The PG era of WWE has brought a new method of storytelling to the premier sports entertainment company in the world. No more chair shots to the head, or blade jobs. There is more reliance on the story being told and less on gimmicks. But when the good storytelling and wrestling is paired with some blood, especially when it isn’t planned, it takes what is trying to be accomplished to the next level needed to create interest and emotional investment
Not much of it. But there doesn’t need to be, it should be sprinkled in to add intensity and quality of the instances where it occurs. If it seems (and is) organic and a function of the intensity the combatants are bringing at that point in time — like when Rob Van Dam and CM Punk came up bleeding in the MITB ladder match and Randy Orton’s knuckles were opened up when he was throwing some stiff punches the way of Fandango — it helps more than any promo or well-executed move could ever do to make the whole thing look more “real”.
Instead of sending in faux medical crews to clean up the wounds on the tops of the receding wrestler’s hairlines, they were allowed to continue and bring the intensity seeing your own blood can create. The cameras didn’t dart away from the gashes, nor did the announcers act like nothing had happened. These instances play into the “anything can happen” aspect of live television people like Stephanie McMahon have been so quick to point out as of late.
Was this something WWE had planned on doing? Maybe they realized stopping a bout or throwing up an overused fake “X” symbol in the middle of a four star plus match takes away from what is being done. I think a little bit of both. But the most surprising aspect of all was them showing photos on the website of RVD and Punk being sewn up, acknowledging the amount of stitches needed.
WWE seems in the midst of a positive change, perfectly balancing passively pandering to older fans while still gearing their big-picture product towards children, like a Pixar movie with headlocks. This could be me telling myself otherwise and rationalizing an interest that is frowned upon as childish. But fortunately I think it’s bigger than that.
Does blood represent full fledged change back to the “glory days” of the Attitude era? No, but it is the start of a period of greatness, which has been non existent for as long as I can remember. The segments on Monday were a testament to this method of thinking, and were the first step in building to some huge feuds at the second biggest show of the year, Summerslam.
I’m not asking for a full blown bloody resurgence, nor should the tactic be overused. But a little here and there can go a long way in producing the captivating television young and old pine for.