There were rumors going around last night that AEW was fined $10K by the Maryland State Athletic Commission. On the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer explained more details about the situation. It all stems from the main event of AEW’s Full Gear pay-per-view in Baltimore from last November, which was headlined with a Lights Out match between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley.
“You’re not supposed to do blood in a match in Maryland. That’s been known for literally 35 years that you don’t do blood in Maryland. The commission for years would stop a match at the first sight of blood. There was a lot of blood in that match.”
The match was an absolutely brutal and bloody 39 minute fight that included barbed wire, broken glass, a baseball bat, mouse traps, a gold anchor chain, a screwdriver stabbing, and the exposed ring boards. Meltzer focuses on the barbed wire when explaining why AEW was fined:
“The usage of all the barbed wire was one of the key things, as far as the fine came, is the introduction of foreign objects that caused a lot of blood. It was basically the idea that they intentionally did it, and that the barbed wire was there to cause cuts, and it did. So in their mind that’s intentional blood. Barbed wire is not a razor blade, but it’s barbed wire that they fell on, and it’s gonna rip up skin and it’s gonna cause bleeding. They absolutely violated the commission bylaws.”
Meltzer goes on to explain that it was pretty common for wrestling promotions to break rules like this and just pay the fine. But his best guess is that this wouldn’t have even been an issue if it wasn’t publicly raised by Chris Cruise, a former WCW announcer.
So there you go. It turns out that messing around with barbed wire and blood sometimes comes with more than just a physical cost, but it’s a cost that probably won’t stop AEW from doing it again.