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RAW Reviews The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #7: One On One With The Great One

Welcome to part 7 of The Blog Of Kane. On this edition, Kane challenges The Rock for the WWF Championship on the August 28 2000 edition of Monday Night RAW.

PREVIOUS ENTRY –>

KANE VS. THE ROCK

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The Story

Kane & X-Pac’s friendship was a positive boon for the Big Red Machine. They won the Tag Team Championship twice in 1999 and were voted the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of the Year in 1999. Unfortunately, the alliance/bond didn’t last as WWF Champion Triple H rebuilt D-X, married Stephanie and ushered in the McMahon-Helmsley Regime. X-Pac followed suit, betraying Kane for the money and the power. Alas, the subsequent Kane/X-Pac feud was arduous, lacklustre and just daft. Kane somehow ended up dating Tori (DON’T ASK!), Tori ultimately ended up ditching Kane for X-Pac and joined D-X’s ranks, none of the bouts were particularly special…and FINALLY the tedious storyline ended at WrestleMania 16 when Kane & Rikishi defeated X-Pac & Road Dogg.

During this time, Kane joined the likes of the Rock, Cactus Jack, Rikishi & Too Cool and the Dudley Boys in the war against the McMahon-Helmsely Faction. Paul Bearer returned to his son’s side for a time, but he disappeared again. The Undertaker returned after a long absence to help destroy the McMahon-Helmsley Regime once and for all. The Rock won the WWF Championship from Triple H and Mick Foley ultimately took power as the new WWF Commissioner. But whilst Kane had been fighting on the front line, he seemed to have got lost in the shuffle.

That all changed when he turned heel in the summer of 2000, attacking his brother to restart their rivalry. Now sporting new attire, Kane was also in contention for a WWF Championship Match with The Rock the night after SummerSlam. Could he get back on top?

The Match Itself

Both combatants have entered the ring, and Kane’s staring deep into the Rock. As ever, Dwayne’s facials & mannerisms are PERFECT. The Great One knows EXACTLY how to express the correct emotions; whatever the mood and circumstances. He’s the WWF Champion, and the Rock KNOWS he’s got a major challenge ahead of him tonight. 24 hours after retaining the title at SummerSlam…he’s got KANE. It’s no surprise that Dwayne Johnson transitioned to Hollywood so successfully…he LIVES the story. He reflects it PERFECTLY.

IMG credit: WWE & Dailymotion

The Greensboro Crowd begin with the “Rocky!” Chants, JR & King are selling Kane as the challenger brilliantly, we have a big-time match on our hands…it’s the WWF IN 2000, BABY!!! The bell rings, the fight is on! Champion and challenger exchange blows! Rock ducks a clothesline and smacks Kane with some right-hands. Kane reverses an Irish-whip and smacks the Brahma Bull with a big boot! Already in control, Kane has Rock firmly on the ropes, but the Rock is able to connect with a side-Russian leg-sweep for a two-count.

Kane’s back-up quickly and is soon pummelling Rocky in the corner. Kane’s brutal blows…Rocky’s SELLING…things of beauty! Kane takes a moment to intimidate Earl Hebner, but that gives Rocky enough time to recover and start laying the SmackDown on his challenger! But Kane turns the tide with a NICE running power-slam! AGAIN, Dwayne sells the impact fabulously!

Meanwhile, Kane kicks the Rock whilst he’s down, as Good Ol’ King says that the Monster wants to represent the People as their champion! The fantastic crowd rally behind the Great One with “Rocky! Rocky! Rocky!” as Kane batters Dwayne (Hey, that rhymed! Sorry…). Anyway, Kane follows up with a great suplex on the People’s Champion for a near-fall. Rocky won’t go down without a fight, though! But another comeback attempt is shut-down courtesy of Kane’s brutal sidewalk slam!

Kane heads-up for the top-rope and then nails the Great One with a SPECTACULAR flying-clothesline! The WWF Champion is in trouble! But the Rock manages to kick-out before 3! Rocky tries again to fight back, but Kane is far too powerful and soon has him on the ropes again. However, the Rock manages to reverse an Irish-whip into a Samoan Drop! Which buys the Champion some much-needed time! However, Kane sits-up first as the ‘Rocky’ chants start-up again. The Great One manages to land a terrific-right, and another, and another, and another! He now has the Big Red Machine on the ropes! As usual, JR and King put over both combatants big on commentary!

The Rock scores a fantastic clothesline on Kane to take him down! Then he nails a DDT, but that only gets a two-count. Kane then reverses the next Irish-whip attempt and flings the Rock into the ref. Poor Earl is down again. The Rock counters a Tombstone attempt into a spine-buster! The crowd knows what’s coming next! WE ALL DO! Most Electrifying Move in ALL Sports-Entertainment – THAT WILL NEVER CHANGE! – The People’s Elbow! Rocky covers Kane, but of course, Earl’s too hurt to count! As soon as Dwayne leaves to check on the ref, Kane is back up to deliver an almighty choke slam to the champion!

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Earl manages to recover enough to make the count…1…2…NO! The Rock JUST kicks out in time! That was genuinely close! Kane clutches his hair tightly in frustration and roars monstrously at the ref! Kane batters the Rock furiously! He has him on the ropes again! But the Rock suddenly counters with a ROCK BOTTOM! OUT OF NOWHERE! 1…2…NO! KANE KICKED OUT OF THE ROCK BOTTOM!!! ANOTHER CLOSE NEAR-FALL!!!

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The crowd’s unglued, Dwayne can’t believe it, JR asks’ “What does the Rock have to do to beat this monster?!” …this is a REALLY good match, y’know!

The Brahma Bull clotheslines his challenger over the top-rope to the floor, Kane lands on his feet, the fighting now spills out to ringside and into the crowd itself…and then, Kid Rock’s “American Bad Ass” starts playing! The Undertaker’s here! Kane finishes pummelling the Rock and then goes off to play with his brother! The crowd still love Taker and Kane slugging each other! However, Earl is too busy checking on the Rock (awww…!) to notice Taker nail Kane with a thunderous choke-slam in the ring!

IMG credit: WWE & TJR Retro

Rocky finally manages to crawl back into the ring after all the abuse he’s taken! Earl is right there to count! 1…2…NO! Kane kicks out AGAIN?! Incredible! Rocky’s had enough now! With a look of sheer anger and determination, he nails the Big Red Machine with a SECOND THUNDEROUS Rock Bottom! THAT gets the 3-count! THE ROCK RETAINS THE WWF CHAMPIONSHIP AT 8:08!

IMG credit: WWE & Online World of Wrestling

Jim Ross: “The Rock knows he had Lady Luck on his side tonight!” Jerry Lawler: “AND the Undertaker!”

Verdict

THIS was simply a great Raw main-event! Was it classic or memorable? No, but it was a standard, hellacious match that you’d expect to find consistently on television during the World Wrestling Federation’s most successful period. 2000 was simply THE year for WWF, and it shows here. Amazing crowd, fantastic action from start-to-finish, unmatched commentary, and two proven main-eventers who are simply legends of this industry.

