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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Death of Kane
September 12, 2005 by Antonio Russelheimer


Back in the mid-90's, a young Glen Jacobs got another shot at WWE fame and debuted as Kane; a supposedly indestructible being who took chairshots as if they were made out of rubber. From then on, his destruction began as he Chokeslammed opponents with ease, and it would even take 3 tombstones to be put down in his Wrestlemania debut with the Undertaker.

The thing that was so intriguing about his character was that he was a mystery. He never aligned himself with either the faces or the heels, he just was mainly on his own path with Paul Bearer and would do whatever the hell he wanted. He'd Chokeslam faces (Austin) and heels (The Rock), it didn't matter.

So where could one go when they're on the top" Nowhere but bottom. Even though Kane did receive the WWE Championship once, it was nothing of a spectacle as he lost it in less than 24 hours against Steve Austin on RAW the next night. And from there on, sank lower and lower into more of the 'mid-card' matches instead of the great feuds he held with Undertaker and Austin.

Eventually Kane started to become a bit more humorous when he'd align himself with the likes of X-Pac. Unfortunately, he was never the one to turn on his teammate. So one probably felt less convinced that he was such the 'indestructible machine' that he came out to be. When Mankind cost Kane the tag team titles by accident, Kane beat him with a sledgehammer in a dumpster right after the match. When X-Pac betrayed him, it just sparked some stupid feud. Where's the rage and intensity that we all knew and loved from the guy"

And slowly and surely, his mask started to change too. I'm sure it was mainly because his other one was a bitch to breathe and see in, but not too many fans took a likening to it. And so, his end was about to occur.

Kane was no longer indestructible. No longer could chair shots be no-soled by him. He got his ass kicked just about as much as his brother did. But hope wasn't lost yet for the character.

UNTIL June 23rd, 2003 where he bet his mask against the belt. Everyone was convinced that Kane would win that night because come on, who the hell wants him to lose the only thing keeping his character alive. Unfortunately he lost, and disappointment shrouded many.

Kane was nothing to most now. He did grow quite more insane as he had in the past, but he was not a mystery anymore. There was nothing too intriguing to be said about him. His bald head and sinister look just didn't keep it going.

And does one remember how he reacted to Undertakers mind games not too long ago" His panicked reaction to all of it really annoyed most people. He was no longer a fearless demon hellbent on kicking every ones ass. He was now just a not-so mysterious and somewhat cowardly heel who's gimmick has been spat out for quite some time.

So what to do now" Easy. Bring the mask back. It can have a wig attached to it, whatever. Just bring it back. And bring back the attitude that Kane once had and that we all liked. As nowadays, his appearance is starting to lose its affect.

by Antonio Russelheimer ..


Doug Twinn wrote:
I couldnt agree more with your column there , a big mistake what the WWE did was taking the mask off Kane , since the mask was taken off him he has seemed to have jobbed to other wrestlers and when hes been in a storyline they have all been rubbish.

A way the WWE could give him his mask back is if they did a storyline where he gets defeated in a buried alive match and comes back with the mask on.

Right now Kanes carrer in the WWE is pretty much dead. I miss the days when we would see him as the big red machine who destoyed everything in his path , now he doesnt do that and its sad to see that.
Keelan Early, Northern Ireland wrote:
I sadly have to agree with you about the demise of Glenn Jacobs' character, Kane. I also believe that he descension is mirroring the descent of one-time great Mark Calloway, The Undertaker. However, there may be a way back for two of the greatest, but similar, gimmicks in WWE/WWF history. It seems to me that the WWE are trying to revive the tag-team title situation and this may be a genuine opportunity for them to team up once more.
Edward T. Nime wrote:
I have to agree, there were many times in KANEs career. where we though he would be given a HUGE push. Hell even the Undertaker says KANE is a diamond in the rough. with Taker saying it, I figured VINCE would give him a push Instead, Kane is left to make everyone he faces bigger and badder than he is... a shame that a career once HELL bent and looking bright, that the only major push he ever got was for 24 hours!
Adam Veltri wrote:
I couldn't agree more with your article about the so called big red machine as the WWE has completely destroyed his character. Kane is the constant upper midcarder and occasional maineventer that has never had a run with the gold. In hindsight, his one day reign over Austin back at the King of the Ring 98 was only done for shock value. The mask coming off has done nothing for him, but I think the worst came for him slightly before that with the ridiculous Triple H-Katie Vick angle. Since this horrendous angle he has since had a serious program with the World Champion. If he had gone over Triple H at this time, who knows what may have happened with his career. I thought there was a bit of resurgence for him with his great crazed heel promos he was cutting right before marring Lita, but the WWE unbelievably turned him face again to feud with Snitsky. I don't think the fans really bought him as a face so soon after being so hated during his feud with Matt Hardy.

