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Kane's Character Ready To Go Deep
By staff – News flash: World Wrestling Entertainment has a premier superstar on its roster for RAW, and I'm not talking about Triple H.

For years, this man has graced the TV screen as nothing more than a charred, troubled soul who was often cold, uncontrollable and destructive. He had almost no on-screen personality, and was more often than not a mid-card WWE performer.

But not anymore. After five years, the character we know as Kane is ready to shed some layers and take the roster's top spot on Monday Nights.

As we all know, there was once a time when The Big Red Machine was essentially a carbon copy of his fictional brother, The Undertaker. He did the chokeslam and Tombstone Piledriver to a tee. He dropped to one knee and raised his right hand in triumph after a match. He walked to the ring striking fear and intrigue into the hearts of marked-out fans.

Aside from terrific athletic ability, there wasn't much that separated Kane the character from any other "freak" who graced the squared circle before him. Therewas a curious little monkey in all of us who wanted to see the bark peeled off the trunk. We wanted to see the layers that made up this troubled being. But opportunities were rare for The Big Red Machine. The gimmick with X-Pac taking away his ‘girlfriend' Tori comes to mind. The repeated attacks on baseball great Pete Rose was funny, but didn't build too much in the depth department, either.

On top of that, his vocals on screen never gave him a shot either. That voice box delivery (I AM KANE!) sent shivers down my spine, with memories of Dennis Leary's infamous tracheotomy sketch still lingering in my mental Rolodex. Glenn Jacobs – as I saw it - was becoming no different than your typical comic book character.

But what has made Spiderman so successful over the last 40 years? Creator Stan Lee says that by inventing a geeky high school student named Peter Parker and giving him an alternate life as a superhero, a new level of sophistication and emotional depth was brought to what had been considered a kids' genre.

That sort of creative thinking in the world of comics has finally diffused itself into the realm of sports entertainment.

Previously, fans across North America have held the "Hulksters" and "Macho Men" in their hearts as the consummate superheroes to idolize. But with a mandate to never break a wrestler's character on screen, these performers did very little to reveal the men behind the curtain. In a decade where the Cold War dominated headlines every day, we never got to see the actual man behind ‘Real American' Hulk Hogan that was showcased every Saturday morning. We never heard George "The Animal" Steele utter anything aside from "Hey yooooou," and "Elizabeth."

That all changed just a few short years ago when WWE took a swerve in their writing and exposed one of their most mysterious and freaky characters for what he really was – a simple guy who loved life and wrestling the same way we did.  Fresh from a historic Hell in a Cell match that nearly put him out of the business, Mankind was introduced to fans as ‘Average Joe' Mick Foley.

The troubled soul we saw in the boiler room was really no different than most of his viewing audience. He was a simple suburban kid who loved wrestling in his own backyard with his buddies. He enjoyed a great career in promotions like NWA, WCW and ECW. He even wanted to resurrect a character he's had in his back pocket for years - Dude Love. Fans knew he was once Cactus Jack and had a reputation as a hardcore wrestler long before moving to the WWF. We just wanted to get to know him.

It's no secret that we as fans love fictional characters – in wrestling or otherwise – that we can personally relate to. In the same way Hogan, Randy Savage and Ric Flair exemplified the "rock stars" we all longed to be, Mankind appealed to the strange and introverted personas that may lurk in all of us. But what really put him over was his shoot interviews on RAW with Jim Ross. Mick Foley (surprise!) is just like us. He is a fan of the art form. He has great hobbies outside the ring. He has a beautiful family. He is intelligent and articulate (a stark contrast to the stereotypical label that most mainstream media usually put on these performers). He was an everyday guy, and it easily put him over in terms of fanfare.

And that was before ‘Beyond the Mat' and ‘Have a Nice Day' even hit the stores.

It is this sort of ‘stripped down' character that Kane is quickly becoming. We saw a hint of it just before WWE's roster split on April, when The Big Red Machine teamed up with Hollywood Hulk Hogan and The Rock against the New World Order. Excited by the prospect of working with his boyhood hero, Kane the character gave a bit of a shock – and a good laugh – for the fans when he did his best Hulkster impression in a locker room vignette.

What? This burned freak was a Hogan fan? I'll be damned!

After four months of recovering from bicep surgery, The Big Red Machine's hints of character building continued. He hooked up with Booker T and Goldust upon his return and celebrated their triumph over the Un-Americans with his own Spineroonie.

He can dance?

He later teamed up with the comical ‘Hurricane' and captured the WWE tag titles.
In the interview that followed, he grabbed interviewer Terri by the neck, gave
her a long, passionate kiss and announced to the world (without a voice box!)
that "Freaks are cool!" On top of that, Terri sure looked impressed!

The big guy's a great kisser?

Finally, as sick and disturbing as the whole Katie Vick story may be, it certainly added some more interesting questions to mind. Since when did Kane drive fast cars? Kane went to wild parties? Kane was into the ladies' scene?

That's quite a contrast from the silent villain that attacked the Undertaker at Badd Blood five years ago, isn't it?

Layer by layer, we are seeing an evolution to The Big Red Machine as each episode of RAW passes by. I'm not saying he should be doing shoot interviews with Jim Ross without his mask anytime soon, but the makings of a deep, likable
Mick Foley-type character seem to be on the horizon. And as rare as this happens, it's still a new and refreshing direction to take.

Keep an eye out, wrestling fans - Freaks are indeed cool!

For, I'm Kelvin "K-Dogg" Chow.

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