Wrestler of the Day – April 26: Kane

Today is the Devil’s Favorite Demon with Kane.

 

Kane got his real start in SMW as part of the Dynamic Duo with Al Snow. Here’s one of their matches from I believe August 8, 1995.

Dynamic Duo vs. Matt Hardy/Jason Arnhdt

Snow and Jason get things going with Al hammering away before hitting a nice shwwlbarrow suplex. Off to Unabom (yes it’s spelled that way here) for a powerslam, setting up a superkick from Snow. Al misses a cross body and makes the tag to Matt (yes that) Hardy) who is launched into the corner. A clothesline/German suplex combo is enough to easily pin Hardy. Total squash.

Kane would be performing in the WWF around this time, as Isaac Yankem, D.D.S. He’s an evil dentist you see. He’s also Jerry Lawler’s evil dentist and is helping Lawler in his VERY long war with Bret Hart. From Summerslam 1995.

Isaac Yankem vs. Bret Hart

You might know Yankem better as Fake Diesel, who you might know better as Kane. Isaac’s music is made up of dentist drills which is rather creepy. Bret wants to know if he has to fight an evil chiropractor next. The fans lose their minds for Bret, which makes you wonder why he’s fighting A FREAKING DENTIST. Isaac grabs him by the throat and sends Bret into the corner to take over early. This is his debut so Bret isn’t sure what to do with him.

Bret’s right hands in the corners don’t get him anywhere but he avoids a charge and takes Yankem to the floor with some clotheslines. A plancha takes Isaac down and a middle rope clothesline looks to set up the Sharpshooter but Isaac blocks. Instead a backslide gets two for Hart, only to have Isaac throw him into the ropes and tie up Bret’s arm. The hard whip into the corner puts Bret down and the ropes look pretty loose. Yankem stomps Bret down in the corner and puts him on his back for a choke but Hart counters into a small package.

Lawler rants about having to kiss Bret’s feet after a previous match and is thrilled when Isaac clotheslines him to the floor. Bret is rammed back first into the post and the selling is the mastery you would expect it to be. Back in and Yankem hits a top rope Fameasser for two and a pair of clotheslines for two. Bret knocks him to the floor and sends him into the steps before getting two off the bulldog back inside. The backbreaker sets up the middle rope elbow but Lawler breaks up the Sharpshooter.

Bret is sent into the steps again as Lawler is playing cheerleader. Yankem loads up the top rope clothesline but Bret slams him down and pounds away in the corner. Bret trips Yankem up and ties the legs around the post to stomp away before going after Jerry. Isaac escapes and dives off the top onto Bret before tying his head up in the ropes. That’s finally enough for the referee and he throws the match out.

Rating: C. This took time to get going but you could see the potential in Yankem. The problem is he was a gimmick wrestler in the vein of T.L. Hopper and Repo Man: you can only go so far with one idea. That’s why Kane was the idea that worked: it was a character that could evolve and had more than one idea to him, thereby making him interesting and someone with staying power. That’s why WWF in 1995 was so terrible: they were all about the dull one note characters and the interest never was there.

He would spend over a year in that stupid dentist gimmick before FINALLY getting away to do something new. Unfortunately it wasn’t much better. The next stupid gimmick for Kane would be as Fake Diesel, who teamed with Fake Razor Ramon. This somehow got them a Tag Team Title shot at In Your House 12.

Tag Titles: Diesel/Razor Ramon vs. Owen Hart/British Bulldog

This is the story that I didn’t want to get to earlier on but I’m stuck with it now. No these aren’t the real Hall and Nash returning, but rather people that JR brought in and who are being used as something resembling a parody of the guys who were on top of the wrestling world at this point.

Originally JR talked about how the person didn’t actually matter and the gimmicks were what got Hall and Nash over, which is actually a nice jab at them. That didn’t last long though and eventually became a basic parody, though Rick Bogner (Fake Razor) looks like he’s wearing a Razor Ramon costume and mask. Glenn Jacobs (Fake Diesel) actually looks like the real thing from behind and when he’s wearing sunglasses, making him far more bearable in the costume. We’ll be hearing from Jacobs again in a few months.

As for the match, the idea is that the champions are having problems because Steve Austin has been messing with their heads. Diesel starts with Owen as JR gets into full analytical mode now that some of his buddies are in there. Diesel drives Owen into the corner and fires off some elbows before shoving Owen off the ropes. Owen comes back with some right hands but gets slammed down with ease. Two guys from Mexican wrestling company AAA named Pierroth and Cibernetico are in the aisle to distract the Bulldog for some reason.

Off to Bulldog vs. Razor with the latter doing a pretty decent imitation of the real Razor’s mannerisms, but the whole thing falls apart as soon as you see his face. Bulldog fires off some forearms as the AAA guys leave, only to be replaced by Austin. Bulldog hits a quick cross body but goes to the floor to get in a fight with Austin. Steve is taken to the back but the distraction allows Razor to hit a spinning right hand, sending Bulldog into the corner for a tag off to Owen.

Hart gets a quick two off a missile dropkick but Diesel pulls the top rope down to send him out to the floor. Diesel rams Owen back first into the post before sending him back in for an armbar from Razor. Off to Diesel for a sidewalk slam but he stomps away instead of covering. Ramon comes back in and hits a pumphandle fall away slam for two before grabbing a reverse chinlock. The fans are almost entirely behind the champions, despite them being huge heels at this point.

Diesel gets two off a big boot (which clearly missed by several inches) but the fans all think he sucks. Owen gets a boot of his own up in the corner and takes Diesel down with a nice enziguri. There’s the hot tag off to Bulldog who cleans house with clotheslines and forearms all around. A quick vertical suplex gets two on Razor as everything breaks down. Owen is whipped into Diesel who catches him in midair but Bulldog dropkicks his partner in the back, sending them both to the floor. Owen slides back in to spinwheel kick Razor in the face to break up a Razor’s Edge attempt and score a quick pin to retain.

Rating: C-. As stupid as the gimmick was, the match wasn’t too bad at all. Diesel was actually very solid in the ring and would be around for many more years under a different gimmick. Razor was just kind of there though and the match was definitely weaker when he was in the ring. Not bad stuff for the most part though.

Nearly a year later, we FINALLY got the gimmick that worked. At the end of the first Hell in a Cell match, the Undertaker’s brother Kane debuted and cost him the match. This had been teased for months until Kane finally arrived, making for one of the best debuts ever. Undertaker refused to fight at first though, leaving others to try their luck. Here’s Kane’s first match in the WWF, from Survivor Series 1997.

