During WWE’s infamous Attitude Era, the company became famous for showing a lot of blood during matches and even introduced the dreaded “First Blood Match.” This kind of match had no rules – except for the fact that it only ended when one of the two competitors bled. It wasn’t a popular kind of match, but it proved that WWE liked blood to be present during their feuds.
When WWE rebranded into the PG era, they decided that blood was no longer acceptable and any superstars who purposely bleed would be fined. Even though WWE stars are no longer allowed to blade, that doesn’t stop them.
Over the past few years, blood has played a role in WWE’s programming and without it, many personal rivalries would have lacked a deep, meaningful touch. Blood allows superstars that seem unbeatable suddenly look like they’re mere humans, and WWE has learned that over the past few decades.
The following list looks at the 10 bloodiest matches in WWE history, whether the superstars were allowed to blade or not.
10. Bret Hart vs. British Bulldog – Beware of Dog
In Your House: Beware of Dog included an incredible match between two of the greatest technical wrestlers of the past generation. These two collided at SummerSlam 1992 in one of the greatest matches ever, but this one was great for many other reasons.
Bret Hart was thrown into the steel steps and was forced to blade, a thing that he rarely did during his WWE career. The crowd was into the match after Hart had shown some colour, and he ended up being victorious, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad decision.
9. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar – WrestleMania 31
Lesnar was thrown into the ring post in the match and began to bleed profusely, which led to rumours that he bladed on WWE TV when the company was promoting a PG-themed show. Allowing Brock to bleed showed that “The Beast Incarnate” was actually human, and it allowed Seth Rollins to run in and snatch a victory when he cashed in his Money In The Bank.
8. Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor – NXT Takeover: Dallas
The feud between Samoa Joe and Finn Balor was one of the best rivalries of the year and at NXT Takeover: Dallas, the rivalry reached new heights when Joe was busted wide open at the beginning of the match (forced to continue with a huge gash on his eye).
Joe was bleeding heavily throughout the match and the medical staff was forced to stop the bleeding, but Joe pushed them away. Finn ended up being covered in Joe’s blood, as it was revealed to have been a completely unscripted accident, despite the realism it showed.
7. John Cena vs. JBL – Judgement Day 2005
It is one of the most iconic images of John Cena – the match in which the amount of physicality was on display back at Judgement Day 2005.
Cena and JBL collided in an I Quit Match at the event, after Cena took Bradshaw’s WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21. Cena was cut open after a nasty hit from a steel chair and managed to bleed quite convincingly. Despite the fact that this made him look a lot weaker, he overcame the injuries and retained his championship.
6. Triple H vs Cactus Jack – Royal Rumble 2000
Triple H was forced to bleed after he took a barbed wire bat to the face, and Foley did bleed himself after he was Pedigreed over thumbtacks, losing to his arch nemesis. It wasn’t the blood that was the main draw of the match; it was the deeply personal rivalry that WWE managed to portray with these two. It was also the best blade job of Triple H’s career.
5. Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair – WrestleMania 8
Ric was apparently not supposed to bleed in this match, and when he did, he was in hot water with many of WWE’s officials. Ric stated that he did it because it helped the story , but back then, not many superstars bled in matches. It was surely a memorable thing for the WWE Universe to witness.
4. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker – No Mercy 2002
When these two collided at No Mercy 2002, it was considered to be one of the most brutal matches between any two superstars in WWE history. Who knew that back in 2002, Lesnar would be the chosen one to defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania, breaking his coveted streak?
This match, though, was much better, as both Brock and Undertaker shed a lot of blood for the cause. The match was a physical one, which was expected inside Hell in a Cell, but both men threw all they could at one another.
3. Ric Flair vs. Edge – Monday Night Raw 2006
On an episode of Monday Night Raw in 2006, Flair took it to the next level as they collided for Edge’s WWE Championship.
It was Ric Flair’s first ever TLC Match, and given Edge’s history in that said match, it was obvious that it was set to be hellacious. Flair was busted wide open after a steel chair to the head, before various other weapons came into play. Like many other Flair matches, the wrestling legend was wearing the crimson mask yet again.
2. Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – Badd Blood 1997
The first ever Hell In A Cell Match will always be remembered, and there was a reason it happened on Badd Blood. Blood was definitely on show that night, as Shawn Michaels had his good looks tarnished by the Undertaker.
Fans were unsure what to expect, but HBK and the Deadman proved that it was going to be a popular match type in years to come, as both men unleashed hell inside Satan’s structure. Even though Michaels lost a lot of blood, he still came out on top thanks to the emergence of Kane.
1. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin – WrestleMania 13
It was one of the best brawls in wrestling history. These two men definitely left it all in the ring at WrestleMania 13. There was obvious blading going on throughout the match after Steve Austin was thrown into a steel post and came out covered in his own blood.
Austin finished the match despite being completely covered in blood, but he refused to tap out to the Sharpshooter. Instead, he passed out from the loss of blood whilst being locked in the famous submission maneuver. It was one of the hardest fought matches of Austin’s career, and this match turned the tide for both legendary wrestlers.
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