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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The History of Kane: Part 4
(The Highlights)

August 4, 2006 by Sev M.


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I apologise if anyone looking for this next article waited longer than hoped but certain circumstances not completely in my control slowed the submission. I also thought that a delay would be better than rushing through the column. I had the hardest time coming up with a name for this edition even though I had been thinking about it for months. Though I hope my style of writing is still tolerable. This was still part of Kane's "high" in the WWE, but it was a decidedly different year than his last. I opted for "Highlights" because this was the year Kane won the most gold - despite spending more time in mid-card, and it was also where his in ring performance and high flying moves impressed me most.

Kane was red hot (pardon the pun) going into 2001 - making no shortage of impact. The Road to the Royal Rumble is generally a good time for Kane; the prospect of a WWF World Title shot at WrestleMania is obviously alluring to many and he is always a major player when the 30 individuals aim to grab the prize. Alongside the likes of Rock, Austin, Taker, and Rikishi; Kane fought a number of battles in preparation for the Rumble, and he proved he was indeed an "ass kicking machine". Hints began to drop about an alliance with The Undertaker, such as a Smackdown where, despite being on opposite sides of a big tag match, Taker and Kane hit Rock and Austin with a chokeslams and stood tall over everyone.

At the Royal Rumble itself, Kane really shone. He entered in No. 6 and gave one of the most impressive Rumble performances of all time. He lasted almost an hour and just dominated, eliminating an unprecedented 11 entrants (12 if you count Drew Carey): an extraordinary record that still stands to this day. Kane was, in fact, the very last person eliminated as Austin punched him over the ropes to win. Arguably, Kane's time made Steve Austin's short win pale by comparison. Kane and his brother worked together here and after the PPV, Undertaker and Kane showed definitively that they had rejoined to form the "Brothers of Destruction" (my favourite tag team of all time) in ultimately the most successful of both men's many different tag team stints. Kane's union with his brother cemented another big babyface turn for the Big Red Machine. He and Taker were thrust into a feud with the big pair of heel Samoans, Rikishi and Haku. Kane and Undertaker rescued each from mutual beat downs (again the crowd went wild for Kane's fiery entrances) and displayed camaraderie with some "ring post fireworks". The mini feud seemed to stem from little more than circumstance, but soon turned extremely physical. His enemies cost Kane a WWF Title match against Kurt Angle and the four giants engaged in several bouts beating each other to pulp. It came to a head in a brutal First Blood Tag Team match that saw the Brothers come out on top.

The destructive duo then set their sites on the Tag Team Championship. Their title shot against the Dudley Boys saw them nearly win the gold several times before it was interrupted by Edge and Christian. This all lead into a three way tag team rivalry leading into No Way Out. Each team of kayfabe brothers took a different approach. The Brothers of Destruction had superior strength, which they showcased in a match where Kane crushed Edge and even sat up after going through a table. Undertaker and Kane hit E&C with their trademark stereo chokeslams as the Dudleys backed away in fear. Since it was a Table Match on the PPV card, the champions, Buh Buh Ray and D-Von seemed to have "home advantage". Christian and Edge meanwhile played the manipulation game - pitting both teams against each other, then taking out the survivors. Finally at No Way Out, the two former WWF Champions were poised to become the new Tag Team Champions when Rikishi and Haku ran down to "ruin the day"; which allowed the Dudleys to retain. This briefly reignited their battle with the two of them, before the BoD laid them out a short time later.

The Brothers of Destruction shifted gears. The Undertaker got into a confrontation with Triple H, beginning an intense rivalry with The Game. Kane aided him, but he himself had drawn the enmity of his old enemy: Big Show. While a team, both brothers were engaged in respective singles feuds. Big Show and Triple H often conspired together to foil their foes, so we sometimes saw Undertaker take on Big Show and Kane oppose Triple H and his wife. When Stephanie had the police file restraining order on Taker, he had his brother go after her until Regal would give him the matches he wanted. The brothers were victims of a few painful beatdowns but kept fighting. Kane cost Big Show his WWF Hardcore Championship against Raven in one match; therefore Raven managed to become involved in the Kane-Show feud, and all three tried to take each other out. Over the weeks, Kane suffered a considerable amount of punishment, but held off Show and Raven for his fair share. At WrestleMania 17, with Raven's Hardcore Title on the line, the three superstars waged a long volatile match throughout the arena. It might not have featured any "Foley-esque" brutality stunts but true to the hardcore name. Kane booted Show off the stage as he was lifting Raven. Kane landed an insane leg drop off the edge, then pinned Show to secure a big win and become the new Hardcore Champion!