Kane vs. Mankind

The brawl starts immediately on the floor with Kane throwing Mankind into the steps. Kane has the red lights ala Sin Cara during his matches at this point. With Mankind half dead in the ring, Kane does the corner fire deal and the match starts. Mankind fights up and a Cactus Clothesline puts both of them on the floor. Kane knocks him right back down and throws the steps at Mankind’s head to take him down one more time. Back in and Mankind charges into a big boot and Kane chokes away in the corner.

Kane sends it to the floor again and beats on Mankind some more, but Foley hot shots him onto the steps to slow the monster down. A chair to the head knocks Kane back into the ring and there’s a piledriver, but Mankind goes after Bearer instead of Kane. Kane sits up and chokeshoves Mankind off the apron and through the announce table. The Spanish one of course.

Kane loads up a chokeslam on the floor but Mankind kicks him low (which only works on Kane on occasion) and DDTs him on the concrete. The elbow off the apron hits Kane again but Kane sits up and slams Mankind off the top to the floor. Back in and Mankind literally pulls himself up to his feet and is immediately tombstoned for the pin.

Rating: C+. When you have a new guy you want to put over, you call Mick Foley. This is a match you have to think about to get why it worked. First and foremost, Kane is supposed to be a monster who has very little experience in the ring. Think of him like Jason from Friday the 13th or something like that (Youtube Jerry Lawler vs. Jason. It’s EXACTLY what it sounds like and it actually exists) as someone who just wants carnage instead of wanting to be technical. These two beat the tar out of each other and it made Kane look unstoppable. That would continue for about five and a half months until the Dead Man came back.

After a LONG wait and Kane lighting Undertaker on fire, the showdown finally took place at Wrestlemania XIV.

Here’s Pete Rose to be ring announcer. After getting a warm reception, Pete turns heel on the audience and rips on them for losing for so long. Pete sounds a bit drunk here but not too bad. He makes fun of the Red Sox and there go the lights, cuing Kane. We debut a three year long running joke of Kane beating up Pete, this time with a Tombstone, sending the crowd into delirium. There go the lights and it’s time for the mother of all Undertaker entrances. Druids come out carrying torches and we hear music that sounds like Gregorian chanting. Undertaker walks out under a tunnel of fire and we’re ready to go. AWESOME.

Undertaker vs. Kane

There’s the bell and they stare each other down before Taker pounds away with no effect. Kane shrugs them off and LAUNCHES Undertaker into the corner but Taker is too quick. Kane comes back with a clothesline but Taker immediately sits up. A tombstone doesn’t work for Kane so he puts Taker in the Tree of Woe and stomps away. This is only Kane’s second match in the company to date so we don’t have a lot to go on with him.

A clothesline in the corner puts Undertaker down again as Bearer talks trash. Kane draps him over the top rope and there’s a forearm to the back of the head. Back in and Kane pounds away in the corner but Undertaker covers up. Taker gets a running start at Kane and winds up on the red one’s shoulders, only to be (kind of) slammed face first into the mat. They head to the floor with Taker being dropped face first onto the barricade. A Paul Bearer distraction lets Kane drop the steps onto his brother’s back.

Paul gets in some stompings before Kane suplexes Taker back in. Taker says bring it on and hits a few clotheslines, only to charge into a chokeslam for two as Kane pulls his brother up. We hit the chinlock for over a full minute before Undertaker fights up with punches to the ribs. A back elbow puts him back down though and an elbow drop sets up another chinlock by Kane. Taker fights out of that one as well, only to try to crotch Kane on the top rope. That doesn’t quite work though as Kane bounces on the top rope and falls to the floor.

Instead here’s a Taker Dive but Kane throws him through the Spanish Announce Table in a spectacular crash. Back in and the top rope clothesline gets two for Kane and Bearer is shocked. Taker loads up a Tombstone out of nowhere but gets countered into one by his brother but it only gets two. Kane is TICKED so they slug it out with Taker getting the better of it.

A clothesline puts Kane down and there’s a chokeslam by Undertaker. The Tombstone hits Kane but it only gets two. You can hear the fans gasp at the kickout. There’s another Tombstone but THAT just gets two so Taker goes up for a top rope clothesline. The third Tombstone FINALLY ends it, even though Kane would have been up at 3.1.

Rating: C-. I’ve heard this called terrible and yeah it’s bad, but it’s definitely not horrible. They would have been better suited cutting out about two minutes but even without that missing this was still a solid power match. It was clear they were getting winded by the end, but this is one of the matches where the crowd carried things. There’s nothing wrong with that and it worked well here. Nowhere near as bad as I remembered it.

Post match Kane lays out Undertaker again, blasting him with a chair a few times. A tombstone on the chair leaves Taker out cold.

The performance was good enough for Kane to get a WWF Title shot at King of the Ring 1998.

WWF Title: Kane vs. Steve Austin

I remember a buddy of mine once saying he wondered why Austin didn’t come out with a needle or something and poke Kane for the win. They covered that and it’s a good thing they did as it was a great point. Crowd pops like CRAZY for Austin. He had a staph infection in his elbow so it’s incredibly taped up. Austin is in the air for the Thesz Press before the bell finishes ringing. Naturally this is no DQ so the belt shot in the first few seconds is fine.

The only skin on Kane that’s visible is his left hand. I beat Lawler to that line again! This is reminiscent of the tables match with Cena and Sheamus as Kane doesn’t actually have to get a clean win on Austin but he can get the title, which is brilliant. And here comes the Cell. The cage stops about 8 inches above Austin’s throat which is kind of scary when you think about it.

I really hope that’s padding on Austin’s elbow and not a result of the infection as it’s probably the size of a brick or so. Austin’s back is bleeding a bit which is why I think they put in the it has to be a lot of blood clause into it, just in case of something like that. Now the Cell is going up just as Austin is in control. In a cool looking spot, Kane is caught on the door frame and is raised into the air.

That’s really awesome looking. We see Vince in the luxury box with Sable which gets a lot of heat. Dang the crowd loves Austin. Austin is dominating here and he hits Kane in the face with a fan. That has to hurt. There goes the referee which is pointless as it’s no DQ. Kane hits that top rope clothesline to put Kane down. Vince apparently can see from a box perfectly well. That strikes me as odd.

We keep hearing that if Kane loses he’ll set himself on fire, more or less confirming that he’s winning. However, the body suit could say otherwise. Here’s Mick Foley of all people. And here’s the Cell again. Yeah that’s a pad on his arm as some of the tape came off. Kane takes a Stunner and here’s Taker with a chair. He swings for Foley but hits Austin who is also holding a chair, knocking it into his face.

And Austin is bleeding as Taker throws the referee back in. Taker, ever the nice guy, pours the gasoline at ringside on the referee to wake him up. Austin gets a SICK chairshot to Kane and the referee rings it and as the fans see his face they almost go silent. The booing for Kane being announced as the new champion is insane. We cut to Vince who mouths the words I told you so to Sable as we go off the air.

