In the late '90s, the Kane character debuted in the WWE during a match between Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker. Paul Bearer brought forth Kane in order to make The Undertaker’s life a living hell.
Back then, Kane was mysterious when he wore his mask and never spoke. Once time passed, Kane started speaking every once in a while, and he was even part of a love storyline with Tori.
Years later, Kane started becoming soft as he started to show some emotion.
In 2003, the WWE decided to take the mask off of Kane. Everyone finally saw what he looked like after being masked since 1997.
During the first few months of being unmasked, Kane was dominant in the Raw brand; he even helped Vince McMahon bury The Undertaker alive at Survivor Series that same year.
In 2004, Kane and The Undertaker feuded once more after Taker returned. Once the feud ended, Kane was no longer the dominant monster that he was during the late '90s and early 2000s.
Kane, once in a while, did something that showed his dominant side, but nothing as big as when he was masked.
The Return of the Masked Monster
After taking time off after being injured by Mark Henry (storyline-wise) in mid-2011, return promos for Kane started airing on WWE television. In the promos, Kane’s mask was shown burning, which caused many people to speculate as to whether he would being returning with it.
On December 12, Kane returned to Raw and attacked John Cena. To the surprise of many fans, he returned masked once again. I was happy seeing him with his mask again, but I wondered why?
Back when the Kane character debuted in the WWE, there was actually a reason for the mask. The reason for it, Paul Bearer revealed, was that The Undertaker was responsible for a fire that caused Kane’s facial burns.
Up until 2002, no one could really see Kane’s face. That year, Kane wore a new mask that just showed his mouth. Did the WWE give up on the burned storyline? I doubt it, but then again, we were always told Kane’s entire face was disfigured.
Seven years after his unmasking, Kane returns masked and starts acting like the dominant monster he was in the past. Many fans that knew of the masked Kane are happy, and nothing is wrong with that, but what is the reason for the mask returning?
Is the WWE trying to please the old fanbase? Is it planning on rebuilding Kane as a monster?
Silence Is Deadly
If the WWE is trying to please the fanbase that knew of the masked Kane, then that objective is complete. As soon as Kane returned with the mask, fans all over the world went crazy.
If the WWE is planning to rebuild Kane as a monster, then that objective somewhat failed. Why, you ask? Well, for me, Kane speaking takes away his credibility as a monster.
Yes, I know Kane cut amazing promos back in 2010, but back then, he wasn’t being built up as a monster anymore. In order to have succeeded in making Kane the dominant person he was back in the late '90s and early 2000s, he needed to have stayed silent.
Kane talking about how fans were booing John Cena could have been easily been done if he had a manager by his side. Paul Bearer returning by Kane’s side would have been acceptable, since they were paired up in the past.
Bearer was brought back after he was “killed” off at the 2004 Great American Bash PPV, so another return wouldn’t have hurt. The WWE could have set up a storyline about how Bearer never dies, or something like that.
I doubt anyone would care, since Bearer—along with Kane and The Undertaker—has that dark mystery to him.
Paul Bearer speaking for Kane would have been a good idea. Then again, people wondering why Kane wasn’t speaking would not have been the big problem.
Masked, but Why?
As I mentioned before, I am wondering why Kane even returned with the mask. Before Kane took time off in mid-2011, nothing happened to him that led to the mask returning. Nothing really changed having to do with Kane himself, his mask or him speaking.
Any fan that never saw Kane during his masked days would see the new masked Kane as if it were nothing special.
I am a huge Kane fan, but I see why people would not care for Kane returning with his mask. When Kane returned and attacked Cena, it made people wonder if maybe they were going to see a new side to him.
Once Kane spoke, people just said, "Oh, it’s the old Kane, but with a mask." Whether you like it or not, it is true. The mask may make Kane mysterious like back in the day, but him speaking just a few short weeks after returning damages his image.
If the WWE is trying to rebuild Kane as the monster that he was, then it is somewhat failing. For the moment, Kane’s image is 100 percent tarnished. But, don’t get me wrong; even though he spoke, Kane is playing the dark, mysterious role perfectly just like before.
I have always been a huge Kane fan since the day I started watching WWE programming. I was just as excited as everyone else when I saw that Kane returned with his mask.
Kane returning and having his mask isn’t the problem. My problem is the way the WWE is handling his return and the way people are meant to see him.
Another problem I have is the way Kane will be booked after his feud with John Cena ends. Is he going to remain a dominant monster? Or is he going to return to his old ways and become weak down the line?
Many people speculated that one last match with The Undertaker at WrestleMania may happen. He and Kane had many battles in the past, and with Taker’s career slowly coming to an end, Kane would be the perfect opponent for him.
I don’t know if many people noticed this, but The Undertaker never got revenge on Kane after being buried alive. He was automatically put in a feud with Triple H when he returned in early 2011.
For now, we can all just watch and enjoy Kane being his old, dominant self. I may have questioned his return, the way he is being booked and the way he will be booked in the future, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it.
Until the day I die, Kane—masked or not—will always be one of my favorites.
Original Release Date: January 1, 2012 on EnigmaticWrestling.com