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File:Kane - masked 128300 7116.jpg

He's Back

Kane is one of WWE's longest-tenured superstars, with the gimmick having debuted in 1997 (and the man behind the gimmick, Glenn Jacobs, having worked for WWE a number of times prior to the Kane gimmick); in Kayfabe, Kane is the half-brother of The Undertaker, with Kane's father being Undertaker's (former) manager Paul Bearer (the "Brothers of Destruction" shared the same mother). He was originally thought to be dead by Undertaker, in a fire that claimed the lives of their parents, before Paul Bearer brought him back. Since their initial feud, Kane and Undertaker have both teamed up and feuded again several times. Kane originally wrestled in a mask, but removed it in 2003 (revealing his supposed physical scars from the fire were more like mental ones). As of late 2011, the mask is back on.

For a detailed look at Kane's in-ring career, you can check out Wikipedia; Kane's kayfabe history is a little in lieu of a Wikipedia article, instead you can check out this five part special column on 411mania that does its best to cover Kane's kayfabe history (it even works Glenn Jacobs' gimmicks prior to Kane into the kayfabe) up to 2006.

Tropes associated with Kane include:

  • Aborted Arc: The "May 19th" / "fake Kane" angle, and also the angle in which Lita left Kane for Edge, which was discontinued and effectively retconned once Matt Hardy returned and WWE could no longer keep it kayfabe.
    • The Katie Vick unrequited crush angle, the reason behind Kane's feud with Triple H in the fall of 2003. More or less, speeded up after near-universal negative criticism over several storyline elements. (Background: Triple H began, to play head games with Kane, began claiming that a homecoming queen-type teen-aged cheerleader named Katie Vick had died in a car accident ... and Kane, driving the car in which she was a passenger, deliberately crashed the car, all this because Katie had supposedly told a love-struck Kane she did not want to date him and wanted no further contact.) The plotline's downfall: A video was later shown, at Triple H's request, showing a man resembling Kane having sex with "Katie's corpse" at the mortuary (actually, "Katie" was a mannequin ... and Triple H was the rascal who put on the Kane mask and outfit). When the outcry was so great, the WWE was forced to end the angle, with HHH coming out on top of the feud at No Mercy that year.
    • His 2010 feud with The Undertaker was promptly forgotten so that Undertaker could fight Triple H at Wrestlemania.
    • Also Mark Henry taking him out was promptly forgotten.
      • Actually this was acknowledged several times. Mark Henry was very fearful when Kane arrived and was relieved that he attacked John Cena instead of him. The commentators themselves acknowledged this expressing confusion as to why Kane attacked Cena instead of Henry, as did Cena the following week in his promo. Apparently the only one who forgot about it was Kane himself.
        • Although, Kane could have during his time off, found a way to eradicate his humanity and find his true self, which he was trying to do prior to Henry's attack. When he had done that, he saw how Cena was living a lie with not embracing the hate, that came from the fans. Unlike Mark Henry that is angry all the time and does what he damn well pleases, Kane saw no need to go after him just then, and focused on Cena.
  • Actor Allusion: You could take Kane's promo about how much he loves Christmas as a reference to his old role as the Christmas Creature.
    • John Cena once mentioned Kane gets uneasy during the holidays and hates trips to the dentist, a reference to two of his old gimmicks.
  • Almighty Janitor: One of the best men in the business, but often jobs for other wrestlers.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: An ongoing aspect to Kane's character is his desire for a female companion and family. Perhaps the first hint of emotion Kane ever showed was his concern for Chyna after accidentally injuring her in 1999. Later he went so far as to blackmail Lita to bear his child and marry him, then harassed Kelly Kelly, and lately has been stalking Eve Torres.
    • Although it's arguable that stalking Eve wasn't out of such desire, but merely part of his ploy to break John Cena.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: He once forced Lita to marry him, after Matt Hardy lost a match that stipulated she would marry Kane if Hardy lost. It later became Rape Is Love briefly until, in a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, she dumped Kane for Edge, and it became an Aborted Arc when Matt Hardy returned.
  • Arch Enemy: The Undertaker and Triple H most notably.
    • Edge is another good contender. If not for his short lived tenure, Gene Snitsky would also qualify. What makes these four stand out is that while Kane is capable of making any feud he's in personal for his enemy, these guys made it personal for Kane. For reference? Lower down on the page, under Unnecessary Roughness? Electro-torturing Shane'o'Mac's testicles was in no way personal for Kane. He just did that for kicks.
    • What about Pete Rose?
  • The Artifact: Like Undertaker, Kane is one of the last remaining remnants of a past era in WWE history - in Kane's case, it's the brutality of the Attitude Era and the gimmicks of the Cartoony Era of the WWF in which The Undertaker has his roots.