As we know, the Rock is one of the greatest wrestlers/WWF Champions of all-time. Interviews, personality, charisma, timing, in-ring ability, facial expressions, selling…Rocky VERY seldomly made a mistake. And very much like Triple H in 2000, it wasn’t JUST the big-time Pay-Per-View matches that Rocky delivered in as WWF Champion. It was night-after-night on Raw AND SmackDown too! Just like Triple H made you believe he could lose to the likes of Chris Jericho, Tazz and Taka Michinoku…Rocky could make both himself and his opponent look good whilst defending the belt. In this case, it was Kane.

Kane looked a legitimately credible threat to the WWF Title again; something he hadn’t looked like in ages thanks to that stupid storyline with X-Pac & Tori. But it’s also important to remember that Glenn Jacobs was also really starting to show what he could do as in-ring worker here. Obviously, his body-language and character-work were stellar from the get-go, but now Kane was getting to showcase more of his wrestling ability. Here, he competed in a fast-paced, exciting match with the Rock, and Kane would go-on to wrestle some excellent bouts against the likes of Austin, HHH, Angle, Jericho, Benoit and Edge over the following years. Of course, you can take or leave the Undertaker interference, but it made sense given that Rocky would soon be booked to defend the WWF Championship against Taker, Kane and Chris Benoit at Unforgiven. As for this match, I recommend watching this one!

OVERALL RATING

  • 8/10

Join us again next time in 2001 where Kane goes after the Hardcore Championship!

Check out the match here –>

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Categories
RAW Reviews The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #6: Tag Team Champ With X-Pac

Welcome to part 6 of the Blog of Kane! As always thanks for your support! And we now move-on to 1999, and the next chapter of the Big Red Machine’s career!

PREVIOUS ENTRY –>

KANE & X-PAC VS. OWEN HART & JEFF JARRETT

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The Story

Much had happened to Kane since winning & losing the WWF Championship in those 24 hours from June 1998. Successful alliances with Mankind and (incredibly!) the Undertaker followed. Kane won the Tag Team Championship twice, he continued to decimate the entire roster (either by himself or with the Undertaker), continued his pursuit of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the WWF Championship…

His alliances with Mankind & the Undertaker were ultimately short-lived, and even Paul Bearer betrayed his own son to renew his relationship with the Undertaker! Forced into Vince McMahon’s Corporation, Kane formed another alliance with Chyna, but this didn’t last long either. Chyna betrayed him and reunited with Triple H, who in-turn betrayed X-Pac and D-Generation X to join the Corporation. Kane was subsequently booted, and now found himself at odds with Tag Team Champions Jeff Jarrett and Owen Hart.

And after inadvertently helping each other out after suffering betrayals, Kane & X-Pac were now scheduled to go after the Tag Titles together! It was the beginning of a strange, yet beautiful friendship…

The Match Itself

Immediately, the Long Island crowd chants ‘Nugget!’ at Owen (God, did he brilliantly embrace that or what?!) and once again, we’re treated to Owen Hart vs. Sean Waltman to kick things off. Side-headlock from Owen, X-Pac shoves Owen off, Owen hits the ropes, then nails the Kid with a shoulder-block takedown. Owen bounces off the ropes again, X-Pac’s back up, NICE leap-frog(!), and then a FANTASTIC spinning heel kick to take the Rocket down! Lovely fast-paced action to kick things off!

IMG Credit: WWE & StillRealToUs.com

X-Pac then goes for an arm-wrench, Owen escapes with his trademark agility, then nails X-Pac with a clothesline. Owen tags-in Jeff, who goes to work on the Kid, whilst the relentless crowd continue to taunt Owen with “Nugget! Nugget! Nugget!”. X-Pac reverses the Irish whip, Jeff counters the hip-toss attempt, X-Pac uses his trademark agility to escape, he ducks Jarrett’s clothesline, X-Pac hits the ropes, then nails the Chosen One with a wicked flying clothesline! X-Pac then grabs Jarrett for a side-headlock…all the while, Michael Cole does a good job calling the action and promoting X-Pac’s showdown with Triple H for Backlash 1999.

Owen tags in whilst Jarrett shoves off X-Pac into the ropes, and then the King of Harts nails a running Kid with a BEAUTIFUL spinning heel kick of his own! Owen then tags Jarrett back in and together they double-team the Kid with a double-clothesline and then a double-leg-pull to play havoc on X-Pac’s groin! OUCH! Michael Cole continues to do good work on commentary by remarking on X-Pac’s situation at the time (suffering from Triple  H and Chyna’s betrayal), whilst Jerry Lawler continues to be the smart-assed, unsympathetic heel behind the announce table.

Jeff then catches X-Pac with a nice powerslam, but only gets a two-count. Owen and Jeff continue to work over the face-in-peril. Owen nails a textbook backbreaker on X-Pac, the “Nugget!” chants start up again, Owen Irish-whips Sean HARD into the turnbuckle cover, Jeff applauds his partner/friend (quite right, too.), and then Owen delivers a textbook suplex for a two-count. Owen then tries to Irish-whip X-Pac again but the Kid counters, but so does Owen! Spring-boarding off the ropes for a BEAUTIFUL cross-body, which X-Pac rolls-through into a close two-count! God, the pure-wrestling here is beautiful! But given the talent here, what would you expect?

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Owen then nails an enziguri on X-Pac. Jeff thoughtfully rests his boot on the top rope in his corner, so Owen introduces X-Pac’s face to said-boot, and the heels make another tag. The crowd now starts chanting, “We want Kane! We want Kane!” as Jarrett traps X-Pac in a sleeper hold. Michael Cole (in my opinion, he doesn’t get the respect he deserves as a commentator) notes that Kane hasn’t yet tagged in this match, and wonders if Kane must he be thinking if he can trust X-Pac. Can he trust anyone anymore after all the betrayals he’s endured?

IMG Credit: WWE

X-Pac counters the sleeper with a back suplex on Jeff. Both guys are down. Jarrett crawls over to Owen, X-Pac crawls over to Kane, but Owen’s tagged-in and stops X-Pac by giving him a BLATANT low-blow! Referee Mike Chioda admonishes Owen, but doesn’t disqualify him…? As much as I love the Attitude Era, there was a lot of nonsense to it, I’ll admit. Owen nails a bodyslam, raises his arms cheering ‘WOOOOOO!!!’ (God, I miss Owen Hart so much…), the “Nugget!” chants are right on cue, but a high-risk attack is countered when X-Pac gets his foot up! X-Pac gets back up, he and Owen run the ropes together and then take each other out with a double-clothesline!

Jeff and Debra rally Owen to get up and make the tag, X-Pac crawls over to his corner and FINALLY TAGS IN KANE! THE CROWD ERUPTS! Owen makes the tag, and Jeff runs towards a devastating flying clothesline from the Big Red Machine! Kane smacks Owen right in the mush, then nails a big boot on the King of Harts! Jeff also eats a big boot from Kane! Powerful clothesline to Owen, Kane goozles Jeff, whilst X-Pac gives a Bronco Buster to Owen lying helpless in the corner! GOD, what a chokeslam on Jarrett! The Raw crowd are loving this!