We get bonus footage of after the show and I mean right after it as Kane’s music is still playing when it starts. The referee is out cold, I’d assume at the hands of Austin and Mankind is coming back. The fans chant BS and I mean LOUDLY. Foley gets beaten up even more as Austin’s music plays and he leaves.

Rating: B+. Again, this isn’t something you can grade on a regular scale. It was mainly furthering the conspiracy and on that level it did very well. Obviously Austin would get the belt back the next night as Kane was champion less than 24 hours. That being said, he won it here and that’s all that matters.

Since Kane has been around for the better part of ever, we’re going to skip ahead to the end of 1999, skipping his Tag Team Title run with Mankind and the conspiracy bit with Undertaker. Eventually Kane would team up with X-Pac to win some more Tag Team Titles. Kane would also get a girlfriend named Tori, but she would leave him for X-Pac, setting up a feud between the two of them. Here’s I believe the blowoff, from Armageddon 1999.

Kane vs. X-Pac

In a cage and only X-Pac can win by escape. This is the blowoff to their feud that kept going and going. Tori is sexy to me and always has been. Pac has reached the point of annoying here so that explains a lot. No idea what I meant by that so don’t try to figure it out. Kane goes to the floor and gets Pac first thanks to Tori. Yes of course she turns on him eventually.

And of course Pac can’t do a thing to Kane. King spends the whole match making sex jokes about Kane. I could care less here even though Kane is one of my favorites. After Pac can’t do anything to Kane, here come the Outlaws with bolt cutters. The X-Factor hits on a chair they throw in and Kane is cuffed to the cage.

Many chairshots follow until Tori gets in the ring. X-Factor for the woman that he was sleeping with in kayfabe secrecy. Kane of course breaks the cuffs as Pac is leaving. In a cool spot, Pac is climbing down and Kane catches him on his shoulders and walks him back into the cage. I like that. After slamming the cage door on X-Pac’s head, Kane goes up to the top of the cage and hits his clothesline. A Tomestone gets the three and X-Pac is DEAD. Decent match, GREAT finish.

Rating: B+. Now THAT is how you end a feud. Kane had been trying to get his hands on that little twat waffle for months and he finally did. This is what matches like this should be like. I loved the ending here as Kane looked like a freaking monster and that’s what he was supposed to do. Great stuff.

Kane wouldn’t do much of note for the remainder of the year, but he would get into a fourway at Unforgiven 2000 for the World Title.

WWF Title: Kane vs. The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Chris Benoit

One fall to a finish. Taker still has Kid Rock for his music here. There are about 7 referees in the ring to keep the brawl from starting until Rock is there. Taker vs. Benoit and Rock vs. Kane to start. No tags here so I’d assume no DQ. Now it’s brother on brother violence as Rock vs. Benoit is out in the crowd. Top rope clothesline gets two for Kane. Taker’s jumping version gets the same.

Big boot gets two for Taker. The others are back now and Rock gets a Samoan Drop for two on the Big Fried Freak. Rock and Taker put Kane on the floor so they can brawl a bit. Taker sets for Old School but Rock breaks it up, tossing Taker from the top and sending him to the floor. Kane is back in now as Jerry asks where Benoit is. There goes the referee. Taker caves Rock’s head in with a chair and Benoit does the same to Taker. The referee gets up and BENOIT WINS THE TITLE?????

Oh of course not as here’s Foley to say Taker was in the ropes. Did we really need a Dusty Finish here? Everyone is mad at Benoit for some reason and they stalk him up the aisle. Rock sends him into the set as does Taker. Back in the ring Taker gets two on Benoit with Rock making the save. We get a replay showing that Taker’s leg was on the ropes so at least it was correct.

Rock pops Taker in the head with the steps. Well at least he wasn’t touching a rope. Rock gets his move that is supposed to be an overhead belly to belly but is more like a random thrown. Rolling Germans get two for Benoit. The headbutt gets two and now Benoit is in the Crossface. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Kane and Taker are back in now and Kane hits a chokeslam for two.

Benoit breaks up the elbow to draw MAD heat. It says a lot about Rock that the People’s Elbow, the most overblown of all overblown moves, is over in Philly. Last Ride to Rock but Kane saves again. Benoit cracks the brothers with chair shots and puts Rock in the Crossface. Taker FINALLY breaks it up after a record for most time in the Crossface. Chokeslam gets two on Benoit as Kane saves. The big guys slug it out and a Rock Bottom keeps the title on the Brahma Bull.

Rating: C+. Not bad here but it’s really just like any other four way main event you’ll see. It’s fine for what it was but it didn’t feel like a big deal at all at almost any time. The Dusty Finish wasn’t needed and slowed things down a lot and I’d have rather seen Benoit get it. Then again he wasn’t ready for it yet so I can live with that and totally understand it. Not bad but nothing worth seeing again.

We’ll jump ahead again and skip a short feud with Jericho and Hardcore Kane. It’s now after Wrestlemania X7 and Kane is teaming with his brother to fight the Two Man Power Trip. From Backlash 2001.

WWF World Title/Intercontinental Title/Tag Titles: HHH/Steve Austin vs. Undertaker/Kane

Kane has a bad elbow/arm here so that’ll likely play into the ending. Oh and if HHH wins he’s a Grand Slam Champion. The heels stall a lot and Austin can’t even throw his vest into the ring. There’s the bell and it’s time to go. Kane gets a shot into HHH’s head and we stall even more. HHH finally gets in alone and down he goes again. They’ve been on the floor about three minutes now.

Finally the tall dudes go out to the floor and the slugout begins. HHH goes into the announce table as Austin and Taker are actually in the ring now. They switch off with HHH and Kane in the ring now. No idea if anyone is legal yet. Kane chokes both guys but his arm is hurting. Ok so HHH and Kane are the official starters now. There’s the jumping knee and down goes the big fried freak.

HHH brings in Austin but Kane gets the tag and Austin tries to run. His reward is having a mudhole stomped into him. Taker destroys him for a bit and Austin offers a handshake. This is the guy that a month before was at war with Rock. Wow indeed. Taker reluctantly tags in Kane, which makes sense here. Back off to Taker and HHH and Old School hits. Old School to Austin also and Taker clears the ring.

The Two Man Power Trip tries to leave but Kane makes the stop. Back in the ring and HHH breaks up the Last Ride. Double mudhole is stomped into Taker in the corner and we head to the floor again. Austin vs. Taker now in the ring and make that HHH instead. The challengers (kind of) are tagging in and out rather well. Taker fights out of it and gets a DDT on HHH but won’t tag. Not can’t, but won’t.

