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
That picture of Cena - holy fuck!! Any idea what match that was from?

And I agree with Denverpunk about being less desensitized to it these days, which is kinda bizarre as you feel like the older you get, the more desensitized you would get. Back in ECW's heyday in the mid-90s my fellow high school buds and me were all for whatever blood and gore they could throw at us! These days - Not so much but I do like it in limited doses and that Vampiro-Pentagon Jr. match from Lucha Underground last year or whenever it was definitely scratched a "we want blood" itch that hadn't been scratched in quite a while.





"Hulk Hogan have the sex with some dumb bitch on the TV. The girl smart if she make the $$ from his bald ass but she also desperate to have sex with the howdy doody like Hulk Hogan. He worse than Mel Gibson and I think now %10000 he prove he have grasshopper dick and raisin balls." - The Iron Sheik

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Flash
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posted on 8-19-2016 at 03:12 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
It's funny cause it's not just the blood that's changed, it's everything else... Re-watching those old Raw's I genuinely cringed at times watching Foley (and others) take one unprotected chair shot to the head after another all while knowing full well the toll it was taking on his (their) body.

Not entirely positive; but I'm thinking that Cena pic' is from the JBL match... Judgment Day I quit I'm thinking? Cena's only come up bloody a few times... versus JBL, Edge at Elimination Chamber, and most recently against Brock... Can't quite make out the 2nd title he's holding though... that might be a good way to figure it out.

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G. Jonah Jameson
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posted on 8-19-2016 at 03:45 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The only time John Cena was a double champion in pre-PG WWE was February-April 2007, when he held both the WWE Title and one-half of the World Tag Team Titles (with Shawn Michaels). I know he had a pretty violent Last Man Standing match with Umaga at the Royal Rumble that year, but that was before he and Michaels won the tag titles, so it can't be that. Maybe there was a rematch or something? I don't know.

I've tried to research it, and everything I've found comes back with the Judgment Day 2005 match Flash mentioned, with John Bradshaw Layfield, but I don't know what the other belt would be. Orlando Jordan was aligned with JBL at this point, and he was United States Champion, but that's definitely not the U.S. Title belt. Maybe JBL tried to bring in the old, pre-spinner WWE Title belt as a weapon during the match?

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posted on 8-19-2016 at 02:36 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
That is the former, pre-"blinged" WWE Title. JBL was waltzing around with it after Cena changed the belt until Cena beat him at Judgement Day. If I'm recalling all that correctly.





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posted on 8-20-2016 at 07:58 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
That Cena pic is definitely from the 2005 Judgment Day match. If you Google image search it, it comes right up.

As for blood in wrestling, I kind of have mixed feelings. On the one hand, yes, it adds way more brutality/gravitas to a big match and blading every now and then is presumably less dangerous than taking a steel chair shot to the head. On the other hand, like steel chair shots, I kind of feel like blading is for a bygone era...like can you imagine if Cena was being interviewed nowadays and was asked "so John, you and your fellow WWE wrestlers intentionally cut yourselves with razor blades so that you can bleed during your matches...is that a good example to set?"

So while I miss blood from an old school wrestling fan point of view, I'm also okay with doing without it if it means guys aren't carving their foreheads up Dusty Rhodes style. And I think it would be kind of hard to regulate/justify doing it in today's WWE...like you can't really say "it's okay to blade in a steel cage match at SummerSlam, but don't you dare do it on Smackdown!"





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posted on 8-20-2016 at 05:36 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I wonder at what point "blading" became public knowledge, and the physical toll and brutality of wrestling flipped from it's "fake" to "holy shit, there are long term effects to this stuff..."

*Did 90's wrestling get so big that it created too much of a mainstream thirst for info?

*Did a movie like the Wrestler reveal too many secrets?

*Benoit?

*The constant short term gain of the various shoot interviews, and the general pulling back of the curtain on kayfabe?

Probably a conflux of the four... there's generally been a growing sense of wink-wink we know you know it's scripted, but we're not telling, but
Through the 80's it was marketed at kids who much like with Santa, they want to believe that it's real... The 90's saw a change in marketing to adults and the level of violence generally magnified, as well as you've now got an audience wanting to know how the magic is done (the rise of the internet probably greatly advanced this as well)... the big wrestling boom probably brought it to a breaking point where the need for info was just waiting for that fuse to be lit, and a Benoit probably brought the business into the full light of day.... The fall out was bound to lead to the Nancy Grace's of the world, and then a kind of void for creative storytelling being out there... In the past old wrestlers went off into obscurity, gym halls, and other lower tier post glow of the WWF/WWE spotlight, now (well, in the 90's and onward) there was a vacuum for information and plenty of people will to pay for a peak behind the curtain with guys who were now faded minor or in many cases, major celebrities.

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posted on 8-20-2016 at 06:13 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I saw something on Jerry Seinfeld who said that he didn't cuss in his routines because it would cover up that his jokes weren't properly develop since he would still get a laugh for cussing. Pretty much a cheap pop.

Wrestling became that, where hardcore to pop a crowd covered up a lack of psychology or engagement. Blood. Going through tables. Barbed wire baseball bats. Etc.

And, to add to Flash's point, the real life consequences became obvious. Not just Benoit and Guerrero, but indy extreme wrestlers like Trent Acid and JC Bailey passing away. It isn't fun to watch wrestlers literally commit suicide in front of your eyes.

Watching Kenny Omega's run in the G1, you can see the big spot is back in its proper place. One or two in the big match. When it happens now, it's a big deal and you know it has meaning.





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