WHAT ON EARTH?! Kane’s got X-Pac by the throat?! He gorilla-presses the Kid over his head…a recovering Owen wonders what’s going on just like the rest of us…!

Kane then DROPS X-Pac on top of Jeff, before nailing Owen again! 1-2-3! The crowd erupts! Kane and X-Pac are your winners and NEW TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS AT 5:58!

IMG Credit: WWE & Shitloads of Wrestling – Tumblr
Verdict

So after his amazing debut in October 1997, such award-winning feuds with Mankind, Vader and the Undertaker, winning the WWF Championship from Stone Cold Steve Austin, and being an established main-event player throughout 1998…what next? Obviously, Austin was still the company’s biggest star heading into 1999, the Rock was hot on his heels, Mankind was also enjoying his time in the spotlight, Taker was busy with his Ministry of Darkness, Triple H was ascending up the card…so where did that leave Kane?

On paper, the idea of Kane teaming with such a polar-opposite like X-Pac was daft. But in practice, it was a huge-success. In-ring-wise, Glenn Jacobs and Sean Waltman shared a great chemistry. Story-wise, Kane and X-Pac shared common goals and could relate to one-another after all the betrayals they suffered. And going forward, X-Pac would help the damaged Kane find his humanity again. It was fascinating development for the character. Kane willingly granting Austin a rematch for the WWF Title the night after he won it showed that this monster had honour. The alliance/friendship with X-Pac took that hidden depth and realised its full potential; showing that Kane wasn’t just a one-dimensional monster. He was as deep as the Undertaker.

THIS BOUT…was simply a great Raw bout. Short, sweet, fast-paced and exhilarating. Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett made for GREAT Tag Team Champions, and this was a kick-ass way for their reign to end. Owen, Jeff and Sean were all first-class workers in their prime and they wrestled an excellent tag bout, with a white-hot Long Island crowd eating up everything they did. The bout was perfectly laid out, and Kane making the hot-tag right at the end to destroy the champs, tease turning on X-Pac, only to brilliantly swerve us at the end for a creative finish…I loved this gem. And of course, X-Pac and Kane would have a fantastic run together, winning the Tag Titles twice and being the Pro Wrestling Illustrated Tag Team of 1999. GOOD STUFF.

OVERALL RATING

  • 8/10

Cheers as always for your support! Next time in the Blog of Kane, it’s 2000! Kane is back in title-contention and he goes ONE-ON-ONE…WITH THE GREAT ONE!

Check out the match here –>

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PPV Reviews The Blog Of Kane WWF

The Blog Of Kane #5: King Of The Ring 1998

PREVIOUS ENTRY:

D.C. Wood here again! Cheers for following this series and all the positive feedback! Entry 5 now…and it’s showdown time for the WWF Championship!

KANE VS. ‘STONE COLD’ STEVE AUSTIN

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The Story

After the Inferno Match at Unforgiven, Kane won the feud with Vader at Over the Edge, and then the next night on Raw, Kane finally defeated the Undertaker to become No. 1 Contender for the WWF Championship.

After Dude Love’s failure to beat the Rattlesnake, Vince was more determined than ever to take the title away from Austin, giving Kane his full backing. The Big Red Machine challenged Stone Cold to a First Blood match, and (now using a voice box to communicate) vowed to set himself ablaze if he failed to win (Yeah, right…). Austin welcomed the challenge with typical gusto. And then on the final Raw before the PPV, Kane summoned fake blood to rain down on Austin, soaking the champion. Kane then ominously vowed, “Austin…this Sunday, the blood on you will be for REAL.” GOOD HYPE.

The Match Itself

Kane enters first with Paul Bearer. Then the champion enters to a thunderous ovation. He’s walking, intensely staring down his monstrous challenger…then he races to the ring to take the fight to Kane! Austin ducks a clothesline from Kane, bounces off the ropes and then as the bell rings, Austin takes down Kane with a Lou Thesz Press and starts pummelling away at Kane’s face, and then follows it up with an elbow drop off the ropes. Already the crowd’s into this! Right on cue, Kane sits up, only to be greeted by a wicked shot to the face from Stone Cold with the title belt. Kane sits up again, though! Only to be greeted with an even harder belt shot from the champion. No DQ, and smart psychology from Austin; trying to bust open the challenger anyway he can (despite that mask).

Austin then removes the top turnbuckle cover. Kane’s back up and Austin’s there to great him with furious strikes. Jim Ross also points out Austin’s heavily bandaged right-elbow (due to surgery for a staph infection). Steve Austin TRULY was the Toughest SOB in the WWF.

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Despite Austin’s efforts, Kane is soon able to overpower the champion and batters him to the ground. The action has slowed down now to Kane’s pace. The Big Red Machine chokes the Rattlesnake as the crowd rally with the “Austin!” chants. Lawler makes a brilliant point about how Kane’s outfit tonight virtually covers the whole of his body (only his left hand was exposed bare), so how can Austin possibly win? Meanwhile, Austin counters a Tombstone attempt to shove Kane over the top top, but he lands on his feet.

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

The two continue to brawl, with Austin smacking Kane’s face on the ring steps and JR also noting how Kane’s mask offers a great deal of protection…and then the Hell in a Cell starts lowering from the ceiling! The commentators demand to know what’s going on. I’d like to know as well, please! My understanding is that Vince McMahon was secretly orchestrating this somehow, but some context would have helped here.

Austin and Kane continue to brawl and then Kane whips Austin face-first into the cell as it lowers. Nasty, yet creative! Kane then proceeds to choke Austin and hold him there whilst the cell continues to lower nearer on top of his face!

IMG credit: WWE & Classic Wrestling Review

Kane picks Austin up and the cell lands safely. The Big Red Machine then decides to use the cell to try and bust Austin open. JR then reminds viewers at home that earlier on during the Free For All that referee Earl Hebner would not stop the match for a nick or a minor cut. Only a significant blade job. JR and King are really doing a good job addressing any plot-holes in this story.

Kane continues to use the cell and ring steps to his advantage, but Austin’s still okay despite a minor cut on his back. Stone Cold then shoves Kane into the cell door and starts stomping a mudhole on him, then the cell’s being raised now for some DAFT reason! The two continue to fight amidst the pandemonium and now their brawling takes them up the aisle.

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Near the entrance-way, Austin’s piledriver attempt on the concrete fails when Kane counters with a back-body drop. Vince meanwhile is surveying the action in his skybox with Sable (naughty Vince!). The two combatants continue to fight with Kane still too-powerful for the tenacious Austin; countering the champion’s suplex with one of his own on the entrance ramp. Kane soon sits up again, as Paul Bearer worships his son proudly. The Austin chants start up again in full force, trying to rally the WWF Champion on. But Kane has now lifted up a security railing and smacked Austin in the face with it!

