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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Evolution Schematic 08.08.06: Kane (Part 1)
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 08.08.2006


Normally, when I review a career, I try to explain why this person has acted how they have across their entire career. I point out the driving force, the aspect of their character that shows how inconsistent parts can be made consistent on a higher, grander scale.

But I'm not going to this time around.

For this man defies any such attempts. I am shocked and stunned that he is walking around and co-existing with the world at large, given what he has gone through.

Instead, it is his past that I will try to explain. So much has been said, so much has been claimed, that it's at times hard to tell fact from fiction, truth from reality, lies from statistics.

This has been tried before, by someone commissioned by the WWE. And while I have not read what they claimed, I have seen and heard enough to know that they have missed key points. For while Kane has had much pain, much suffering, much strife, he has also had moments in the light that people have forgotten, or never knew.

Isaac Yankem, D.D.S.

Fake Diesel.

The Unabomber.

How can these be explained, together with all that we know of his past, the fires, May 19th, Paul Bearer, The Undertaker.

Katie Vick.

The man, the monster, the being, has lived in the shadows for so long, that a definitive, ‘This is how it is' is not possible. All we can do is shine a light, and try to sketch the shadows given off. This is possibly true. It's possibly false. But for all it's conjecture, all it's theories, all it's guesswork, all it's assuming, it works, somehow. It does make some twisted sort of sense, and works.

As does he.

Origins- Settle in for the long haul here.

To talk about Kane, one must first talk about The Undertaker, for they are (half) brothers.

Mark Callaway (the boy who would later take on the name of The Undertaker) was born to his parents, funnily enough, in Death Valley. The two ran a Funeral Parlor, having migrated at some point from Long Island, New York, possibly for work (finding a good Mortician and Embalmer willing to relocate to Death Valley would be hard) or just because they really liked hot weather. The family was a bit strange perhaps, but they seemed happy enough, the parents working alone, apart from their sole assistant, a strange teenage kid called Paul Bearer, who worked with various wrestling companies across a few states.

Then, a couple of years after Mark was born, Paul and Mrs. Callaway had an affair. Maybe she was sick of being ignored by her workaholic husband, maybe Paul loved the older woman. Regardless, their affair was not without issue, and Mrs. Callaway soon gave birth to a second child. In a somewhat ironic twist, the child was named Kane, an old Gaelic/Welsh name meaning "Warrior, the doubly-accomplished". Certainly Mr. Callaway did not seem to notice the child was different, he seemed to be similar to his half brother, but then Mrs. Callaway must have been a tall woman.

Regardless, the two boys grew up in the Funeral Home, while Paul left, joining the US Air Force and gaining experience in various small Wrestling companies. This would be useful, since he knew there would be a couple of big, strong lads that would be perfect for this world in a few years. But then fate intervened.

Part 0b- The Fire

And then things get hazy.

May 19th.

There was a fire at the Callaway Funeral Home. Large quantities of embalming fluid, a crematorium badly maintained, many possible causes. However, there is one main one.

Mark Callaway started the fire.

However, he did not do it deliberately, as he later claimed at one point, at the time he was playing mind games with Kane, Vince McMahon and others to sell them on the idea that he was remorseless and evil and what have you. He and Kane may have been playing ‘Pin the eyelash on the make up kit' or some such, and the fire spread, killing Mr. and Mrs. Callaway. As well as Kane, Mark thought.

But he was alive. And surprisingly unharmed, despite being in the worst of the fire. But he was sure that he was horribly burnt, the pain and seeing everything around him melt, Kane was sure he was disfigured.

And Paul Bearer, in town, looking as the fire fighters put out the blaze, in that one moment, thought up an entire career path. As he saw the embers die out, he could see two careers, two fighters, two warriors, driven by hate and pain, able to reach the very top of the Professional Wrestling business, perhaps fighting each other, Paul pulling both their strings. He knew tough guys, understood them, and Mark and Kane, they could be that. This was his chance.

He quickly comforted Mark, and then made sure he went off with a social worker, as he was obviously traumatized and sick. But Paul left the scene with Kane, who was screaming that he was on fire. Paul quickly convinced the doctors that he was the boy's true father (perhaps a quick blood test was performed) and he took custody of Kane, while still keeping in touch with Mark. But, as a key point, he refused to let Mark see Kane, citing the fact that he suspected Mark started the fire to kill Kane, and as his father and legal guardian, he couldn't allow that. Mark was probably told that his brother was alive but without seeing him, he did not believe them. And of course, once Paul Bearer was able to gain custody of Mark, perhaps with platitudes and reassurances he would work on getting the boys back together, he didn't have to worry, he could make sure the two were kept apart.

Part 0c- The Foster Homes

The first thing he did was to separate the two across vast distances. Mark, who seemed the most stable, albeit a bit warped after the fire, Paul put in a safe, calm foster home, visiting often and giving him a ‘normal' upbringing, since Paul knew the fire, and the guilt, would drive him.