When he comes back now what is he going to do" Stay face and job to young up and comers like Masters and Carlito (as I doubt HBK will do it after jobbing to Hogan) as I can't see the WWE thrusting him into the main event spotlight with Kurt Angle. Even if he did do something with Angle, it would one ppv job deal like he did with Benoit last year. I almost think he should go heel again and work a program with Cena or HBK, but he would mostly like end up feuding with the Big Show or the returning Rob Van Dam. Who knows, the WWE may have him teaming him with some other upper midcarder like Sheldon Benjamin like they did with him and X-Pac and RVD - other upper midcarders never really given the opportunity as well. Kane will end up getting the shaft no matter what happens. Unlike Guerrero, Benoit, Jericho and Orton before him, Kane hasn't even had the opportunity to see what he could do with the title. I think Kane deserves and could do a short run at the top as the crazed heel we last saw during his courting of Lita, but Kurt Angle, Edge, and Triple H are all probably ahead of him in line. Nope, it will be back to the upper midcard ranks to job to Chris Masters.
Mike McMahon wrote:
Why did Undertaker become the American Badass" Why did WWE stop making Goldberg into an invinsible monster" Why did everyone hate X-Pac" Because they got STALE. You can't make a career out of 1 thing, you've got to change. Making Kane less monster and more human was a good move because it set him up in a way that he could be betrayed, he could lose, he could grow. Eventually, he can still completely turn again into an evil monster, but for now his character is what it is. Kane is in a spot right now where he is always over and can easily become a credible champion.
LaserLights5 wrote:
You make some great points in this article. Kane has completely dropped off the map. I think that they should bring back the mask. There is so many possibilities that they could do. They could have a masked Kane come in with Bearer and, Bearer says that the masked one was the real Kane and have Kane Vs Kane. Then after the match is over have Jacob's put the mask on and become the real Kane and have the other guy have his own character. They can just have Kane just start going crazy and then we find out that he has been secretly worshiping his mask, then the mask forces him to put it on and he can't take it off (his character is an insane pyro, he does crazy things like this) so he becomes the old Kane. There are limitless possibilities when you have a character so unique like Kane is. The WWE creative team has dropped off so much since the attitude era. When it comes down to things, WE NEED SHANE MCMAHON.
Joecool1 wrote:
Great article. I am with you all the way. I feel the exact same about Kane as you do. The mask was part of what made Kane so interesting. Without it he's just another big man. Look what happened when Undertaker went back to the gimmick that made him so popular. Fans began cheering and getting interested in him again. Bring back the mask for Kane when he comes back! Also I think he needs to go back into full wrestling gear. At least what he had before he disposed of his mask. It's not like Kane has the best speaking ability/charisma or in-ring wrestling ability. The mask made Kane. Without the mask Kane is DULL.
jacob mccormick wrote:
i feel the same way you guys do about kane his gimmick now is a gay fruitcake he's not the cool guy he once was the guy who we all love ..or hated who was catching undertaker on fire and then undertaker would not be in the casket it was so awesome ive never thought that kane was as good as taker noone has come anywhere close but him he came close i have one thing to say that vince mcCmahion needs to do....PUT KANE AND TAKER ON THE SAME SHOW SO THEY CAN FEUD AND THE RATINGS WOULD BE MUCH BETTER!!!
Chris Palmer wrote:
Antonio, your logic is flawed. First of all, Mankind did not cost Kane the tag team titles by accident- Kane chose not to show up, and it was the sledgehammer shot that cost them the belts in the first place. I agree, maybe the so-called "humanizing" of Kane didn't help matters. But it's not just that that ended up burying him. His inability to stay healthy helped that along rather well. Still, the WWE had a prime opportunity to push the hell out of the new (or old") Kane when he unmasked, which should have included a world title run. He should have gotten that at Armageddon that year, but once again Hunter Hearst McMahon had to have his way, and have the title around his waist yet again. The right thing to do would have been to put the belt on Kane, have Goldberg and Triple H feud until the Royal Rumble, give Triple H the world title shot at Wrestlemania, and go from there. Now, I understand that it would not have helped matters in the long run, but Randy Orton's World Championship run (short as it was) never would have taken place, Eddie Guerrero would never have realized his dream and been stuck in the midcard where he belongs, and there never, EVER would have been the JBL reign of terror. Benoit still could have been WWE champ, and would have made a MUCH BETTER champion than JBL ever could have. And there SURE as hell would never have been a Snitsky in WWE. (Why did I leave Lesnar and Goldberg off the list" I doubt things would have changed much with either one of them.) You also say that the only way to revive Kane's career is to bring the mask back, saying that it should "just be brought back," along with the Kane attitude. While I agree that maybe the attitude could come back, if you bring the mask back with it, it defeats the whole purpose. Kane's been unmasked. We were told for years that Kane was scarred for life in a fire, and even though they tried to cover it by saying they were superficial, we know for a fact that we as fans were screwed once the mask came off revealing the actual Kane face. Putting the mask back on him would only bury him further, as no one would buy it anymore. I know Rey Mysterio unmasked for a brief time in WCW, but Mysterio's mask was just that- a mask. It wasn't put on him to "hide" something, like Kane's was. Putting the mask back on Kane would further make him into a joke- pretty soon you'd be seeing him in Masterlock Challenges, squash matches against Snitsky and Rob Conway...the list goes on.
Matthew Geddes wrote:
I was having this very conversation last night with a mate of mine, who also wants the mask brought back. Truly, I think the death of Kane came when he was able to "suddenly" talk without the aid of the voicebox device. As a massive Kane fan, I have always wanted him to turn on everyone again - The Undertaker, RVD, Triple H are the obvious ones, but also random attacks on, say, Booker T or Edge or Shelton Benjamin or Carlito (or Eugene - perfect !)just for no reason whatsoever - make him invade the other shows - with the proviso that it actually goes somewhere ! Just after he roster split, I thought that Kane and Big Show could become totally dominant on their respective shows to build up to a WM event - but both have been buried. Bring back the mask - tell the story how you want - but let's make Kane Kane again.
Andy Sharp wrote:
Antonio, I totally agree with you that it seems like there is nothing left the WWE can do with the Kane character, when I first started watching wrestling Kane used to be one of my favourites. Like you said, he was on his own path doing what he wanted, when he wanted. Kane holding the WWF Championship for just 24 hours and never regaining it is a decision by the WWE that I've never liked.

