What perfect timing, Spooky Wrestler Of The Day number four is here and who better to do today than the devils favorite demon, Kane. If you didn’t know, today is the 25th anniversary of Kane’s WWE debut. Kane would go on to be one of the most feared, but intriguing characters in WWE history and at one point, personally as a child, I was even scared by Kane. Young me would turn the basement lights off and sprint up the stairs as fast as I could in fear that Kane was behind me. True story. He struck fear into the hearts of fans worldwide and his constant look changes stayed consistently on brand throughout the years to show why Kane is one of the spookiest wrestlers to ever live.
You could deep dive on Kane’s wrestling past to show the man that was a territory worker under many names, or a early WWF character under Issac Yankem, but the real monster known as Kane made his way to the WWF in October of 1997. But, the build began in April of that year when it was revealed that Kane was the half-brother of The Undertaker, brought back from an arson caused by his brother. Undertaker’s former manager at the time, Paul Bearer was the reasoning behind Kane’s reemergence, threatening Undertaker that he’d reveal his deepest, darkest secrets and now, after months of hype, he did just that. The ‘Devils Favorite Demon’ made his way to the ring at Badd Blood: In Your House on October 5th, 1997. Paul Bearer led the monster covered from head to toe in black and red gear, slowly down to the ring before Kane would do the unthinkable and rip the cage door off the hell in a cell following Undertaker’s Hell In A Cell match with Shawn Michaels. The Undertaker was stunned to see his half brother was alive, before Kane made his way into the ring and demolished Taker with his own signature “Tombstone” move. Undertaker would later reveal that he did intentionally try to murder his half brother via burning down their home as a child, but, in the famous words of Paul Bearer, “HE’S ALIVE, UNDERTAKER!”
Kane would go on to feud with his brother throughout the year, even at one point putting Undertaker in a casket and setting it on fire. The match culminated at WrestleMania XIV, where Undertaker won, but Kane didn’t disappear and continued to haunt the WWF for years to come. Kane ended up being a multi-time world champion in his career and introduced his own signature “inferno match” where the only way to win was to light your opponent on fire. Did I mention the ring apron was on fire the entire match? Insane stuff, but it surely became an iconic match in WWE history. Kane would switch up his looks throughout the years, going from the full red and black, to eventually having no sleeves, and even having a darker red added to his gear and mask when he teamed with his former rival and brother as the brothers of destruction. We’ve seen Kane even tag with XPac where they became Tag Team Champions but the one constant throughout the years is that the mask man’s identity was was unknown… that was until 2003.
Five years into the career as Kane, we’ve seen many changes to the character, including a mask that revealed his mouth, but kept the rest of his face covered. We’ve seen him terrorize many men, but also, without mincing words, we saw Kane get soft. The once demonic, terrifying monster was now a fan favorite and in a tag team with another fan favorite in Rob Van Dam. They won the tag team titles and had a small stint as champions, but after losing them, Kane set his sights on Triple H’s World Heavyweight Title in a stipulation that if Kane lost, he must unmask. Well, Triple H ended up retaining his title on the June 23rd, 2003 edition of RAW and Kane had to face to consequences. Immediately following the match, Kane unmasked himself, revealing an ugly, stained face while Jerry Lawler yelled “Oh My God!, What the hell is that?!”, and then Kane turned on his former partner and choke-slammed RVD, solidifying himself as a monster yet again. Kane would ultimately snap and go on a deranged rampage which included him lighting Jim Ross on fire, attacking Linda McMahon, defeating Shane McMahon in a ambulance match, and then turning on his brother yet again, helping Vince McMahon bury the Undertaker alive. This would lead to Undertaker and Kane going to battle one more time at WrestleMania 20, where Undertaker would win again.
After losing at WrestleMania, Kane went on a psychotic warpath again, this time, kidnapping Lita, which would lead to a feud with Matt Hardy, where Kane would win and get the chance to marry Lita, as he thought he was the father to her baby. Things got real weird. Gene Snitsky made his debut in a match against Kane on a September 13th edition of RAW, where Snitsky hit Kane with a chair from behind causing him to fall on Lita, and made her have a “miscarriage.” Yeah, odd. Kane would then go on to feud with Snitsky, ultimately losing the big blow off match at Taboo Tuesday where Snitsky would injury Kane and put him on the shelf.
Kane returned in 2005 following his injury, but in reality, he was filming WWE studios first horror movie “See No Evil”, solidifying Kane as one of the scariest on-screen pro wrestlers to ever exist. Unmasked Kane would go on to get revenge on Snitsky and then tag team with Big Show, as well as feud with the likes of Trish Stratus, Rey Mysterio and even an imposter Kane, which the real Kane would lose in a battle of the Kane’s. Kane then went on to feud with Umaga in a “loser leaves Raw” blow off match, where Kane lost. Kane then moved to Smackdown where he would team up with his brother again and feud with the likes of MVP, Great Khali and King Booker. During this time, Kane started carrying around a rusty metal hook, similar to the one he had in the “See No Evil” movie, only adding to his creepiness. Kane would go on to be a World Champion on Smackdown and ECW throughout the years. But, Unmasked Kane was no more in 2012.
In mid-2011, Kane suffered a Fibula injury that would sideline him for over five months. But, in November of 2011, WWE started airing vignettes for Kane, where he was burning his old mask and they titled it “Kane Resurrected.” Kane returned in December, where he sported a metallic mask new ring attire inspired by the incisions of a postmortem human body after an autopsy. He looked scary and to this day, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated Kane looks. Of course, the devilish monster would go after one of the biggest baby faces going, John Cena. Cena’s slogan at the time was “Rise Above Hate,” but Kane disagreed and told everyone to “Embrace The Hate.” Kane would feud with John Cena and Zack Ryder at the same time, terrorizing them week to week and even pushed Ryder off of the stage in a wheelchair. Cena would ultimately get the upper hand on Kane and win the feud. This was basically the last time we saw Kane as a scary figure in WWE because he would go on to team with Daniel Bryan as “Team Hell No” in a love/hate tag team that got over with the fans big time. Kane would go on to feud with Bryan before ditching the mask and becoming corporate Kane. Kane would go on to have sporadic appearances in WWE before being put in the Hall Of Fame in 2021. Kane had one hell of a run, and the many reinventions kept him scary and helped from getting stale. To this day, Kane is no doubt one of the spookiest wrestlers in wrestling history and he will forever be known as The Devils Favorite Demon. From black and red, to no mask, to a black towel covering the hideous face all the way to a metal face cover, You can’t speak about scary wrestlers without mentioning the big red machine, KANE!
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