Vince watches on as Austin struggles to get some distance from the relentless challenger. Having bought enough recovery time, Austin shoves Kane back into the ring and starts smacking him head-first into the exposed turnbuckle from earlier. The ever-brilliant JR comments that Austin’s efforts to weaken Kane may allow him to rip his mask off and then go to work, while the cynical Lawler asks, “Do you think Kane is really gonna let that happen? Let the world see his face?” Another example why JR and King are the greatest announce team of all time.

The gruelling action continues around ringside, with Austin grabbing a fan from the announce table and smacking Kane over the head with it! OUCH! Kane goozles Austin and shoves him into Earl Hebner. The ref is down so JR says, “C’mon, King! You’re licensed!” “Not on your life!” Jerry refuses. “Not in THIS one!” Kane goes to the top rope and takes out Austin with a flying clothesline. Kane then goes for a second flying clothesline but Austin sidesteps and then starts stomping a mudhole and walking it dry! Austin then repeatedly smacks the BACK of Kane’s head (unprotected by the mask!) into the exposed turnbuckle. More good psychology…

And then incredibly, a battered Mankind limps out with a chair to play his part in the finish. Storywise, it makes sense, what with Mick’s history with Austin, Taker and Kane, and being an integral part of the main-event scene. But after EVERYTHING Mick Foley had done earlier in the evening, he should’ve been in the hospital right after Hell in a Cell. Mick takes a Stone Cold Stunner, the cell lowers AGAIN(!), Kane’s chokeslam attempt gets him a low blow AND a Stunner, and now the Undertaker comes out with a chair!

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Austin’s got a chair, he goes swinging for Mankind, but so does the Undertaker! Mankind ducks, Taker’s chair smacks Austin’s into his face, Kane gets back up only to eat a clothesline from Taker, who then knocks Mick out of the ring and out of the cell. Meanwhile, Taker revives the ref (using the PETROL to wake him up! God above!) as Austin has been busted open badly. Kane nails Taker with a chair, King asks, “What the hell is going on, JR?!”, Kane sets to finish Austin off with the chair, but the bloody Rattlesnake takes out the challenger with a flying clothesline and an almighty chair shot! KANE IS DOWN!

IMG credit: WWE & TheSportster

BUT…the bell rings! Earl has called for it! He’s seen Austin bloody! KANE IS THE WINNER AND NEW WWF CHAMPION AT 15:58!

Verdict

Okay, let’s get the bad out of the way. The chaotic ending, the cell constantly being raised and lowered (without real explanation), the screwy finish, Kane vowing to set himself alight if he lost…whilst all that zaniness worked okay in 1998, it doesn’t today in retrospective. And it does again point out the problems with Vince Russo as a booker. On his best days (and under Vince McMahon’s supervision), Russo came up with some fantastic ideas/television. On his worst days…well, we ALL know. So I needn’t say anymore.

All that aside, the build-up to this one was more proof of how essential the WWF was in 1998. Both Steve Austin and Kane were on meteoric rises, and the result was a typical Attitude Era slugfest. Great crowd, awesome atmosphere, intense action, perfect commentary…for me personally, the Attitude Era was the best time to be a wrestling fan.

With regards to the stipulation, First Blood bouts are tricky. Normally, you have a bout that starts off gradually, then changes into a higher gear when a wrestler gets busted open, and then it snowballs towards an epic conclusion. To me, First Blood bouts stop before they can truly begin. Having said that, this match was very well worked indeed. Austin was so smart here, using great psychology to try and find a chink in Kane’s armour (like others had before), and likewise, Kane worked brilliantly also; using the Cell to creative effect in this bout.

As for the outcome…say what you want about the finish, but the fact remains is that Kane defeated the greatest wrestler of all time (Because Stone Cold and me said so!) to take his rightful place in history. Should he have been WWF Champion longer than 24 hours? YES. Did he deserve more than one reign with the belt? HELL YES! But while Kane may be ranked amongst the lower-tier WWF Champions of all time, his program with Austin and time with the title was still a success. Austin/Kane drew big for the King of the Ring (310, 000 buys!) and Austin winning the title back the next night drew huge for Raw is War (a 5.1 rating!). Two great, unforgettable matches over 24 hours.

IMG credit: WWE & Sportskeeda

OVERALL RATING

  • 7/10

That’s it for 1998 now! Next time, it’s 1999…and Kane forms his first unlikely, yet successful partnership.

Check out the match here:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1883977808532890

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PPV Reviews The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #4: Unforgiven 1998

PREVIOUS ENTRY:

Greetings, all! MrDCWood here again, bringing the 4th post from The Blog Of Kane to you! In this fourth article, Kane and The Undertaker fight in the Inferno Match at the very-appropriately-named Unforgiven event. Enjoy!

KANE VS. THE UNDERTAKER

The Story

Despite losing the colossal war at WrestleMania 14, Kane (and Paul Bearer) were more determined than ever to destroy the Undertaker. They challenged the Deadman to another match the following PPV…the first-ever Inferno match. The ring would be surrounded by fire, and the winner would be the first man to actually set their opponent alight! As the intensity and mind-games continued (including the storyline revelation that Paul Bearer had actually fathered Kane, after an affair with Taker’s mother)…the Phenom accepted.

The Match Itself

After the ever-awesome entrances are over, the lighting is changed to spotlight the ring, the gas ignites and we have a ring of fire round the squared circle! My God…what Mark Calloway and Glenn Jacobs did here for entertainment…

The bell rings and the Undertaker attacks Kane straight away. He then grabs Kane’s hands and tries to stick it in the flames (JESUS!). Kane counters this (PHEW!) and retaliates. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler remark on how hot the flames are from where they’re seated at ringside, and can only only imagine how hot it must be for the combatants in the ring! I agree! Especially in those costumes and having to work such a dangerous match!

IMG credit: WWE & Ringside News

Taker and Kane continue to slug it out, much to the excitement of the audience, and then…OH, MY WORD! Undertaker’s walking the top rope to deliver Old School on Kane! Then the flames shoot up higher as Taker connects with his signature move! The crowd comes alive! The commentators exclaim! Kane then drops a charging Taker face-first onto the top turnbuckle pad, with JR remarking that he could’ve gone over the top into the fire. It looked like he nearly did!

Kane batters Taker again for a bit and sends him down to the mat. You can SEE Undertaker going “Phew!” in the intense heat. Kane continues to beat Taker down, trying to drive him into the flames as a sadistic Lawler roots Kane on to cook his brother. An ever-determined Kane tries to force his brother’s face into the flames, but the Deadman grabs Kane’s mask to counter him. As both brothers are back on their feet, the flames leap higher-and-higher to excite the fans.

Both guys HAD to be overwhelmed by working under these conditions which is why I’m simply amazed as they carry on working. Kane then delivers a nice power slam to Undertaker. Right on cue, the flames dance higher! After Kane beats on Taker a bit more, Daddy Paul thoughtfully hands his son a steel chair. Kane says, “Cheers, Dad!” by cracking the Undertaker’s head with it. No ref in the ring, no DQ…perfectly legal and smart.