However, as the "face" of the WWF now WWE changed so did the Kane character as did so many other characters (Undertaker, Stone Cold to name a few) in my opinion, if they put the mask back on Kane it would ruin Kane even more - just like many believe The Undertaker was ruined after reviving the deadman gimmick. Having said that, Rey Mysterio is an example of a wrestler who lost their mask only to use it again in the future - but that's Rey Mysterio, not a superstar that we were supposed to believe was hideously scarred for life by a fire.

I miss the days when people saw Kane as a legit ass kicking machine who would walk through fire to get what he wanted and I hope the WWE can turn this around and do something with the character that Glen Jacobs did so well. But then, this is 2005 and WWE's witers have apparently no knowledge of wrestling - only soap opera storylines which contributed into ruining Kane (Katy Vick, geting Lita pregnant, marrying Lita, losing the baby, Divorcing Lita) there's the "Big Red Machine" you see today and it makes me sad.
Benjamin Neal Trotter wrote:
Having met Glen Jacobs during the great days of Smokey Mountain Wrestling as the Unibomb, I have always been a fan of his. The team of Unibomb and Al Snow, tag partner at the time, simply dominated the SMW tag team circuit. His heel character was so evil and uncaring, it was believable. He was simply brutal and powerful at the time.

But when I first saw Jacobs in WWE, I was glad to see him in a big time promotion. The beginnings of his Yankhem and Fake Diesel were interesting. Being paired up with Jerry Lawler, going after Bret Hart, and Jim Ross, going after the company. Though Jacob's characters got big pushes at first, I was disappointed to see his storylines lack any real longevity, and just faded away. Though he was being tested with these characters, it did give Jacobs a big push into becoming in what we know now as Kane.

