Pro wrestling has never seen a lack of blood throughout the years. While it is up to judgment what the bloodiest match in wrestling history is, or when blading and bleeding during a match was first introduced to the business, it surely has made its mark, figuratively and literally.
When a wrestler sheds blood, it tells a story of pain, tribulation, and strength. The intentional bloodshed comes at the cost of the wrestler and their body to provide entertainment to fans, and that is true dedication.
This list of bloody matches pertains to just WWE matches, simply because opening this list up to all of wrestling makes choosing only ten matches nearly impossible.
Although blood is currently uncommon in the PG Era of WWE wrestling, it still occurs, either by accident or in certain situations, by design.
Many men (and women) bled over the years of WWE wrestling, and while a list of ten matches does not capture them all, it does attempt to name the ten bloodiest in the company’s history.
Let’s take a look at which wrestlers have gained their crimson mask in ten of the bloodiest matches in WWE history.
10. Sgt. Slaughter vs. Pat Patterson: Alley Fight, 1981
WWE claims this match was the first time they ever went “extreme.” Sgt. Slaughter and Patterson squared off at Madison Square Garden together after a bitter rivalry, which Slaughter considers to have been a war between the two of them.
Sgt. Slaughter suffered a laceration to the head when Patterson catapulted him into the ring post.
The lack of a referee made it difficult for them to wrap up their match, but after a hit with his boot, The Grand Wizard threw his towel in the ring and determined Slaughter could not take any more hits. Patterson got a win over Slaughter that night, making it an extreme match before ECW even existed.
9. Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton: Summerslam 2016
Lesnar vs. Orton was an unexpected bloodshed because of the PG Era. After a brutal fight and a kick out from Orton, Lesnar found himself frustrated. He removed his gloves, punching Orton and giving him an elbow to his forehead, which left him cut open.
Orton had a solid stream of blood coming from his forehead. Referees determined Lesnar as the winner of the match by TKO.
Although the spot was planned, Orton suffered a concussion and had to receive staples in his head to mend the wound Lesnar legitimately gave him. Although not the bloodiest spot of all time, the amount of blood Orton shed is enough to make it the bloodiest moment of the PG Era.
8. Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair – WrestleMania 8
Ric Flair is notorious for bleeding in his matches. With his platinum blond and white hair, he proudly shows off the amount of blood he sheds.
At this point in wrestling, bleeding was uncommon, so the element of surprise was also evident when Randy Savage hit Flair with a double axe handle directly to the back. Flair hit the steel barricade and arose with blood covering his face and hair.
Flair bled a lot in this match and allegedly got in trouble over the spot, but it made for good wrestling. He continued his legacy as a bleeder in future matches, many of which had as much or more blood than his bout with Savage. One of those future matches may be further on this list…
7. Hell In A Cell: Armageddon 2000
One of the most underrated Hell in a Cell matches contained six of the biggest wrestlers at the time, and of all time: a defending Kurt Angle, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Undertaker, Rikishi and Triple H.
This match remains one of the most innovative, creative, and hellacious matches in WWE history. Rikishi was chokeslammed off the top of the cell. Stone Cold went through a car window. It was disorganized, but it was nothing less than fun.
Every wrestler involved in this match shed blood, and although it may not be the most blood WWE has seen, collectively it has earned its spot on this list.
6. Triple H vs. Ric Flair: Taboo Tuesday 2005
This steel cage match for the Intercontinental Championship was an intense one as Ric Flair defended his title against Triple H.
The two men faced off and Triple H threw Flair head-first into the steel cage which caused him to bleed. Flair later countered this when he apparently bit Triple H’s forearm to make him shed blood as well.
Flair managed to escape the steel cage by hitting Triple H three times with a chair before escaping through the door to retain his title.
Taboo Tuesday was evidently a weird concept, but it did let fans choose what types of matches they wanted to see from the pay-per-view. Although Triple H didn’t end Ric Flair’s career that night like he hoped, he sure did put on a great and bloody match with him.
5. Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin: WrestleMania 13
This 22-minute match was packed with constant action and fighting. Hart vs. Austin was a match for the history books.
The blood began when Bret Hart whipped Stone Cold into the guard rail around ringside. Austin bladed while he was down and reappeared bleeding.
Hart followed up Austin’s blading by targeting the cut and making it deeper and bigger during their match.
The end of their brawl is iconic, as Hart hit Austin with the Sharpshooter. Shown above, Austin was visually in pain as blood dripped from his head. He eventually lost the match, passing out and laying in a pool of his own blood. This was one of the intense matches that influenced the beginning of the Attitude Era, and reasonably so, because this match is so unforgettable.
4. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker: No Mercy 2002
This was The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar’s first ever Hell In A Cell match together, and Undertaker’s second ever match in the cell. Boy did they make it a messy one.
During their excitingly physical and violent bout, Lesnar used the steel ring steps to bash Undertaker in the head. Fans can easily see Undertaker remove the blade from his sleeve and cut himself. The only issue is he cut himself right over his eye.
This caused Undertaker to bleed even more than he would have if he simply cut the middle of his forehead.
Lesnar made The Undertaker bleed and pinned him as well. Between these two, it truly showed the power of Lesnar and displayed the strength of his character even more than before.
3. John Cena vs. JBL: Judgment Day 2005
The result of this match is one of those moments in wrestling history that has been burned into my mind since I was a child. John Cena holding his title with a face covered in blood is truly unforgettable.
Cena defended his first WWE Title against JBL after defeating him for it at WrestleMania 21. He became yet another bloody victim of JBL at Judgement Day though, with a violent blading waiting for him during his match.
JBL hit Cena with a chair to the face and Cena surprised the crowd with his split-open head. He was nevertheless able to successfully retain his title, all while making a legendary moment for himself in wrestling history by donning a crimson mask in his bloodiest match ever.
2. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack: No Way Out 2000
Would this really be a list about blood if Mick Foley wasn’t involved?
This Hell in a Cell match at No Way Out is one of the top matches for the stipulation in wrestling history. Fans remember it for the huge bumps and shots both men took, but also because Mick Foley went through the top of the cell… again.
Triple H added the stipulation that if Cactus Jack lost the match he would have to retire from in-ring competition. Between barbed wire, chair shots, and even fire, both men were cut significantly.
The match was violent and thrilling all at once. Jack used the steps to break the wiring and escape the cell, before the two climbed above the structure and Cactus Jack fell through.
Triple H managed to hit him with a pedigree shortly after, forcing Cactus Jack / Mick Foley into retirement. Luckily he was only gone for a few weeks and returned as per the request of Linda McMahon. This bloody match would not be Mick Foley’s last, but remains as one of his most memorable and bloodiest matches in WWE.
1. Eddie Guerrero vs. JBL: Judgment Day 2004
This moment in wrestling history is both gory and dramatic. After a chair shot from JBL, Guerrero bladed his forehead under the timekeeper’s table. Although blading was normal at this point in wrestling, Guerrero made the mistake of cutting an artery in his forehead.
The result of Guerrero’s mistake led to a bloody mess that shocked everyone. He was drenched in his own blood and spread it everywhere, including the ring canvas and the floor.
Guerrero lost the match to JBL by disqualification, but the end result of the match is not what wrestling fans remember about it. Fans remember JBL’s nasty chair shot to Guerrero and the extreme amount of blood that followed. As easily one of the bloodiest matches in WWE history, this match-up between Guerrero and JBL is one for the books.