On the 5th of October, 1997, Kane was first introduced to what was yet to become known as “the WWE Universe”. Glenn Jacobs, the man beneath the Kane mask, made his presence felt by tearing the door off the Hell in a Cell structure – which itself was making its debut – and costing his kayfabe half-brother, The Undertaker, his match against Shawn Michaels. This dastardly act captivated the professional wrestling world and established Kane as a heel, despite the fact The Undertaker had, you know, tried to kill him as a child. For the next couple of months, Kane would feud with his half-brother, before branching out into other rivalries and carving out a nice character for himself independent of the one portrayed by Mark Calaway.
In the 20 years which have elapsed since that fateful Hell in a Cell match, Kane has become one of the most seasoned performers in WWE history. He has shown unwavering dedication to Vince McMahon and his vision for the company, always doing what is asked of him, even if it isn’t exactly the best thing for his career. Of course, Vince McMahon is known for constantly changing his mind and even he has come to regret some of his choices for Jacobs’ character. In this article, we’re going to be looking at 8 statistics Vince McMahon wants us to know about Kane and 7 that he would rather we forgot.
15. Fondly Remember: Won The ECW Championship In 11 Seconds
For the vast majority of his time as Kane, Glenn Jacobs has been presented as a monster heel, frequently squashing smaller opponents in throwaway matches on Raw and SmackDown. Of course, squash matches aren’t really meant for pay-per-views; and they certainly aren’t supposed to happen at WrestleMania. However, that didn’t stop Vince McMahon from booking Kane to defeat Chavo Guerrero for the ECW Championship in just 11 seconds at WrestleMania XXIV.
The match was almost as inconsequential as any other squash match on any other night and was really just included on the card to give fans some time to prepare for the career-threatening match between “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair. Nonetheless, capturing a world title in such decisive fashion on The Grandest Stage of them All is a Hall of Fame level accomplishment.
14. Immediately Forget: Zero WrestleMania Main Events
Kane has competed in a variety of high profile matches at WrestleMania. As well as the aforementioned ECW Championship clash with Chavo Guerrero, he has had two heavily promoted WrestleMania bouts with The Undertaker, and came out the winning end of a match with multi-time WWE Champion Randy Orton. At WrestleMania 28, he appeared alongside future world champion Daniel Bryan to successfully defend the WWE Tag Team Championships against Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston.
Despite his various high profile WrestleMania encounters, The Big Red Machine has never competed in a WrestleMania main event. Vince McMahon may try to convince us that every WrestleMania features multiple main events, but we know – as do Kane and McMahon – that the WrestleMania main event is the match which closes the show.
13. Fondly Remember: Second Most Eliminations In A Royal Rumble Match
At the time of this writing – and until somebody more tanned and toned comes along – Roman Reigns holds the record for the most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match. Reigns set this record when he eliminated 12 other competitors during the 2014 Royal Rumble match, before being removed from the ring by Bautista, who won the match.
From what WWE has been trying to do with Roman Reigns since that ill-fated Royal Rumble pay-per-view, it is clear that the record for most eliminations is not something Vince McMahon takes lightly. It is a major accomplishment that can launch a performer into superstardom, which is why Kane was booked to eliminate 11 opponents during the 2001 Royal Rumble match. This record remained intact for more than a decade and is still used to explain Kane’s past dominance to younger WWE fans.
12. Immediately Forget: 3 Failed WWE Gimmicks
The Kane gimmick is one of the greatest gimmicks professional wrestling has ever seen, trumped only by The Undertaker’s now retired Dead Man character. However, Jacobs had more than his fair share of failed gimmicks before being presented with that iconic black and red mask.
When Glenn Jacobs first began competing in WWE, he did so under the name Unabomb, to little success. Shortly after that character was abandoned, he was reintroduced as Isaac Yankem, DDS, the personal dentist of Jerry “The King” Lawler. Yankem was also rejected by fans. Jacobs’ final gimmick before being repackaged as Kane was that of Fake Diesel, who was offered to fans as a cheap replacement for Kevin Nash, who portrayed the original Diesel before jumping ship to WCW. Fans saw straight through the charade and the Diesel character was retired after the 1997 Royal Rumble match.
