Even though Kane is past his prime, he offers Dean Ambrose a chance at WWE's inaugural Payback pay-per-view to spring forward teeming with momentum.
WWE has apparently singled Ambrose out of The Shield. It's been Ambrose who has taken on The Undertaker in singles action, battled Randy Orton in a WWE SmackDown main event and was the first among the group to get a shot at a singles title.
Perhaps this is all a prelude to a push to WWE's very top for Ambrose. If so, a clean win over Kane would be a great start on his upward journey.
Should Ambrose have to resort to underhanded assistance from Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, his win won't mean nearly as much.
For Ambrose to pin Kane without help or dastardly deed in a championship match on pay-per-view would be a symbol that Ambrose is climbing into the ranks of WWE's elite. It would be a victory over a larger man, a former world champ and a destructive force with a Hall of Fame resume.
Like when Orton defeated successive legends in 2004, a victory at Payback shifts the focus onto Ambrose. It's a potential statement win that would provide him with something to brag about in the weeks to come.
Kane's recent one-on-one record at pay-per-views isn't great, but it's taken some big names to top him. In 2012, Kane lost to Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, Randy Orton at Extreme Rules and John Cena at Elimination Chamber.
A successful title defense on Sunday puts Ambrose in elite company. Mirroring Cena's WWE achievements is almost always a recipe for success.
Beating a slowed-down version of Kane isn't as big a feat as a win over Cena, Triple H or CM Punk, but it would be Ambrose's biggest win yet.
It says that Ambrose should hold on to the United States Championship for a long time. If The Devil's Favorite Demon can't take it from him, advanced age or not, who can? It's not as if WWE's upper echelon is going to challenge for a midcard title.
Expect Ambrose, then, to go on a tear, thwarting challenger after challenger.
While Reigns and Rollins are likely going to depend on Orton and Bryan's dysfunction to get a win, Ambrose has a chance to achieve singles glory by knocking off a legend.
A cheat-assisted win keeps Ambrose where he is now, while a clean victory serves as a jet pack as he flies toward the top rungs of the WWE ladder.
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