OWW Wrestler of the Week: Kane

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

OWW Wrestler of the Week: Kane

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, profiles the Big Red Machine. Kane not only qualified for the Money in the Bank match on Raw, but also defeated The Boogeyman in decisive fashion on ECW.

The man currently known as Kane has worked the ring wars since 1992. He underwent several really bad gimmicks before settling in to being The Undertaker’s Little Brother. Kane has calmed down over the past few years, but he’s still a force in the WWE. Kane scored a place in the annual Money in the Bank match on Monday and then defeated Boogeyman in Boogey’s last WWE match. For his years of dedication and for two solid wins, Kane is this week’s OWW Wrestler of the Week.

From the Hoops to the Ring

Glen Jacobs grew up outside of Chicago, Illinois. Due to his height, he was scouted for high school and college basketball. He was an All-State player in college and still holds several records at his Alma mater, Missouri State University. Playing near St. Louis, Glen came to the attention of the local wrestling promoter. Kane began under the ring name of Angus King, a heel. He received the lion’s share of his training from Jeff Bradley, Dean Malenko and Ray Candy. Jacobs went through numerous identity changes in his early career. He was the Unibomb/Unabomb, Bruiser Mastino, The Christmas Creature and Doomsday. Glen came to the attention of WWF scouts, who offered the over-sized grappler a contract with the company.

Diesel and Dental

When Scott Hall and Kevin Nash departed the WWF, the Creative team had the brilliant idea of just replacing the characters with new “actors”. Much like a soap opera, Jacobs stepper in to play Diesel. Rick Bogner took over the mantle of Razor Ramon. Jim Ross actually tried to make the crowds believe that Glen Jacobs was the “real” Diesel. This badly-planned gimmick has come to be the biggest joke in wrestling history. Thankfully, the dumb gimmick was abandoned in mere weeks. Glen then disappeared for a repackaging.

Jerry Lawler was involved in a hot feud with Bret Hart. Lawler needed someone to step in for him, thanks to a minor injury. He brought in Jacobs. This time, Jacobs was packaged as a mad dentist (are there any other kind?). His punnish name was Dr. Isaac Yankem aka I. Yankem. Yankem wore a pair of dental overlays that made him appear to have horribly discolored teeth. The character was a throwback to the circus atmosphere of the mid-80s WWF. Once the feud with Hart wound down, Yankem faded out of sight. The next big change would be his last identity switch, but it would be a Big one.

The Little Brother From Hell

The Undertaker had split with his long-time manager, Paul Bearer. Paul wanted revenge against his former charge. Paul would bring in several stars (Mankind, Vader, etc…) to battle the Dead Man. Eventually, Paul began to run some cryptic video promos about looking to the past for ending ‘Taker’s future. The “past” showed up at Bad Blood (1997). Undertaker was fighting Shawn Michaels in the first Hell in a Cell match. Near the end of the match, the rotund Bearer waddled from the back and brought out Kane. Ironically, the Undertaker’s first name in the WWF was Cain the Undertaker. Kane was announced as Undertaker’s younger brother.

Kane was masked because (storywise) he had been burned in a horrific fire that cost the brothers their parents. Kane wanted to destroy ‘Taker for causing the fire. In the end, it was revealed that it was actually Kane who had set the fire. The feud took a bizarre twist when it was revealed that Kane and ‘Taker were, in fact, half-brothers. They shared the same mother, but Kane’s father was…Paul Bearer. Bearer had had an illicit affair with the mother of the Undertaker. Fans weren’t thrilled with the twist but WWF refused to abandon the story. Kane challenged his brother to fight him but The Undertaker refused to battle his younger brother. Kane would desecrate the graves of ‘Taker’s parents to get to ‘Taker. Kane would also physically assault ‘Taker on several occasions but the Dead Man still refused to battle.

