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Kane…Not Able



25 August 2003

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Not long now. Just a few short months. Justice will be done. Yes, Kane will be packing his bags and leaving the WWE within 12 months. That's right peons, I said twelve months.

But how can that be, I hear you muttering-those of you who can formulate a coherent thought that is…yes, I'm talking to you three. After all, Kane's getting a monster (pun intended) push, destroying everyone in his path, including Easy E and Linda "stiff as a cardboard convention" McMahon, and that grease fire that bought out 15 fire trucks was just Barbeque Jim Ross smouldering slowly.

So yes, Kane is everywhere at the moment, and the writers are making him their focus, even throwing the heat machine Shane McMahon into the mix on Raw to tussle with him. But, as we know; fans, writers and especially Big Vince get bored easily. If the angle isn't grabbing their imagination, they will turn away from it in a heartbeat (c. Jim Ross). I suggest to you people that the "Kane is an unstoppable monster" storyline hasn't got the legs to last even six months; and when it's over, what will Kane do then?

He will have nowhere to go. He will be at the end of his WWE usefulness, and the management have taken his one thing of interest. His mask.

Kane's hidden face was integral to his back-story. When introduced, the horrible scars that the mask hid were the reason for his hatred of his "brother", the Undertaker. As this angle was resolved, it became the basis of his anger and lack of communication. Now that Kane is unmasked and we can clearly see that his face is unmarked (US plastic surgeons really are the best in the world), the whole reason for his existence in the WWE has been shown to be a sham.

The WWE expect us to forget that he was in a horribly scarred in a fire, and the effect that has had on his character, even though his current rage is based on the fact that fans may laugh at his appearance. They are treating us as fools, fans shouldn't be asked to accept a dodgy haircut and some bog standard contact lenses as "horrific", we expect a bit of money to be spent. Ten years of hype for a bit of mascara and some hair clippers…talk about being short-changed.

Of course, those of us in the know realised that as Kane emerged from his shell, he could only be as good as the wrestler playing him. And that happened to be Glenn Jacobs, the man who bought you the fake Diesel and Dr I Yankem- twelve months and counting…

When the mask came off, all we had was the one-dimensional Mr Jacobs. Glenn needs help from the writers, he can't come up with heat himself, and the simplistic writing of his current storyline just won't work for him. The WWE are giving him a lot of tube time, but doing nothing with it-just watching him beat people up week after week is becoming very stale. Yes, I know the Rock does it, so did Austin, but they have charisma and can make something of their straight-ahead storylines. Glenn needs to be led by the hand; he needs everything scripted for him, including highs, lows twists and turns.

The very reason that he was handed the mask in the first place was because he has no charisma. It stands as testament to how much Vince loves his behemoths-he hid Kane's face and made him mute because it was the only way he was going to get into the ring. Kane became Taker's non-speaking, anti-charismatic, nemesis/brother.

If his ring work has been superlative (look it up, geeks), all would be forgiven (I mean, look at Brett Hart), but he wrestled exactly like any other big man-ponderously, unimaginatively, with only a couple of high-intensity moves. Ironically, in his ring style, he truly was the Undertaker's brother.

When Kane was introduced, it seemed obvious that he was being lined up as more meat for Mr Callaway. I thought they would clash a couple of time, one at a PPV, and that would be it…rather like Nailz with the Big Boss Man in the early 90's (don't think about that feud for too long, it'll bring the bile to the very tip of your throat). Yes, I know that Mankind was also brought in as fodder for the Dead Man, but he always had charisma to spare, more than enough to break out of the narrowness of the role. Kane had no charisma, and consequently no staying power-we should be remembering him with a tear (or is that conjunctivitis?) in our eye.

But Vince liked him. How lucky can one man be? He should be kneeling at the alter offering prayers to his God every night, next to Kevin Nash (The Luck of the Bore, as I prefer to call him); Vince has given Glenn chances way beyond his ability.

And so we've had to suffer Kane's journey from blank slate to almost-complete human being. We've sat through him learning to forgive his brother, then falling out with him, then making up again, joining all the gangs going, talking with the aid of a voice box, then suddenly learning to talk unaided, we've seen him learn to laugh and joke, find his clown through poor impressions of other wrestlers (even Big Show did it better) and, in the real gut churner, his sexual blossoming with Tori-strangely, even the Katie Vick angle didn't upset me as much as this.

And through all this, his ring work has remained moribund (get the dictionary out, bozos), his stickwork unimpressive. He simply doesn't have it, and now he has no excuses. The mask was used to explain away his failings, but now he has to play the monster unaided-it doesn't take a Nobel prize winner see how badly he's doing…in a top-string storyline, pulling faces and laughing is not going to cut it. And that, it seems, is all he can do.

Vince will surely soon realise that Kane's storyline isn't producing the numbers to justify the resources he's already allocated, and he will be led to the conclusion that he can no longer help Kane if he can't put in at least some of the work. I think he will be left with no alternative but to offer Mr Jacobs a new career opportunity…in the indies.

It's been a very easy and lucrative character for Glenn. It's been a boring and pointless character for the rest of us.

This could be a defining moment for Vince. As he's finally made to face the fact that behemoths are, almost without exception, boring, he may just take a look at a few of his other expensive flops. Then reach for files marked "Kevin Nash", "Scott Steiner" and "Undertaker", with his calculator in one hand and some shears in the other. And cut the dead wood away. Cut until it doesn't hurt any more.

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