Following that, both brothers had a few weeks of post WrestleMania success, defeating people like Right to Censor and Big Show in a couple of throwaway angles. Kane got in a little defense of his title. There was also an amusing piece where The Undertaker "taught" Kane the Last Ride. Kane would go on to sporadically use the power bomb for the rest of the year.

The big angle that soon arrived for them was at the end of one RAW. The Undertaker and Kane marched to the ring just as the new heel alliance of Stone Cold Steve Austin and Triple H were about to give Lita a savage beating just like the Hardies. The crowd exploded as they strode down to the ring and the Power Trip fled at their very presence. This feud is actually "close to my heart" because it pitted my two favourite superstars ever against the one team that I loved to hate most. Stone Cold and Triple H may have been an unlikely paring at first but I thought they fitted perfectly together. Backed by Vince, Stephanie and Regal, the Two Man Power Trip's brief dynasty was one of the purest examples of "heel" I've ever seen. After their initial unchecked rampage where they dismantled Rock, Jericho, JR and had a short feud with Team Xtreme, they claimed to be the most dominant duo ever. Undertaker and Kane seemed to be the ideal candidates to put them in their place, and the war began. All the participants were familiar with each other as Taker and Kane showed the power to forcefully contest Triple H's "most dominant" claim. On Smackdown, the babyface brothers came face to face with Commissioner William Regal. He gave them a chastisement, of which they were unimpressed, and then made a Hardcore Title match for Kane against "The Man Beast" - Rhyno. The former ECW Champion was something of a monster himself so this was quite a prospect. Kane basically demolished Rhyno with ease as Undertaker brawled with his backup, Edge and Christian into the crowd. Just as Kane caped off the quick match with a chokeslam, the Two Man Power Trip zoomed to the ring and beat Kane into the ground with countless chair shots. They focused on his arm, damaging it and supposedly inflicting a major injury (I think this was to coincide with him legitimately hurting his arm). Rhyno crawled over him to win the Hardcore Title. Triple H and Austin ran as The Undertaker sped back through the crowd, but had made their point.

An enraged Undertaker and Kane then burst through Regal's door and demanded an opportunity for revenge. In a classic segment, Taker intimidated the commissioner as Kane set fire to his office - forcing him to give them a no DQ title match against the then Tag Team Champions, Edge and Christian, later that night. If they won, they would also fight Triple H and Stone Cold at Backlash. The match itself was scintillating: Kane was selling his arm injury brilliantly and it was the focus of E&C throughout. They began to wear the monster down and the crowd was screaming for him to get that tag to the Undertaker. Through all the pain, there was rarely a free moment for Kane but he eventually managed to grab Taker's outstretched hand when- NO! The referee didn't see the tag! So Kane was sent back into the fire! Edge and Christian kept working on him and looked to be in control, especially with Rhyno helping them from outside. But FINALLY he temporarily floored his adversaries and tagged out. The Deadman totally cleaned house as Kane tended to his ailing arm. Suddenly Rhyno jumped back into and flattened Taker with a steel chair and then clotheslined the wounded Kane over the ropes. Just as Ryhno chased Kane further up the ramp Kane stunned him with another big boot. Then, despite the aggravated state of his arm, chokeslamed the Man Beast on the steel! No sooner had he done so, when Austin and Triple H returned to take him out again. As they worked over the exhausted Kane outside, the Undertaker managed to hit Christian with a huge Last Ride and the Brothers of Destruction were the new WWF Tag Team Champions! The Game and Bionic Redneck pounced and doubled team him until Kane chased them off with a chair. The show ended with the Tag Champions staring down the WWF and Intercontinental Champions. I thought this was perhaps the best feud that Undertaker and Kane fought as a team. Kane would occasionally speak but the Undertaker was essentially the mouth of the duo. He did a good job too; I found this time to feature some of the best promos from the American Badass. Nevertheless I found this when Kane felt least like Taker's sidekick At Backlash, the massive main event featured WWF Champion - Stone Cold Steve Austin, and IC Champion - Triple H; defend both their titles against the Undertaker and Kane's Tag Team Championship. Their collective previous angles were effectively tied up in an entertaining 8 man tag (BoD and the Hardies vs. The Power Trip and E&C) where Austin stunned Matt for the win and escaped again. In the last few weeks before their PPV, the rivalry mostly consisted of Austin and Triple H trying to isolate Undertaker and Kane and specifically targeting Kane's injury. On Smackdown just before Backlash, Mr. McMahon gave both brothers handicap matches against Right to Censor and Edge and Christian respectively. Undertaker got the pinfall win when the other 3 members of RTC abandoned Steven Richards, but Kane was left a thrashing mess of agony after E&C were disqualified for a Conchairto on his poor arm. In the main event Triple H and Austin's mystery opponents, KaiEnTai, appeared easy prey, but strangely "Taka" got on the mic and said "We fear you not!" in another person's voice. Moments later when he said "You know, all I see when I look into this ring ...are DEADMEN WALKING!" it was clear that it was the Undertaker's. As the stunned Power Trip went to attack Taka Michinoku and Funaki, the BoD came up from beneath the apron, cleared the ring of the Power Trip and ended the show celebrating with all 3 Championships.