Undertaker actually began to team with Kane. This was all a plot by Kane and Bearer. Kane would cost Undertaker his WWF title at Royal Rumble. After the match, Kane and Bearer locked Undertaker in a casket and set it on fire. Undertaker disappeared for several weeks. As the WWF began to build up Wrestlemania XIV, Undertaker started showing up in creepy vignettes. Undertaker arrived at ‘Mania and destroyed Kane. Undertaker would also defeat Kane in the first Inferno Match, where the loser had to be set on fire. The two brothers would team and feud, off and on, for years. Kane moved on from his brother to championship gold.

The Big Gold Machine

Kane’s first taste of gold came at King of the Ring. He challenged “Stone Cold” Steve Austin to a First Blood match. Kane was actually busted open but was able to hide his bleeding from the ref. A wicked chair shot by Kane split Austin’s head open and the WWF title went to the Big Red Monster. Kane would drop the title, soon after.

Kane was then partnered with Mankind (Mick Foley). The duo garnered the tag team titles. Their title run would come to an end when Kane turned on his partner and aligned himself with his brother. This was the first teaming of the legendary Brothers of Destruction. Their reunion would be quite short-lived, as Kane got involved with his brother, costing him a Buried Alive match at the Rock Bottom: In Your House PPV. Kane even stole his brother’s finisher, the Tombstone Piledriver.

Kane also won the tag belts with X-Pac (Sean Waltman). Kane’s character had been mute since arriving in the WWF. It was explained that the fire had destroyed his vocal chords. Eventually, an electronic box that is used for people who have had the larynx removed was employed to give Kane “speech”. The electronic voice was almost impossible to understand and was quickly tossed out. Kane would lose the tag belts when he was betrayed by X-Pac. This set off a nasty feud with D-X that lead to the re-birth of the Brothers of Destruction. Undertaker and Kane united to fight off the various members of D-X and the McMahon-Helmsley group. The relationship between the two brothers was rocky, at best.

The Face of the Monster

Since arriving in the WWF, Kane had always worn his black and red mask. The initial storyline was that Kane’s face was horribly disfigured by the fire that had cost the brothers their mother and Undertaker’s father. As time rolled on, Creative decided to eliminate the mask. This would allow Kane to speak more clearly, since the mask tended to muffle Kane’s voice and make it difficult for him to be understood. On previous occasions when the mask had been removed (never where the camera could see his face), other wrestlers would gasp in total horror at the scars that were claimed to be on Kane’s face. When it came time to unveil Kane’s true face, the story was switched to one where the scars were actually all psychological ones.

X-Factor (X-Pac, Albert and Justin Credible) were taunting Kane. X-Pac, Kane’s former partner, began to talk about how Kane’s genitals were also destroyed in the fire. Kane ripped off his mask and left it on the top of the ramp during an episode of Raw (an incident later copied by Abyss in TNA). Kane’s original unmasked look had him with long hair in the back but bald on top. The look was supposedly related to the fire. Kane also came out with his face smudged with “soot”. It was supposed to give him a darker, burned feel. It simply made him look messy, so the look was eventually modified into the shaved head version that currently exists.

Another series of bad storylines

Kane began a feud with Triple H. WWF Creative went to its lowest point in its entire history when they created a fictitious ex-girlfriend named Katie Vick. According to HHH, Kane had caused a car accident that took Vick’s life. They actually pushed the storyline that Kane had molested the corpse of Vick. The uproar from parents’ group was the loudest ever heard by the WWF. HHH actually ran a faked video of himself as Kane and a mannequin as Vick. It was hoped that the obvious mannequin would lessen the negative feedback from fans. It didn’t help. The storyline was quickly abandoned, though it has been referenced for years by various people during Kane-related promos.

Following another defeat to the Undertaker at Wrestlemania XX, Kane became attracted to Lita. Lita had been involved with Matt Hardy, both on and off-screen. Lita became pregnant (storywise) shortly after Kane began to show interest in her. It was later revealed that Kane was the father of the phantom child. Creative continued their tacky storylines as Lita tried, several times, to have Kane cause her to miscarry. The miscarriage would actually happen after Kane and Lita were “married” on-screen. Kane was battling Snitsky when Kane was knocked onto Lita. This allowed Snitsky to begin using his catch phrase “It’s not my fault”. It also allowed Kane to turn face.

