Fire and fury now color the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match at Money in the Bank with Kane joining the fight.
Kane's in-ring style and history in Ladder matches suggest that he will enhance the upcoming collision. His relationship with The Authority allows WWE to add another layer to the drama that is the main event.
On Monday's Raw, seven competitors from the WWE title Ladder match competed in an uneven tag team match. Sheamus won it for the fan favorites with a jaw-loosening Brogue Kick to Cesaro.
The action was not over, though. Kane stomped down the entrance ramp and proceeded to maul everyone in his path. After Kane left his enemies gasping for air on the mat, Triple H announced that he had added the sadist to the Ladder match.
The field grew from seven to eight, a former world champ and future Hall of Famer adding star power to the bout. Beyond that, though, Kane upgrades the match with his presence by way of destructive power and adding storytelling options for WWE's creative team.
Monster in the Fray
The WWE title Ladder match lacks high-flyers but is now stocked with men capable of destruction.
In his previous matches featuring ladders, Kane has thrived as a destroyer. His size, power and aggression make for a compelling combination in this environment.
Back in October of 2002, Kane had to defend his tag team titles without his partner against a collection of hungry foes in a TLC match. "The Devil's Favorite Demon" was one of the bout's major highlights.
He clotheslined two foes at a time, smashed a ladder into Spike Dudley's face, chokeslammed Chris Jericho off a ladder and suffered some of the night's biggest blows.
Now a decade later, Kane can bring that same battering-ram-type offense and serve as an oversized obstacle for Sheamus, John Cena and company. Fans may think first of Edge or Jeff Hardy as WWE's ladder master, but Kane's history shows that he excels on that battlefield as well.
His fusion of brute force and surprising athleticism has led to him helping elevate previous Ladder matches. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via ProFightDB.com, has awarded him several high star ratings in matches involving a ladder.
|Event||Opponents||Match Type||Star Rating|
|Raw-Oct, 7, 2002||Chris Jericho and Christian, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam, Bubba Ray Dudley and Spike Dudley||TLC||4.25|
|WrestleMania 21||Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Christian, Shelton Benjamin, Edge||Money in the Bank||4.5|
|Money in the Bank 2010||Christian, Matt Hardy, Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston||Money in the Bank||4|
|TLC 2010||Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio, Edge||TLC||4.25|
|Money in the Bank 2011||Sheamus, Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, Cody Rhodes,||Money in the Bank||4|
|TLC 2012||The Shield||TLC||4.5|
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via ProFightDB.com
Count on the latest venture into that world being a success as well.
Not only does he add a monstrous presence, but his addition expands the narrative. There is one more feud within the match to watch now.
Henchman on the Hunt
The tension sure to exist between Cena and Kane will add to the match some, but it's the story of The Authority infiltrating this match that is most intriguing.
Reigns now faces two of Triple H's henchmen in a single bout. He not only has to worry about outlasting Cena, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro and Sheamus, but Randy Orton and Kane may be colluding in order to keep the former member of The Shield away from the WWE title.
For months, Triple H's focus and hatred was aimed at Daniel Bryan. Reigns has since become the chief operating officer's target.
The two have locked horns as part of opposite teams at the last two pay-per-views, and now both Evolution and The Shield are no more. That leaves Triple H and Reigns glaring at each other.
Triple H banned Reigns from a Battle Royal that would decide one of the entrants to the WWE title Ladder match. Thanks to Vickie Guerrero and a coffee additive, Reigns finagled his way into that match, ultimately winning it.
In an interview with Michael Cole afterward, Triple H said of Reigns, "He's a cancer in the locker room. He defies authority. You can't have that."
It's clear how much animosity "The Game" has for Reigns. Orton could do his bidding in the match, but now he has two men on the inside. Orton is certainly focused on winning the championship, but it doesn't feel like Kane is as interested in winning gold as he is in hurting people.
That would allow him to focus on preventing everyone but Orton from winning, sending Reigns, Cena and Sheamus falling off ladders. This is likely how WWE sets up a future Triple H vs. Reigns match, the latter incensed at the former for sending in one of his soldiers at him.
Money in the Bank's main event now features Kane going on a tear in the name of pleasing his boss and conspiring with Orton to alter the course of the match.
That subplot deepens the overall story, and Kane's addition does far more than lessen his opponents' odds of winning.