“Put him in the fire!” shouts the heelish Lawler. “It’s all about concussion city!” says JR, which reminds me why I’m glad there are no chair shots to the head anymore in wrestling. Kane continues to press his advantage while Paul mops his forehead with a handkerchief. It’s that hot, we know! As Taker and Kane continue to exchange almighty blows, the flames STILL leap higher & higher! Good grief! It looks like Kane is dominating the Undertaker again like he did at WrestleMania. (There’s a nice visual of Paul Bearer praising the flames…almost as scary as Father Jack from Father Ted…)

IMG credit: WWE & TWM News

Anyway, Taker fights back with a nice Russian Leg Sweep and a massive leg drop to rally the crowd behind him. Oh, God! Kane sits up! Undertaker goozles his brother, and likewise does the Big Red Machine! Kane wins out and delivers a monstrous choke slam! The King yells Kane to roll Taker into the flames whilst JR asks (quite right too!) how he can be so sadistic. Taker counters Kane’s Tombstone attempt with a monstrous choke slam of his own. The flames are-a-dancin’! But Kane sits up AGAIN! The two brothers knock each other down with big boots, Jim Ross calls the action eloquently as ever, describing the two giants ‘running into each other like semi-trucks!’.

The audience are cheering and applauding all the work & bravery of these two, and then Kane DUCKS Taker’s flying clotheslines. Taker VERY NEARLY rolls into the fire to the horror of a gasping crowd! That really could’ve been nasty…! Kane nails Taker with a big sidewalk slam and then goes to the top rope…SERIOUSLY?! Undertaker stops his brother and then gives him a massive superplex to another chorus of flames! Both are soon back up, though and then Undertaker ACTUALLY THROWS KANE OVER THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR! OVER THE FLAMES!

Undertaker tries to follow, but Paul Bearer has intimidated both Gerald Briscoe and the ring-technician to intensify the flames to trap the Dead Man. The crowd boos as Kane walks away, content to leave the Undertaker to a fiery fate. Every time Taker tries to get to the ropes, the flames shoot higher…

VADER IS BACK! Two months after No Way Out, It’s Clobberin’ Time! Vader batters Kane, who fights back! The two monsters furiously wage war again to the crowd’s delight! All the way back to ringside…where the Undertaker does his running suicide dive over the top rope! Wiping out both Kane and Vader! As Tim White tries to get Vader out of the arena, Paul Bearer slowly comes round with a steel chair. The “TAKER!” chants start up. Paul attacks Taker with a chair, but it hardly fazes him. A terrified Bearer flees, whilst the Phenom picks up the chair and levels Kane with two wicked chair-shots to take him down for the moment.

IMG credit: WWE & Twitter

Alone and unprotected, Paul tries to escape but Taker’s now stalking him. The audience knows what’s coming as the two head up to the band stage. Paul Bearer is trapped, Taker grabs a drum and smashes it over Paul’s head! BRILLIANT! The audience love it and cheer Taker on as he takes a mic-stand and batters his former manager some more! Paul Bearer is busted open and finished! All that’s left now is Kane, and Taker leaves to settle things once and for all!

Back at ringside, Kane has recovered and tries to finish his brother with the steel chair, but the Phenom counters with a boot to the face that staggers the Big Red Machine into the ring apron and the flames! Kane’s right-arm (the costumed-part with protection) starts to flicker and catches fire! AAARRRGGGHHHH!!! Kane runs to the back! The audience cheers! Undertaker is victorious at 16:00!

Verdict

If I could sum up this bout in one word, it would be ‘mesmerising’. Never had I seen anything like this before in wrestling and I have NOTHING but respect and appreciation for both men for what they did on this night. The Inferno Match is one of the most dangerous & difficult gimmicks ever done in wrestling. The heat, the high-risk of injury, having to work an entertaining match as safely as possible…a grave challenge. And both Glenn Jacobs and Mark Calloway went above and beyond the call of duty here.

Was it as dangerous or as exciting as the fire matches you’d see in Japan? Or in ECW? Or in the Ruthless Aggression Era? No, but if you’re going to use fire in gimmick bouts, it has to be done as safely and as sensibly as possible. I’d much rather see wrestlers safe than needlessly hurt. As a spectacle, this was utterly fantastic. Visually stunning. It told a great story, had some great psychology throughout, utterly brilliant spots, Vader’s return was brilliant…overall, this was terrific from start-to-finish.

So how does this bout compare to the one at WrestleMania 14? That one was a great spectacle, where the only criticism I have was its pacing. This gimmick match – aside from being visually spectacular and creative – also benefitted from much better pacing. Wrestling-wise, this Inferno Match maybe nothing to shout about, but that’s just nitpicking the efforts of two men who were wrestling in a ring of FIRE. Both men should be proud of what they did here. The best Inferno Match of all time, and I’d call it the definitive Undertaker/Kane showdown. My favourite match between these two. Next time, we look at the biggest opportunity of Kane’s career. As he clashes with a certain Rattlesnake!

OVERALL RATING

  • 8/10

Check out the match here:

Kane vs. The Undertaker: Unforgiven 1998

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PPV Reviews The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #3: WrestleMania XIV

PREVIOUS ENTRY:

Greetings, all! MrDCWood here again! Thank you all so much for the positive feedback so far on The Blog of Kane! On this third article, Kane battles his brother The Undertaker at the 14th WrestleMania.

KANE VS. THE UNDERTAKER

The Story

Kane had returned to plague and ruin the Undertaker’s life. After destroying so many of the WWE Superstars, tormenting & manipulating the Phenom for months before he and Paul Bearer locked the Undertaker in his own casket and set it ablaze…the Undertaker finally returned.

Pushed over the edge after a year’s worth of mind games from Paul Bearer, and Kane’s relentless attacks, the Undertaker went back on his vow to never fight his own brother. In fact, he would ‘march through the fires of hell’ to face Kane at WrestleMania 14. Cue several lightning bolts being summoned, lots of fire, sensational build-up, long-term plotting and one of the greatest video packages in history…AND HERE WE ARE AT LAST!

The Match Itself

Before the epic showdown commences, though…Baseball Legend Pete Rose comes out as the guest ring announcer and proceeds to TROLL the Boston audience good and proper over their baseball team! Rose is GOLD here. Then Kane makes his godlike entrance (that red light, Jim Johnston’s theme, the pyro exploding repeatedly…glorious…) and Pete is now so flabbergasted and unable to introduce the terrifying specimen. Kane then proceeds to actually Tombstone Pete Rose to the absolute delight of the Boston crowd! Paul Bearer claps proudly as referees, officials and medics all rush to put Pete Rose on a gurney.

IMG credit: WWE & Ring The Damn Bell

After that, the lights go out again and a legion of torch-wielding druids march out to herald the arrival of the Undertaker. If Kane’s entrance was glorious, this was even more so! The crowd are loving every minute of this spectacle and the bout hasn’t even started yet! Entrances over, both giants are now face-to-face.

