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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Glen Jacobs: The Real Phenom
October 30, 2005 by Joe L.


Well, so much for my retirement. This was just an overlooked gem I came across after erasing it from Notepad but now I've brought it back and just in time.

Let me just begin something here: If there was any justice, Kane would be a World Heavyweight Champion and be taken seriously as a credible monster heel. Rather it has anything to do with the substandard booking or some sort of corporal punishment, these have been three horrendously rotten years for Glenn Jacobs. From being squashed by the Undertaker to being put in some ridiculously incoherent pregnancy storyline to having to job to the talent-less slug Gene Snitsky and feud with him by the end of the year, Jacobs deserves better than to be utilized in some amateurish and unintelligibly silly story angles and be treated like a jobber to the star (and this was from last year alone!).

His outing at WrestleMania XXI gave me high hopes for a better future instead after that, he has gone from a credible main event threat to feuding with the no-talent Viscera and be put in hopeless situations involving Lita, reducing his heat and deceiving the kayfabe of being a face or a heel.

That's not to say this is the first time he's put through one embarrassment to another; Glenn Jacobs has been put in bad situations and even worse gimmicks prior to his recent outing...before and after he became the Big Red Machine, he was a dentist, a copyright infringement of Diesel, a freakin' clown with Christmas decorations and a murderer of some female named Katie Vick. If anyone were put in his shoes, they would've shot themselves. Gimmicks like this would've been considered career suicide to any wrestler that were utilized them. I mean, we're talking about gimmicks and character traits even worse than G.I. Bro, even worse than Glacier and even ten times worse the goody-two-shoe Doink the Clown.

Even going through these horrendous gimmicks and ridiculous booking decisions, however, Glenn Jacobs deserves my respect for working as hard as he could just so that he can put some fans' butts on their seats, even though he's part of some of the worst storylines in wrestling history. Jacobs, for his huge size, is a decent worker who can have good-to-great matches if put with some talented athletes. His matches with Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle are the some of the best in his entire career and his mic-skills are impeccable in a sort of an old-school feeling.

Sadly, fans will never be able to connect to Kane the same way they had when he debut in 1997 as the Undertaker's "brother". It's a shame really because Kane, for all his flaws, is actually a competent wrestler that can do wonders given his size. I mean, look at the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania XXI and see him flying in the air on top of five of his opponents. You think the Big Show or Batista would be able to do something that? Sure, the Undertaker did it but he did it perfectly when he was healthy. We're talking about a guy who's been in this sport for nearly a decade and can still execute a beautiful top-rope clothesline at 320 pounds.

But thanks to all the ludicrous angles he's been involved in, no one will ever look at Kane and say that "you're one of my favorite wrestlers and I like you". Kane was a monster heel to end all monster heels...who could ever forget his feud with the Undertaker where he was so extremely dominant not even the Mastadon Vader could penetrate his offense. The fact that he won the WWF title just seven months after his debut is a strong accomplishment. Unfortunately, he held it for one day and became nothing more than a lackey for the Undertaker, the Corporation and X-Pac. After that, his success in the WWE has been less than stellar from being an inspiring monster to being a posterboy of the necrophilia storyline to ridiculing in unbelievable (as if to say NOT BELIEVABLE) battles with Shane McMahon and the Undertaker and then jobbing to the likes of Matt Hardy, Shawn Michaels, Gene Snitsky and most recently, Edge. Kane's career has fallen apart faster than a 2002 Guns N' Roses tour.


At the same time, however, you can't help but feel some sympathy and admiration for a guy that has endured more public humiliations on a live television show than Ashlee Simpson and Courtney Love combined. So far, from last to this year, he has jobbed in more pay-per-views than Barry Horowitz during his 1995 run. That's bad, folks. Really BAD!! Meanwhile, his other "brother" gives some of the worst matches in wrestling and gets a title shot at a PPV three times where Kane hasn't had any title shot or rematches on a pay-per-view since Badd Blood, even though he's a much superior worker, a healthier wrestler and makes his opponents look better than the Undertaker has ever done since his 2000 return.

