Following Glenn "Kane" Jacobs' abysmal feud with Edge in 2010—which featured the “Rated R Superstar” kidnapping Paul Bearer and dragging the poor man all over the country in a bid to get into the head of his foe—it looked like it might be time for “The Big Red Machine” to consider hanging up his boots.
He’d been involved in too many awful angles to count. His ring work was largely fine but uninspired. His 15-year-old character had seemingly been there and done it all. He was in his 40s too. He simply didn’t seem to have much to offer wrestling anymore.
But something happened this past year instead. Thanks to his tag team with Daniel Bryan, Kane emerged as one of the funniest and most entertaining acts on the roster. In fact, he’s arguably had one of the best comebacks ever.
One thing this “anger management” storyline has made clear: Kane is gifted with truly great deadpan comedic timing. Just look at the truly fantastic scene in which he confessed to his litany of atrocities to Dr. Shelby’s class.
The Kane character obviously works best when it is treated light-heartedly with humor—frankly, too many ridiculous things have happened to him over the past 17 years for him to be remotely seriously anyway.
It helps that he has a ton of chemistry with Bryan. The two are a truly odd and amazing pairing: The deadpan monster teaming with the uptight, rage-prone youngster.
And you know what’s crazier? Kane is usually the more sane of the two.
There’s been another pleasant surprise over the past 12 months: Kane’s in-ring skills have improved tremendously. He’s seemingly been reinvigorated, his tag team with Bryan seemingly forcing him to up his game.
The six-man tag match at the TLC pay-per-view—in which Bryan and Kane teamed with Ryback to take on The Shield—was one of WWE’s hottest bouts of 2012. Team Hell No has had a few lively clashes with Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns since then too, which has served as a highlight of WWE programming.
Remarkably, despite being 46, Jacobs shows no sign of the wear and tear you would expect a 20-year veteran in wrestling to have. In fact, he’s arguably never been better as a wrestler. It’s quite something.
At this point, you could even see him going on past 50.
Of course, some will disagree with the claim that Kane is having the best year of his career. Many will point to 1997—when he debuted as a monster and went on to feud with major stars like The Undertaker and Steve Austin—or 2003, when he lost his mask and went on a rampage through the company.
But while these were indisputably good years, they lacked a comedic element, and therefore the overall entertainment value.
As far as I’m concerned, based on his work in 2012 and 2013, Kane can stick around another 17 years if he wants.