IMG credit: WWE & CBR.com

The bell finally rings, and the Undertaker shakes his head before decking Kane with a powerful right…! But it doesn’t faze him! Undertaker continues to strike, Kane stands his ground, Taker backs him into a corner, but Kane soon fights back! The two continue to fight, with Kane managing to overpower his brother, yet Taker’s experience allows him to negate Kane’s offence.

Ultimately, Kane’s superior strength & power gets the upper hand, and he scoops up Taker in a Tree-of-Woe. The Big Red Machine beats down on the Phenom and then scares referee Jack Doan off. JR and King continue to stress how no one’s been able to dominate the Undertaker in a match like Kane has (at this point in time, that’s somewhat true), as well as discussing what happened to Pete Rose.

Kane continues to batter the Undertaker from pillar-to-post, with Paul Bearer yelling, “YOU SHOULD’VE LISTENED TO ME WHILST YOU HAD THE CHANCE, DEADMAN!!!”. Kane delivers a high-risk attack on a vulnerable Phenom. Taker’s forced to cover up as a relentless Kane continues to pummel him. Undertaker fights back and then (in a fantastic display of agility) leaps onto Kane’s shoulders and pummels him in the head, but Kane counters with an inverted electric chair drop! Undertaker rolls out of the ring to recover but Kane’s still on the attack!

Paul Bearer distracts the ref, which allows Kane to pick up the ring-steps and slam them down onto Taker’s spine! Ouch! Jack Doan surely notices Kane’s cheating afterward, but instead of disqualifying him, simply says “Get in the ring!”. Sigh…

COME ON, REF! You let Paul distract you again whilst Kane slams the steps on Taker a second time, surely must have heard it, and do nothing?! Double sigh…

Kane then intimidates poor Jack for not doing his job properly, whilst Paul Bearer then takes the opportunity to kick poor Taker whilst he’s down. All is fair in love & wrestling. The crowd boos Bearer! Jerry Lawler continues to support Kane & Paul on commentary (ever the pro!), whilst JR defends Undertaker’s honour. Kane suplexes Undertaker back into the ring. For the first time in recent memory, Taker is struggling to get back up, struggling to withstand his brother’s onslaught. Kane shuts Taker’s comeback attempt down with a monstrous choke slam, pins him, but then deliberately pulls Taker’s head up off at the mat at two. Kane wants his brother to suffer more. Nice evil-character work.

Unfortunately, a long, tedious rest-hold drags things down for the next few minutes. The Boston Crowd rally for the Dead Man, who manages to fight his way back to his knees, but Kane still won’t go down. Kane floors Taker again with another clothesline and then a vicious elbow drop. Then sadly we get ANOTHER rest hold to kill the crowd and momentum. The Undertaker manages to power out of the rest hold by lifting Kane up over the ropes to the floor (although he lands on his feet)…

Then the Undertaker does his AMAZING running dive over the top-rope to the floor…BUT KANE SIDESTEPS! And uses Taker’s momentum to send him crashing through the Spanish Announce Table! BRILLIANT! Paul Bearer gleefully yells “Yes!” while Kane chucks debris at his brother whilst he’s down. Undertaker is now truly buggered as Kane chucks him back into the ring and then delivers a flying clothesline from the top-rope. As a merciless Kane persists, King monologues his support of Kane and Paul’s quest for revenge, all the while chastising the Undertaker. “Oh, how dare you!” snaps Jim Ross. “Insinuating such an asinine statement!” It’s not just the booking, the wrestlers, the gimmicks and the manager that got this storyline over! It’s the COMMENTARY as well!

After all the abuse he’s taken, Undertaker somehow manages to lift Kane up for a Tombstone, but KANE COUNTERS INTO ONE OF HIS OWN! NOOOO!!! Surely, that’s got to be the final nail in the coffin, but TAKER BARELY KICKS OUT AT 2!!! An incensed Big Red Machine batters Taker some more! “Kane! He’s a madman! He’s a possessed human being!” continues Good Ol’ JR!

But the Undertaker refuses to cave in! And it looks like Kane is finally running out of steam! At last, Undertaker has his second wind, and FINALLY knocks his brother down with a clothesline! The crowd cheers! Undertaker follows up with a big choke-slam!

IMG credit: WWE

A furious Paul Bearer screams, “Damn you, Deadman! Damn you to hell!” Undertaker signals for the end! The crowd cheers! Undertaker drills Kane with his own Tombstone Piledriver! 1-2…NO! KANE KICKS OUT!

Jim Ross yells in disbelief that no one had ever kicked out of Undertaker’s Tombstone (I think Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior might’ve been the only ones before Kane to do so? I’m not sure.) Taker follows up his advantage with a MASSIVE leg drop. Kane sits back up to his feet, only to walk into a SECOND Tombstone! 1-2…NO! KANE KICKS OUT AGAIN! Paul Bearer screams angrily at Taker, and pleads with Kane to get back up!

Taker is absolutely spent, but Kane is now struggling to get back to his feet! The cracks in the armour are spreading! The Deadman WIPES OUT Kane with a beautiful flying clothesline from the top rope! Undertaker has now beaten Kane back to his feet. A shocked Taker desperately picks up Kane for a THIRD TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! This time, Undertaker hooks the leg for the pin (BRILLIANT DETAIL!) and FINALLY conquers his brother at 17:05! Kane kicks out AFTER three, but it’s too late! Taker goes 7-0 at WrestleMania!

IMG credit: WWE & sportskeeda

The crowd cheers in adulation as a furious Paul Bearer grabs a steel chair, marches into the ring, shoves the ref down to the mat and starts stomping on the Undertaker. Kane struggles to get back to his feet as Paul vows to him, “You’re gonna get him!” Undertaker’s back up and decks his former manager right in the mush! ABOUT TIME! Taker sells all the punishment he’s endured by falling back down to the canvas. Kane’s now back up to his feet and angrily strikes his brother across the back with a vicious chair strike, then proceeds to Tombstone him onto the steel-chair. The time-keeper rings the bell repeatedly to get Kane to stop. Kane and Paul Bearer leave the Undertaker battered and fallen in the ring. BUT the Phenom sits up! The audience cheers for their hero, who staggers out of the ring fatigued, but unbeaten.

Verdict

Okay, after essentially a year’s worth of masterful build-up…did this inevitable confrontation with the Undertaker live up to the hype? YES, IT DID.

I loved WrestleMania 14 when I first watched it and he first Undertaker/Kane conflict was one of the highlights of that brilliant night. In terms of actual wrestling, there was a real-plodding pace and one-too-many restholds that killed the momentum. You could’ve trimmed-off five minutes, and the bout would’ve been better. BUT…the spectacle, the theatre, the work from Paul Bearer, JR & King’s commentary sell it all beautifully. In terms of storytelling, this was classic with Kane looking an absolute killer and you being convinced that the Undertaker was actually in the fight of his life. In terms of psychology, Taker’s selling was fantastic; showing true human vulnerability, resilience and will that would ultimately allow him to outlast Kane.