Austin hits a Thesz Press but the middle finger elbow is caught in an attempted chokeslam. HHH makes the save but Taker gets a double clothesline to put all three guys down. Kane tags himself in and hammers on Austin. Another chokeslam is broken up by HHH and Kane avoids a Stunner. HHH finally wakes up and works on the arm. This is kind of a mess. Austin gets a chair shot to the arm and it’s an ARMBAR in the ring by the Game.

Kane’s face is pounded on a bit more but Kane reverses to pound on Austin a bit more. HHH makes another save as it keeps seeming like this is a handicap match rather than a regular tag. Top wristlock goes on which Kane fights out of again. HHH gets tossed to the floor where he’s able to break up a tag. Austin comes in sans tag and he and Kane botch something badly. It looked like it was supposed to be a clothesline but Austin didn’t go down or anything like that.

HHH tries to comes off the top but Kane gets a foot up but still can’t tag out. He picks up Kane’s leg and Kane looks like he’s setting for an enziguri but he just hops for awhile and HHH takes him down. Pedigree hits and HHH tags out for no apparent reason. During the confusion Taker comes in and chokeslams Austin. Stephanie distracts Hebner so he shoves her down and counts two on Austin.

Kane hits the enziguri this time which makes me think they blew the spot earlier. The referee goes down for a bit and doesn’t see the hot tag to Taker. Taker pummels them both and it’s a Last Ride to Taker but he’s not legal a minute after being tagged in. Low blow by Austin to Taker and a Stunner to Kane. Taker and Austin brawl into the crowd and HHH gets a tag title belt, only to get it kicked into his face. Chokeslam is loaded up but Stephanie comes in, only to get kicked in the face also. Vince runs in with a sledgehammer which HHH gets for a pair of shots to Kane, one in the head, for the tag titles.

Rating: D+. This was about half an hour long and the whole thing didn’t work for the most part. It was just a big mess with everything going all over the place and nothing of note going on other than the arm work. It was more about everyone doing random moves instead of a coherent match, which is rarely a good thing at all. Not a good main event.

We’ll skip the Alliance and get to Wrestlemania XVIII for a match with no real story.

Kurt Angle vs. Kane

Angle has the SWEET black singlet here. He rips on the Canadian figure skating team that had a big controversy over winning a gold medal. Angle says he’s a big red white and blue machine but here’s the interruption. If there’s a reason for this match, it’s not important enough to mention and I can’t remember it either. Apparently there’s something about Kane having a concussion so Angle hits him with the bell before the….uh bell actually.

A quick German suplex puts Kane down and Kurt stomps away. Kane gets up and hits some right hands before stomping away in the corner for a bit. A two handed chokeslam puts Angle down but he blocks the one armed version. Angle comes back with a belly to belly suplex for no cover but it scrambles Kane’s head again. Kurt chokes away on the ropes and a belly to back suplex gets two. Off to a front facelock for a bit until Kane throws Angle off to get a breather.

The side slam puts Kane down but Angle rolls some Germans to put him right back down. A top rope clothesline puts Kane down again but the second attempt lands on an uppercut from Kane. Both guys are down again as the match slows down even more. Kane comes back with the big boot and the tilt-a-whirl powerslam for two. Now the chokeslam hits but Angle grabs the rope. Angle grabs the mask to confuse Kane and hits the Angle Slam for two.

There’s the ankle lock for a bit which has made Kane tap before, but he makes the rope this time. An enziguri puts Angle down and Kane goes up, only for Angle to run the ropes for the suplex. The Angle Slam is countered and Kane grabs a chokeslam, only for Angle to roll through into a cradle. They botch said cradle but Angle improvises by putting his feet on the ropes because he’s smart like that.

Rating: C-. This was just kind of there which hurt it a lot. Again, I’m not really sure why these two were fighting. There was a mention of head trauma for Kane but that was never elaborated on at all. Also it didn’t really seem to mess with Kane after the first two minutes or so, making it a pretty pointless injury. Not bad here, but it didn’t do anything of note for me.

Kane would be gone for most of the summer before returning in September. He would win the Intercontinental Title at the end of the month and put it on the line in a title for title match at No Mercy 2002.

Raw World Title/Intercontinental Title: HHH vs. Kane

Since Lesnar had gone to Smackdown as the Undisputed Champion the World Heavyweight Championship had been made for HHH as the Raw title. That was last month so the ending is pretty clear here. We hear the stupid line of that title dating back to 1904 (it was 1905 until they decided it was 04 when HHH got it) which is complete nonsense.

In short, the NWA Title was unified with a title that dated back to 1905. That title LOOKS like the NWA Title so it has the same lineage. That’s the extent of the WWE’s logic. Lawler says Kane needs Liquid Courage to face HHH. Well it would certainly help him with his covers. And now onto the match.

Kane pushes him around to start and then drills HHH. An amusing thing here is that Lawler keeps calling Kane the Animal. Batista was either already on Smackdown or would be debuting any week now. I think he’s already there though. All Kane so far. He beats on HHH for about the first three minutes more or less non stop. HHH gets a bad reverse neckbreaker to take Kane down. Naturally he sits up to take care of that.

Facebuster buys HHH some time and he sends Kane to the floor. Back in the ring and HHH hits another neckbreaker. Make that three. Dang he sticks to stuff he likes doesn’t he? Ross says if Kane wins he’ll be the first masked World’s Heavyweight Champion. I guess they’re pushing that whole separate titles thing. Spinebuster puts Kane down again.

HHH keeps up the offense on the neck and throat with a slingshot up into the middle rope to keep Kane down even longer. Off to a sleeper now and Kane is reeling. Down he goes as Lawler makes death jokes. Those are pretty creepy actually. This match is pretty plodding and not much is going on here at all. Sidewalk Slam by Kane gets no cover as he’s broken the sleeper and is in control again.

Top rope clothesline hits and here’s Ric Flair because a title match can’t be clean right? Down goes the referee and Flair won’t leave. What a shocker. Belt to Kane’s face gets a two without much drama at all. Hurricane, Kane’s partner, comes out and beats up Flair but walks into a Pedigree. Kane sits up and it’s on again.

HHH comes off the middle and top rope and neither of them work. Chokeslam is blocked and down goes the referee again. To the floor now and HHH takes a chokeslam through the Spanish Announce Table. Flair comes in with the sledgehammer but Kane stops it. HHH gets a low blow and a hammer shot but walks into a chokeslam. Flair (again) breaks up the pin and takes a chokeslam as a result. Back in and HHH hits the Pedigree to retain and retire the IC Title.

Rating: D. This more or less is what would happen in Raw World Title matches for the vast majority of the next year and a half. HHH would get dominated by a big guy but then Flair and the sledgehammer would come into play and HHH would of course retain. Kane more or less was done for a good while after this as he didn’t get to do anything because it was world title or nothing. That was the stupid part of the whole thing but it took about 9 months for them to realize it. The match sucked due to all of the nonsense in it though.