When character of Kane arrived, Glen Jacobs had totally renovated his wrestling career. Jacobs entrance as Kane was truly remarkable when he devastated the Undertaker post-Hell in a Cell match. He was also one of the first characters in a long time to go over the edge. Outrageous storylines that seemed unbelievable but played well enough to be believable. During his long feud with the Undertaker, the character of Kane gave the Deadman trouble never before seen. With the plots concerning the controversy over their characters' parents death, then incident with Kane torching a casket with Taker inside. It was truly dramatic wrestling action and story lining never before seen. Though I was disappointed to see Kane lose some of his origins, original costume and voice box, then fall into silly gimmicks as the infamous Kanerooni.

Then Jacobs and character of Kane were evolved even further with the introduction of Kane into the tag team circuit. Being team up with XPac, ManKind, Taker, Van Dam, and Hurricane showed the most unusual pairing but very promising tag teams at the time.

Jacobs, singles storyline, got even more interesting with the feud between Kane and HHH. The storyline was truly jaw dropping. I couldn't believe that such a storyline would be played on TV. Then with the match for Kane's mask/World Title was a good twist. The wrestling world would finally see for the first time Kane unmasked. Though his scars disappeared quickly, our beloved heel Kane finally returned even more evil than before. The plot of Austin pushing over the mental edge leading to the burning of Jim Ross and the insane feud between him and Shane McMahon. The fiery dumpster and limo incidents were truly over the edge shocking keeping people on their toes.

But this is also where Glen Jacob and the character of Kane starred to slow down. After suffering numerous injuries, Jacobs (Kane) had to switch up finishing moves from the Tombstone to Choke slam, decreased top rope maneuvers. Then after the chair stomp on Shawn Michaels throat, storylines for Kane seemed to be hard to come by after going the edge so many times. What else could Kane do that could top his very shocking actions. There didn't seem to be anymore good singles feuds that Kane could be put into, and no one good enough to pair him up with in tag team action at the time. Eventually, it seems the story between Kane and Matt Hardy was just thrown together. It had a lot of before seen storylines of two wrestlers fighting over a woman. Then with the added element of forcing Lita in marrying Kane and having his child was to silly. Pregnancy plots never go well with wrestling.

But have to say that the reintroduction Matt Hardy to feud with Edge/Lita helped save Kane, though I was hoping Kane would align himself with Matt Hardy and/or have the return of the Mask. But by having the return of Matt Hardy, this allowed Glen to go on leave, without punishing the character of Kane.

With the news that Glen Jacobs of being in the movies seems interesting. Though I am hoping the reaction of the wrestling will not be the same that the Rock received after returning from his movies.

I hope to see Glen Jacobs return as the masked Kane. It seemed the audience loved Kane while wearing the mask, being the BIG RED MACHINE. But after being unmasked, the audience saw him just as a man.

BRING BACK THE BIG RED MACHINE
Justin Garofalo wrote:
Well written article, but its the same tired story. It isn't like the mask has some mystical power that's going to stop WWE creative team from using him foolishly. The masks has and had nothing to do with it. Its the creative team. Im not a kane fan at all, but ill tell you this much Glen CAN WORK THE MIC...theres no reason for them to throw him back into "the silent monster" gimmick. Taking away almost all mic time from Glen would be a digression for him. He's shown he has no problems handling himself in a talking role, and does so to a better degree then allot of other guys on there roster. Kane's mask was NEVER the issue, and his character has grown and has shown much more dimension in the loss of it, and so has Glen. Its the creative team handling him that's the issue.
Huthaifa Abdulhafeez wrote:
Honestly, I prefer him without the mask. The guy is solid on the mic. Whats lacking from Kane is simple. Its unpredictability. He should be chokeslamming little kids. He is supposed to be shocking violent.A monster in action, not just in look. How great would he be in a feud with Batista,Taker, or JBL.He needs to destroy people, with his actions, and stay a hundred miles from Lita.He doesnt need to be feed cruiserweights or bring up guys like Tomko and Snitsky. He is a big time player, and he can be put into that spot, and people will immediately accept it.
Aaron Tolles wrote:
You do make alot of great points,but I am only going to half agree with your comments.Kane has always been in this position,with or without the mask.He also is inconsistant on his heel/face turns as he's never been or the other for too long.I think that creatively there isn't much more to do with him,but this happens to alot of wrestlers.I honestly feel that he has never really been World title material,just a contender.We all knew he was being down graded when they started putting him with random partners for tag title runs.If they writers were smart they would've had him as a inbetweener who destroys anybody who gets in his way.Right now he is out another month with a knee injury,but there is alot of thought that needs to be put into his return.I wouldn't say he is dead yet,just needs the right storyline and push.
Marla R. wrote:
I have to say, I agree. Since Kane got rid of the mask, his entire personna has gone. His "peak" was around the "brothers of distruction" and shortly after. The "new Kane" is a disappointment. Fans are waiting to see him live up to the potential he has, but how will the WWE let him show himself" Maybe a reunion of the BOD will help boost his career to where it should be, it would definitly be worth more than what he is doing now.. Again.. just my opinion.
Will Gonzalez wrote:
While I definitley agree that Kane was a much better and more interesting character then, putting the mask on him would be pointless. We all know what he looks like and we know he's not scarred and burned, so what would really be the point" I think he would be better without it.

