Evolution Schematic 08.15.06: Kane (Part 2)
Posted by Mathew Sforcina on 08.15.2006
Doomsday, ok. Unabomb, sure. Diesel, eh. Isaac Yankem DDS, ugh. Christmas Creature...What?
Hello, and welcome to Week 2 of our look at the evolution of Kane. This is the interesting week, as it covers those personas other recappers dare not touch, not even the WWE's hand picked guy. But we'll get to that soon enough.
Before you read this, why not take a look at the brand new Mark 2 version of The Fink's Payload as now half written by yours truly.
And then, once you have read and submitted an idea of how to use Jeff Hardy, read Part 1 of this look at Kane, to bring you up to speed. We rejoin the look at Kane's wrestling debut.
Debut- Angus King, in St. Louis?
Indeed, Kane's career, as dictated by Paul Bearer, began in a very unlikely place, St. Louis, Missouri, and under a totally unrelated name to his past or background, Angus King. This was probably deliberate on Paul Bearer's part, since he wanted to avoid Undertaker finding out about Kane for as long as possible. Or it could have actually meant someone, it might have been on of Kane's doctors, or "A King's Gun" is a phrase that means something to the Callaway family.
Regardless, the name did not last long, as shortly after ‘Angus' debuted in St. Louis, and got his first taste of Professional Wrestling, Paul Bearer moved him again, in order for Kane to gain more experience against newer opponents.
Phase 2- The Christmas Creature. THE CHRISTMAS CREATURE?
Paul Bearer sent Kane to the United States Wrestling Association, better known as Jerry Lawler's Promotion, in Memphis. Bearer knew that there was a high level of talent there, as well as being a former stomping ground of The Undertaker, and given that he had entrusted Kane's wellbeing, contract and probably soul to Brian Christopher, Jerry Lawler's son, he knew that he could rely on Brian to take care of him.
But boy, was he wrong.
Because Brian, for all his talents and positive traits, seems to, at times, not be a particularly bright or imaginative guy. Hence, when he got his hands on Kane, who had been ordered by his father to listen and learn and do whatever Brian said, he looked at the calendar, and knew how to make Kane look and sound even more menacing.
Dress him in green and tinsel and call him the Christmas Creature.
This did not impress anyone, especially Paul, who came down, told Brian off, and redressed Kane in a much more fitting ‘persona'.
Phase 3- Unabomb. Better.
Wearing a hockey mask and dressed in red and black and generally looking a lot like a cheap version of his eventual debut in WWF as Kane look, which makes sense really, Unabomb burst onto the USWA scene.
But all too soon, Unabomb blew all his chances in the company, and Bearer felt he needed to explode on a brand new target.
I'll stop now.
So, Paul once again shipped him to a different company.
Phase 3b- I'm a Mountain Man, and I like mountain women.
This time to Smoky Mountain Wrestling, where several USWA guys were already making a name for themselves. Although Paul did make sure to expose Kane to the Japanese style of wrestling, sending Kane on trips with the hard hitting Japanese company Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi.
But in Smoky Mountain, Kane found his first taste of gold. Having ditched the mask (temporarily, since he didn't care about how ugly he looked, mistaking the boos for his actions as hatred of his burnt, disfigured face), Kane was ordered to team with Al Snow, so that Kane could learn tag team wrestling (Paul Bearer somehow foreseeing an eventual reuniting and dominate tag run of the brothers) and more importantly, how to co-exist with someone outside of Paul Bearer and his designated controller. Paul wanted to shape and focus Kane on targets, and knew that eventually he would need help, given that The Undertaker was a popular guy, at times, and would have back up.
So Kane, sorry, Unabomb and Snow fought with the legendary Rock N Roll Express across the start of 1995, eventually winning a Coal Miner's Glove On A Pole Match to win the tag titles in April, 95. They would hold the belts for 3 months, losing them in early July to the unlikely team of Tracy Smothers & Tony Anthony.
But Unabomb would continue to wrestle in the company. But then came a very important day.
Phase 3c- August 4th, 1995. Kane vs. The Undertaker. Sorta.
For on that day, The Undertaker, as part of a crossover deal with SMW and the WWF, came into town for SMW's big SuperBowl of Wrestling card. And, naturally, he was given the resident monster/nutter of the company.