Now going into Backlash, I didn't think Undertaker and Kane would really win, and looking back I can obviously see why Management wouldn't want to end Austin's title reign so quickly, but still the "mark" in me was upset. The Brothers of Destruction seemed far more "dominant". Sure enough, in the main event, despite the Monster and the Phenom getting near falls, Triple H pinned Kane to become half of the Tag Team Champions with Austin when Stephanie and Mr. McMahon saved HHH from a chokeslam and allowed the Cerebral Assassin to land a sledgehammer shot. The next night on RAW, the Power Trip "broke" Kane's sore arm and put him briefly on the shelf. The Undertaker later cut a promo that he wasn't done fighting and "let the pain and suffering commence!" I should point out that Kane did not seem too out of place in the "realistic gimmicks age", he made it work; and unlike some of Kane's later angles they still managed to retain some semblance of kayfabe continuity. Undertaker worked the famous "Fire Storyline" into his speech. For the next few weeks "Deadman Inc." fought what McMahon and Austin could throw at him in some entertaining and violent segments. On one Smackdown, Undertaker had stolen Austin's WWF title belt and spent most of the night calling him out; finally Mr. McMahon answered but first demanded Taker remove all weapons. He did so, and finally Stone Cold came out for the highly anticipated confrontation with the Deadman. Undertaker got the better of the brawl and began beating Austin into the corner. Mr. McMahon, being the sneaky manager that he was, discreetly grabbed a chair and bashed Taker from behind. But this succeeded only in angering the Phenom, who brutally punished the Chairman. However this allowed Austin to recover and take down the Undertaker, then just as he was about to lay waste to his challenger with the chair...

BOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

Kane made another dramatic return, creating yet another mark out moment. He still had his arm bandaged but a fresh Kane making any appearance was always dangerous. Austin's reaction was absolutely priceless. He tried to attack him with his weapon, but ran into Kane's boot and ate the steel. With the Undertaker back on his feat and HHH out of the building, the WWF champion was caught between a rock and a hard place...so leapt over the commentary table and made an unceremonious frantic exit through the crowd. The show went off the air with an awesome moment for the Brothers of Destruction. The card for Judgement Day was to be Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Undertaker for the WWF Title after Triple H vs. Kane for the IC Title Belt in a Chain Match. This rare and extremely harsh contest was like a no holds barred match except both participants were attached to a huge 12 foot steel chain. Kane briefly began wielding a big chain that perfectly enhanced his menacing aura (long before Abyss). Triple H and Austin changed tactics slightly, challenging the Brothers to a tag team match, but then bringing up Taker's wife Sara, fooling Undertaker into leaving the arena, and leaving Kane in a handicap match! Kane put on a valiant effort but was eventually beaten. After the Undertaker found out his wife was alright, he was furiously bent on finding out who made the fake emergency call. He scoured the locker room and eventually cornered Triple H with the accusation. Although Kane was happy to help (with his chain), the Undertaker wrestled the Game alone in a No DQ match. When Austin revealed it was actually a plan by both of them and doubled teamed him, Kane again made the quick save. That last segment effectively summarized the whole feud: the heels doubled teamed one brother until they ran away before the other ran in.