See No Evil…See no tag belts

Kane was scheduled to continue his feud with Matt Hardy, after Matt returned from an injury. The feud was short-circuited when it was revealed that Lita had had an affair in real life with Edge. This created one of the hottest feuds int eh WWF but left Kane at loose ends. He would turn back to the tag team scene, where he had great success in the past.

At Taboo Tuesday 2005, Shawn Michaels, Big Show and Kane were up for voting for the WWE Championship match. The losers in the poling would team to face Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade for the tag titles. Shawn won the poll to face the WWE champion. Big Show and Kane went on to take the tag belts from the Redneck Wrecking Crew. The duo would dominate in various feuds, most notably Carlito and Chris Masters.

Kane’s first film See No Evil was set for release. To build up his psycho character from the film, Kane began to “hear” voices. The voices were actually broadcast in a somewhat muffled state through the arena sound system. The voices would distract Kane enough for the Spirit Squad to upset the Ginormous team. The voices kept mentioning the date of May 19 (the date the movie was to be released). On May 19, Kane appeared on Smackdown to battle Rey Mysterio. A masked figure showed up on the Titantron to taunt Kane. An impostor Kane (played by current superstar, Festus) attacked Kane. The storyline flopped dramatically and the impostor disappeared almost immediately. Kane destroyed the Impostor Kane following a loss to him at Vengeance. The real Kane ripped the mask off the fake Kane (Impostor Kane’s face was blocked from view) and said “I Believe this is mine”. It was a serious throwback to Kane’s earlier days.

On the road to extreme

After the silly feud with “himself”, Kane returned to Smackdown. He feuded with MVP and King Booker, leading up to Wrestlemania 23. Kane lost a slow, plodding battle to the lumbering Great Khali. Their battle was listed by many sources as one of the worst matches in Wrestlemania history.

Kane then united with The Boogeyman to battle William Regal and Dave Taylor. The feud fizzled quickly and Kane had a few minor battles before deciding to take a short hiatus. Part of the hiatus was to promote the video release of See No Evil. Part of the hiatus was to heal and re-energize.

Kane came back from his break to feud with Finlay and Khali. Kane began to make occasional appearances on ECW. His first appearance was to help C.M. Punk defeat John Morrison, The Miz and Big Daddy V. As Wrestlemania XXIV drew near, Kane began to become a more frequent competitor on the Black Brand. Chavo Guerrero won the ECW title from C.M. Punk and was in need of an opponent at Wrestlemania XXIV. A 24-man battle royal was set up. Kane ousted Mark Henry to earn the title shot. Kane would later defeat Chavo in a mere 8 seconds during their ECW title match.

Kane was drafted to Raw. Oddly enough, it made him the first person to hold a Brand-specific title on all three brands. Kane was officially a Smackdown roster member when he won the title. He then moved to ECW to defend it. When he went to Raw, he took the belt with him. Kane would drop the title to Mark Henry in a Triple Threat match at Night of Champions.

The next (ladder) rung for Kane

Kane began a brutal feud with Rey Mysterio on Raw. Kane called Rey “a coward for hiding behind a mask”. It appeared that Rey would eventually lose his mask to Kane during their wars but it didn’t happen. Kane found himself moving into a “Grey Hat” character (neither face or heel). Kane then defeated Mike Knox and Rey Mysterio to earn himself a place in the Money in the Bank match at Wrestlemania 25. The next night, Kane defeated his former tag partner, Boogeyman, in Boogey’s final WWE match. Kane now looks to the anniversary edition of Wrestlemania to possibly move his career to a new level. Will he win the Money in the Bank match? With Kane, never say never.

In Conclusion

Glen Jacobs took some time to find his niche in the WWE. When he finally did, he was able to portray one of the most memorable characters to ever work the ring wars. He’s been involved in some of the most controversial angles in wrestling history. He’s also been a key player in the title picture for years. Kane is a definite future Hall of Fame candidate. He is also this week’s OWW Wrestler of the Week

–Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(3/10/09)