Kane would team up with Rob Van Dam and win more Tag Team Titles. Here’s a defense from Backlash 2003.

Raw Tag Titles: Dudley Boyz vs. Kane/Rob Van Dam

RVD and Kane are champions. Morley is the guest referee and the corrupt Chief of Staff for Bischoff. The Dudleyz are heel against their will here but it’s the only way they can get a title shot. They’ve also been fighting a bit. Bubba and RVD start us off and it’s power vs. speed. RVD kicks the legs out from under him but Bubba pounds him down with ease. Van Dam tries to flip out of the corner but Bubba takes his head off with a clothesline.

Off to D-Von and Kane with the masked man taking over. Big boot gets two as Morley has been fine so far. Bubba comes back in and gets clotheslined down very quickly. The fans want tables as Bubba manages to knock Kane down. The count seems a little faster there. Spinebuster by Kane gets two and a pretty fast count as well. Van Dam comes back in for some flipping offense, including a moonsault for two.

The rolling monkey flip is countered and Bubba hits a sidewalk slam for one. Kane gets knocked down and What’s Up RVD? D-Von comes back in and gets two as Van Dam is in trouble. Off to a chinlock to fill in some time. Bubba comes back in but gets caught by a spin kick from Van Dam and it’s a double tag to bring in D-Von and Kane. The Dudleys are both in the ring at the same time and Morley is fine with it. Back to RVD who hits Rolling Thunder on Bubba.

The monkey flip is broken up but Kane hits the top rope clothesline to take D-Von down. Morley hits Kane low to break up the chokeslam but it only gets two. Morley clotheslines Bubba by mistake and D-Von beats the tar out of him. Here’s Lance Storm to take out D-Von but he takes a Bubba Bomb. There’s a 3D to Morley and a chokeslam to Bubba. Five Star Frog Splash gets the pin by another referee.

Rating: D+. The match wasn’t that terrible but MAN was it overbooked. I completely lost track of what was going on in the middle of the match with who was on what side. Did anyone really care about Morley in 2003? I don’t think anyone did in 2001 so I’m thinking the answer to that is no here. The match was ok but it was a total mess by the end which brings it down.

Something interesting happened in the fall of 2003. Kane put his mask on the line against HHH’s World Title and lost, meaning it was time to see the Big Fried Freak for what he really was. For some reason, Kane was just a normal looking person but thought he looked hideous. He feuded with RVD and Shane McMahon before helping to bury his brother at Survivor Series 2003. Undertaker returned at Wrestlemania XX to fight his brother.

Kane vs. Undertaker

The visual on Kane’s entrance is really cool as the set is designed to look like New York City and it has fire all over it as Kane comes out. Sweet. The lights go out and we get Paul Bear’s Ooooooooooooooooooooooh YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES. Since this is Wrestlemania, we get druids, smoke, and torches. Now we get thunder and lightning and a gong, which gives us the Undertaker. He has shorter hair now which would be his look for the next eight years or so. The entrance, as always, is excellent.

Kane shouts that Undertaker isn’t real and reaches out to touch him, earning the right hands from Undertaker. Undertaker calls for the chokeslam but Kane runs out to the floor. Taker is fine with that and the brawl heads to the floor with the Dead Man in full control. There’s the apron legdrop and we head back inside for a running clothesline in the corner. All Undertaker so far as JR actually tries to push this as a brand vs. brand match. Taker loads up the Last Ride but gets backdropped into the ropes in an awkward looking spot.

Kane chokes away on the mat and talks trash about telling Undertaker to not come back. Undertaker comes back with rights and lefts, only to walk into the side slam. The top rope clothesline crushes Undertaker for a close two. Kane misses a charge in the corner and there’s a big boot to put Kane down. Taker follows it up with a legdrop (BROTHER) and Old School for good measure. Scratch that actually as Kane catches him by the throat and hits the chokeslam. Kane laughs maniacally but Taker sits up to a BIG ovation. The Taker chokeslam and tombstone make Taker I believe 12-0.

Rating: D+. Yeah the match sucked but this was all about the moment and making it clear that Undertaker was back. That worked like a charm here and the match worked quite well for what it was supposed to be. This would of course lead to Paul Bearer being locked in a tomb made of concrete. You don’t see the connection?

Lita would eventually sleep with Kane so he wouldn’t kill Matt Hardy. This led to the two of them being married against Lita’s will. This gave Lita power of attorney or something with Kane, allowing her to sign him up for this match at Unforgiven 2004.

Shawn Michaels vs. Kane

Lita is here against her will. Shawn fires away at Kane and the Big Bald gets beaten to the floor. See, this is why Shawn is great: you can throw him into something like this and it works very well as can anyone question Shawn being in there? Shawn heads to the floor but jumps into an uppercut back inside. Kane misses an elbow due to Shawn moving even though it would have missed by a mile anyway. Out to the floor and Shawn dives over the top to take Kane down.

The lack of a story is hurting it here as it’s just a match with no backstory or anything like that and that’s the meat of any wrestling match. Shawn gets slammed through the table and he bumps like only Shawn can. That only gets two back in the ring because an upper midcard match has to go longer than 5 minutes. A legdrop also gets two. Off to a chinlock to waste some time. The move known as the Punjabi Plunge gets two.

Back to the neck vice which lasts a little longer this time. Shawn finally gets something going and drops Kane with a DDT. Both guys are down so Kane sits up and Shawn nips up almost at the same time. Out to the floor again and a step shot busts Shawn open. Shawn tries to speed things up and knocks a chair out of Kane’s hands but gets knocked down again.

Kane misses a big boot to the post and Shawn sends his head into the steel. Shawn fires away with his usual stuff back in the ring and drops the elbow for no cover. Michaels starts shaking like Terry Funk and it’s time to stomp the mat in an attempt to surprise my opponent. And never mind as Kane kicks his head off for two. Top rope clothesline looks to set up the chokeslam but Shawn hits Kane in the Little Balds.

A big chair shot puts Kane down but Shawn can’t follow up. Since it’s a No DQ match we also have no countouts so the laying around is pretty pointless with no drama at all. Lita steals the chair from Kane and the distraction lets Shawn…miss Sweet Chin Music again but the third attempt hits and it’s good for the pin.

Rating: C. This got almost twenty minutes and while it was a good brawl, I’m not really sure what this proves. Shawn, a bigger star than Kane, beat Kane and that’s it. There’s no story or retribution or anything like that. It was an entertaining enough match but all it really does is advance Lita and Kane a bit more. It would take Gene Snitsky of all people to turn Kane face again.