At WWF Judgement Day, in the "Pre-Main Event" - what turned out to be just as vicious and sadistic a bout as anticipated - Kane got an emphatic victory over Triple H to win the Intercontinental Championship! Triple H and Kane put each other through a bloody struggle, ramming each other into rings steps and chairs, the Big Red Monster even wrapped the chain connecting them around the Game and hung him outside the ring! Kane clotheslined him from the top ropes with the chain itself and then landed a chokeslam. The Rattlesnake tried to interfere, but Kane dodged his chair shot, (which accidentally hit Austin's partner) removed Austin from the ring and then rolled over the Game, hoisting his leg for the 1-2-3, the title win and biggest pop of that night!

"Kane's DONE IT! Kane's the Intercontinental Champion!" - JR

In the WWF Title match that evening, Kane went to help his partner when the Game crucially interfered but was too late to stop Austin's pinfall. After Judgment Day the rivalry pretty much ended. The angle with the "Stalker" of the Undertakers wife began, and although the Deadman threateningly told Austin "It ain't over", they wouldn't be wrestling against each other again anytime soon. Especially since The Power Trip lost the Tag Team Gold in an electric but unrelated match to Benoit and Jericho which sadly saw the Game horribly tear his quad.

While the Undertaker irately searched for the identity of whoever was playing ominous personal videos, the Intercontinental Champion went on defending his new belt in a cool but relatively aimless run. It was good to see Kane with some more singles gold again. And he was truly a fighting champion. In retrospect, his matches weren't always against the biggest names, but he put his belt on the line on most of the shows. When he wasn't hanging out with Taker, he defended against Kurt Angle, Rhyno, Edge, Christian (both of who's singles careers were about to begin) and X-Pac in decent showings. To the crowd's delight - he won handily some of the time, but it was apparent from many other matches that he was helping put people over. Kane's arm was slowly recovering, but still sported a shrinking bandage. It provided many a challenger with an opening, just as it had proved his "fatal weakness" at Backlash. Some of his victories weren't clean, and others featured close calls. I remember a still heel Edge came within inches of a huge upset. When Kane went up against X-Pac, it was during the period when the cruiserweight was in the ill-fated stable: "X-Factor" with Justin Credible and Albert (later A-Train). After he pinned X-Pac, Kane was attacked by all 3 underhanded heels and although he beat off the smaller ones, Albert took him out. This began a brief program with Albert. Kane was pissed, and Albert cost him a KoTR qualifier, but they didn't seem to ignite a full blown feud.

At the King of the Ring PPV, Kane was the first in a long line of failed attempts by Spike Dudley to wrest the Tag Team Championship away from his brothers with various partners. Spike was pinned by the other Dudleys but got some consolation when Kane took them both out afterward. Kane was just filler here. If he had won would there have been some sort of bizarre Spike Dudley - Brothers of Destruction union" It never seemed likely, given Kane's promise to back up his brother when confronting DDP, (the stalker) as WCW tensions began to build. When the Undertaker and Sara were fighting off Diamond Dallas Page, Kane continued to work with Albert. For example: On Smackdown he fought him one-on-one with the IC title on the line. All I remember was a close encounter where Kane retained clean with a chokeslam. On RAW Albert laid out Kane in a tag team title match allowing the Dudley Boys to win, and DDP to pounce on his "family". For some reason, 3 days later, Albert got another shot at the Intercontinental Title in a No DQ match. Ironically enough, although this was the time Kane lost the title; it was actually one of his best performances. He was really in the zone. This time around, displaying his fierce disposition, Kane energetically took straight to the challenger, and in such a way to get the crowd really fired up, which is even more remarkable considering the limitations of wrestling Albert. Near the climax of the match, in what must be one of the most unbelievable moves of all time, the 7 foot holder hit Albert (almost as tall) with a stunning Hurricanrana!!! A few powerful clotheslines later, Kane had the match won with a chokeslam, but then DDP ran in and levelled him with a Diamond Cutter. Albert got to his feet and nailed his "Baldo Bomb" (Choke Toss) finisher to pin Kane and win. This was when Page first escalated the feud to directly involve Kane. Although DDP cost Undertaker the IC belt against Albert on RAW, Kane snuck up behind him as Page tormented Sara and beat him up. Kane's mini-feud with Albert was concluded with Taker and Kane standing over him, even though he remained champion. As the Invasion Angle got underway Undertaker, Kane and Sara were focused largely on Diamond Dallas Page even with the rest of the roster invaded. Kane would also overall prove to be among the strongest forces for the WWF in the "Invasion" setting.

