One of the most controversial aspects of pro wrestling is undoubtedly the usage of blood in a match. For some fans, it is an effective means to intensify a match and give it that extra edge. However, for others, it is an unnecessary and cheap means to give tension to the match.
Both WWE and AEW has incorporated blood in their storylines over the years to mixed results. While speaking on his Grilling JR podcast, WWE Hall Of Famer Jim Ross compared the usage of blood in WWE and AEW. Ross noted that due to WWE’s PG environment, the usage of blood is generally shied away from.
Ross also revealed that Vince McMahon had a soft spot for pro wrestlers who were ready to don the crimson mask. While using the recent Thunder Rosa vs Britt Baker Lights Out match on AEW Dynamite as an example, Ross stated that blood can be used to shock fans
Ross also added that AEW makes sure to use blood very carefully as blood can be overused if proper steps are not taken.
“The intent was to get away from the gratuitous violence and the blue humour and be a little bit more family-friendly. So Ruthless Aggression, this era, was simply a search for something to replace the Attitude Era – that’s all that was. So consequently, I think, after that, the use of blood was very selected – it wasn’t overused.
“Vince (McMahon) always had a soft spot for some guys who needed or wanted to do colour for their angles. The thing about blood is that if you don’t overuse it – it’s not like the 80s or 70s – if you don’t overuse it, Conrad, then it’s a great dramatic effect ‘ooh look at that’, ‘oh she’s hurt.’
“It’s like the – I would suggest to you the match we had on AEW, several weeks ago now, with Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa, that the use of blood in that women’s math was a shock. And got people talking and mostly in a good way. It exhibited and demonstrated the violence and the aggression that both women had. If we did that every week it would mean nothing.
“We’re in a position that we’re not going to use it every week, but I know WWE was in that mindset too about this time. It was anything we could do to keep this show edgy but not the Attitude Era-ish. There was still blood, don’t get me wrong, but it was very selective. It had to be the right place, right time for it to work because everything was about the sponsors. And you can’t blame them for that.”
The initial year of AEW featured some very violent matchups which some fans felt went too far. It seems the company will continue to use blood in a way that will only enhance matches and not overuse them, while WWE is unlikely to use blood for the most part.
h/t to Inside The Ropes for the quotes.