Kane, on the other hand, was different. He was still convinced he was a scarred mess (being a somewhat plain child not helping the issue), despite every doctor telling him he was fine, that the burns were superficial and healed. Paul knew he couldn't heal Kane, so he tried to merely contain him, and try to learn to control him. He went to Spain for a while, came back, bouncing from home to home, Bearer dropping in every once in a while. But things were not progressing, until one foster home, one foster family, worked. Maybe they had a fire victim in their midst, maybe they were both psychologists, whatever the reason, Kane finally found a foster home where he felt, ok. He felt free. He especially was close to the mother, who reminded him of his own.

Enter May 19th.

For on that day, the new home Kane had found once again became a nightmare, as on the anniversary of the day his mother and ‘father' died (he knew Paul was his real father but he still had some feelings for the man who raised him), Kane accidentally started a fire, perhaps recreating the scene, and killed this adoptive family. Paul immediately rushed to Kane's bedside. And while he listened to Kane cry, and listen to him blame himself, Paul kept silent.

While in his head, he was dancing a fandango.

Part 0d- The Mental ‘Homes'

For now Paul had a hook. Kane knew he was not to blame for his Mother's death. But he was to blame for his adoptive family's. Hence, Paul was now able to control Kane. He told him that it was his intervention, and his alone, that prevented Kane going to prison, and instead merely to a mental institution. And how Kane should be grateful.

And so, Kane moved from foster homes to mental institutions, under the direction of Paul Bearer, who encouraged Kane to grow big and strong, and to ignore his medications and therapy and build his hate and rage, to let it simmer, while making Kane more and more under his spell, constantly reminding him of what he owed Paul and such.

So Kane grew up in various asylums, turning from a troubled, scared boy to a troubled, big young man. And once again, death would interject itself.

Part 0e- Katie Vick

When you get right down to trying to understand Katie Vick, what, exactly, do we know? We assume that both HHH and Kane were telling the truth, or at least their versions of it. And certainly, for all his mental anguish as a child, Kane does have an affection for women that some sort of Oedipus complex does not fully explain. So Katie Vick did exist, and she did die. But beyond that, we run into problems.

For starters, HHH claims to be very smart and attentive, and yet plainly fails to see the glaring flaws with Kane's version of events and what he knows of the Callaway brothers from working against and with them in various points. When Kane tells us about Katie, why doesn't he say "Excuse me, that's wrong, you didn't go to college, you were in mental homes!" to Kane? Calling someone out on a lie is always good to shake their morale. But HHH doesn't. Why not?

The most logical reason is that HHH wasn't sure. He didn't want to claim Kane was lying because he didn't know he was. Hence his information had to be sketchy. He didn't find Katie's parents or brother; he got his information from some other source. And the most logical place he would have got it from, since Paul Bearer wouldn't have given it to him, was the police report. Every aspect of what HHH specifically claimed (Kane killed Katie Vick, he raped her after she was dead, she was a cheerleader) could have been gained from the police report of the crash, and only that, the incident report only. Any extended report, with information on the girl and man in question would have mention how Kane was in an insane asylum at the time, and hence HHH didn't see this, since he didn't call Kane out on it.

So why did Kane lie at the time? Well, remember, at the time, Kane was very popular, and was being ‘pushed' by the match makers and merchandising. Everywhere you looked, Kane's half face mask was on sale to kids, his face was on t-shirts, he was one half of the tag champs, soon was IC champ. Kane was a hot money maker. And although he was twisted, insane and deranged, he wasn't an idiot. He wasn't going to ruin all that with the truth, he was going to tell a feasible, logical and above all normal story to explain the death of Katie Vick, and hope no-one noticed.

Hence, he's hating this.

So, with all that logic in place, just what the hell did happen?

Katie Vick and Kane had to meet somehow, and form some sort of relationship. Given that Kane was in a mental asylum, and Katie was a young woman, there are really only two options.

One, Katie was a fellow resident. While this could explain some things, it seems unlikely an ‘innocent girl' would be in the same hospital as a killer like Kane, and if they were, that she would be good looking and able to escape with Kane.

Hence, the second and most likely explanation, was that Katie was a nurse at the hospital. Young woman often take jobs in hospitals as they start their training for full nursehood or indeed doctorship, or to satisfy volunteer requirements for schools or jail terms. In other words, is it that unlikely that a young Candy Striper might look beyond the muscles and face to see the frightened young child within? Perhaps she herself was a bit of a rebel and couldn't see Kane's problem.

Regardless of what it was that brought Katie to Kane, it brought her, and the two formed a bond. And Katie, perhaps seeing Paul Bearer for what he truly was, decided, perhaps, to help Kane escape. She knew a guy who knew a guy, they could go farm somewhere in Canada, who knows. The logical path sees her sneaking or breaking Kane out, and then they drive off.

And then, once again, things get a little hazy.