Let me first comment on the Invasion saga as a whole first. The infamous period is often criticised for being hugely disappointing for a variety of reasons, most of which I agree with. However, I must say that I really enjoyed watching it. This was partially because I was slightly ignorant of WCW and ECW in particular at the time, but I maintain that, in a general sense, it was quality wrestling. As I've learned more about Extreme Championship Wrestling and so forth it has become clear to me as the as the most "anticipated angle ever" it was indeed badly botched. But looking simply at a story about wrestling factional warfare, with a hint of "cross promotion" spice, it was very entertaining. The Austin - Angle feud of this era ranks as one of the greatest of all time in my book.

In any case, as the "InVasion" PPV took shape, Kane was in the main event on the WWF's team in the 10 man "Inaugural Brawl" match. I think Kane's supposed counterpart on the Alliance team was supposed to be Rhyno, but it was never fully explored because most angles took a little bit of a back seat to the story of - Taker, Angle, Kane and Jericho fighting the whole Alliance while awaiting the return of "the Old Stone Cold" to lead them to victory. Anyway when it came down to it, the WWF team was defeated when Austin betrayed the World Wrestling Federation and reverted to that delightfully despicable heel. I was glad Kane was around the main event scene, but I was bothered by the fact that judging by his exposure levels, it almost seemed the attitude was "we couldn't find anyone better" rather than "Kane is a star, let's give him major limelight". Kane was perhaps the biggest muscle factor in the whole storyline. The Alliance never equalled it until maybe the defection of Test.

The Undertaker and Kane's vendetta against the ex WCW Champion became tag team rivalry when DDP began teaming with Kanyon. But Kanyon seemed more of a hired gun than anything else. They had a little history together in WCW and started talking and Kanyon began helping with Page's schemes, but he was mainly just backup. He did see heavy action though:

On Smackdown, for WCW US Title, Kane squashed Kanyon in a match that reminded me pleasantly of Kane's early years, but was denied the Championship when head WCW referee disqualified Kanyon. Between various skirmishes by both teams, the Undertaker and Kane suddenly won the WCW Tag Team Championships from Chuck Palumbo and Sean O'Haire. Also they got a shot at the WWF Tag Team Belts, recently won by DDP and Kanyon, in a Steel Cage Unification match was Summerslam! Here the unpopular feud with DDP finished. Undisputed Tag Team Champions were crowned when Taker and Kane mostly destroyed DDP and Kanyon. The Alliance stars' highlight was a little synchronized offence that ended when the brothers sat up and caught them before they could escape. Taker told Kane to let Kanyon go, which he did, so they could both focus on Page. They decimated him together and eventually Undertaker won with a Last Ride. The whole affair wasn't that great, Kane was basically Taker's "Destroy DDP helper". The true value of the match was that the result saw Kane and Taker become the first ever WCW and WWF Tag Team Champions.

It was great for the Brothers of Destruction to be the Undisputed Tag Team Champions, but their reign with the 4 belts was fairly short. Their only WWF Tag Team Title defense was on Smackdown against Christian and Edge right before E&C's famous split. Soon the Undertaker was attacked by a returning Stephen Richards, with his 2 new allies: WCW's KroniK - Brian Adams and Bryan Clark. They assaulted Taker then cost them the WWF Tag Title against the Dudleys when they put Kane through a table. Shane McMahon booked them shot at the WCW Belts at Unforgiven. In another poorly remembered feud, The Undertaker and Kane defeated them to remain champions (and beat up Richards). The newcomers were released thereafter.