I mean, look at the differences between Kane and the Undertaker and how their careers have unfolded lately. Whenever Glenn Jacobs is in a ring with a superb talent like Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels, he makes them look like competent underdogs, selling their offense and then getting pinned cleanly like a man. Whenever you see the Undertaker in the ring with guys like Eddie Guerrero or Booker T, he at times treats them like impotent jobbers and crushes their credibility. I mean, is kicking out of two signature frog splashes at Armageddon 2004 considered making your opponent look good. No, it just reduces the impact of the finisher as a whole. Also, Taker and Kane have had matches with no-talent hosses like Gene Snitsky and Heindenreich but the after-match is so strikingly contrasting that even a brain-dead five-year old can notice a pattern. If Kane beats Snitsky, he has to have TWO MORE matches without the benefit of having his career being pushed. Meanwhile, Taker beats Heidenreich and the Dudleyz and he's already the no. I contender for the WWE title. That doesn't mean I dislike the Undertaker. I always had respect for Taker's previous accomplishments and legacy but how is this fair when you have a dedicated wrestler that treats his opponent like a monster, wins and doesn't get push while the other treats his opponent like a monster, beating him and HE ends up getting the push. Kane is a better worker and he gets de-pushed. Undertaker is an average wrestler and HE gets a deafening push like he just beat Triple H in an iron-man match.

This defies logic in many levels of qualities.



Not since Chris Candido have I seen a wrestler be put in so many bad spots and work as hard as he could just to make them all seem appealing and then get completely buried for no particular reason explained. The fact that he became a babyface after spending months of sexually harassing a valet shows just how low-I.Q. the creative team has become. Their failure to utilize the potential of Kane as a bloodthirsty monster has derailed his run on RAW and made him a unlikeable character to wrestling fans.

Yet despite all this, Glenn Jacobs doesn't care about how bad the storylines damage his reputation, as long as he goes out, works his butt off and gives everything he has to make sure that they are almost worthwhile. Kane may not be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time but his survival through all these horrific gimmicks and these lobotomizing angles is fascinating and the fact that he continues to do this takes guts and I mean, a lot of guts to do.

That is why Kane is, at times, the REAL PHENOM and not the Undertaker. Because while the Undertaker has been laden with terrible storylines, awful opponents and atrocious matches before, Kane has being continuing to follow this procedure time and time again without the benefit of a main event push since his WWE return...and can still provide the energy and entertainment to make them seem interesting. It's just too bad fans aren't taking him seriously.

If the fans were to understand the pressure of what Jacobs has been going through, they'd be behind him and give him a large babyface pop that is just as loud as John Cena or boo him for the right reasons. So far, Kane was caught in an uproariously horrendous and convoluted storyline involving Matt Hardy, Edge and Lita and has become nothing but an afterthought...

...until now.

Kane returns after a few month hiatus and is automatically put in the WWE Title picture at long last for Taboo Tuesday. It seems that finally we might be able to forget about the atrocities that were his storylines and get the re-motivated monster that we wanted. There IS great hope for the Big Red Machine after all. Let's just that hope doesn't fade as much as his previous pushes.

If Kane wins the World title (as if it will ever happen but we can dream on), then it will make me happy because if anyone deserves to be the leader of RAW for at least a day after what he had to go through for the past couple of years, it would be Glenn Jacobs: The Real Phenom, The Big Red Machine and the Monster Known as Kane.

by Joe L. --- [View Joe L's Column Index]..


Jesse Lee wrote:
I voted for Kane to compete at Taboo Tuesday, but for some reason, I feel as though Shawn Michaels is going to be the one chosen. I may have written an article some time earlier this year called "Shawn Michaels: By a True Fan," discussing on how much of a mark I am for HBK, but I'm tired of seeing him lose heavyweight title matches. I voted for Kane, because it is a huge chance for an actual comeback. Remember when Triple H, HBK, and when Undertaker came back as a biker, they were all thrusted into the main title scene? It seems as though they're doing that with Kane and they really should have Kane win, either by DQ or an actual pin. I don't see Kane winning a title two/three weeks after a return only to lose it to Cena or Angle at the next pay per view.