11. Fondly Remember: Most All-Time Royal Rumble Eliminations
Although Roman Reigns broke Kane’s record for most eliminations in a single Royal Rumble match back in 2014, The Big Red Machine still holds the record for the most Royal Rumble eliminations of all time.
The Big Red Machine boasts a record of 44 total Royal Rumble eliminations, including eliminations of Steve Blackman, Taz, The Rock, The Big Show, and even The Honky Tonk Man. Despite boasting such an impressive Royal Rumble record, Kane has never actually won a Rumble, something which is unlikely to change at this stage in his career. In fact, Jacobs’ nagging injuries made him so uncomfortable this past January that he was forced to sit out the 2017 Royal Rumble altogether. With his sights set on the office of Knox County mayor, it is entirely possible that Kane may never compete in a Royal Rumble match again.
10. Immediately Forget: Wrestled Unmasked For 8 Years
The Kane character is synonymous with the black and red mask which Jacobs donned during the latter half of the 1990s. The mask would see some changes along the way – including a mouth hole, which was added to allow Jacobs to cut a promo – but it remained on his face for the early years of the character. The kayfabe explanation for the mask was that Kane’s face had been so badly burned in a house fire when he was a child that he was unable to appear in public without it. Of course, a larger reason for the mask was that it gave WWE some extra merchandise to market to its younger fans. Once the merchandise sales slowed down, the mask was abandoned.
Kane wrestled unmasked undisturbed from 2003 to 2011, a total of 8 years, almost twice the time he spent under a hood. Because the mask is so closely associated with the Kane character, many fans fail to realize that Jacobs has actually spent the majority of his time as Kane competing with his face uncovered; a fact which could ruin the mystique of the character were it acknowledged by WWE.
9. Fondly Remember: Defeated Steve Austin For The WWE Championship
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin was the poster child of the Attitude Era and was integral in Vince McMahon defeating Ted Turner and WCW. During the latter half of the 1990s, WWE had no bigger star than The Texas Rattle Snake, which is why it was such a surprise when McMahon booked Kane to take the WWE Championship from him. The title switch occurred at the 1998 instalment of the King of the Ring pay-per-view and saw Kane defeat Austin in a First Blood match. It was The Big Red Machine’s first and only WWE Championship win, but it did wonders for his career. Triumphing over the face of the company in such a manner cemented Kane as one of WWE’s top performers and legitimized him the eyes of the fans.
8. Immediately Forget: One Day Title Reign
Although defeating “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for the WWE Championship was a major accomplishment, The Big Red Machine held on to the belt for only 24 hours before Austin recaptured it. While there certainly isn’t any shame in dropping the WWE Championship to an all-time great like Steve Austin, losing the title after a single day puts a permanent asterisk next to any championship reign.
After dropping the WWE Championship to Stone Cold, Kane embarked on a stint as a tag team competitor. Teaming with Mankind, he captured the WWE Tag Team Championships, which he would also go on to hold alongside X-Pac, Rob Van Dam, and his kayfabe half-brother, The Undertaker. However, it would be more than a decade before The Big Red Machine held another world championship in WWE.
7. Fondly Remember: Third Grand Slam Champion
In professional wrestling, a performer is recognized as a Grand Slam Champion once he or she has held four championships. In WWE, this generally includes some combination of world championships, secondary singles titles, and tag team championships.
The first Grand Slam Champion in WWE’s history was “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, who was followed by his buddy Triple H. If you were to check the history books, you would see that WWE’s third ever Grand Slam Champion was none other than The Big Red Machine, who has held more than the required amount of championships throughout his career. Kane cemented his place as a Grand Slam Champion in 2001, when he defeated Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship at that year’s Judgement Day pay-per-view.
6. Immediately Forget: 126 Losses In 2014
Yes, as a Grand Slam Champion, Kane is one of the ‘winningest’ performers in WWE history. Unfortunately, the past couple of years has seen the former WWE Champion tossed from feud to feud, frequently coming out on the losing end of important matches. Arguably the worst year of Kane’s career – in terms of winning and losing – was 2014.