For the sake of time we’ll skip 2005 and Kane teaming with Big Show. Well most of it at least, as we’ll look at the opening match of Wrestlemania XXII where the monsters would defend the Raw Tag Team Titles.

Raw Tag Titles: Carlito/Chris Masters vs. Big Show/Kane

The monsters are defending here. Kane and Masters start stuff out and the 6’5 Masters looks tiny by comparison. Show headbutts him from the apron before coming in legally for some chops. A poke to Big Show’s eye slows him down and here’s Carlito who is immediately chopped down. Masters is slammed down as well with Show throwing Carlito over the top and out onto Chris.

Kane goes up top and dives onto both guys as the challengers are in trouble. Somewhere in between there the turnbuckle pad has been removed and Show misses a charge, going head first into said buckle. It doesn’t seem to have much effect though as Show suplexes both guys down with ease. Off to Kane as everything breaks down. Kane pounds away on Carlito in the corner and hits the side slam for no cover.

The top rope clothesline misses Masters though and there’s the Masterlock to Kane. Show breaks it up seconds later but there’s the Backstabber to Kane. The chokeslam is broken up by Masters and Show is sent to the floor. Kane’s double chokeslam attempt is broken up but after causing some heel miscommunication, a solo version to Carlito retains the titles.

Rating: C. Not bad here but this is one of the matches that probably could have been cut for the sake of trimming the show a bit. The match was a squash and not a very interesting one either. That’s the problem with a pair of giants like Big Show and Kane: there’s no one that can stop them and the resulting matches are dull at times. Not bad but it felt like a Raw match.

We’ll skip another big batch of midcard feuds (Umaga, MVP, Great Khali) and move on to Wrestlemania XXIV. Kane is in ECW now and has a title shot against champion Chavo Guerrer Jr.

ECW Title: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero

In less time than it takes to type “in less time than it takes to type”, Kane chokeslams Chavo and pins him for the title. Match ran about 6 seconds.

Since that was pretty lame, here’s the rematch from Backlash 2008.

ECW Title: Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero

Kane is defending after having won the title in 8 seconds at Mania. Chavo has his bodyguard Bam Neely. Edge attacked Kane’s knee on ECW on Tuesday so the champ is coming in injured. Chavo goes for the knee so Kane hits him in the face. The low dropkick hits Chavo’s face but it hurts the knee even more. Kane chokes Chavo over his back and hits a gorilla press to follow up. Guerrero finally takes the knee out and sends him face first into the buckle.

They head outside but Kane catches Chavo in the air and rams his back into the barricade. They head back in but Kane has his knee kicked out to give the challenger control. Neely gets in some shots and we go back in. Adamle is totally lost in calling this, getting basic things wrong and even having Tazz make fun of him. Chavo goes up but winds up on Kan’e shoulders for an electric chair drop.

Both guys are down now but Chavo kicks the knee out again. Kane is all cool with that and grabs him by the throat. That gets released so it’s a big boot to the face instead. Side slam gets two and Adamle actually called it the right name. He’s getting a little better at least. Kane goes up and hits the top rope clothesline for two. Chavo goes up as well and a missile dropkick gets two. He takes out the knee again but goes up, only to get caught in a chokeslam position. Chavo escapes but the Frog Splash is caught in the chokeslam for the pin and Kane retains.

Rating: C-. Not much here but it wasn’t that bad I guess. Kane needed to get a clean win here instead of making it look like a fluke/meaningless win as it was at Mania, but at the end of the day there’s almost no way you can spin Chavo as a credible threat to someone like Kane. Not a great match but it could have been a lot worse.

Kane would head back to Raw soon after this and become a monster again. One of his first targets was Rey Mysterio, who he would face at Cyber Sunday 2008.

Rey Mysterio vs. Kane

The options are 2/3 falls, no holds barred or falls count anywhere. This is during the Kane is psycho phase #18 or so this year. No holds barred wins but it’s rather close. Both guys charge early as the ropes are red, white, red. That’s a very odd combination. Rey busts out a kendo stick and some other stuff which doesn’t work. The big guy hits a baseball slide into Rey into the post which looked cool.

This angle was never really explained other than Kane didn’t like the mask. I have never been able to get into this feud at all and I still can’t now. It makes Kane look like a bumbling idiot when he barely ever beats a guy the size of Rey. At least he got the clean win last week at Summerslam. Kane’s rest holds look awful here as it looks like his arms are just on Rey with no pressure at all.

We hear about his big heart and I continue to say he needs to see a cardiologist about that. More stuff on the back as this is just dull. Rey makes his standard comeback and hits an enziguri that just happens to put Kane on the middle rope. They remember that this is a no holds barred match and Kane gets a chair. Rey is swashbuckling now. Oh dear. Where’s Paul Burchill when you really need him?

Rey hits a chair shot and Kane is up at one. He jumps into Kane’s uppercut for two as Kane is controlling again. We bring in the stairs as this really isn’t much of anything at all. The weapons use is helping a bit but it’s still weak. Drop toehold into the steps and a seated senton gets two. The chair shots set up the 619 which is countered again. Third time it and the springboard splash end it.

Rating: D. Yawn. These two are just completely boring together. What a shock: Rey beats a monster that on paper he shouldn’t have a chance against. These matches were so predictable and I’ve never been able to get into them. Also, this was supposed to be a no holds barred match and it just failed for the most part on that front. Bad match overall.

We’ll skip 2009 when Kane was doing nothing on Smackdown and head to Money in the Bank 2010, where Kane is in the Smackdown MITB match.

Smackdown Money in the Bank

Kofi is probably the favorite here but I just don’t see him getting it. Ziggler….no. Christian is the smark favorite but I doubt it, likely causing him to further his heel turn. Rhodes is out next with his sounding like Living on a Prayer music. Hardy kind of gets a pop. Drew is the likely favorite here. Don’t expect a lot of commentary here as it’s mainly just a bunch of insane spots. I’d like to see Kane win but that’s not likely. Show is out last, sans mega ladder.

Everyone jumps the big guys to start which makes sense. That of course doesn’t work so we continue one of the longest running feuds in company history. Those two have interacted on and off for over 11 years. Everyone not big and bald goes away for some reason. They’ve been gone for like a minute now and the ring is empty. Show tries to find his own ladder and everyone gang jumps on him.

Everyone is on the floor now and Show has a bad knee. We need a Public Enemy video explaining how to climb a ladder a la Mike Whipwreck. Matt almost gets there but Christian makes the save which the fans don’t seem to like. I always get scared in matches like these. They’re so freaking dangerous. In the words of JR, how do you learn to fall off a 20 foot ladder? Where do you find a 20 foot ladder? If these are 20 feet tall then Kofi apparently stands about 10’2.