Thus, Paul Bearer was put in a terrible spot of being Undertaker's manager, and yet having Kane on the other side. So Paul did what he had to, and helped Taker win.
Oh, how this must have eaten Kane up. Sure, on one level he sort of understood, Paul Bearer's grand plan to get back at his brother made sense. On another, it must have further damaged his already weak link on sanity. He had to fight his half brother, without letting him know he was his half brother, and have his father, the one man in the world who cared for him, help the bastard who set the fire!
It's no surprise that Kane made demands on Paul to hurry up and get him into the WWF, let him fight his half brother. But Paul was worried. After all, he had seen how Taker had handled Kane fairly easily. Sure, he had not known it was his brother, and thus the psychological edge wasn't there, but still, Kane wasn't ready. So, how to accommodate Kane's demands, but not really do so, and get Kane more experience? He only had a week or so, as Kane was booked (along with Al Snow) in a Loser Leaves Town match, and Kane was set to throw the match, thus, while screwing over Snow, got him out of his contract and able to go to WWF to fight Taker. Thankfully, Jerry Lawler came to the rescue of Paul.
Phase 4- Isaac Yankem, DDS. Yip-pee.
For Jerry was in the middle of a heated feud with Bret ‘Hitman' Hart. And he needed back up, and fast. And he knew that Paul Bearer had control over this big bastard of a guy, Unabomb. So Jerry made a call, and Paul and he hammered out a deal, and Jerry brought Kane in as his new bodyguard/lackey/big scary dude.
But Jerry knew that ‘Unabomb', having been named after the Unabomber, was not going to be accepted by the then Family conscious WWF. They wouldn't give him a contract. So Jerry, with some intense negotiation, managed to convince Paul that having Kane come in as ‘his personal dentist', would make sure that-
A) The WWF would give him a contract.
B) Make sure no-one asked too many questions of just where the guy came from.
C) People would underestimate Kane.
D) Bret Hart would pay, since he knew Bret would not be able to resist trying to get rid of such a cartoonish, obviously not real persona.
E) Kane would get to torture kids and people in the name of filming ‘vignettes'.
F) Paul could convince Kane that they would put on loads of make up to ensure that The Undertaker didn't recognize him (Paul convincing him that he had convinced Taker after their match that he didn't know him, but if he saw Kane every day, he's get suspicious), under the idea of making him look like ‘a dentist'. Of course no make up was needed, but to fill in the time needed to convince Kane that he had lots of make up on, and thus explained why he now looked normal, Paul just worked on making his teeth look horrible.
And thus, Isaac's career began with his first major match being against Bret Hart, which is a heck of a start, at Summerslam 1995. Plus he had Jerry Lawler in his corner, which also helps. But it didn't matter, since he ended up taking Lawler's orders too literally and ended up getting DQed for attacking Bret too much while he was tied up in the ropes.
Isaac continued to fight, along side Lawler, Bret Hart, never really getting the better of him, be it in a cage or anywhere else. By the time the next major WWF PPV rolled around, Survivor Series, Kane was in the position he had wanted to be from the start, as Taker wanted revenge on Mabel for Mabel breaking his face. Mabel responded by assembling a Survivor Series team, The Royals. Himself, Hunter Hearse Helmsley, Jerry ‘The King' Lawler and Isaac Yankem, DDS.
Well, 3 out of 4…
Taker responded by grabbing 3 warm bodies (Savio Vega, Fatu and Henry Godwinn, not that it mattered) and that match went down. Kane was ready, he could taste it, it would finally get his hands on the son of a bitch who called himself his half brother, who burnt him, he killed his family, who-
Kane was, for some reason, unprepared for the Tombstone, and was pinned. It was probably the first time he had suffered it, and hence was unprepared, although that would change soon enough.
Although not immediately, given that Kane's next shot at The Undertaker on a Raw in January 96 ended the same way, Taker winning. Kane was at a loss. He had had several chances at Taker, and sure, while Taker seemed blissfully unaware of who he really was, thanks to Paul Bearer, he still wasn't anywhere near getting his revenge. Paul forced to act like he was 100% behind Taker didn't help matters. So, he knew he'd have to do things on his own.
Getting a dream number in the Royal Rumble, #27, helped.
Getting tossed by HBK after eliminating only one guy yourself did not help.
