There was a site once upon a time called Wrestlecrap.com. It was a site dedicated to everything from the funniest and absurd gimmicks in wrestling to the downright horrifying ones that made many a wrestling fan turn to watching pro-golf. For the most part if a wrestler went by anything other than his real name or a variation there of, they were inducted in. Some got multiple induction's and Glen Jacobs damn near three-peated in the Wrestlecrap Hall of Shame until one fine day someone in the Titan Towers had a rare stroke of genius. That genius was Undertaker's fire scarred kid brother, the man-monster Kane.
Throughout the somewhat dubious legacy of Kane, there definitely have been moments when the older, more wrestling oriented WWF fans collectively groaned at his antics of shooting fireballs and constantly being set on fire. But apparently this was a step up from where his career had been languishing.
For Jacobs it started back in the early 90's. While Hulkamania was running amok and the Undertaker was just beginning his decade of destruction, Jacobs was wrestling in Missouri, Florida and Puerto Rico. Jacobs' first became within earshot of the WWF by wrestling in Jerry Lawler's Memphis Promotion, the USWA. His first of seemingly endless cockamamie gimmicks was that of a masked wrestler named (get this) The Christmas Creature. After losing his mask he became Doomsday. During his stint as Doomsday, Jacobs was called to the WWF to play the part of one of Jerry Lawler's midgets…or was it Doink's Clowns? No wait I got it, he was one of Jerry Lawler's masked assassin's sent to destroy Brett Hart in the fall of '93. He stayed in the WWF long enough to play one of Shawn Michaels masked Knights at the '93 Survivor Series, again facing off against Brett Hart and his brothers Owen, Bruce, Ross, Alvin, Simon, Theodore, Chip, Dale, Moe, Larry, Curly and Hart brothers 10 thru 27. Anyhow, after that was done the WWF sent him back to the USWA and the Doomsday gimmick. Jacobs moved on from the USWA to Jim Cornette's Smokey Mountain Wrestling. There he evolved the Doomsday character into Unabomber. He also teamed up Tough Enough's own Al Snow and together they captured the SMW's Tag Team titles in the spring of '95.
Later that year, over in the WWF, Jerry Lawler not only stuck his foot in his own mouth, but so did newly crowned King of the Ring, Brett Hart. This caused Jerry Lawler to freak and desperately seek sound dental help. And just who did the WWF get to play the part of Jerry Lawler's personal dentist? Why once again Glen Jacobs answered the call and became Wrestlecrap inductee #1 Isaac Yankem, D.D.S . after the special "Kiss My Foot" match between the King and Bret Hart. Vignettes of Yankem appeared, leading to a Summerslam '95 contest between Bret and Yankem. Yankem lost his debut match by DQ, eventually dropping a later rematch to Hart on RAW before fading into obscurity.
Jacobs got another shot at being publicly embarrassed in 1996. Ah 1996…it was the year Turner's Folly-WCW, attracted the superstar likes of WWF's own Razor Ramon and Big Daddy Cool, Diesel AKA Scott Hall and Kevin Nash respectively. These two plus a newly heel turned Hollywood Hogan formed the infamous New World Order. It was in many ways the first knock down blow that sent the WWF reeling for almost a year before they got their act together and re-ascended to prominence. Meanwhile back in late '96 Vince took one look at the nWo and said, "…oh yeah wise guy, well you may be able to buy stars but we here create stars!" With that the WWF brought back in Jacobs for Wrestlecrap inductee #2 the completely idiotic Fake Diesel. However this was only slightly more atrocious than the Fake Razor played by a fairly famous American wrestler from Japan, Big Titan. Much like trying to rehash old tag teams by changing the line up and adding the word "new" in front of the name, this brainchild went down like the Titanic and may have damn well caused the WWF to go with it if they weren't mercifully pulled off television. Though fans were treated to one Fake Diesel-Fake Razor title shot at that year's December PPV entitled "It's Time". Oh yes it was time all right, time for this scar on the ass of wrestling to come to an end.
So back to the USWA he went and this time he garnered some success by winning the USWA Heavyweight title as Doomsday. Not long after that the WWF came-a-calling once again and instead of leaping out of the nearest window Jacobs actually gave the WWF one more shot, figuring third time has got to be the charm. Turns out he was right.
In the summer of '97, the Undertaker was up to his ears in Paul Bearer airing his dirty laundry. Bearer went around screeching about, "…the fire that killed the Undertaker's parents". He also mentioned the Undertaker's dead brother. The same brother that the Undertaker killed by setting the house on fire. Now the rub here was that his younger brother, who the fans came to know as Kane, was not only alive…not only the bastard child of a tawdry affair between the Undertaker's mama and Paul Bear…but he was coming to enact revenge upon the Undertaker.
On October 5, 1997 at Badd Blood, after months of build up, Glen Jacobs made his re-re-debut as Jerry Lawler's personal proctologist The Booty Stuffer…no that isn't right…it was as the Undertaker's fire-scarred younger brother, Kane, interfering in the infamous Hell in a Cell match between 'Taker and Shawn Michaels. Paul Bearer led the way as Kane ripped off the door of the steel cage and stood nose to nose with his brother. He then commanded towers of flame to shoot up from the ring post and then Tombstoned the Undertaker for good measure. The battle of the phenoms was on.
From October on, Kane began to manhandle the WWF midcard roster starting with fellow monster, Mankind. Kane destroyed star after star on RAW each week, as Paul Bearer said that he'd keep doing so until they got a match with UT. Meanwhile the Undertaker says and repeatedly sticks with his decision to never fight his family. He also was way too busy trying to unseat HBK for the world title.
