Kane just lost a match for the United States Championship at Payback, so losing a midcard title bout doesn’t seem to position him too well for a WWE Championship run down the card.
But this is the same WWE that has seen countless guys lose a midcard title only to immediately jump into the World title picture.
Dolph Ziggler did it in late 2011 when he lost the US title in December before challenging for the WWE Championship the very next month at The Royal Rumble. The Miz did it the year prior when he lost the US Championship in September 2010 before becoming the WWE Champion just two months later that November.
Kane isn’t even a midcard champion these days, but as a midcard title contender, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see him follow in the footsteps of Ziggler and The Miz by challenging for a World title not long after challenging for a midcard one.
After all, you’d be hard-pressed to find very many babyfaces who are more over with the crowd than Kane is these days.
Thanks in large part to his great run as Team Hell No alongside Daniel Bryan, Kane has evolved into one of the WWE’s most popular stars. As far as full-time babyfaces go, he may only currently rank behind John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Bryan on the WWE’s pecking order.
Part of the reason for that is the WWE’s inability to build up a whole lot of sustainable main-event caliber babyfaces, which has caused Kane to rise by default. The other reason for that is Kane’s incredible ability to withstand the test of time and remain both relevant and popular nearly 20 years after his debut.
As a hugely popular babyface in a WWE that doesn’t have a whole lot of them, Kane’s value to the company can’t be overlooked. He’s as reliable of a veteran as there is—someone who is as durable as they come, and also knows how to talk, wrestle and perhaps most importantly, entertain.
Kane doesn’t normally get the credit that he deserves for being such a great talent, but in 2013 or perhaps 2014, he just might get that recognition with one last WWE Championship reign.
Looking at the current landscape of the WWE, Kane’s partner Bryan seems poised to enter the WWE title picture sooner rather than later. In the end, that could be what takes Kane there, too.
Kane and Bryan, of course, have spent roughly a year involved with each other in some sort of way. First, they were rivals. Then, they were tag team partners and champions. Then, they were friends.
Now, however, the sun is beginning to set on Team Hell No, and their days together are certainly numbered. Bryan figures to immediately jump into the WWE Championship scene because of how ridiculously over he is, and in large part because of Kane’s association with Bryan, “The Big Red Monster” could follow suit.
There are very few angles in the WWE these days that can stretch out over the course of a year or more and still manage to remain entertaining. The dynamic between Kane and Bryan has been able to do that.
The amazing partnership between the two has reinvigorated Kane and taken him to heights that—you could argue—he hasn’t reached at any point in his career.
The WWE has a great opportunity here to capitalize on that by giving Kane one last run at the top—a run that ultimately gives him the final WWE Championship reign of his career.
Giving long-time veterans one last hoorah is nothing new, after all. Mark Henry seemed to get his with a World Heavyweight Championship reign and dominant run on SmackDown in 2011, as did Big Show, who also won the World title and dominated the blue brand in 2012.
If Big Show and Henry can get a final World title reign as a celebratory sendoff, Kane certainly can, too.
His accomplishments in the WWE obviously cannot be denied, and neither can his recent contributions to the industry. He’s been one of the highlights of the WWE for a year now, and with Bryan figuring to zoom to the top soon, he just may too.
Kane may not scream WWE Championship material anymore, but after what he’s done and continues to do, it’s hard not to justify one last run with the strap for “The Big Red Monster.”
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!