Author's Note: I don't actually hate Kane on a personal basis, I don' t even hate Mark Henry on a personal basis. I just don't want to ever see either of them wrestle again, especially not in high profile matches. It's WWE's fault that this reality has not come to fruition. My real blame for all this lies squarely at the feat of Vince McMahon, who once again refuses to give new opportunities and steady pushes when not doing so would be inexcusably stupid.
In my many rants against Mark Henry, I've made my hatred of other wrestlers known as well. Fortunately, WWE has either fired most of the guys I really hated (The Great Khali, Vladimir Koslov), or completely given up on them (Kevin Nash, Mason Ryan, The Miz), the only real exception to this in the present time has been Mark Henry, who's been getting the push of his career in the past year, and Kane, who was out on leave for most of the year, to my eternal gratefulness.
Until this Monday.
Of all the things WWE doesn't need any more of, its giving another huge push to an immobile, 40+ year old hoss getting another huge push at the expense of a tremendously talented roster that could really use a chance to showcase their abilities. Kane is the epitomy of everything WWE should stop being about, but just because a basic nature of itself has been terrible almost never means that WWE will actually give up on it. Why should anyone complain about the Kane's of the world when WWE has always been about hosses, storytelling, characters, and "Sports Entertainment" over 420's, Pheonix Splashes, and technical wrestlers?
Because everything about the "Sports Entertainment" mentality is a sham, Kane being good is fraudulent, and people need to stop accepting it.
In the first place, the first mentality that people need to get past is that there's even a difference between pro-wrestling and "Sports Entertainment." They're synonymous. Vince McMahon just uses the term "Sports Entertainment" to cheat athletic commissions, and avoid taxes he doesn't want to pay. Suggesting that someone may not be a good wrestler with a lot of "MOVEZ," but it's okay because they're a good "Sports Entertainer" is meaningless: not just because nobody in the world outside of a couple hundred backyarders cares about "MOVEZ," so bringing the concept up as a justification for shitty wrestling is meaningless, but because saying someones a bad wrestler but good "Sports Entertainer" is like saying someones a crappy actor but a great movie star.
But not everyone gets to being great at something by working at everything the same way. Many people become great in spite of their deficiencies in certain categories of their profession. Keith Richards, for instance, is not that gifted on the guitar from a technical standpoint, but makes up for it due to his powerful tone, catchy, innovative riffs, open-G Tuning in a profession where 90% of players stick with Standard, ease of melding with his partner guitarists such as Ronnie Wood and the very gifted Mick Taylor, and willingness to listen and study the old blues and rock records with devotion. Keith Richards is considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time for these reasons, so why can't Kane be considered great just because he's limited in terms of mobility and moves?
While it's true that I'd be foolish saying no great wrestler ever got by on a limited moveset and mobility, these are not Kane's main problems. Kane is so limited in every aspect other than "being tall" and "having muscles" that to even calculate his positive areas, one has to reach down to a practically quantum level of analysis. There are numerous reasons as to why people tend to ignore this, but they're reasons that have nothing to do with anything Kane contributes.
- Kane is a star from the glory years, and people always pop for those guys. The only reason this happened was because Kane happened to be born on a fortunate year with the genes necessary to make him tall and muscular. Not because he's special in any way.
- Kane's never been jobbed out at all. Sure, he loses to the top guys, but he's almost always protected in some way when facing anyone who's not at the very highest level, and even when facing top guys, he often scores up victories he didn't deserve (last year against Undertaker, in 2006 against Edge), or loses while still being protected (last year against Edge where Kane lost the title without getting pinned, in 2004 against Benoit where Kane lost via fluke roll-up). It's only because of his height, muscles, and the fact that he was around during the mid to late 90's that he's afforded this privileged, not because he's good.
I know people still have their defeses as to why they like Kane, but they don't hold up at all when put under even the most rudimentary scrutiny. Among the most popular:
Kane plays a great character.
The Kane character is probably the least consistent, and worst written character in WWE history. It isn't even that hard to portray. For the first six years of his career as Kane, Glenn Jacobs didn't even have to bother making facial expressions. In fact, the only things he has to do is stand around, hit people, look freakish, grunt, and have a scowl: he doesn't even have to change up this routine weather he's a face or heel. Literally every limited big man got by on this.
Kane's pretty good for a big man.
By what standard? By the standards of just about every good big man, Kane comes up short. Barry Windham, Sting, Stan Hansen, Dr. Death, Jumbo Tsuruta, Takeshi Morishima, The Undertaker, Vader, and Giant Baba were all around Kane's size, and every single one of those guys is or was better than Kane at almost any point in their careers (except post '94 Sting).
Sure, those guys are some mighty stiff competition. But if Kane's even supposed to be considered good, than where are his good matches? Almost all Kane matches have been irredeemably awful by any standard, and while there's probably not a man alive who could've dragged a watchable match out of some of Kane's opponents, Kane still has the dubious distinctions of crapping the bed when facing the likes of Edge, Rey Mysterio, and especially Undertaker. Good wrestlers don't consistently have bad matches with those three guys.
Kane had good matches with Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, and Kurt Angle.
Everyone had good matches with those three guys. It really wasn't that special that Kane was able to have good matches with the three best workers in WWE history. The thing is, Kane's "good" matches with Michaels, Benoit, and Angle were all some of the worst matches those three had been putting out during the time periods they faced Kane, even when they were facing opponents who aren't even considered "good" workers. In particular, Kurt Angle and Benoit were hitting four star plus matches at every PPV they were on during 2002 and 2004 respectively, unitl they got in there with Kane.
Kane might be better now that they've given him this new opportunity.
He really won't be. Kane was born in 1967, before the first Moon Landing. He's been given push after push against some of the best wrestlers WWE has ever had, including Steve Austin, Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit, and Kurt Angle. Kane was given a huge title reign on Smackdown last year that failed to produce even one watchable match, and did it at the expense of the entire Smackdown roster.
There's an outside chance that Kane will have one or two decent matches in this new run now that he's lost some weight and healed up his injuries; but it won't be worth the energy WWE is going to invest in him when they could invest the same energy in a guy like Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, or at least a dozen other guys either on the roster, stuck in FCW, or stuck dancing for nickels in TNA, Mexico, Japan, or the Indy's, and produce far better results. WWE might even struck lucky, and find another star like they did with CM Punk. Giving another huge push to Kane is just going to keep WWE stuck in the same rut they've been in and out of over the last decade, and the fact that people are celebrating this circling of the artistic drain in droves is just encouraging a problem that badly needs to be exsanguinated from WWE's bloodstream.
In short, please stop celebrating the upcoming huge Kane push, or I will be forced to publish another post that will consist of nothing but Kane vs. Undertaker matches as a reminder to both the fans and WWE.
Author's Update: In the time since I've posted this editorial, Dave Meltzer revealed via the Observer that the primary goal of Kane's return is to break the mask-wearing world record at Wrestlemania XXVIII WWE originally planned to break with Sin Cara vs. Rey Mysterio. This would lead one to believe that Kane's Wrestlemania match will likely be very high profile, possibly even a match with Undertaker at Wrestlemania.
If there is anyone with any political power in WWE who somehow stumbles across this message, whatever you do, do not put Kane in a high profile match at Wrestelmania. The fact that WWE deemed it necessary to give this huge push to a mask wearing guy, but didn't have the balls to commit to giving the mask to somebody who has a future is just a further symptom of the companies creative bankruptcy. It's not too late to stop this potential disaster if somebody speaks out.