Kane is the latest inductee in the WWE Hall of Fame’s Class of 2021. The Big Red Monster was surprised with the news by his brother, The Undertaker, during WWE’s The Bump. The Devil’s Favorite Demon will be enshrined in the hallowed hall during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, April 6, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network elsewhere.
Kane’s legendary career was intertwined with The Deadman’s from the very beginning. Long thought to have perished in a fire at their family’s funeral home, Kane emerged through hellfire and brimstone to haunt his brother in Fall 1997, infamously tearing the door off Hell in a Cell to confront Undertaker and begin one of WWE’s most truly heated rivalries.
To settle their score, The Big Red Monster and The Phenom clashed in every conceivable type of match. They battled surrounded by flames in the first-ever Inferno Match, were locked inside Hell in a Cell and even tried to bury each other alive. It’s surprising that they were ever able to get along, but they did, proving to be one of WWE’s most deadly tag teams. The Brothers of Destruction wreaked havoc on WWE, capturing the World Tag Team Titles and the WCW Tag Team Titles.
Kane has also embraced the lighter side of things in WWE, as best evidenced by his time as a member of Team Hell No with Daniel Bryan. The pair’s sojourn to anger management classes had WWE fans rolling on the floor in laughter, as did their infamous attempt to “hug it out” in the middle of the ring. Warm embraces aside, the duo was also a threat in the ring and captured the WWE Tag Team Titles.
When not part of a tag team, Kane also proved to be one of the most dominant Superstars in history. The Devil’s Favorite Demon captured the WWE Championship, World Heavyweight Championship, ECW Title, Intercontinental Title and won the 2010 Money in the Bank Ladder Match. Anyone with a resume like that is destined for the WWE Hall of Fame.
Don’t miss Kane take his place in sports-entertainment history during the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Tuesday, April 6, streaming exclusively on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network elsewhere. The ceremony will feature the enshrinement of the 2020 Class, featuring The nWo, The Bella Twins, JBL, British Bulldog and Jushin “Thunder” Liger (Batista has been removed from the 2020 Class), as well as the 2021 Class, which includes Kane, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff.
I would probably not be the only one to say I was expecting The Undertaker to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame first, for many different reasons. Kane will be the first, as announced by his “Brother of Destruction,” aka The Undertaker, Mark Calaway. If you watch some of the WWE Network documentaries, from time to time, you know there would no Taker without Kane, and most importantly, no Glenn Jacobs without Mark Calaway. Back in 1997, The Taker asked the WWE officials that Jacobs must be his on-air brother Kane. He was right.
“The best in the world”, according to Ric Flair, “the best big man ever”, according to The Big Show. Beyond his size, Kane exploded many records in WWE. He is a 3-time world champion, having held the WWF Championship, ECW Championship and World Heavyweight Championship once each, and a 12-time World tag team champion, having held the World Tag Team Championship, WCW Tag Team Championship and WWE Tag Team Championships with various partners. He is also a two-time Intercontinental Champion and a Money in the Bank winner, as well as the third man to complete WWE’s Grand Slam. He also holds the record for cumulative Royal Rumble match eliminations at 46.
Born in Spain, Glenn Jacobs excelled in basketball and football before starting his wrestling training in Saint Louis, MI. In August 1995, Jacobs (as Unabomb) lost to The Undertaker at an SMW show as he was already signed by the company. After wrestling intermittently as Unabomb, he made his first television appearance with the company as Isaac Yankem, DDS, Jerry Lawler’s private dentist he had hired for the purpose of ridding the WWF of his longtime nemesis, Bret Hart. Their feud would last a few months, then the Yankem character would be retired.
Through 1996 and 1997, he became “Diesel” as part of a heavily criticized storyline mocking the departure of former employees Kevin Nash and Scott Hall respectively, while attempting to portray Ross as a disgruntled employee. The pair competed primarily as a tag team, losing a WWF Tag Team Championship match to titleholders Owen Hart and The British Bulldog at December’s In Your House 12: It’s Time. As Diesel, he lost to The Undertaker via disqualification in the main event of the December 22 edition of Superstars and defeated Marc Mero on Shotgun Saturday Night on January 11, 1997.