Kane deserves just as much credit for the bout being a success. He looked an absolute beast in this match, seemingly unstoppable, and even though he lost, Kane still came out an even bigger star. Only being beaten after THREE Tombstones, plus everything else he did to the Undertaker during and after this match…Kane looked a real winner going forward.

Where do I rank this bout in the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak overall? To me, this was Taker’s best match at WrestleMania up to this point in time. Obviously, it would be surpassed by the bouts with Shawn, HHH, Batista, Flair, Orton, Edge, Punk and Styles, but I would place the Kane bout above the Diesel match from WrestleMania 12 (which is another very good bout). Special shout-out to Pete Rose for his contributions, the Boston audience, all the druids and everyone else involved in those amazing entrances! Next time, things REALLY heat up in the sibling rivalry!

OVERALL RATING

  • 8/10

Check out the match here:

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The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #2: No Way Out Of Texas 1998

PREVIOUS ENTRY:

Hey everyone, this is D.C. Wood bringing you the second article of the ‘Blog of Kane’. I hope you enjoyed the first article.

Today we move on to 1998, as Kane goes to war against Vader at No Way Out of Texas: In Your House. Enjoy!

KANE VS. VADER

The Story

After dominating Mankind at Survivor Series 1997, Kane continued his rampage and torment of the Undertaker, who refused to fight his own flesh & blood. In a surprise twist, the two seemingly made peace to fend off attacks from D-Generation X and a roster of wrestlers who Kane had destroyed since his arrival.

Alas, it was just a ruse on Kane & Paul Bearer’s part, who again cost the Undertaker his revenge against WWF Champion Shawn Michaels. They locked him in a casket and set it ablaze (Don’t worry, Taker teleported to safety as usual!), writing the Phenom off telly in preparation for WrestleMania 14. And then Kane targeted Vader with a Tombstone Piledriver. A week later, Vader would retaliate by dousing Kane with a fire extinguisher; taunting his burns and trying to blind his remaining eye. Setting up this grudge-match between the two terrifying giants.

The Match Itself

After Kane enters the ring, Vader gets right into Kane’s face and the two behemoths stare each other down as the audience cheers in excitement. They come to blows, the bell rings, the red-lighting dissipates, and the fight is on! The two batter each other with vicious, brutal strikes before Kane knocks the Mastadon down with a big clothesline. Vader rolls out of the ring, Kane pursues, and the two continue to exchange almighty blows. The crowd chants loudly for Vader (the clear fan-favourite!) as Kane now has Vader defenceless on the ring apron. Kane leaps off the apron onto a prone Vader with a diving blow, sending the four-hundred-pounder rolling out of the ring onto the floor.

Kane smacks Vader face-first into the ring steps twice before getting them both back into the ring, then Vader proceeds to mercilessly potato Kane in the back of the head (THOSE SHOTS ARE SO STIFF!) before dumping him out of the ring. The two continue their slugfest until the action goes back to the ring, where Kane flies from the top rope to deliver his wicked flying clothesline!

IMG credit: WWE & sportzwiki.com

Paul Bearer roots Kane on as the Big Red Machine now has Vader on the ropes. Kane continues to pummel the Masterdon down as the Vader chants start up again. Then Kane delivers a MASSIVE suplex on Vader as Paul Bearer laughs triumphantly (another reason why he was one of the greatest managers of all time!). Kane then delivers a big elbow on the fallen Vader, has him on the ropes, before setting him up on the ring apron. Kane delivers another flying attack from the top rope to bring Vader back into the ring. “DESTROY HIM!” yells Paul on cue! (Then politely tells referee Tim White to shut up).

Kane soon floors Vader again with another clothesline, and continues to dominate. Vader tries to fight back, but Kane shuts him down again (Paul continues to laugh maniacally! Regular as clockwork!). Thunderous bodyslam by Kane! Vader is weary now as Kane leaps from inside the ring to the floor to hangman Vader’s throat. As Kane gets back into the ring, Vader collides into him with a massive Avalanche! He clotheslines the Big Red Machine out of the ring to buy himself some time, but Kane lands on his feet and quickly gets back in. Kane DDTs Vader and then pummels poor Leon some more, until he finally strikes back. Another Avalanche, which Kane responds with an attempted chokeslam…I THINK Vader goes low to stop it (the ref didn’t notice, so why should I?), and then he gives Kane a clothesline which FINALLY puts him on his back!

The crowd cheers! Vader gives Kane a big splash to Paul’s despair, and with Kane down, Vader takes his chance to go to the top and deliver the most amazing moonsault in all wrestling history! SERIOUSLY, how was a 400LB GIANT like Leon White able to do a move like that regularly?! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! The crowd cheers!

OH, NO! KANE COMES BACK TO LIFE!!! Looking a little miffed, he attacks again and the fighting soon spills out back to ringside where Vader whips out the fire-extinguisher again and blasts Kane again good and proper!

IMG credit: WWE & foxsports.com

(COME ON, Tim White! SURELY you must have noticed this!) Kane’s disorientated, and that leaves Vader able to deliver a devastating Jackknife power bomb! Paul climbs up to the ring-apron only to be greeted by a clubbing blow from Vader. Kane gets up in a flash while Vader’s distracted to deliver a thunderous chokeslam! Vader manages to get back up, only to walk into a HUGE Tombstone Piledriver! Kane gets the pin at 10:57.

As the ref checks on Vader, Kane summons his pyro and the red light bathes the arena. Kane exits the ring, and then picks up the fire extinguisher Vader used. He angrily tosses it aside then picks up a wrench from under the ring. Vader has gotten back to his feet only to be greeted with a sickening strike from the wrench-wielding Kane! The crowd gasps in horror! A proud Paul Bearer orders Kane out of the ring as he laughs. Monster and manager leave, as referees, medics and officials tend to the motionless Vader. The audience silent as the Masterdon is put on a gurney and wheeled out of the arena.

Verdict

On paper, this was a bout that excited me and it didn’t disappoint. Vader was the most terrifying monster you could behold on WCW Worldwide. He scared me so much when I was a kid, and to book him against this newer, more terrifying force in Kane…it was logical.

In terms of wrestling, the bout was iffy in places. One too many restholds for a bout of this nature, and some slow-pacing let things down. However, to see these two fierce leviathans viciously batter each other is worth seeing. The sheer strength & power, the amazing agility from both legends was staggering! It formed a great slugfest overall.

Vader did Kane a MASSIVE favour here, putting him over in both bout and aftermath, with JR and King selling how monstrous Kane was and how Vader had come the closest to truly challenging the Big Red Machine. Alas, this was the final nail in the coffin for Vader’s time in the WWF. After losing to Shawn at SummerSlam 1996, Taker at Canadian Stampede and ultimately the feud with Kane, Vader’s fall to jobber status was cemented. He’d never recover in the WWF and left in October 1998. The man should’ve been WWF Champion at least once in his career.