However, I do think he should go back to his old ways. Instead of the mask, Kane should grow out his hair (or get a hairpiece, whichever) and get his old-school gear back, so that he looks like he did then, just without the mask. This would allow him to still have his more human side at the same time as looking the part of an intimidating monster and acting as such too. It would also help if he were to ever return to a face character, as going without the mask would definitley work as a face.

Kane's gimmick is really all he has since he's not a very good wrestler, so that's what should be focused on.
Sharon Liebno wrote:
I have to simply agree with you Antonio, and to bring back the mask. It would be pointless not to do so. However the way I see it is if you look at it from what the creative team, what would probably happen is that Kane would get "severely" burned again in some kind of modified inferno match against someone believable. Like HHH or Michaels even Angle and perhaps Big Show since Kane will be coming back with these names. I think having this done in midcard match against snitsky, tomko, or Viscera's little midget friend (Imagine that) would only take him no where.

Kane could also use a good time off to do this. I would be ok if they just let him come back with long hair and no mask as long as he doesn't look like uncle fester anymore. So with Kane having that time away he could revitalize his star power, work on a couple of movies, and hopefully get on the right foot but what I fear is that it's been done before and all of us knowing the WWE's creative team it will just be like throwing a snow ball into hell, it won't last.
Christopher Bamford wrote:
I see only one way for Kane to rise again in the wwe, and yes it must involve the mask, the only believable way would be for him to "genuinely" get burnt in a storyline and comeback as the big red machine. Perhaps he makes a dive for edge (an unfinished feud in my book as kane just disapeared as of late) and ends up going into flames or he tries to set him on fire and get shoved in himself. He could appear later in another edge and hardy match (come on you know its innevitable this feud is gonna go on forever its another rey and eddie one) Have kanes music play for a few seconds on other shows whenever either is in the rign because he is still technically in a feud with hardy. Only for him to reappear mask on (wwe im sure can cook up some medical video surgery etc) and demolish them all thus setting himself up for the big push that really his career needs. Kane was a personal favourite of mine and recently he has become something of a non-entity the monster needs to return as no-one likes the psycho.
James Pretyman wrote:
i agree, but that has kind of happened before. In the story line with Shane-o-mac, he got thrown into a burning dumpster and he came back ok (or so I saw). So really there is no point in making him get burnt with something else if he has been thrown into burning garbage. I agree with the Doug Twinn, he should get burried and do something like Undertaker's return (2004), but with fire (E.g. the ring burning and all staff members come out and put the fire out and then kane's music playing).
helen wrote:
I disagree that WWE should bring back his mask, c'mon what's the point now" I loved him with the mask but now it's just memories. The fact is he is not as mysterious, we can now see emotion on his face. However one thing I also liked about Kane, was his vioce box. H esounded awesome!
GURNAIB SIDHU wrote:
It doesn't matter if they do put on the mask or take it off. The WWE Writers can destroy Kane's image as much as they want or bring it up to stardom but it won't matter. Mr. Glen Jacobs is now 40 years old and has said he would like to retire as soon as January 2007. But he has said he would like another tag-team with Mark "Undertaker" Caloway before he leaves wrestling. I'm a huge Kane fan and would love to see him hold the title for a long time. Maybe he could occupy the champ position until his retire date where he could suddenly be permanently injured and lose the title. He could go out with a boom and be remembered forever in the WWE. I personally like it if Kane would go back to having a ring attire styled like his first full body one but have it modernized. They should also have him grow out his hair and regrow his goatee. He would have his best look of all time. He would slightly resemble The Undertaker and could probably spark their tag-team reign. Any way the WWE decides to take Kane it should be a good one seeing as how it's probably his last year with them. Kane is and has always been Championship material. A Kane title reign would be great and bizarre keeping the WWE fans on the edges of their seats.
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