Everyone is doing the one person climbs and then one person stops it while the rest do nothing of note. Christian is about to be pushed to the floor but he uses an ancient Chinese technique to save himself from maximum pain: he jumps off. Why has no one done that before? Matt and Christian team up for about as long as Dennis Rodman was married to Carmen Electra. Wow I’m old.

We go back to what we started with as everyone goes after the big guys whenever they start. That’s some storytelling so I can’t complain there. Drew cleans house, sending Cody into the post after a brief dash. I’ll stop the puns on his name now. There must be like 8 ladders everywhere. Kane goes after Drew and rips up both tables. Make sure you move the monitors in your insane rage Kane. There’s a good employee.

No one is in the ring again. Drew is on the announce table and Kofi looks up at the huge ladder. The ring posts are green and the ropes are white. It’s a very Irish looking ring. Kofi hits the Boom Drop to more or less murder Drew and kill himself. Ziggler almost gets it but Show shoves the ladder down and Dolph hits it on the way down. Striker says there has never been a giant in MITB. Uh, hogwash but whatever.

Show splashes a ladder with Christian and Matt under it. Just call him the Giant again. They say that like 4 times in a row without saying Big Show. It’s mega ladder time. The ladder weighs more than Kane apparently and could hold 7 of the 8 people in this match. And he can’t get it in the ring. There is little funnier than unintentional comedy. So after spending three days setting it up, Rhodes makes the save by hitting him in the knee with a step ladder.

Cody’s face and head slams into the ladder. I think it does at least. Either way it looked great. This whole no one is up thing is really annoying. Kofi goes Shelton and springboards up to the big ladder while Show takes forever to get up (his knee is hurt though so that’s fine). Cody hits a SWEET dropkick to stop him from going up. We need more people in this at once though.

We bust out the finishers on the ladder and Kofi, Show, Dolph and Cody are all in the ring. Matt, Kane and Christian have been gone for like ever. At least Drew was taken down in a huge spot. This is already a 20 minute match. Kane shoves over the super ladder and Show goes over the top rope. The other guys pile ladders on top of Show which is a smart idea actually and a fairly innovative idea.

The midcard squad stops Kane and we get a fight between Matt and Cody. This has to be the end. Cody is almost there but Kane saves. It’s Kane by himself but Dolph gets the sleeper on him for like a second but can’t get it. There’s the full sleeper. Kane does exactly what I thought he should do and ducks his head a bunch of times, ramming it into the ladder.

This is a LONG match, probably the longest of all the MITB matches. I’d call Drew winning since he’s been gone for such a long time, although that isn’t much of a limb to go out on. Kofi gets chokeslammed on the pile of ladders. Kane and Cody go up the ramp to a MITB armored truck. Kane comes back to stop Matt as we’re almost at 30 minutes. Matt has it but Christian is right there. Huge freaking spot coming. They’re both standing on top of the ladder and there they go off of it.

Everyone is dead and here comes Drew. Kane comes back and it’s save time. Downw he goes and HOLY GOODNESS KANE WINS! He does the fire out of the corners thing from the mega ladder in an AWESOME visual. I’m a huge Kane fan so this is awesome to me.

Rating: C+. MITB is a match with an altered scale as by definition it’s awesome. This was kind of subpar as there were FAR too many spots where people just did nothing at all and were just laying around. Drew was down for about 15 minutes straight. Points for being surprising though and maybe he’ll cash in tonight. This is fun though as Kane has been both unpredictable and cool at the same time so this is good. I’m very happy so far.

From later in the show.

Smackdown World Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Kane

Rey tries to run but Kane hits a chokeslam and then a Tombstone. YES! KANE IS WORLD CHAMPION!!!!!! Screw any kind of unbiasedness or whatever. THIS IS AWESOME!

Rating: A+. The tiny man loses and Kane is world champion. This is GREAT!

Kane would, say it with me, turn heel again soon, this time attacking his brother (again) over Labor Day weekend. This set up Kane vs. Undertaker in Hell in a Cell at the namesake PPV in 2010.

Smackdown World Title: Kane vs. Undertaker

Taker coming out with Paul Bearer just feels….right. They brawl outside of the Cell to start and Kane controls. Apparently this is before the match starts. Ah there we go. There’s the bell. Kane gets a chair from under the ring and beats the tar out of Taker. We fight on the floor again and this is more of a brawl than a match WHICH IS THE FREAKING IDEA. Lots of leg work by Kane which makes sense here.

A big boot eats cage though and Kane is in trouble. Taker hits the leg drop on the apron but Kane gets his low dropkick. The boo/yay stuff starts up as this is kind of a boring match. Old School is attempted so Kane hits him in the leg. Top rope clothesline connects but Taker grabs Hell’s Gate. Kane clearly taps but no one calls it. It’s not completely on and Kane gets to the floor to escape.

We get a double sit up and Taker’s eyes are awesome. More boo/yay stuff as neither can get control. Running DDT by Taker gets two. Chokeslam hits for Taker as his knee is fine all of a sudden. Kane does the same for two. Kane goes for ten punches in the corner, you know the counter, and it gets two as well. WOW that was a horrible powerbomb. Kane reverses a Tombstone into one of his own and the crowd is into it.

And there’s an uppercut for the slow counting referee. The referees come down to get him out so Bearer can slip inside. Bearer goes after Kane and Taker sits up. He gets another chokeslam and does the throat slit sign. The lightning and thunder kick on and a light comes out of the urn. Bearer shines it in Taker’s eyes and we have a standoff. Bearer of course hands it to Kane and Taker, like the idiot that he is, stands there and gets his head bashed in by Kane who hits a chokeslam to retain. A closeup of his face on the ramp ends the show.

Rating: D. Just like the previous match this was a horrible Cell match but not a terrible match overall. The problem again is the lack of violence and the lack of use of the Cell. However this one was even weaker in those areas than the first one, somehow making Sheamus vs. Orton far better. As I said that one would have been a very good street fight but this would have been boring no matter what.

These two getting 20+ minutes is just not a good idea. Their best match ever was two weeks ago when it was just a big freaking brawl. Them trying to have psychology in their matches and the leg work is always bad and this was no exception. For once though the heel turn makes sense so points for that. Seriously though, how stupid is Taker for trusting Bearer AGAIN? Did he say, “Hey Paul, sorry about that whole burying you alive stuff. We’re solid right?” The heel turn was logical here so I’m fine with that at least. Rating would have been about the same Cell or no Cell.

We’ll make another big jump over 2011 for Kane and Big Show teaming again, as well as EMBRACE THE HATE Kane in early 2012. Instead we’ll stop at Wrestlemania XXVIII for a match against Randy Orton.