In January of 1998 after saving Kane from a gang attack by WWF midcarders, The Undertaker is saluted by his younger brother. It would seem that going into the Undertakers title shot at the Royal Rumble, the two brothers were reconciled. During the casket match against Shawn Michaels at the '98 Royal Rumble, Taker (who really should have seen this coming) was jumped by several men, only to be saved by Kane. However, Kane then turned on UT for what would be the first of several aching times, locking him in the casket and setting it on fire. Though it seemed that the WWF was hell-bent on getting Kane over with the fans, this particular incident nearly had WWF fans setting their televisions on fire in protest of a completely stupid end to what could have been a great PPV main event.
After this horrid moment in WWF history the two brothers were slated to fight each other on March 29, 1998 at Wrestlemania XIV. In the weeks leading up to this epic battle, UT and Kane shot fire balls at one another, set a cameraman on fire and generally did their best to make the whole deal seem as "Mortal Kombat-ish" as possible. By the time it was over, you almost wanted to yell "finish him!" The Undertaker defeated Kane after three Tombstones. Though Kane lost the match, it was plain to see that he was a force to be reckoned with.
Staying with the theme of fire, Paul Bearer set up the first ever Inferno match between Undertaker and Kane where the winner is the one to set the loser on fire. This took place at Unforgiven which was appropriate because I still haven't forgiven the WWF for how they ended it. Kane ended up having his arm set on fire which wouldn't have been so bad except for the fact that you could see the blue sterno gel on his friggin arm. And to make matters worse, he ran up the ramp showing everyone he was on fire before someone put him out. Oddly enough the WWF would reward Kane for this non-stop hilarity.
In June of 1998 at King of the Ring, Kane beat Steve Austin in a first blood match to become the WWF Champion. Thankfully he lost the belt the next night on RAW. It was not until recently that certain fans actually recognized Kane's WWF title reign. Shortly thereafter Kane and Mankind bonded as only two man monsters can and formed a winning tag team combination. Their union lasted until around Summerslam when Kane and his big brother made up. Not only were Kane and his fire setting brother getting along famously, they also became Mr. McMahon's personal weapon against WWF Champion Steve Austin.
On September 27, 1998 at Breakdown Undertaker and Kane simultaneously pinned WWF Champion Steve Austin in a triple threat match for the world title. A rematch between the two winners was set for the next PPV to determine the true champion. The finish instantly re-established the feud between the two, after they had been getting along for months. The night after, Mr. McMahon forced them to face each other at the Judgement Day PPV. Kane and Undertaker swiftly turned against Mr. McMahon. With his ire raised and his ankle broken, (the brothers went nuts after McMahon called them retarded and UT crushed Vince's ankle) Vince McMahon placed them against each other in the first round of the "Deadly Game" WWF Title Tournament. Once again Kane could not get over on his brother and lost the first round.
Early in 1999 Kane joined The Corporation, only to be mistreated. The storyline led to yet another bond. Kane became Chyna's protectorate while she started the process of humanizing him. She would also start the trend of people turning their back on Kane. The next person who Kane bonded with was X-Pac. Again, Kane played the role of Lenny to another wrestler's George (see John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men"). This lasted a majority of the year and Kane gained major strides toward conquering his inner monster. He also started to speak around this time, first with a voice box and then without it.
Around October DX flirted with the idea that Kane would follow X-Pac into the group but instead they attacked him. In the following weeks, Tori was added to the mix as Kane's girlfriend. This was yet another element in the humanizing of Kane. However by February, Tori turned on Kane for X-Pac thus sending Kane into a tale spin of destruction. The battle between Kane's human self and his inner monster would be the arcing factor in all of Kane's future stories.
Kane spent the next several months going berserk and trying to kill both Tori, DX and the Big Show. Around this time the Undertaker had reappeared and joined his brother in the fight against Triple H and DX. By Summer's end Kane would unleash all of his frustrations about being betrayed time after time by taking out the one person who remained true to him, the Undertaker. On an episode of RAW, Kane saved the Undertaker from a beat down...then shocked the world by chokeslamming the Undertaker straight through the ring. UT/Kane feud #575 had just begun. After, Kane explained why he betrayed Undertaker when he screamed "I am a monster". The two met once again at Summerslam where the Undertaker attempted to beat the humanity out of Kane by demasking him. It was the moment that brought Kane out of the darker recesses of his mind and began the final process of conquering the inner monster inside him.
For the rest of the year, and the beginning of 2001, Kane was in the hunt for the WWF World Title. By the Royal Rumble the Brothers of Destruction (as they were now penned) were finally completely reconciled and tearing up the tag team scene. The Brothers of Destruction won two Tag Team titles and Kane went on to capture both the Hardcore title and finally the Intercontinental title in the forthcoming months.
With the WWF under siege from the WCW/ECW Alliance, Vince is mustering up an army of his best and brightest to do battle with enemy. Kane is one of those people standing up for the company that gave him not 1, not 2, but three distinct chances at becoming the superstar he was destined to be. Both Kane and Glen Jacobs have made great strides since 1993-Jacobs as a caricature of a wrestler resembling Wrestlecrap Hall of Shamers Barry Darsow and Ed Leslie to becoming a bonafide star worthy of praise-Kane as a man who has gone to hell and back a la Dante to conquer his inner monster that was fashioned in a house fire and later in Paul Bearer's basement. As long as Kane can keep from setting himself on fire, or anyone else for that matter he should continue to distance himself from yet another induction into the Wrestlecrap Hall of Shame.
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