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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
Check out the match here:
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