2014 saw Kane drop his trademark fire and brimstone gimmick in favor of a more conventional character. Aligning himself with The Authority, he became known as Corporate Kane and embarked on a long streak of losses. By the end of 2014, The Big Red Machine had competed in 137 matches and had won just 10 of them. With only one draw that year, Kane lost a staggering 126 matches in 2014.
5. Fondly Remember: The First Man To Hold The WWE, ECW, And World Heavyweight Championships
When Vince McMahon decided to reintroduce Extreme Championship Wrestling as its own brand within the WWE Universe, fans were ecstatic. However, that excitement quickly faded when it became clear WWE’s ECW would not be the ECW of old. Gone were the outrageous acts of violence which had made the original ECW so successful; as were the adult-oriented storylines and unique, if somewhat sleazy, production techniques.
If one positive thing can be said about WWE’s ECW, it is that it allowed a number of struggling veterans to work main event matches and hold a world championship. Superstars such as Chavo Guerrero, Matt Hardy, and Christian all held WWE’s version of the ECW Championship. Kane also spent a period as ECW Champion and in 2010 became the first man to hold the WWE Championship, the ECW Championship, and the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
4. Immediately Forget: Lost To Imposter Kane
In the spring of 2006, Vince McMahon conceived of an absurd storyline which saw Kane being tormented by an imposter Kane, who somehow had extensive knowledge of The Big Red Machine’s past. WWE had tried out a similar imposter storyline in 1994 when The Undertaker defeated a fraudster played by Brian Lee but had experienced little success.
Unlike the real Undertaker, the original Kane failed to defeat the man who stole his identity when they eventually squared-off in a brief encounter at the 2006 instalment of Vengeance. Immediately after the match, Vince McMahon realized what a terrible mistake he had made and Kane was booked to decimate the imposter Kane the following night on Raw. The storyline was then dropped and never spoken of again.
3. Fondly Remember: The Heaviest Money In The Bank Winner
Ladder matches generally favor lighter competitors. In fact, WWE tends to shy away from booking heavyweights in such matches as there is a limited amount they can do with the ladder gimmick. This is especially true of Money in the Bank matches, which usually see bodies being hurled around the ring at a rapid pace. However, Kane has competed in a few Money in the Bank ladder matches since the concept was first introduced back in 2005.
In 2010, weighing in at 323 pounds, Kane retrieved the briefcase from atop the ladder to become the heaviest winner of a Money in the Bank ladder match in WWE history. Almost immediately after winning the Money in the Bank match, Kane cashed in his contract for an on-demand championship match and took the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Rey Mysterio.
2. Immediately Forget: WON’s Most Overrated Performer Of 2015
After having an abysmal year in 2014, Kane found his way back to the main event in 2015. The year started off pretty slow for The Big Red Machine, seeing him as just another cog in the milked-to-death Authority storyline, but he eventually entered into a feud with Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship.
A lot of fans weren’t happy to see Kane back in the main event scene, especially when performers such as Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens were left to flounder in the mid-card. This unhappiness was reflected in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s 2015 Awards, which named Kane as the most overrated wrestler of the year. This must have been particularly frustrating for The Big Red Machine as he had received the same award just one year prior. Thankfully, Roman Reigns took the not-so-much-coveted title off his massive hands in 2016.
1. Fondly Remember: Rolling Stone’s Most Underrated Performer Of 2015
While the folks behind the Wrestling Observer Newsletter felt Kane was the most overrated wrestler of 2015, their contemporaries over at the world famous Rolling Stone magazine thought otherwise.
While giving out a variety of WWE-themed awards in December of 2015, Rolling Stone named Glenn Jacobs as the most underrated performer of 2015, which shocked a lot of people. But however you may feel about Kane taking spots from more youthful talent – likely not a decision he made himself – it is impossible to deny that he committed himself 100% to the role of main event babyface and gave the performance of a much younger athlete. Knowing how much Vince McMahon wants WWE to become a mainstream entity, he is far more likely to embrace praise from Rolling Stone than he is criticism from Dave Meltzer.