“The Devil’s Favourite Demon”, “The Big Red Machine”; whichever moniker you choose to call him, it’s undisputed that Kane is one of the most iconic and destructive figures to ever emerge in the WWE.
Much like his onscreen brother and tag team partner The Undertaker, Kane has constantly reinvented himself to go with the cultural shift and changes in the product, even going so far as to shed his mask and red and black attire for a suit and tie in a change that received a very mixed reaction to say the least.
However, thanks to his over two decade long career, Kane has rightfully earned a spot in the WWE Hall of Fame. The news was broken on WWE’s The Bump by none other than The Undertaker himself.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five of Kane’s greatest moments from his WWE career.
1. The Debut
Kane’s debut in the WWE is one of the most iconic moments of the Attitude Era. Taking place at Badd Blood: In Your House 1997, Kane would make his uproarious debut during the first ever Hell in a Cell match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker.
The match saw Taker brutalise Shawn Michaels right up until the lights cut and an ominous red aura filled the arena as Paul Bearer, Undertaker’s former manager, led the monstrous Kane to the ring for the first time.
Everything about this debut was perfect; the lighting, the music, the fact Kane ripped the cell door straight off of its hinges, the fire shooting out of the ring posts which would become a staple of Kane’s entrance, before finally laying out The Undertaker with a tombstone, his own finisher, costing him the match.
His debut perfectly set the tone for the monster that the WWE Universe would grow to love in the years to come and still stands as one of the greatest wrestling debuts in history.
2. The Big Red Royal Rumble
As a monster should, Kane absolutely dominated during his early years in the then-WWF, and there is no better example of that than in the 2001 Royal Rumble. While Kane has never won the Royal Rumble, he has eliminated 11 other wrestlers in a single match, a record which stood right up until 2014 when Roman Reigns would eliminate 12.
This is not the only record that “The Big Red Machine” holds, Kane also has the record for the most accumulative eliminations in the Royal Rumble at 45, 46 if you count his Rumble appearance as Isaac Yankem, as well as most appearances in the Royal Rumble at 18, 20 taking into his appearances as Isaac Yankem and, who could forget, Fake Diesel.
This was also the Royal Rumble in which comedian Drew Carey stood one on one against Kane, offering him money to form an alliance, before wisely eliminating himself.
3. 20,000 Screaming Kane-a-nites
One of the most surprising aspects of Kane’s career and character is the amount of comedy that came into his personality in the 2000s.
More recently, we’ve seen Kane show his comedy chops as part of Team Hell No with Daniel Bryan. However, Kane’s comedic genius showed best in a backstage segment with The Rock and Hulk Hogan back in 2002 while Rock and Hogan were backstage preparing for a match with the NWO with Kane as their partner.
Kane enters backstage and asks Rock if he’s ready only to interrupt him with his own “It doesn’t matter if you’re ready”, but then goes on to “Hulk up” and impersonates Hogan, sending both the crowd and commentary into raucous fits of laughter.
Kane ends the segment with; “Whether it’s the millions, and millions of The Rocks fans or 20,000 Hulkimaniacs or 20,000 screaming Kane-a-nites, the question is brothers: what’cha gonna do?” Absolute comedy gold.
4. Kane Unmasks
Kane’s unmasking in 2003 following a match against Triple H is a contentious point in his career. Some fans embraced the change while others believe it’s one of the worst things that the WWE ever did to the character, likely because, in part, it eventually led to his incredibly unpopular run as “Corporate” Kane.
However, the unmasking of Kane did lead to the most destructive and unhinged version of his character since his debut. Kane’s reign of terror began shortly after unmasking after turning heel on his tag team partner Rob Van Dam.
Kane would soon start running roughshod over the entire RAW roster, laying out a plethora of wrestlers every night, including attacking Linda McMahon, chokeslamming Eric Bischoff off of the entrance stage, and most infamously setting Jim Ross on fire after an interview.
The unmasking also led to one of Kane’s best feuds of the 2000s against Shane McMahon, as Shane looked for retribution against “The Devil’s Favourite Demon” for the vicious attack on his mother.
5. Team Hell No
As the WWE changed to a more family friendly product, it meant that Kane would no longer be this unhinged, violent demon that he had been previously, so teaming him up with Daniel Bryan to form an unlikely tag team was pure genius.
Bryan and Kane just couldn’t be on the same page, which led to them being sent to anger management in order to work out their differences with mixed and hilarious results. This flawed relationship would lead them to hugging it out in the centre of the ring to thunderous applause and cheers.
Through all their dysfunctionality, the two would become one time WWE Tag Team Champions, even if they did argue immediately after winning the titles.
Simply put, Kane has had an incredibly varied career throughout his tenure in the WWE. From a nightmarish demon to an unlikely tag partner, he is easily an icon of the industry and more than worthy of his place in the WWE Hall of Fame.
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