Perhaps this is a start of Kane's uprising to a title reign and maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to witness a year of hell unleashed onto the WWE. Lets hope WWE listens to us.
Matt Kopp wrote:
This was a good column Joe. I agree along your facts that Kane has been misused. I think that he should have had a much longer title reign than one day. However, I don't like the fact that you bashed the Undertaker in your column. I thought the article would've been a lot better without the Taker bashing. For one think, Undertake is just as hard of a worker as Kane. Undertaker has better skills in the ring than Kane. His gimmick is much more original then Kane's. Kane's gimmick is basically a rip-off of Taker's. Undertaker is much better at putting guys over than Kane (i.e.. Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels, JBL, and Kane himself). As much as I like Kane, I have to say, there is only one phenom, and that's The Undertaker.
Richard Powell wrote:
I agree with Joe L. Kane does deserve WWE gold and I think that it should happen after Kurt Angle destroys the fraud John Cena at Taboo Tuesday and has about an six to eight month title reign. Kane should come close in that match, and with Angle defeating Cena via the Ankle-Lock submission, that would set the stage for a Kurt Angle vs, Kane fued for the WWE title. Or ideally, it would be awesome for Kane to defeat Kurt Angle at Wrestle-Mania 22. Kane's time has come and after Angle demolishes John Cena at Taboo Tuesday Kane should be the superstar to upend Kurt Angle's title reign at Wrestle-Mania 22.
Luke Woolley wrote:
As Richard Powell said before me about Kurt Angle vs Kane at wrestlemania XXII, well if that happened I would mark out, I think that the return of Kane gives them a great chance for them to give him a push, maybe not throw him straight into title contention, but give him some matchs with guys like HBK and the big show, and let him win. The wwe has a big chance to do this, if Kurt Angle wins at Taboo Tuesday (although I doubt it because we all know Triple H wants the title and Cenas the one hes going to fued with next) they will be able to give him a long title reign which is what he deserves, because he is someone that can make good matches with anyone, Then have him fued with Kane for a couple of months. I would love to see Kane get a chance but I don’t see it happening, he could be used as a monster heel but right now that’s not what the wwe wants because well… they are idiots. And there is pretty much no chance kane is going to be in the triple threat its going to be HBK because the wwe wants it to be. Great column by the way, Kane is definitely a wrestler that continues to be forgotten about.
Calv.R: wrote:
To tell you the truth Joe i completely agree with you on this Column about the Monster Kane. Although i am a Cena fan i have still voted for my second favourite superstar Kane to be in the WWE title match at Taboo Tuesday. The fact of the matter is Kane is treated terrible with his gimmicks and matchs although i have to admit his matchs with the Undertaker were very very fantastic to watch and i would definitely credit WWE on them matchs. Although in the 90s when he was teaming up with X Pac it was a nightmare to watch and yet i still tried to put up with the storyline.

But comparing Kane up to Undertaker was a difficult decision when i was reading your column, but now i agree with you. Kane puts 110% into every match he is in even if it means to lose. But Undertaker sometimes makes his matchs look like a waste of time, i am not saying i hate Undertaker and im not saying i think Kane is the greatest wrestler of all time. I have the same amount of respect for Kane and Undertaker, But like everyone says we all make mistakes sometimes and Undertaker does just that most of the time.

Taboo Tuesday is coming up and like you said Joe this could be Kanes time in almost a decades wait. Although i am a Cena fan like i have said but i still have faith in Kane thats why i voted for him. Kane has gone through everything and in most has come out on top due to hard work. Kane will be in the Hall Of Fame and will always remembered. But at the moment Kane will still carry on with his work until he is done, and hopefuly he will go out with a bang. And finally i agree with you Kane will always be a Phenom!
Allen from Hertfordshire, United Kingdom wrote:
A great article and a very factual piece about Glenn Jacobs. Kane was basically brought in as another feud with the Undertaker and no-one could have predicted that eight years later he is potentially main-eventing another PPV and is still very highly regarded. Every bad story-line seems to bring some respect to his character and the fans seem to like him even more. He plays the red-machine monster brilliantly and that's what fans remember, which is why he still gets brilliant pops when he's comes out on RAW.

