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In professional wrestling, blading is the practice of cutting oneself to provoke bleeding.[1] It is also known as juicing, gigging, or drawing color.[1] Similarly, a blade is an object used for blading, and a bladejob is a specific act of blading. The blood in pro wrestling is almost never, as often suspected, theatrical makeup, but actual blood, and the scars borne by longtime pro wrestlers are real ones.[2] The act is usually done a good length into the match as the blood will mix with the flowing sweat to make the wound look like much more blood is flowing from it than there actually is.[3] "Juicing" which occurs outside the storyline is said to be juicing the hardway, or legitimately bleeding.[4]

Contents

History

Prior to the advent of blading, most storyline blood in wrestling came from one wrestler deliberately splitting the flesh over their opponent's eyebrow bone with a well placed and forceful punch.[5] In his third autobiography The Hardcore Diaries, Mick Foley cites Terry Funk as one of the few remaining active wrestlers who knows how to bust an eyebrow open in this way. The forehead has always been the preferred blading surface, due to the abundance of blood vessels. A cut in this area will bleed freely for quite some time and will heal quickly.[2]

In modern North American pro wrestling, blading is almost exclusively performed by and on male performers; blading of women is extremely rare due to the risk of adverse publicity and the increasing use of female performers as "eye candy."

Typically, a wrestler will use a razor or other blade hidden in the tape covering his fingers or part of his hand(s) or somewhere else on his person.[2][6] The wrestler, however, always runs the risk of cutting too deeply and slicing an artery in the forehead.[1] In 2004, Eddie Guerrero did this during Judgment Day 2004, resulting in blood loss severe enough to affect him for the next two weeks of shows.

Some wrestlers like Abdullah the Butcher,[7] Dusty Rhodes, New Jack, and Devon Hughes (Brother Devon / D-Von Dudley) have massive, disfiguring scars on their heads from frequently blading throughout their careers. According to Mick Foley, the scars in Abdullah's forehead are so deep that he enjoys holding coins or gambling chips in them to entertain and/or scare people.[7]

Today, blading is a lot less popular than in the past, due to the prevalence of AIDS and hepatitis.[2][1] In the 1980s, the willingness to blade was seen as an advantage of new wrestlers.[8]

Examples

Perhaps the most famous such incident was a bladejob performed by Japanese wrestler The Great Muta in a 1992 match with Hiroshi Hase; the amount of blood Muta lost was so great that many smarks to this day judge the severity of bladejobs on the Muta Scale.[9]

Another such incident was during an ECW house show when a young wrestler known as Mass Transit forged documents and lied to ECW Owner/Promoter Paul Heyman about his age and amount of training. He then asked his opponent, New Jack, to blade him. Jack cut through two arteries in Mass Transit's head when he bladed the young man, and fifty stitches were required to close the wound. A wrestler allowing someone else to blade him is extremely rare.

During an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Mickey Rourke spoke about his experience with gigging himself for a scene in the 2008 movie The Wrestler. Rourke untruthfully agreed to gig at the initial request of director Darren Aronofsky in hopes that he would revoke the demand come production time. Indeed, later during filming, Aronofsky admitted that Rourke needn't actually gig; however, by his own will, Rourke decided to go through with it anyway.[10] In the film itself, Rourke's character is seen preparing for a match by wrapping a razor blade inside his wrist tape.

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Regular bladers

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Les Thatcher. The Professional Wrestlers' Workout & Instructional Guide (p.106)
  2. ^ a b c d Jerry Lawler and Doug Asheville. It's Good to Be the King...Sometimes (p.83)
  3. ^ a b Scott E. Williams. Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW (p.107-108)
  4. ^ Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Stone Cold Truth (p.90)
  5. ^ The History of Blading
  6. ^ a b Matt and Jeff Hardy. The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire (p.48-49)
  7. ^ a b Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.201)
  8. ^ a b Mick Foley. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks (p.123)
  9. ^ Mancuso, Ryan (2006-09-11). "Complete Playbook: The Great Muta Vol. 2 Revenge of Muta Commercial Tape". 411mania.com. http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/video_reviews/44204. Retrieved 2007-10-24. 
  10. ^ Jimmy Kimmel Live, January 15, 2009
  11. ^ Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Stone Cold Truth (p.63)
  12. ^ Hulk Hogan. Hulk Hogan (p. 163)

References

  • Mick Foley (2000). Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. HarperCollins. pp. 511. ISBN 0061031011. 
  • Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Les Thatcher (2005). The Professional Wrestlers' Workout & Instructional Guide. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1582619476. 
  • Jerry Lawler and Doug Asheville (2003). It's Good to Be the King... Sometimes. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 0743475577. 
  • Matt and Jeff Hardy (2003). The Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire. HarperCollins. ISBN 0060521546. 
  • Scott E. Williams (2006). Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of ECW. Sports Publishing LLC. ISBN 1596700211. 
  • Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jim Ross (2003). The Stone Cold Truth. Pocket Books. ISBN 0743477200. 

See also


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