There was a time in professional wrestling that you could turn on the television and know there was a chance at seeing some blood. Most of the time, it was pretty harmless as wrestlers bladed just a little bit to get color or even had a minor cut. A lot of the bloodiest matches were usually reserved for pay per views, house shows or international events.
Blading was commonplace in wrestling thanks to guys like Dusty Rhodes and Abdullah the Butcher, and was even prevalent in WWE matches during the early 2000s. Sometimes, though, blading can go horribly wrong and leave the wrestler in a river of blood. Even if you don’t blade, a bad accident can result in an injury that turns a performer into a bloody mess.
When looking back on the bloodiest wrestling matches that made you gag or feel physically ill, none of them have really been recent. As a matter of fact, looking at the list of these matches, none have happened in the past decade. So let’s take a trip back to when you could expect to see a wrestling ring turn into what looked like a crime scene. Here are 15 of the bloodiest, nastiest and hardest to watch wrestling matches in some of the major promotions around the world.
15 15. Edge vs. Mick Foley
Mick Foley could tell you all there is to know about getting bloody during a wrestling match and it was on display during his entire career. Once he started to get toward the end, he had one more classic in him at WrestleMania 22 when he took on Edge in a hardcore match. Edge didn’t quite have the reputation of being “hardcore” like Foley did, but the both of them put on an absolute show.
14 14. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels
One of the greatest feuds of the past decade had to be between Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels, as the two put on some clinical matches against one another. The one that left the biggest mess in the ring had us all fearing for Michaels’s safety, and that came at The Great American Bash in 2008.
13 13. Triple H vs. Ric Flair
Taboo Tuesday is one of those events that seemed like a good idea at the time, but never really carried much steam. If more matches were like the one between former Evolution members Triple H and Ric Flair, it might still be going. Triple H and Flair would go head to head inside of a steel cage for the Intercontinental Championship, with Triple H’s character adamant about ending the legendary career of Ric Flair, and the match made it looked like he had succeeded.
12 12. John Cena vs. JBL
If you ask most wrestling fans that are just now getting old enough to drink legally what the hardest match for them to watch was, they would probably say it came at the 2005 Judgment Day pay per view. The main event featured up and coming John Cena going against legendary heel JBL in an “I Quit” match. Midway into the match, Cena took a chair shot to the head from JBL, busting him wide open.
11 11. Beulah McGillicutty vs. Bill Alfonso
While the matches that have been on the list so far have been on WWE pay per views, here’s one that not many people know about in the slightest. If you watched a little bit of ECW, you might remember referee and manager Bill Alfonso. Alright, so you don’t know the name, but you probably remember the guy going around with the whistle. That was him.
10 10. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar have had some momentous matches against one another throughout their careers, especially in the past few years. If you recall, the two faced each other in 2015 at the Hell in a Cell pay per view. However, that’s not the Hell in a Cell match in question on the list, as we’re talking about all the way back in 2002 at No Mercy.
9 9. Vince McMahon vs. The Undertaker
There are sometimes where you want to see your boss beaten to a blood pulp, but if you actually saw it happen, you might think twice. That’s what happened back in 2003 when Vince McMahon (who was still adamant about having matches back then) went one on one with The Undertaker. There didn’t really need to be a stipulation to make it one sided, but they added a Buried Alive stipulation to make it interesting.
8 8. The Great Muta vs. Hiroshi Hase
If you are introducing a new wrestling fan to bloody matches, this is usually the one where it starts. After all, the amount of blood in a match is measured on the “Muta Scale” because of this 1992 match-up between The Great Muta and Hiroshi Hase. The match took place in New Japan Pro Wrestling and it was around 15 minutes before Muta would blade himself, and his cut was incredibly deep.
7 7. Abdullah the Butcher vs. Bruiser Brody (NWF)
We could have probably just made a list of 15 matches with Abdullah the Butcher, but that just didn’t seem quite fair. The man was the most notorious blader in wrestling history and the scars on his forehead are deep enough to fit coins into. Between that and his nickname, that pretty much tells you all you need to know. If you had to pick one match, though, it would be against Bruiser Brody when the two were in NWF.
6 6. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H vs. Chris Benoit
If it were up to the WWE, this match would only be known as the legendary one on one contest between friends and rivals Shawn Michaels and Triple H (like they made it in the video games). However, there was a third man there and it was Chris Benoit. This match took place at WrestleMania XX and was one of the most memorable WrestleMania matches ever.
5 5. Cactus Jack vs. Triple H
If you thought that Mick Foley and Triple H were done on this list, think again. Triple H makes his final appearance thanks to one of his brutal matches against Foley, who was wrestling as Cactus Jack. While their match at the Royal Rumble was certainly a slugfest, their match inside of the Hell in the Cell at the 2000 No Way Out pay per view really stands out.
4 4. MNM vs. London/Kendrick vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Regal/Taylor
While a lot of the matches on our list so far have included blading or taking big bumps through objects, this one was just unfortunate. Before he was a member of J&J Security, Joey Mercury was teamed up with Johnny Nitro in a four-team ladder match against Paul London and Brian Kendrick, William Regal and Dave Taylor and The Hardy Boyz.
3 3. Mick Foley vs. Terry Funk
Mick Foley makes his final appearance on the list in his bloodiest match. It didn’t happen in the WWE, WCW or even ECW, but instead with International Wrestling Association of Japan. In 1995, Foley (as Cactus Jack) entered the King of the Deathmatch tournament, purring on some memorable shows. The best came in the finals against longtime friend Terry Funk, and the stipulation was insane.
2 2. Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL
A lot of WWE fans will tell you that the hardest match to watch that they have ever seen was between Eddie Guerrero and JBL at the 2004 Judgment Day pay per view. There is usually a white mat inside of the ring, but this one was almost completely red by the end of the contest. With all of the blood in the ring, this one somehow ended by disqualification.
1 1. Mass Transit Incident
Not only did this match completely shock people, but it’s also the most tragic and sad as it almost resulted in a youth’s death. Eric Kulas wanted to be a wrestler and told Paul Heyman that he was old enough to go, getting the nickname Mass Transit. Kulas was just 17 years old at the time, replacing Axl Rotten and was bladed by New Jack after the match after beating him senseless.
The scalpel used by New Jack to blade the teenager severed two of Kulas’s arteries and the immediate blood loss made him pass out. Kulas would get medical treatment as he survived the incident in the squash match and it was caught on video despite being a house show. New Jack had the charges of assault and battery dropped, but the lawsuit nearly crippled ECW. Sadly, Kulas passed away five years later during a gastric bypass surgery, though not related to the Mass Transit Incident.
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