I think that Jacobs must be very popular with the WWE hierachy and the fact that he doesn't refuse to job to the likes of Snitsky or Albert (remember 2001) means that they will continue to push him. The comment I'll make about the Undertaker is that he does seem to have more control about his character than Kane and he will refuse to lose if he feels like that (Does anyone believe that Orton will beat the Undertaker again at Survivor Series).

I did think that the unmasking of him in 2003 would lead to him being phased out, but it actually for a time pushed him up to main event status again, but the showing-off of Shane McMahon meant his push ended again.

I feel at Taboo Tuesday that Michaels is being pushed as the guy to vote for and Kane and Big Show will end up feuding when they take on Cade and Murdoch for the Tag-Title, which has been re-hashed so many times, it's getting boring. Let's hope I'm wrong.

A really company man and a true legend, let's hope that he does have his moment of glory again.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
Nice column, i am glad to see you kept it clean and didnt bash some guys like HHH. I agree with you 100 %, the last push kane got was when he competed against benoit for the world heavyweight title. he deserves better
Honeycomb1168 wrote:
I just came across your website by chance and read the Kane article. Very intriguing!! I personally have always been a Kane mark ( yes, I said mark ) for the sole reason that the man can actually wrestle. If you look over his career from about 2000 to the present, his best matches are with scientific wrestlers ( Benoit, Angle, HBK ). That takes a lot of talent for a big man to mix styles with a technician. Look at his matches with Bret Hart as Isaac Yankem. In a wrestling mag from 2003 Bret said he knew after their match at Summerslam in 95, that he would turn out to be a great wrestler someday. I would have loved to see Eddie Guerrero and Kane. Anyone remember a match in 2001 between Angle and Kane when Kane " tapped " to the ankle lock? That was ppv worthy and it happened on Smackdown.

Another interesting point you made was concerning the Undertaker squashing opponents who are main eventers. I totally agree, even as an Undertaker fan. Sometimes I just wish guys like Kane and Val Venis would get what they truly deserve and that's superstardom as World Champions ( I'd put the ring work of Val up against HHH's any day of the week ).
Siddharth wrote:
Until 1999, I was never actually interested in wrestling , nevermind wwe(wwf at that time). But one day I overheard some of my friends saying- "Kane is the new WWF champion!!!!" . I didn't pay much attention to it for a while , but after hearing my friend talk more about "Kane", I asked him to show him to me. When I saw this guy, Kane, I was amazed at how awesome he looked!!! I then started to watch wwf shows like Metal and Raw is War ( we didn't get Smackdown and Heat in India), and I got really interested in wwf wrestling. And from that day onwards, I became wwe's and more importantly,Kane's supporter through and through. In other words, it was Kane who hooked me on to wwf.

At some points of time, I really got irritated when he was put into horrendous storylines like the X-Pac feud. How on earth could some 3rd rate wrestler (and entertainer) like "X-Pac" get the better of a guy like Kane? I could see clearly that (a) He had some truly amazing talent ; and (b) The wwe was not doing justice to Kane.

I felt bad when he lost the "winner takes all" match to HHH. The wwe's ratings would have gon through the roof if the wwe had let Kane win. The annoying tag team championship victories doesn't come even close to what Kane deserves.

I agree completely with Joe L that the "Edge-Lita" storyline he was put into was horrible. The wwe didn't even have the decency to finish the storyline and instead , just ended it with some piece of Trash Jail incident. This shows how much the quality of wwe's writers has degraded.

I fell that the unmasking of Kane cut of the contact between the fans and the Big Red Machine. The Mystery behind that mask was the real deal behind Kane's popularity.

