During his main event match this past Monday Night on Raw against Jerry Lawler, CM Punk bled. In days past, this wouldn't have been an issue but with drastic changes in policy to reflect its television rating, as well as pressure from the outside with Linda McMahon's political aspirations, bleeding is strictly prohibited on WWE TV.
Even worse? Blading.
Most of you know already but for those who do not, blading is the practice of using a small razor to open a cut, usually somewhere on the forehead, to "get color," or bleed. It adds a certain element to a match, especially those that are brutal, such as steel cage matches.
Which is exactly the kind of match Punk and Lawler had on Monday.
Upon watching the match, it was difficult to see where and when the blade job occurred ... or if one even occurred at all. In fact, some are convinced Punk simply bled "hardway," which is to say, naturally and without blading. Keen observers can tell you, however, without question, Punk bladed during a spot just before Lawler whipped him against the cage. When Punk went to the floor, he subtly passed the blade off to Charles Robinson, the referee for the match.
Again, this wouldn't be a big issue if it weren't for the fact that blading is not allowed on WWE television and often isn't even allowed on pay-per-view (PPV), save for special occasions and typically only for those with enough pull in the company to avoid serious repercussions.
The latest edition of Figure Four Weekly speculates that Punk has either joined the elite group backstage who can get away with doing such a thing or convinced everyone he didn't actually blade.
As best we can tell, there was no fallout from this, meaning either Punk has significantly more power backstage than anyone imagines, or he successfully argued that he did not, in fact, blade, and that it was a hardway cut (Bret Hart got away with this in his WrestleMania match with Roddy Piper a generation ago). Blading is absolutely prohibited on WWE television.
From watching the video, it seems clear Punk bladed and then passed the razor off to the referee just after. It's subtle enough, however, that those who don't know what to look for wouldn't know what was happening and even slowed down, it's difficult to tell. I actually tested this with Cr8 and she had difficulty seeing when and where it happened, ultimately coming away extremely impressed with Punk's ability to conceal as much despite doing it in full view of the camera while he was getting ready to jump into the cage.
As noted by Figure Four Weekly, Punk hasn't faced punishment for this and that likely means he's reached a new level in the WWE locker room. Talk about breaking the glass ceiling.
After the jump, check out the video and judge for yourself.