As much as I enjoyed the March 28th go-home show for Wrestlemania 27 this year, I did see pure red for a couple of seconds. I should not have seen red as I, and you, should be accustomed to what we saw on that edition of Raw. The same unspeakable travesty has been occurring in WWF/WWE for over a decade. What caused this outburst of anger for me?
The biggest lost opportunity in a single wrestler in WWE history (my argument) took another tumble. Yes, friends, Kane performed the ‘Santino trumpet celebration’. Am I overreacting? I don’t think so.
I have always been a huge mark for the big red machine right from his awesome debut at the first ever Hell in a Cell in October 1997. I was in awe of a such a large and agile yet talented wrestler. He was off to a great start feuding with his ‘brother’ the Undertaker as an unstoppable and pitiless monster (coming after his first two of many, many bad choices/gimmicks, Dr. Issac Yankem DDS and fake Diesel).
Glenn Jacobs/Kane was billed at about 5 pounds less than the Undertaker yet was taller and much more muscular. My buddies and I cracked up at that stretch of truth. Remember also that at the time Undertaker was not the performer that he is today. Kane was already being billed well under Undertaker’s shadow even though, in my humble opinion, he was far more intimidating and impressive than the phenom.
Well one can write a book on all of the bad booking decisions that Kane fell to over the next 14 years or so …
– his first world title reign was well under 24 hours long making it a joke
– the Kanerooni
– the Katie Vick angle … if you saw it then you know it
– a terrible feud with Shane McMahon (how convincing would an Undertaker/Shane feud have been booked??)
– the unmasking of Kane due to yet another loss to Cripple-H (who beat Kane countless times in the early 2000s) … not so bad in retrospect but terrible under those conditions
– the terrible miscarriage angle with Lita and Shitsky
– an awful feud with Xpac where Kane’s ‘girlfriend’ Tori turned on Kane for her ‘captor’
– the vomit-inducing Lita/Edge/Kane love triangle to mirror Matt Hardy in the ‘real life’ situation … how can that be booked for somebody like Kane?
– the worst-booked feud of 2010 with Edge where the baby face kidnapped and tortured the heel’s father while the heel begged for his father back … with terrible promos attached
– countless face/heel turns making him an inconsistent character
I am sure that there is much more than this and I may ask Billy Joel to re-write “We Didn’t Start the Fire” with all of the terrible booking decisions surrounding Kane and his WWE tenure.
The WWE could have very easily had a second ‘Undertaker’ phenom (no, not the same gimmick but think a twisted version of Undertaker) think Venom and Carnage from Marvel comics. But no, they go with stupid comedy angles, countless heel/face turns, booking him weak, and mind-boggling feuds (see Shane McMahon) to kill the character that could have been Kane.
What is Kane’s upside? He’s damn intimidating and scary looking … a legit big and strong guy. He can move too. No, not like Eddie or HBK did but damn fast for a big guy. I realize that many are mixed on his promos but not me. You would be hard pressed to find a better guy to play a sick and twisted soul. He’s a hell of a character actor. Kane has also obviously been a great company man doing whatever the WWE has asked of him (to his discredit).
Could Kane have been as big of a superstar as the Undertaker? Likely most will think not. However, I ask you, who is the better character actor of the two (sorry, Taker is dull)? Who is more physically impressive? Who is more agile (OK, that is arguable but easy for me)? Taker has been booked strong/impressive 98% of the time and not so for Kane.
No, Kane will not put on an HBK/Bret Hart classic match nor consistent five-star matches but he has his place in the WWE universe and it’s much better than this. Does anybody remember his matches with Dolph on Smackdown? He can perform with the right guy and I would argue as well as the Undertaker can given the Undertaker’s ten match per year schedule.
Again, I likely have not given another topic it’s due but time is short. There will likely be more who disagree with me on this than those who see it my way as I expect. However, look past the booking and tell me that Kane is not a huge lost opportunity for WWE.