Well, I feel that Kane dserves a lot better and hope that he finally wins the wwe title and gets to hold it for a long,long time.
MegaBuu wrote:
I totally agree with this article, I feel Kane has been getting looked over in recent years and that he deserves better. I remember when Kane in the early 2000's and he rocked. Though he did get the IC belt a couple of times and is presently 8 time tag champ I believe, I feel this does little to compensate for what he has done for the company. I mean, how many gimmicks has he gone through before this one? He was even given Nash's old gimmick, that's just sad. I have his Wrestlemania match with Angle on tape and it is an awesome match. I'm very disappointed in the WWE lately for giving new comers such major pushes, like Cena and Batista, who are very good performers, but have not been in the business long enough to get thrusted into main event status already. Though I like not seeing HHH the center of attention for the time being; and Orton being Heavt Weight Champion so soon? Personally, if a guy has been an active wrestler for the WWE for at least 5 or 6 years, I could see giving him the World or WWE Championship belts, but Cena and Batista are way too green to get so pushed so soon. I can see Batista being that he is pretty much the 4-0, but Cena is way too fresh and that isn't fair to guys like Edge who have been there forever and just now he is the WWE Championship belt for a brief time. And Cena isn't as popular as he used to be either. I do think they made a wise decision in having Rey win the Royal Rumble, as he definitely deserves either major tittle. But I digress. Jacobs is a highly capable performer and is one of the big guys capable of going on the top rope and doing some awesome stuff. He was trained by Dean Malenko, so of course he has to have picked up a few things. I also think putting him so many title matches only to come up short is repetitive, and that he should be in it to get it, I mean he had for 24 hours the first time, just to create suspension for all we know only for Austin to get it back. And he almost won the whole Royal Rumble in 2001 I believe. I just can't believe the WWF, previous name, let him go on for so long only to have Austin get his record breaking win. It is a tragedy. I think he has been with the company for about 10 years or so and I feel the WWE just hasn't properly thanked Kane for his years of loyal service. He could have gone to WCW for all we know after the whole Diesel thing but stayed through and has become certainly one of the better known WWE stars. Glen is simply an awesome individual who has a great amount of talent still left in him and should have some major gold around his waist at or by Wrestlemania..
Jess (Australia) wrote:
First things first… The part of this article that states -“no one will ever look at Kane and say that "you're one of my favorite wrestlers and I like you".” - Is wrong… Kane IS my favourite wrestler (that is still competing in WWE)… And I DO like him… There are two wrestlers that I would give my right arm to meet, and that’s Kane and Jeff Hardy. They both have a lot in common… They are both immensely talented wrestlers that the WWE have used and abused… Jeff Hardy got sick of the WWE treatment and left to pursue other interests where he would be appreciated and allowed to develop and achieve according to his wishes and ambitions… but Glen Jacobs (Kane) will never let them beat him… Glen Jacobs was given the persona of Kane by Vince McMahon, and I get the feeling that old Vince had a lot of plans for Kane… He needed someone with wrestling credibility, to in turn give credibility to his pet ‘wrestlers’ (all of whom are generally talent-less and lacking in personality (Edge/ Lita/ Gene Snitsky/ Chris Masters/ Carlito… The list goes on!!)… The storylines Kane has been put in are worse than Days of Our Lives, the Young and the Restless and Home and Away put together!!! I would say they insult the intelligence of every WWE fan who tunes in every week… But… Credit where credit is due… Glen Jacobs has pulled off his role very well… Kane is one of the most interesting characters currently in the WWE on any franchise (**Given the material he’s got to work with anyway!!… Thank YOU WWE Writers!!!), and it is still worth tuning in every week to see his matches, even if you know he’s going to have to put losers like the Spirit Sucks (Oops… I mean… Spirit SQUAD), over… Congrats to Kane for his first starring role too, can’t wait to see ‘See No Evil’ when its released… Maybe in the film world he’ll get the recognition he deserves!!
William Piper wrote:
I'm a really old school Kane fan, i agree with your article, but i believe that when he removed his mask a tad bit of his "monsterness" self was lost, when he wore the mask you couldent tell if he liked or hated what he was doing, now you can tell making him an emotional character something i totaly disagree with a monster shouldent show what it feels why should Kane, just hope he finds away to put his mask back on... and yes the big fact that he is being unused in the WWE/World Heavyweight championship picture is wrong, he is championship material, even if only for a month or 2 it would be something to watch him demolish everyone who challenges him, Kanes been in some spectacular matches to name a few the inferno match, casket match and cage match's, dont want to put these wrestlers down but you dont see Cena or Triple H getting slammed into a casket or getting put onfire, im a Triple H fan his matches with Foley are some great stuff.
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