And this set off a horrible period for Kane. His self belief was slipping, Paul's influence seemed to be waning, especially after Lawler washing his hands of him. For several months, Kane lost seemingly every match he wrestled, rarely getting on TV, the Isaac character by now a handicap, not a help. By around May of 96, Kane was sick and tired of this, and was set to leave the company.
Phase 5- The missing months
There are a couple of months in which we have no idea what happened. That may be for the best. But soon enough, Paul would find his son, and convince him to join the WWF again, as there was another announcer who needed a big guy…
Phase 6- Diesel Mark 2
It helped that by the time Paul called him back, he was set to turn against The Undertaker at Summerslam to join forces with Mankind, and thus could take a better interest in Kane's welfare.
But it was not Paul who needed him, but Jim Ross. JR was sick and tired of the BS he had to put up with, most of his anger directed at Vince McMahon. So he wanted to make Vince's life a living hell and make him look ridiculous. So, he needed a couple of guys to play ‘Diesel' and ‘Razor Ramon', to prove that Vince was an idiot.
No, I'm not sure how that works exactly, and since this is not the JR ES, I'm not going to try.
Suffice to say, Jerry was more than happy to help his on again off against good buddy JR out, and they worked out the deal. And so, Kane came back, again in lots of make up, as Diesel.
And…it didn't really work. JR not taking any interest in them outside their debut hurt Kane from the get go, although his partner, ‘Razor', seemed to like him, or rather, liked tagging with a big bastard enough to make a go of it. But it just never…clicked. Kane was DQed (as well as 5 other guys) at Survivor Series to give the match to…no-one. The two fakes managed to rise up the tag ranks only to lose their title shot at the ‘It's Time!' In Your House PPV, thanks to Steve Austin not distracting Bulldog enough and Owen Hart's beautiful leg lariat.
And then Kane got another shot at winning the Rumble, drew another good number, 23, ths time round eliminating no-one, and getting tossed second to last, and yet got screwed over in the Final Four match at the next PPV…IYH: Final Four, since Austin didn't toss him, Bret did, which was legal, as opposed to Taker, Vader and Bret's eliminations, which weren't.
At this point, Paul Bearer had to take stock of his son. Kane was just…pathetic seems to strong a word, but certainly he was not living up to his potential. He needed a bit more seasoning. So Paul pulled some strings.
Phase 6b- The ‘Outsiders' tour Mexico and Memphis!
Kane, along with his Razor buddy, got their WWF contracts annulled for a bit, and they toured Mexico and worked in USWA for a bit, in order for Kane to get some more experience and ‘Razor'…out of everyone's hair. But soon, the two had a falling out, and in mid 1997, the two fought in a ‘Loser Leaves USWA' match, Kane now focused mostly on USWA.
Or at least he was, as he lost the match. But Paul, while preparing to finally reveal his plan, wasn't ready yet. So he needed to keep Kane away for a few more months. Hence…
Phase 7- Doomsday! Run!
Kane once again donned a mask, at Paul's request since he didn't want to go through the charade of make up again, and also because he knew he had to bring Kane in as masked due to burns in the WWF. This time, he was dubbed Doomsday, and began to once again show the…fire that Paul knew he had. He managed to destroy Spellbinder to win the USWA Southern Heavyweight Title a day after Spellbinder won it. He held it for a couple of months, eventually losing it to Steven Dunn in early September. Just in time really…
Phase 8- He's Alive! ALIVE!
For in the WWF, Paul Bearer was beginning his mind games. He finally revealed Undertaker's darkest secret (that he, Taker, not Kane, started the fire), and, much more importantly, that Kane was alive.
Taker, at first, refused to believe it. After all, Kane had to have died in the fire, right? I mean, he had to…
Paul Bearer just laughed, while Taker, sensing they were mind games, and assuming they were only that, focused on Shawn Michaels and the Hell In A Cell devised especially for them.
And thus, on October 5th, 1997, Kane finally got his hands on his Half Brother. and without gimmicks, handicapping identities, just him, his half brother and 25 or so years of hate and anger, and a smidge of pyro and organ music.
And thus, Kane tore through the cell door, took out his half brother, and left, leaving Shawn Michaels to pick up the win, Taker to pick up his jaw and Paul Bearer to pick up the check. For the fire had been lit.
But no-one would have predicted how it would burn…