As the Invasion wore on, the Federation's two heavy hitters began fighting with the team of "T&T" - Test and Booker T. Shane McMahon helped them win the WCW Tag Team Championships in a multi-screw job match. However, Taker later cost them the gold against the Hardies. As the competitors fought individually as well as together, Booker paired off with Undertaker and Test paired off with Kane for the signed matches at No Mercy. Undertaker was victorious and the PPV, but thanks to referee Nick Patrick, Kane wasn't. So Kane pounded the WCW head official into the ground. Kane was slightly neglected in the Tag Team eventually, but was given sufficient singles time too and watching him was very enjoyable throughout; however I noticed they couldn't ever seem to come up with anything for him except for the "strong but perpetually screwed over face" situation, and often not very creatively either. For example: an otherwise entertaining scrap with Rob Van Dam was degraded when a brief kick from Booker T somehow made RVD's missile dropkick a "finisher".

When the Invasion entered its final weeks in the build up for Survivor Series, the Federation Team, including Kane began to focus on the whole Alliance leadership in general: Stone Cold, Booker T, Shane McMahon, RVD, and the newly turned Kurt Angle. As his feud broadened, Kane clashed with a newly heel Kurt Angle, continued fighting with Booker T, and was part of the Undertaker's angles with Austin and Kurt, which may have been a reference to Taker's unfinished business with the Power Trip. At the Survivor Series finale, Winner-Take-All Elimination Match, Kane was once again in the main event with 9 other men. Although that uneasy feeling that WWF used Kane a little like filling returned - he was eliminated 3rd at a noticeably non critical point by RVD. Still the match was good and Kane wasn't totally superfluous. The Rock was the sole survivor.

In the last month plus of the year, the environment changed somewhat as it adjusted to the new roster situation. After the Undertaker's surprising heel turn in late November, the Brothers of Destruction finally dissolved peacefully when Kane just "stopped talking" to the Undertaker; WWF didn't seem to know what to do with Kane at first. He formed a rather artificially Tag Team with the Big Show which seemed only like a way to fill the void left by the Undertaker. They were used mainly as a plot device for the break-up of the Hardy Boys when they defeated them to win a shot at the Tag Team Championship for Vengeance. Although an odd moment between Kane and Lita almost leads me to believe that the writers used this forgettable point for a number of later, more infamous stories. They were defeated by the Dudley Boys in their title match and I think Kane and Show started brawling after. The end of 2001 saw Kane just continue a simple lone babyface run.

This last year seemed to me where Kane really pulled out his best work. Perhaps it didn't totally come across in the simple description I just provided, but it was great. Even when he squashed people, he sometimes managed a flair and style that kept all the audience interested enough. Has Batista ever leaped off the posts in his squashes" And Kane's matches with folks like Triple H, Angle or RVD were all wonderful contests. The thing that actually struck me most about this year was: Kane was hugely over, so over that I thought he was the highest profile guy not given a complete push totally proportionate to his fan responses. They absolutely loved him, and although he was not nearly in the title chase level as much as 2000, his performances made up for it. His five Championships were also the most he'd ever won in 1 year: including a 5 week reign with the Intercontinental Title which interestingly has so far turned out to be the highlight of his career. Though, I still defiantly hope before he retires he can earn that World Title reign he deserves so much. In any case, this year remains as clearly one of his best. Kane's tenure as part of the Brothers of Destruction was a mixed bag, Taker and Kane made a sublime team and this year was defiantly the greatest of their on and off partnership. But ultimately Kane began to feel like the Undertaker's sidekick, admittedly less so at first. That said, they were always fun to watch and I'd love to see another reunion in the future.

