Through hellfire and brimstone, it's Kane!
Since it is the 31st of October, I think Squared Circle should do something remotely Halloween-related.
Being that professional wrestling does not lend itself well to the subject when compared to other mediums of entertainment it was always going to be pretty limited (e.g. Kane or The Undertaker).
Kane is one of those wrestlers who is not particularly fantastic. I am one of those who believes every Kane match is the same. The man has not varied his attack much in the past 13 years as the character, and thus actually makes it easier to pick out five personal favorites.
Kane is a wrestler defined by moments and memories. Everyone can remember his debut or the 24-hour WWE title reign. This does not take anything away from The Big Red Machine. In a business such as professional wrestling, moments and memories are just as important in comparison to five-star matches.
Maybe I should have called this "Fondest Kane Memories," but I think since all of my favorite Kane moments come from matches. it is fair for the title to remain.
No doubt each and everyone of you have a different list in your head. So please don't berate me for my upcoming choices.
By no way is it official or judged by anything other than my own personal fondness for each Kane match (so there is going to be an obvious bias toward the era of wrestling I watched).
Date: Oct. 24, 2010
Event: Bragging Rights
Match Type: Buried Alive
Championship: World Heavyweight
No, your eyes do not deceive you, this is a match that really only happened seven days ago. The final match of the Undertaker vs. Kane feud of 2010. Whilst it may have not been the greatest match ever, in regards to Kane, it was a huge milestone.
He was finally victorious in a series of matches over a man that was pretty much his bane over a 13-year career. Kane may have done worse things to Taker at various points in between their tag team phases, but this is so far the only time he has come across as the more dominant of the two.
I think we can all agree that Kane for the last four to six years has not been a credible threat to many wrestlers on the roster.
His role has been pretty much reduced to enhancement talent or mid-card filler. This feud has made him a monster once again, and has opened up the possibility of a strong championship reign.
Date: Oct. 7, 2002
Match Type: Fatal Fourway Tag Team Tables, Ladders and Chairs
Championship: World Tag Team
Eric Bischoff had not been general manager of Raw for long, but he was already on a roll making loads of PPV quality matches for Monday Nights. If I remember correctly this match was part of the first Raw Roulette.
At this time Kane was in a feud with Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship and was also holding the Intercontinental Championship.
A couple of weeks prior, Kane became tag champions with The Hurricane after defeating the Un-Americans (Christian and Lance Storm). Eric Bischoff, wanting to give Triple H the best advantage going into No Mercy, placed Kane into this match. The Hurricane was attacked before hand so Kane went into this on his own.
Raw had three members of teams that had competed in previous TLC matches. Bubba Ray Dudley, Christian and Jeff Hardy. As their respective partners were all on Smackdown at the time, they had to find new ones for this match.
Kane proved to be a dominant force in this match as he single-handedly defeated three other tag teams (although Hurricane did make a minor appearance towards the end). The reason this doesn't place any higher is because of two reasons.
Firstly, Kane would lose the belts a week later to the team of Chris Jericho and Christian thus making the hard work of this week seem rather unsatisfying.
Secondly, Triple H came out after the match and told the world about Katie Vick thus beginning a story that would start to flush Kane's career down the toilet for most of eight years.
Date: April 1, 2001
Event: WrestleMania X-Seven
Match Type: Hardcore Triple Threat
Kane's best year for performances and memorable moments was 2001. Sure he won the title back in 1998, but he lost it the next day, it was memorable for the wrong reasons. At least three good matches from Kane in 2001 really brought him back from the lower mid-card level to occasional main-eventer.
One his greatest 2001 matches came at my favorite WrestleMania to date. It was for the Hardcore Championship.
At the time, Kane was in a feud with Big Show, but Raven and his Hardcore Championship was added after he decided to hit then Commissioner of the WWE, William Regal, with a tea tray during a routine title defense on an episode of Smackdown.
The Hardcore Championship by no means was a prestigious belt and Hardcore matches were ridiculous but they were fun to watch. As Hardcore basically revolved around weapon use, Kane's role of a monster really stood out.
He would be hit by a stupid amount of weapons yet prevail. The hardcore division was not usually noted for the effort competitors put into the match.
If anything it was a division for lazy wrestlers or the not-so-talented (not to say people like RVD and Steven Richards fall under this label). This match was well-worked and Kane's elbow drop to Big Show that ended the match was quite a sight to see.
Kane basically made the 24/7 rule redundant when he held the belt as no one would dare attack him. He would lose the belt quickly as the Brothers of Destruction began to feud with the Two Man Power Trip. Either waym this WrestleMania Hardcore match was a surprisingly good one.
Date: 20th May 2001
Event: Judgement Day
Match Type: Chain
After Backlash 2001, Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Two Man Power Trip, held all major championships available in WWE.
Within a very short period of time after they formed (2nd April 2001) they became one of the most detested alliances in WWE.
They were violent cowards that would happily attack any man or woman as long as they didn't have to get into a fair fight. The Brothers of Destruction had the full support of the WWE audience (there was no Universe back in those days) to take out the heel team.
Kane was the first to do any true damage to the side after he challenged Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship at Judgment Day and was victorious.
It turned out to be the beginning of the end for the Power Trip, as the next night they lost the Tag Championship and Triple H would tear his quad.
As for Kane, despite interference from Steve Austin and having a kayfabe broken arm he managed to overcome the odds and defeat The Game cleanly.
His title reign would hold defenses against the likes of Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho. He would eventually lose it to Albert (aka A-Train or Giant Bernard) after 37 days to further the Invasion story and Undertaker's rivalry with Diamond Dallas Page.
Date: Jan. 21, 2001
Event: Royal Rumble
Match Type: Royal Rumble
Championship: No. 1 Contendership for WWE Championship at WrestleMania X-Seven
This was not the first WWE PPV I watched, that honor belongs to D-Generation X: In Your House. Heck, it wasn't even the first Royal Rumble event I ever watched either, but this was the point I really started to take a full interest in WWE.
The night itself was full of many good matches and this particular year hosted what was widely known as the "Hardcore Rumble." Early on, entrants would throw weapons into the ring and they were used to their full extent.
Kane was the No. 6 entrant for this match and despite eventually being runner-up to Steve Austin, he could be proud of his performance.
For 53 minutes he survived wrestlers such as The Rock, Big Show and The Undertaker. To his date he still hold the record for most eliminations in a single Rumble match (11).
It was this match that sparked somewhat of a resurgence in Kane's career that was starting to flag in late 2000. The match would also kick start The Brothers of Destruction tag team that would remain strong until November.
So there we have it, my own personal favorite five Kane matches.
So enough about me and let's hear from you, what were your personal favorite matches involving The Big Red Machine?
Also I would like to make "Favorite 5" a more regular segment to Squared Circle in the future, so I would love to hear some suggestions for topics in the future.
Until next time however this is Squared Circle, signing out.