To say that Kane has not had the greatest of years to this point would be an understatement.
As Corporate Kane, the Director of Operations under the Authority, it appeared as though the former Big Red Monster would have the opportunity to showcase some of his intellect. A smart, well-spoken man away from the ring, it seemed like the perfect role for him.
Unfortunately, the character was never expanded upon and instead of achieving the greatest level of success possible under his new persona as a corporate shill, he became yet another authority figure on a show with far too many of them to begin with.
Then, he returned to the ring, wearing a plain white tank top and black dress pants. There was no glove, there was no mask. He looked ridiculous, and no one took him seriously as any sort of threat to the likes of Daniel Bryan or The Shield. The two-minute loss to the Hounds of Justice that he and the New Age Outlaws suffered at WrestleMania was most certainly the low point of his 2014.
Then something happened, something with the potential to completely turn his year around and help the former WWE and World Heavyweight champion return to prominence.
On the April 14 episode of Raw, he rediscovered the monster within, retrieved the mask from a display case in Stephanie McMahon's office and set out to punish WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan in sick and twisted ways.
He destroyed Bryan on the April 21 episode, delivering three Tombstone piledrivers while the champion's new wife, Brie Bella, was forced to watch from afar. It was a brilliant angle that reintroduced the dangerous and vile monster to an audience that may have forgotten what he is capable of after spending so much time as part of a comedy tag team with Bryan and in a suit with the Authority.
The Big Red Monster gimmick will always be over with the WWE Universe. Like the Undertaker, much of the success of the character is due to the aura that surrounds it and the conviction with which the performer portrays it.
Kane is always at his most successful when the company toys with him less and lets the character be what it is. He is an uncontrollable force that wreaks havoc across the roster and can move freely into and out of the main-event scene and never feel out of place.
A return to form not only helps the character, it also opens up more story opportunities. The test will come in how well the creative team balances the monster element with the supernatural portions that have, at times, taken the character into directions of absurdity.
If they can successfully achieve that, the Devil's Favorite Demon, like the Undertaker, may prove to be one of WWE's immortal characters.