Having said that, this was one of Vader’s biggest matches in WWF and it was very good indeed. As for Kane…he was now truly ready for his WrestleMania 14 showdown with the Undertaker. Which is next in the Blog of Kane!

OVERALL RATING

  • 7/10

Check out the match here:

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The Blog Of Kane

The Blog Of Kane #1: Survivor Series 1997

Hello, everyone! My name is D.C. Wood! Being a massive wrestling fan for most of my life, it’s been a pleasure to discuss with fellow fans on the brilliant SmarkDown channel these last few years. Having loved the chronicling of various legends that Tomás has done on SmarKDown, I asked if I could chronicle Kane’s career on the blog myself.

In my opinion, Glenn Jacobs is one of the most underrated workers in the history of wrestling, and he truly brought to life a brilliant character that could’ve easily been a major flop. Instead turning out to be a legend in his own right that was worthy of the association with The Undertaker.

Let’s begin with Kane’s in-ring debut at the most infamous pay-per-view of all time.

KANE VS. MANKIND

The Story

So what happened after Kane’s phenomenal debut at Badd Blood: In Your House?

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Well, Paul Bearer vowed that he and Kane would destroy every single-WWF Superstar until the Undertaker agreed to fight his brother in the ring. In the weeks that followed, the Hardys, Flash Funk, Ahmed Johnson and even Dude Love all felt the destructive fury of this terrifying specimen.

But the crazy genius that was Mick Foley assumed another of his alter-egos to fight Kane in his official debut match at Survivor Series 1997. Mankind was seeking to avenge Dude Love and attacked Paul Bearer with the Mandible Claw before knocking down Kane with a turnbuckle post. Kane would sit-up moments later staring at Mankind. SUCH GOOD HYPE!

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The Match Itself

Mankind comes out first, then Kane makes his terrifying entrance with Paul Bearer by his side. Mankind attacks Kane before he can get to the ring, but Kane shrugs off Mankind’s blows before double-choke-lifting and throwing him against the ring-steps (where the back of Mick’s head hits! Ouch!) Kane then grabs Mankind by the throat again to shove him head-first back into the steps. (Double ouch!)

Kane throws Mankind back into the ring, Kane then follows and completes his entrance by summoning fire from the turnbuckle posts. The red lighting still remains, and the bell rings to officially start the match. Kane menacingly approaches Mankind, who’s still struggling to get back to his feet. Kane continues to batter Mankind with slow, powerful blows, as JR and King continue to discuss the eerie red lightning/Kane’s supernatural abilities (Surreal, yes. But I felt the execution was still brilliant). Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy then fights back with typical brawling, and then valiantly delivers the Cactus Jack-Clothesline to take them both out of the ring, but Kane easily floors him again.

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Kane picks up the steel steps over his head and then violently hurls them into Mankind’s face (Paul Bearer districts referee Earl Hebner so he can’t see it, but SURELY he must’ve heard it, right? God, all the refs were useless on this show!). Kane throws Mankind back in the ring again, all the while Paul Bearer maniacally laughing as Mick is fighting for his life. Mick’s fantastic selling rallies the crowd behind him, and then Mick does brilliant character work of his own by tearing his own hair out as Mankind does his own version of ‘Hulking Up’ before Kane flattens him again with a big boot.

IMG credit: WWE

Little things like Kane inquisitively looking down on his prey while Paul proudly applauds are nice touches in this. Kane continues to torture his foe whilst Paul continues to belittle Mick. Kane then nails Mankind with a brutal sidewalk slam. Kane then knocks Mankind out of the ring and continues to viciously batter him some more. But Mankind is finally able to turn the tide by flapjacking Kane face-first onto the ring steps to a big pop. Kane gets up though in no time, but Mankind has his second-wind! Paul Bearer’s distracting the ref backfires as Mankind grabs a chair and gives Kane another receipt. Kane still refuses to stay down, just as Mankind still refuses to back down. Mankind executes a piledriver to another pop from the Montreal crowd. Foley signals for the Mandible Claw and executes it on Paul Bearer (Paul’s facials during this are hilarious!).

Whilst Mankind is distracted, though…Kane sits up to the horror of the audience and then goozles his foe before violently propelling Mankind from the ring-apron to the floor; crashing right through the Spanish Announce table! “My God, call the medics!” implores good ol’ JR! Kane picks up pieces of the table and then throws them on Mankind’s carcass before dragging him from the wreckage. Mankind tries to get away to buy himself some recovery time, while JR and King sell Mick’s resilience and how infuriated Kane was when Mankind attacked Paul Bearer.

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Kane tries to choke slam Mick on the entrance-way, only to be given a low-blow and a sick DDT on the concrete floor. This buys Mankind enough time to deliver the Cactus Jack elbow from the ring-apron to the floor! Mankind then climbs up to the top-rope for another high-risk attack but Kane comes back to life again, jumps up to the ring apron and then slams poor Mick Foley from the top rope to the floor! SICK!

IMG credit: WWE & WhatCulture

Kane stands tall now in the ring, pulling his glove on tighter, and cocking his head to one side as Mankind struggles to crawl back into the ring. Mick barely pulls himself up to face Kane. The Big Red Machine then clutches Mankind’s head to make him look into his visage before finishing him off with the Tombstone Piledriver at 9:27.

Verdict

Mick Foley was the perfect first opponent for Kane. Aside from being one of the most gracious individuals in all of wrestling, Mick knew how to get both himself and his opponent over in a match. On paper, the bout made sense given Mankind’s history with Paul Bearer and his success against the Undertaker throughout 1996, so he had a good shot against Kane. The build-up to this was terrific as well.

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In terms of action, the bout may be slow-paced but it was very solid. The character-work from Kane, Mankind and Paul Bearer were all brilliant, and it was a story that held the audience’s attention, with Mankind’s resilience & heart being impressive and Mick doing everything he could to further enhance Kane’s reputation as an unstoppable, terrifying monster. I know people weren’t keen on the red-lighting being used throughout this match, but as a one-time thing, I felt it added to the presentation.

Wrestling-wise, this bout may not be all that much to sing about, but in terms of theatricality, the spectacle and the story, this was a cracking match where Glenn Jacobs got to show what he could do. Working in that costume, breathing in that mask, having to change his style accordingly…must have been challenging, but Glenn rose to the occasion.

OVERALL RATING

  • 7/10

Check out the match here:

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So how did the Montreal Screwjob later that night affect Kane? Well, according to Mick’s Have A Nice Day! autobiography, Glenn Jacobs was very upset about what had happened, but after years of terrible gimmicks (Dr Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel), he was in no real position to walk out; not after finally being given a bankable character (in my opinion, Glenn Jacobs was very wise to have stayed in the WWF/E). Mick Foley completely understood & respected Kane’s situation. Foley of course would walk out on the company out of protest & support for Bret Hart, but would shortly return to WWF afterwards.

Hope you liked this entry in the Blog of Kane! Next time, we’ll looking at Kane’s confrontation with the man they call…VADER!

NEXT: The Blog Of Kane #2: No Way Out of Texas 1998