Admittedly, a woman helping Kane escape from a mental institution is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and hence she might be silly enough to let Kane drive. But why would he want to? He knows he can't be trusted.

Perhaps she herself crashed the car all be herself, it being a rainy night, she was excited, scared and distracted, and she crashed the car. But then, for all of Paul Bearer's manipulations and Kane's hallucinations, anything vivid and important enough to affect him as badly as Katie Vick, he would remember and realize if she crashed herself.

So we come to the third, and probably answer. Katie was driving, she was distracted and excited and happy and everything, her wet clothes sticking to her heaving chest. And Kane… forgot himself. Katie gets distracted, perhaps telling Kane off slightly (which would really tear a guy up if, while that was going on) and then crashing the car. Kane, somehow survives.

Katie does not.

And then he…forgets himself again. Perhaps. But he was conflicted, dazed, possibly concussed and injured and not the sanest man to begin with. Hence you can't really blame him.

As for the "HHH claimed fact" that Katie was a cheerleader, that is actually easy to explain. Take your pick-

* Katie was a cheerleader. She was well rounded young girl enrolled at the local college/university, her high grades and excellent people skills and volunteer work explaining how she was able to get a part time/volunteer job at an insane asylum. She drove from a game/practice to the institution when she picked up Kane as he escaped via the route she planned.

* The first cop on the scene was a bit slow. He saw a blood stained red and while short dress outfit, as a Candy Striper wears, and, being distracted, wrote down she was in a cheerleader outfit. Since that first report is all HHH had, he made the claim, and Kane was in no mood to correct him.

* How exactly would a young woman, still in her late teens early 20's, obviously not in a position of power, engineer an escape of a near 7 foot tall man? One of the few feasible ways that could happen was if most of the staff were distracted, perhaps by a party. As someone who works in a hospital, I tell you, bring out a plate of chocolate cake or brownies and you have 95% of any medical staff focused solely on inhaling chocolate and complaining about doctors, patients and/or pay. And given how stressful and hard working at such a high risk place as Kane would have been in would be, a costume party does sound like something a new, inexperienced director would put on. Katie would wear an old cheerleader outfit to distract the guards while Kane sneaked out in some sort of costume.

* Remove the costume party, add in more direct distraction of the guards (think ‘services rendered'), and you also give Kane the benefit of the doubt as to if he did indeed…take liberties.

But regardless if it was one of these options or some completely different one, the fact remained that the first non-family member Kane liked, hell, loved, that reciprocated, was dead. And it was all his fault, as Paul was so eager to remind him. And at that point, Kane was putty in Paul's hands.

Over the following years, he molded Kane, training him to fight, as Paul had done with his brother Mark, who by this time had already debuted in Pro Wrestling and was slowly learning his craft, developing his ability with withstand pain, and seeing how mind games worked on an opponent. Paul helped The Undertaker (the name Mark took as his own when he came into the big time, the WWF. Originally he was "Kane The Undertaker" as a tribute to his dead brother but Paul Bearer quickly convinced him to drop it, not because he felt is was in bad taste, but rather to avoid confusion later on) train, and then used the same techniques on Kane, thus bringing Kane to a point where, in 1992, 2 years after Undertaker debuted in the WWF, with his trusty confidant and manager Paul Bearer at his side, Kane was just as good as his brother, despite his brother's 8 year head start. But Paul Bearer was no fool. He knew that, the moment you stepped inside the ring, everything changed. He wanted to bring Kane in at the point he could get the most out of it, make the most money. Hence, not only did The Undertaker need to develop more, but Kane needed experience in the ring, needed to wrestle in front of people. Anyone can beat up dummies and such in a darkened basement, doing the same in front of screaming fans is a whole other matter. So while publicly Paul Bearer managed The Undertaker, he also secretly managed Kane. And hence, Kane's professional wrestling career started in an unlikely place…

Writer's Notes

I gotta admit, that was fun. This is what I intended this column for really.

Wait a minute, I'm a veteran who is often overlooked? Wow. I feel all…Raveny all of a sudden. Still, I am positive. After all, I just made sense of Kane's past. That's positive thinking at it's finest. But those brackets are rigged. Me vs. Randle is a Main Event Feud dammit, and it's wasted on the semis. Especially for the ‘honor' or facing Cook or Small.

Yes, I just insulted Sat, Helm, and the Williams brothers. Get over it, I have to release some snarkiness before I get down to positiveness.

BTW, question for you, my readers. As you may have noticed, The Fink's Payload has ceased operations due to Mark Rossi really hating the current WWE. And that's his choice, and I understand that. I, on the other hand, have lower standards/have different standards/see more good/like some of the stuff/can withstand more crap/are a Russo fan and hence don't mind/insert reason here. Chris Clarke is open to the idea of possibly launching Fink's Payload: A New Rewrite Unleashed, if he found a partner he liked. I'm thinking of putting my name forward. But only if you guys want to see more of my booking, since god knows you might be sick of it already. But hence the question.

Thanks for reading, anyway.


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