Vince McMahon’s Ban on Blading – Hypocrisy or Genius Part Three

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Vince McMahon's Ban on Blading - Hypocrisy or Genius Part Three

Okay, we’ve made it to part three of this little series dubbed Vince McMahon’s Hypocrisy or Genius (Part One and Part Two). It’s an easy one to write as the contradictions are all over the place and I could’ve continued it, but for the time being three feels like enough. Or until something happens that stirs my memory on something. Never say never, right?

For those that may not know what blading is, it’s the practice of a wrestler using a razor blade or other instrument to cut themselves during or prior to a match. There was a time that this was a regular occurrence in wrestling as fans wanted realism and blood. Some of the more aggressive bladers are two legends — Abdullah the Butcher and Bruiser Brody. In fact, Abdullah’s head is so deeply scared that Mick Foley has claimed that a poker chip can rest in one of the grooves on Abdullah’s head.

You need great bleeders

Of course, you can’t have blading without great bleeders, and two of the best were Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes. Their light blond hair was perfect for the blood to appear far worse than it was. Hulk Hogan was another good one in the ‘70s and early ‘80s.

The one we all remember recently was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s blood-covered face in his WrestleMania 13 match against Bret Hart.

Over the years, this practice has been frowned upon by the larger promotions and for good reason. With the various diseases that can be exchanged through the blood or razors and the damage one can do to themselves, it makes sense to limit or ban it. The problem is the fans really buy into a match when there’s blood.

There’s been a ban on blading in the WWE for a long time. It predates the PG Era (this is why certain videos go black and white in the Network’s archives, in case you were wondering), but it was still done on occasions. Generally, those like Steve Austin and Bret Hart’s No Disqualification Submission match at WrestleMania 13 were done on the sly, with the wresters risking heavy fines for violating the policy.

Of course, blood really sold certain matches like Hart and Austin’s WrestleMania 13 one, or even Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan’s match at WrestleMania 19.

Vince McMahon's ban on blading

With the latter in mind, it’s hard to take McMahon’s policies to heart when his face is a crimson mask.

Of course, it’s easy to explain it away as McMahon deciding it would better sell the brutal match between him and Hogan. And that’d make sense, except when we take into count this note he allegedly sent to Ted Turner at the height of the Monday Night Wars.

Um, about that policy…

So, it basically looks like his rules only last until they don’t benefit him. Everyone bends the rules at some point, and when you’re the one making the rules, is it really breaking them if you change them? The hypocrisy, though, is a little harder to explain and take him seriously when he says something. It’s part of the problem fans in general have with him and his company, and it’s doubtful that’ll ever change. Somethings are what they are.

There’s no arguing that his methods have worked in the past more times than not, and if fortunes had been reversed, there’s very little chance the WWE would be the Disney of professional wrestling it has become. Like the other topics we discussed and more than crop up all the time like McMahon’s “accidental: balding on the Kevin Owens Show in 2017  , it’s easy to point to things and label Vince McMahon a hypocrite. What makes it easier is the boundary between what’s real and what’s work, and unless Vince McMahon himself comes out and is completely honest (talking lie detector, truth serum, type of works to verify here), we’ll never know. It’ll always be unnamed sources or former talent that may or may not be labeled disgruntled.

Whatever happens, McMahon will always have his supporters and detractors among professional wrestling fandom. It often appears things would be easier if we just sat back, shut up, and enjoyed the show. But we’re an inquisitive species and just accepting what something is because we’re told so isn’t really our style. We like to learn, to figure things out.

Besides, the WWE loves rearranging its history to fit whatever storyline they’re currently pushing, so we can easily become lost in the forest with all the new trees popping up.

Over all, and as many have stated. McMahon is a good man that is very giving and honor bound, but he’s had to make business decisions throughout his time running the WWE, it’s probably more difficult to keep the facts straight. He may be a genius and hypocrite — that’s for each of us to decide for ourselves — but he is human. In the end, is it any surprise that he’s crossed a few boundaries from time to time?

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