From April 1997, the WWF “slowly and meticulously” built to the debut of Jacobs’ new character. At In Your House 14: Revenge of the ‘Taker, The Undertaker launched a fireball into the face of former manager, Paul Bearer, who had unsuccessfully attempted to assist his protege, Mankind to victory in their WWF Championship match. On the May 12 episode of RAW, Mankind reintroduced Bearer, who attempted to reunite with Undertaker after a long period of mutual hostility, using the ultimatum of revealing The Undertaker’s “biggest secret”. When Undertaker continually refused to once again align with Bearer, Bearer began tormenting him by telling him that his long-lost brother, Kane (later revealed as Bearer’s illegitimate son and the Undertaker’s half-brother), was coming to the WWF to challenge him. In the ensuing months, Bearer implied that The Undertaker had murdered his family by starting a fire at their funeral home, except for Kane, who was left physically and mentally scarred by the event. Undertaker claimed that Kane, a pyromaniac, was the one who started the fire and could not possibly have survived.
Jacobs made his re-debut as Kane at Badd Blood: In Your House on October 5, 1997, by using The Undertaker’s signature “Tombstone Piledriver” to cost him the victory in the first Hell in a Cell match against Shawn Michaels. The character wore a mask, sported long hair, and wore red and black ring attire that almost covered his entire body. Kane and The Undertaker feuded with one another over the following year, during which time their history vis-à-vis one another was expounded. Jacobs won his first match as Kane against Mankind at Survivor Series. The Undertaker initially refused to face him, saying he would not fight his own “flesh and blood”. After a brief partnership, Kane betrayed The Undertaker when he cost him the WWF Championship, as Kane interfered in his title match against Shawn Michaels at the Royal Rumble. After the match, Kane locked Undertaker in a casket and set it on fire, though it was later revealed that Undertaker managed to escape the casket without being seen before Kane set it on fire.
The following month, The Undertaker returned and defeated Kane at WrestleMania XIV on March 29. After the match, Kane and Paul Bearer attacked The Undertaker. They continued to feud until Unforgiven: In Your House on April 26, when The Undertaker defeated Kane in an Inferno match. In this match, Bearer tried to help Kane by attacking Undertaker, but as Kane was retreating backstage, Vader forced Kane back towards the ring, and The Undertaker attacked them both by jumping over the ring ropes surrounded by fire before setting Kane’s right arm on fire. At Over the Edge: In Your House, Kane defeated Vader in a Mask vs. Mask match. On the June 1 episode of RAW Is War, Kane defeated The Undertaker to become the number one contender to the WWF Championship. At the King of the Ring, Kane defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin in a First Blood match following interferences by Mankind and The Undertaker to win the WWF Championship. Kane lost the title back to Austin the following night on RAW Is War.
Kane then formed a tag team with Mankind, with whom he won the WWF Tag Team Championship twice. After losing the titles and turning on Mankind, Kane allied with The Undertaker, with the duo being known as The Brothers of Destruction. From 1998 to 2004, Kane entered a complex period made of multiple partnerships, title wins, controversies and, of course, betrayals. In June 2003, Kane was forced to remove his mask. He was then involved in a storyline with Lita where she was pregnant and meant to marry. These years were probably not the best for the character. Once the mask fell, another man, and another wrestler, emerged. He would team up with The Big Show, reunite with The Undertaker as The Brothers of Destruction, feud with The Great Khali, William Regal, Batista, CM Punk, John Morrison and The Miz.
In 2010, Kane would participate in his fourth Money in the Bank ladder match, win it and cash in the opportunity less than an hour later. He defeated Rey Mysterio, who had just defeated Jack Swagger, to win the World Heavyweight Championship, thus making Kane the first wrestler in WWE history to win the WWE Championship, the ECW Championship, and the World Heavyweight Championship. In 2012, he entered a team with Daniel Bryan, they were not the greatest friends so they entered anger management classes. They would eventually become Tag Team Champions and defend the belts successfully 245 days long.
Then would follow “Corporate Kane”, the Director of Operations of The Authority, another reunion with The Undertaker, and many more matches and feuds. On August 2, 2018, Jacobs was elected mayor of Knox County, TN, and slowly disappeared from TV. He has never stopped being a member of the company and continued to appear sporadically. He recently took part in the 2021 Royal Rumble match and was eliminated by Damian Priest he would later praise.
How difficult it is to sum up a career like Kane has had because he didn’t announce he hung out his boots definitely. At 53, Glenn Jacobs has always been a part of the memories of all of us, fans. Some will remember Team Hell No and the funny segments in anger management classrooms. Some will definitely relate him to The Undertaker, as his pyromaniac half-brother who had been his best friend like his worst enemy. Some would see it as the Giant of his generation. 26 years is a long time for a wrestler, which means Kane has reached generations of fans during his career. And Glenn Jacobs has enjoyed every second of it, allowing him to hide behind this horrendous mask the true face of the man of one company and a great human being.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE