It should come as no surprise that Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker having the bloodiest WWE brawl in many years at Hell in a Cell yesterday is a topic of tremendous controversy today.
Firstly, ever since the summer of 2008, coinciding with the decision to make all WWE programming PG rated, the company has had in place an official "no blood" policy which expressly prohibits intentional blading (i.e., using a razor blade to draw blood during a match) by their performers. It's a policy that the company has strictly enforced in the past, as Batista was memorably fined a whopping $100,000 for blading during a steel cage match with Chris Jericho on the Nov. 3rd, 2008, Monday Night Raw.
Secondly, this isn't the first time Brock Lesnar has been suspected of blading (or intentional bleeding). Indeed, many people speculated that Lesnar bladed during his WrestleMania 31 match with Roman Reigns earlier this year, immediately prior to being slammed into a ring post to create the illusion of hardway juice (i.e., blood produced from a cut that was not self-inflicted but accidental and unplanned). This time the suspicion of blading felt even more warranted, as Lesnar appeared to block contact with the ring post with his hand, so obviously that both Michael Cole and JBL commented upon it, before being seen gushing blood a few seconds later. However, it should be noted that according to WWE.com Lesnar "received as many as nine staples" to close the wound, which would be evidence pointing towards the gash being obtained hardway.
Thirdly, The Undertaker came up bloody after Lesnar took off his glove and punched his opponent on the forehead with his exposed knuckles. This was clearly hardway juice, but seemed to be intentionally extracted. However, The Undertaker could have also bladed later to add more colour. Matches in which both men intentionally bleed are foolish in this day and age, as we know that there is a genuine risk of blood-borne diseases potentially being passed from one performer to another (the most famous example being Devon Nicholson becoming infected with Hepatitis C during a double juice match with Abdullah The Butcher).
Finally, Lesnar shoved down the ringside physician when he got in the way of the flow of the match and attempted to mop up the blood from his cut for the second time, before giving Undertaker another F-5. The incident came off as unscripted, as the camera wasn't in position for the spot and it wasn't dwelled upon by the announcers or directors. Frankly, if this was indeed a shoot, it was highly unprofessional conduct by Lesnar and he deserves to be punished harshly for it. Assaulting a doctor because he is doing his job properly should not be tolerated by WWE, under any circumstances.
According to wrestling news reporter Bryan Alvarez on his Bryan & Vinny show recapping the Hell in a Cell event, he received "frantic texts" from someone backstage at the show, who told Bryan that both Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn "freaked out" over Lesnar's blood and screamed to get a doctor out there (to clean up the blood). Apparently, there was another "big time flip out backstage" when Lesnar manhandled the nervous doctor who was following McMahon's orders.
Vince already flipping his lid backstage and we're three minutes in. #HIAC— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) October 26, 2015
Vince wants a doctor out there now and Kevin Dunn is apparently demanding all replays be in black and white. #HIAC— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) October 26, 2015
They are screaming at the doctors and the ref through the headsets #HIAC— Bryan Alvarez (@bryanalvarez) October 26, 2015
Dave Meltzer on his Wrestling Observer Radio show confirmed that there was a commotion in the Gorilla position over the blood, but claimed that neither Brock Lesnar nor The Undertaker were verbally reprimanded for their behaviour after the match was over. Meltzer believed that no blade was used to draw blood by either of the participants, as best he could tell, but he also thought that Lesnar had every intention of doing a hardway double juice match, even though that should also theoretically be completely forbidden (the method of drawing blood shouldn't matter, it's the intent that counts). Essentially, Meltzer's conclusion was that both men had gone into business for themselves to have the best match possible.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com has backed up Meltzer's assertion that the juice was obtained hardway, but disputes Alvarez's claims that Vince McMahon "freaked out" over the blood, although he does say that McMahon wasn't thrilled to see it. However, he agrees with Alvarez that McMahon was very upset over Brock Lesnar attacking the doctor assigned to clean his cut up and Johnson called the situation "a complete 100% shoot." He also corroborated Meltzer's report that Lesnar and The Undertaker weren't told off by WWE management for their behaviour during the match upon their return to the locker room.
Finally, Jim Ross tweeted that Vince McMahon's rumoured anger was justified if he wasn't aware that Brock and Undertaker planned to bleed in the match:
Certainly justified if VKM did not know about it. https://t.co/uTM4jiX9TM— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) October 26, 2015
Hard to disagree with that, presuming the blood wasn't accidental.