Top Rope Report: Kane deserves better from the WWE
Off the bat, I want to make it clear that I am not trying to pass myself off as an insider. I’m just a wrestling fan and writer by trade trying to find a way to merge the two. With that said, one character that has always fascinated me is the WWE superstar known as Kane – real name Glenn Jacobs – now 48 years old. In the late 1990s, no one was as terrifying and imposing as “The Big Red Machine” beside his storyline brother, The Undertaker.
And even then, there was something more brutal, more intimidating about Kane to me. Where the Undertaker was a dark character and a phenom in the ring, Kane was a brawler who could show no emotion and was surprisingly agile and athletic for a man nearly 7 feet tall and weighing more than 300 pounds
Yet, Kane has never gotten quite what he deserved from the WWE.
A World Championship reign that lasted a day
Put any major superstar of the Attitude Era – Kurt Angle, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H – in the ring with Kane one on one, and Kane is the more impressive physical specimen with enough in-ring ability to be considered a favorite. Yet in almost 19 years with the company as Kane, Jacobs has only won the WWF/E Championship once, and that reign lasted for a day.
He also held the World Heavyweight Championship for a few months when that was still a separate belt, and while he’s won various other titles, the fact that he’s only held the company’s most coveted gold for a single day in almost 20 years is a travesty.
Further, while everyone has heard about the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at Wrestlemania that ended a couple years ago, do you know who has the longest active streak of Wrestlemania appearances? That’s right: Kane. He’s performed in a match at each of the last 18 Wrestlemanias, defying age, injury and all the other issues that cost superstars appearances at the sport’s biggest event.
Who knows if he’ll get a match this year, and it’s doubtful anything will be mentioned about his impressive run either way.
The recent booking debacle
Then there’s his more recent booking. Kane got a World Heavyweight Championship shot at Hell in a Cell last year, and allowing him to destroy Seth Rollins for the belt on the way to a title run lasting a month or two would’ve been a nice reward.
He’s been portrayed as everything from a man too ugly to be seen in public, essentially, to a necrophiliac who had an intimate moment with his dead girlfriend, so the least the WWE could do is toss him a world title reign as his career winds down.
Furthermore, that would’ve advanced an anticipated and teased break between Rollins and The Authority. But no, Rollins got the victory in a match that wasn’t even deemed worthy of the main event slot. That honor went to The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar in a non-title match.
Now, Kane is nothing more than an enhancement talent, a glorified jobber for younger stars who are supposed to look big and strong. While it’s highly possible that Jacobs is OK with that role in the company, it’s somewhat sad to see. Monday as RAW closed, Kane popped up from under the ring to attack the Wyatt Family, a spot that was once cool and mysterious but has since been played out.
That helped set up a six-man tag match at the Fastlane pay-per-view pitting Kane, Ryback and the Big Show against three members of the Wyatt Family. Since the Wyatts are being pushed to the moon right now as slayers of the company’s “titans,” it can be expected that Kane’s team is taking the loss in that one.
What makes matters worse is that after an unfortunate run as the suit-clad Corporate Kane with The Authority, Kane returned to his Demon character only to largely disappear in recent weeks. He’s literally popping back up just in time to lose at a mediocre event.
A well-deserved push for unwavering loyalty
While the WWE has the chance, Kane needs to get another solid push. Perhaps a world title run, but at least, let him hold the United States title so he can complete the modern Grand Slam to go with his traditional Grand Slam. And if nothing else, make sure he gets the chance to perform at this year’s Wrestlemania.
Most of the time, I’m against older talent getting titles – like Triple H’s current run as World Heavyweight Champion – but in this case, it’s different. When fans look back on Kane’s career in the future, many might forget how intimidating and revered he was in his heyday and just look at a handful of singles titles with a healthy number of tag team runs and assume he was just another mediocre talent.
Those of us who watched him in action know the truth, but he deserves more.