Wow, it’s been years since I did a pro wrestling post but I saw something the other night that made me think about something.
So I was watching Impact Wrestling this past Thursday night and they had a cage match. One of the wrestlers, Kurt Angle, ended up bleeding. Yes, I know that wrestling is ‘fake’ but the blood isn’t. While wrestlers may not bleed from things like steel chairs, golden spikes, and other foreign objects they bleed nonetheless, and the process is called blading. In order to draw blood on cue, a wrestler may carry a tiny sharp object in his tights, usually a piece of a razor blade. In this day and age, no one should be bleeding in the ring anymore but I don’t feel this way out of some righteous moral crusade about violence on TV. It has more to do with the safety of the wrestlers in the ring.
I’ve worked in the healthcare industry for 26 years now. While it is on the clerical side of things I still had to take several OSHA classes on what to do in case of a biohazard. One of the most common biohazards in hospitals and medical practices are blood spills. So many diseases are communicable through bloodborne pathogens such as hepatitis and HIV. Now as much as I love wrestling let’s face facts. Some professional wrestlers are not the most health-conscious people. While they may lift and train some of them have been needle drug users and I’m sure more than one wrestler has engaged in unprotected sex sometime in their lives.
By wrestlers continuing to engage in blading is not only reckless towards the wrestlers it can be dangerous to the ringside fans as well. How many matches have spilled out of the ring and occasionally have gone into the crowd? Back in the heyday of ECW, this used to be a common occurrence and I’m sure a lot of indy promotions do this as well.
In a medical setting if there is a blood spill it’s treated as if there was a radioactive leak in the hospital. In wrestling, it just gets mopped up if you’re lucky. Blood is dangerous and while pro wrestlers are always putting their bodies at risk this is one risk that is not only too great but it can easily be prevented.