Again I thought I'd try to finish up with a match that represented the brilliance of the era. This was in the late stages of Invasion. The World Wrestling Federation had just been betrayed by their leading once ultra-babyface hero, Kurt Angle days ago on RAW. Now he'd just cut a promo explaining why and insulting the WWF and its stars. As the fans expressed rage at the traitor, Kurt put his United States Title on the line against the WWF's muscle, an angry Kane. The fans expressed their fury go with the Big Red Machine as he went to teach the turncoat a lesson! He was the perfect instrument of their wrath. And what a match it was! Perhaps Kane's finest. This match had everything, Kane at his monstrous best, Kurt as his undeniably resilient self, an Austin run in, chair shots, high-flying moves, monster comebacks, awesome selling, astounding athleticism, great in ring psychology, a perfect crowd, and just an overall incredible and complete grappling showcase. Kane started off unloading, but the technician battled back. He soon knocked Kane flat on his back and started celebrating. But Kane sat up, brining the crowd to their feet. The shocked US Champion tried attacking him again, but Kane grabbed him by the throat. He stood up and prepared a chokeslam, but Angle somehow reversed into an ankle lock. The American Hero held the Big Red Monster in the submission hold for an uncomfortably long time before Kane executed an acrobatic roll to escape. But he had hurt his ankle, and for the rest of the match Angle focused on it while Kane made you feel the pain with his limp. Kane turned the fight back on the Champ and the battle spilled to the outside where Kane pounded Kurt back and forth. He punched the Olympic Athlete back over the railing but then Stone Cold Steve Austin snuck up behind him with a chair and ferociously smashed Kane's back. He did this several times until the Undertaker chased him off, leaving Kane on the floor. As the match continued on Kurt began to wear him down. When Kane fought his way up to an upright position, Kurt still clung to his foot in a standing wrest hold. So Kane nailed an absolutely spectacular enzuigiri!!! This was neither the first nor last time he pulled a stunt like that. When 7 footers can do Cruiserweight moves, one would think WWE Management would realize they've got the real deal here. Kane connected a number of suplexes. Then while selling a crippling ankle ache, Kane climbed to the top ropes and did his signature flying clothesline practically on one foot, leaving the audience in disbelief! He delivered an agonizing chokeslam, but was too pained to make the cover quickly, so he locked Kurt in the Ankle Lock! Although Kurt anticlimactically rolled out of it, it really showed Kane's range. The masterpiece ended when Kane went for a tombstone but Angle again reversed it into an ankle lock. For a desperate eternity the challenger struggled, kicked and toiled to escape from the painful manoeuvre. He made another attempt to roll out of it, but this time Kurt kept the pressure on. Ages appeared to pass as the fans frantically tried to will Kane to hang on. Until finally there was a slow reluctant tapping from the Big Red Machine to give Kurt the submission win. This was the first ever time Kane had tapped out, but gosh, what an amazing show! Kane spend some time off dealing with the repercussions of the match, but he did help cost Angle the US Title against Edge, and get some revenge by putting Kurt Angle in his own hold again and cleaning house of Alliance wrestlers.

Now I know Kane isn't a perfect wrestler, and I can't deny there is more than a little of my "inner mark" looking back with nostalgia here. But for Kane fans, I'm just chronicling some of what we miss the most. So far I've been going over Kane's rise and the best parts of his career: after this, the tide began to go downhill in a depressing fall. It wasn't immediate, but Kane's peak was over.

by Sev M...
Jon Rosaler wrote:
There was no to be continued at the bottom so I guess your donw with Kane for awhile. For someone to write their first four columns in OWW about 1 man such as Kane, shows you're truly a fan. I'm proud of Kane's recent achivements and reading your columns made me realize how much we are going to miss him when he retires soon. We get to see him on the big screen and that's as good as it gets, Kane got the best run in WWE than most people have been put through. The fact of the matter is Kane never got a reign as Champion that was more than a day and before Kane locks up his past in the WWE for good, I would like to see him champion one more time with a decent run.
Paul McCarthy wrote:
Thank u for showing me why kane is looked at as a great wrestler i think the wwe is going about him now the wrong way and he is merely a jobber to the likes of chris masters and other newcomers kane will never be goood again because u dont lose to chris masters and then go on to win world titles i think kane should go to tna where he will have a proper chance at glory the undertaker is nearly about to retire so if kane had of been used properly he could have been takers replacement as the big guy. I think it went downhill wen they took kanes mask off like somebody else said wen they did that he became just like another snitsky no longer monster.
Allen wrote:
I am also a huge Kane fan. As someone who did not start watching professional wrestling until 2002 I find your articles very informative and intriguing. You have a talent for writing and really bring the matches to life. Unfortunately, Kane has not gotten the respect he deserves. His obnoxious feuds with Matt Hardy/Lita, Edge/Lita, Snitsky, and the disgustingly horrible May 19th crap are all a testament to the fact that Kane needs to, in some dramatic fashion or another, PUT HIS MASK BACK ON. Until that happens, if it does happen, I fear that we will not see Kane get anywhere near a WWE Title shot. I would also love to see some sort of Brothers of Destruction reunion, even if it means moving Kane to Smackdown!
wrote:

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