Kane vs. Randy Orton

Kane had recently put the mask back on again and went after Orton to prove that he’s still evil because last summer he lost a street fight to Orton and then shook his hand. Why is it Orton who gets these months and years long backstories? The opener didn’t quite have its intended effect as the fans are chanting for Daniel Bryan. Kane takes over to start but the chokeslam is broken up by kicks to the ribs. Orton gets him down and stomps away but Kane reverses the Elevated DDT (called a bulldog by Cole) and takes over with a big boot.

Kane’s low dropkick gets a near fall and it’s off to a chinlock. Back up and they slug it out with Randy taking over. Kane will have none of that though and clotheslines Randy down for two. The side slam gets two more and it’s back to the chinlock. A swinging neckbreaker out of nowhere puts Kane down but the monster hits a vertical suplex for another two count. Off to chinlock #3 as the match slows down again.

Orton backflips out of another side slam and his backbreaker puts Kane down for a bit. There’s the powerslam and Orton is getting fired up. Kane goes shoulder first into the post and now the Elevated DDT hits (again called a bulldog by Cole). The RKO is countered into a big boot for two more for Kane but the top rope clothesline is blocked by a dropkick. Orton loads up the Punt but walks into a chokeslam for a close two. Another RKO is countered and Kane goes to the middle rope. Orton tries a superplex but Kane shrugs him off and hits a middle rope chokeslam for the upset win.

Rating: B-. I had always wanted to see these two have a match and I was pleased when I finally saw it. Kane can have a good match on a big stage when he needs to and that’s what he did here. Orton is bulletproof so it’s not like losing here means anything of note. This was a nice surprise and a good match with a big ending.

Kane would eventually team up with Daniel Bryan to form HELL NO. The two would become Tag Team Champions and defend them at Royal Rumble 2013.

Tag Titles: HELL NO vs. Rhodes Scholars

The Scholars are challenging. Cody kicks Bryan in the ribs as Cole references Queen lyrics. Bryan spins out of a wristlock and the fans chant for Cody’s mustache. Cody’s leapfrog is countered into a surfboard and it’s off to Kane for a low dropkick and a two count. Rhodes scores with a dropkick of his own and drives Kane into the corner for the tag off to Sandow. Kane easily powers Sandow into the corner because, you know, he’s Damien Sandow and it’s off to Bryan for the YES Kicks.

JBL rants about Cole and Lawler hugging as Kane kicks Sandow in the face, knocking him out to the floor. The FLYING GOAT takes out the challengers but Cody low bridges Bryan to the floor to take over. Back in and a half crab has Daniel in trouble but he reverses into a small package to escape. Damien comes in again and drops an elbow for two before dropping the Wind-Up Elbow.

After some knees to the back it’s Cody in again but he charges into a boot in the corner. Sandow breaks up a hot tag attempt and Cody puts Bryan in an over the shoulder backbreaker. Daniel slides down to escape and makes the tag to Kane. Sandow is tossed around like a rag doll but a Cody distraction prevents the top rope clothesline. Kane grabs both guys by the throat and Bryan tags himself in. The Scholars double suplex Kane but Bryan shoves Cody into a chokeslam and Daniel YES Locks Sandow to retain.

Rating: C. Nothing you wouldn’t see on Raw around this time which means it was fine. The Scholars were a nice idea for a team but it was clear that they had no chance at this point given how low their individual stocks were. Kane and Bryan gelled perfectly well as a team and Bryan would get far bigger very soon.

We’ll FINALLY wrap it up with Smackdown on June 14, 2013. I don’t think this needs an introduction.

Shield vs. HELL NO/Randy Orton

Rollins starts with Bryan and pounds him down into the corner, only to have Bryan come back with kicks to the chest of his own. Kane comes in with a low dropkick and suplex for two each. Off to Orton for some headbutts to Ambrose in the corner before it’s back to Bryan. Rollins comes in and fires off elbows to the head before Ambrose gets the tag for a dragon sleeper. Bryan hits some knees to the head and one to the ribs to escape before bringing Orton back in to clean house.

Ambrose and Rollins break up the Elevated DDT before Rollins hits an enziguri for two. We take a break and come back with Orton being elbowed down for two. It’s back to Reigns who pounds on Orton’s head but gets caught in the Orton backbreaker to give Randy a breather. Reigns misses a charge into the post and it’s off to Kane vs. Ambrose with the big man getting two off a side slam.

Kane misses the top rope clothesline and stumbled into the hot tag to Bryan. Daniel hits the springboard missile dropkick on Ambrose and gives Reigns and Rollins a dropkick each. FLYING GOAT puts the tag champions and Rollins takes a pair of dropkicks in the corner for two. Bryan kicks the tag champions down again but can only get two on Seth.

Ambrose delays the swan dive and allows Rollins to roll away at the last minute. Kane and Ambrose go to the floor but Reigns spears Orton down. Kane avoids a spear from Roman and chokeslams Dean onto Reigns on the floor. Rollins hits the buckle bomb but Kane shoves him off the top into the RKO. Bryan throws on the NO Lock and THEY DID IT! Rollins taps out at 13:48 and the Shield loses for the first time ever.

Rating: B+. The ending was INSANE and a great bit of storytelling as HELL NO and Orton finally learned from their past mistakes and made the adjustments to beat the Shield. That is a huge win for Bryan as he is looking more and more like a star every day. They had to lose eventually and while I’d question doing it on Smackdown, the moment was awesome and the place went nuts at the ending.

As I’m sure you can see, Kane has been around for SO long that you just have to cut stuff out. I skipped several years and I think this is the most matches I’ve ever done for a person in this series. The guy has been around forever and is good in his role as the monster that you beat before moving on to a bigger feud. Yeah he’s gotten old at times, but the guy being around for so long is really impressive.

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9 comments

  1. M.R. says:

    My favorite debut ever

  2. dudeddude says:

    KB what year do you think was worst in terms of quality of matches/stories, 1995 or 2003? Actually, adding on a second part to that, what year do you think was the worst EVER.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    95 to both. 2003 was only bad on Raw and I liked Kane’s run near the fall. The problem with 2003 is it’s far more boring and repetitive than bad. 95 is the stuff that wakes me up screaming at night.

    dudeddude Reply:

    I don’t know all that much about 1995 to be honest, in relatively quick fashion could you explain why it was so horrible?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Above all else: really bad matches in the main event. Diesel spent most of the year as champion and just didn’t have much to offer. BRet or Shawn were the only guys that could drag a good match out of him. The top heels were British Bulldog and Mabel, neither of whom were interesting at all.

    It’s a year where little good (aside from the rise of Shawn) happened.

  3. johnny says:

    how many people have “played Kane”? Thanks buddy

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Off the very top of my head, three.

    johnny Reply:

    Who was the best Kane? I liked the masked one the best

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Glenn Jacobs.