When you talk about the greats of the WWE the past decade, we still talk about the “work” of Triple H, The Undertaker, John Cena and the current WWE champion, CM Punk.
Sure, we talk about how great it is to see The Rock and Chris Jericho come by for a cup of coffee and then leave again; or how Big Show has been giving us some of the best work of his career; or that Edge left the business too soon. These characters or heroes are the ones we will talk about another decade from now.
While we have our “favorites” and have seen the growth and development of a company that has been riding a see-saw as of late, at times we forget the yeoman’s work of those who have been around longer than most and have been doing it better than most half their age.
And we still seem to have forgotten the work Kane has done since making his mark in the WWE in 1995 (as Dr. Isaac Yankem, DDS, Jerry Lawler's private dentist) and later as the “monster” who made The Undertaker stop and take notice in 1997 and began what is arguably the best program in wrestling history between two Superstars.
When Kane showed up at the “In Your House” PPV, a star was born and still continues to shine.
Is Kane the best big man of all time? No. But we can make the strong (unbreakable, in my opinion) claim that Glen Jacobs is the best big man of the current generation in the WWE.
Forget comparisons to bigger men like Andre the Giant—that debate belongs to someone like Big Show, who is one of the few men who can lay claim to such a moniker as well.
It is Kane who shows night in and night out what he is to the company and what he is to the wrestling industry.
The 45-year-old wrestler still performs at such a high level that most wrestlers today only attempt and fail. And we see him for what he is. Like The Undertaker, his character stands the test of time. His ability remains strong. And while the WWE continues to evolve, so does the 6’10”, 323-pounder.
Kane is every bit Vader, John Studd and Barbarian all in one. And the agility of a smaller wrestler is unheard of for his size.
We have seen him as a heel (setting Jim Ross on fire), involved in matches with Matt Hardy over the love of Lita, in casket matches with The Undertaker and in battles with big men like Big Show and Mark Henry. Everyone faces Kane and he still remains one of the top draws in the business.
Hell, TNA came up with Abyss as the “alter” character of Kane in their company.
Now, we see the pure genius of Kane in comedy with his tag team partner, Daniel Bryan. Two lost souls living in the WWE fish bowl who have found greatness in each other. Not many men can do all that and still remain as competitive as the “Big Red Machine.” And not many characters can remain as popular with so many changes in character, in the surroundings of a company that has as many failures as it does successes.
He could very well be regarded as the most underrated player on the WWE roster.
We have seen big men (Goldberg, Batista, The Rock, The Undertaker from time to time) come and go. In the business of wrestling, the older generation tends to hang on too long, making it hard to support their success. That is not the case with Kane. He is still in the prime of his career, and he may be getting better.
His success, especially as a big man in wrestling, could prove that he is not only the best of this current crop and generation, but he is one of the most looked-over men of any era in the WWE and possibly all of professional wrestling.