PA Athletic Commission tries to bodyslam violent matches

Jul 24, 2013 - by Steve Gerweck

PA Athletic Commission tries to bodyslam violent matches

Editor’s Note: Wrestling with Regulations is a series covering the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission’s regulation of professional wrestling and the strange intersection with one of the state’s most vibrant — and secretive — subcultures.

By Gary Joseph Wilson | PA Independent

HARRISBURG – Rickey Shane Page wears a crimson mask of his own blood as he carries a bundle of fluorescent light tubes and approaches the ring during an Absolute Intense Wrestling show in Cleveland, Ohio.

But before Page can enter the ring, his opponent Matt Cross swings from the top rope and dropkicks the glass tubes directly into Page’s face. The tubes erupt into a cloud of broken glass and powder, covering Page in white specks of debris.

Page falls to the ground in agony but manages to give a thumbs up to fans taking photos at ringside as they chant “RSP! RSP! RSP!”

But Page’s glory could have been short-lived had he been wrestling in Pennsylvania, and a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission felt like ruining his day.

Page or the match promoter could have been charged with a class three misdemeanor. Not because Page tried to hit someone with glass tubes — but because he cut himself.

lading, as it’s called, is a popular parlor trick where a wrestler will discreetly use a hidden razor blade to cut his forehead just below the hairline. Largely a superficial wound, a cut from a blade will produce a large flow of blood.

Despite being relatively safe, blading is one of the few things prohibited by Pennsylvania’s Wrestling Act. The illegality of the act has conflicted with the prevalence of ultraviolent wrestling in the state, and wrestlers have both found ways around statute, or ignored the state’s regulation completely.

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