When the character of Kane made his debut 15 years ago, it might have been the best debut ever executed given the backstory and hype of the character.
For months, we heard Paul Bearer horrifically screech these teasers about The Undertaker's deceased brother being alive. He screamed the ominous phrase, “Kane's alive.”
What was Kane? What would he look like? Being the brother of The Undertaker, what was he capable of?
Those were questions fans could gather for months, but WWE wisely didn't come on too strong with the mystery surrounding Kane. It was left as an underlying fact. Kane was The Undertaker's brother who was thought to be dead in a fire as a child, but he was still alive.
When we would see him and anything else of that nature was left unsaid. With other compelling storylines on WWE programming, such as the feud between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart leading the charge of Canada versus America, Kane had just slipped out of minds.
Concern of information about Kane just slipped out of the fans' minds with all that was right in front of them. As soon as the lights went out on, the organ played, it all came rushing back to us.
Someone like we had never seen before, with fireballs exploding behind him, walked with a purpose. Vince McMahon's “that's gotta be...that's gotta be Kane,” was well timed.
The crowd was impressed as Kane ripped the Hell in a Cell door off its hinges.
Then, as he stood taller than The Undertaker, one of the most amazing crowd reactions ever came. With the raising and dropping of Kane's arms―fired exploded from the ring posts.
This pyro display seems all too normal 15 years later as we've seen it so many times and for several different talents. At the time, in 1997, the fireballs with the concussion that startled the audience made the perfect impact for the perfect debut.
Kane would go on to be apart of one of the greatest storylines ever in a true soap opera-like tale. The promo that ran before there first battle ever at WrestleMania 14 was one of the best pieces of video edited by WWE.
Fifteen years later, we've seen Kane unmasked. We've seen Kane in love. We've seen Kane say “suck it.” We've seen Kane in Anger Management. We've seen Kane hug his tag-team partner. Nobody could have predicted where his career would go. Like it or dislike it, nobody can ever take away the fact he had one of the greatest debuts in professional wrestling history.