    • He became an artifact as soon as Undertaker dropped his Deadman gimmick and his kayfabe and became a biker. However he was lucky enough to eventually find his niche even after that, though to do so Badass Decay ensued.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Kane has been involved in several ill-fated romance storylines with female wrestlers (e.g., Lita) or Divas (most notably, Kelly Kelly during a short-lived 2008 angle).
    • In one instance, the girl didn't even have to exist -- that being the infamous "Katie Vick." See the Aborted Arc entry for the background.
  • Ax Crazy
  • Badass Long Hair: With the mask on...
  • Bald of Evil: After unmasking in 2003. Immediately after unmasking.
  • Bastard Bastard: As Undertaker's evil, resentful half-brother, Kane is this (at least when he's a heel).
  • Berserk Button: Kane has started feuds over the smallest things, such as when he got spilled coffee on him by Chris Jericho. May 19th qualifies as well.
  • Big No: Kane's reaction to Paul Bearer's 2010 return.
    • Although, not all was as it seemed…
  • Bridal Carry: Kane did this to Chyna after accidentally burning her, in quite possibly the tenderest moment of his career.
  • The Brute / The Big Guy
  • Bunny Ears Teacher: Was once a high-school English teacher, has his degree in education, and once said he'd probably be teaching if he weren't a wrestler. Not to mention his political blogging.
  • Cain and Abel / Sibling Rivalry: Kane's rivalry with Undertaker.
  • Canon Dis Continuity: What's an "Isaac Yankem, D.D.S?" Nor was he the Fake Diesel. Nor was he the Christmas Creature in Memphis (didn't stop Jerry Lawler from making a snide reference to it once, and a more lighthearted allusion to it a few years later).
  • Captain Ersatz: Prior to the Kane gimmick, Glenn Jacobs played a fake Diesel in a really drawn out Take That to WCW.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: In his prime, Glenn Jacobs had a deadlift of 900 pounds.
  • Cool Mask
  • Composite Character: The 2012 re-masking of Kane seems to land somewhere at the midway point between his two main era-specific personalities: the intelligence and propensity for Hannibal Lectures from the unmasked Kane combined with the violence and unpredictability from his mid-90s masked incarnation.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Most of Kane's strikes target the throat/windpipe. Also, on more than one occasion of an opponent trying to come off the top rope, Kane simply kicks the ropes, and whoever happens to be on the turnbuckle at the time loses their footing...and usually lands very painfully.
  • Continuity Snarl: Kane's entire backstory, which eventually resulted in a novel that painstakingly attempted to reconcile all of it.
    • This failed. Spectacularly, as next to nothing' of this backstory made any sense whatsoever nor was it referenced within the WWE's on-air continuity, and contained a few snarls of it's own, such as placing Kane and Taker in the midwest, when their parents (or in this case Kane and Taker's mother, as they have different fathers in the storyline) are supposedly buried on LONG ISLAND.
  • The Corrupter: Kane is playing this role to John Cena. By brutalizing Cena and his friends, he is trying to force Cena to give into his rage and hatred.
    • And it seems to be working; Cena was about to clock Ryder in the face on the 2/13/12 RAW after accidentally kissing Eve Torres due to trying to save her from Kane taking her away in an ambulance.
  • Costume Copycat: Of his original gear, resulting in the odd booking of Kane VS Kane at a Vengeance PPV.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He's the (not quite) Dead Little (Half-)Brother of The Undertaker. That says it all, I think.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Whenever he does have a funny moment.
  • Death From Above: The setup for Kane's chokeslam usually involves a top-rope flying clothesline. Kane is seven feet tall and over 300 pounds.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Inverted, as - unlike Undertaker - Kane practically exists to be defeated.
  • The Dragon: Kane was used this way while a member of The Corporation, which he had been forced to join in order to avoid being sent to a mental institution.
  • Enemy Mine: Had been working mostly as a heel in late 2010-early 2011, but teamed up with The Big Show to face the growing threat of The Corre.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He pulled The Big Show off of Alberto Del Rio as he was giving Alberto a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, saying "You're going to kill him!"
  • Evil Laugh
  • Face Palm of Doom: Does this to John Cena recently.
  • Face, Nod, Action: In pretty much every battle royale he's ever been in, Kane and the other biggest man in the match will lay everyone else out, square off against each other, nod, and throw down one on one. Whether or not he wins depends on who has more Popularity Power.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Only wears one in his right hand. Recently returned to the full-fingered glove he wore when he first appeared in the company in the gimmick.
  • Finishing Move: Like his half-brother, Kane's chief finishers are the Chokeslam and the Tombstone Piledriver.
  • Foe Yay: With The Big Show ("You complete me"), Rob Van Dam, his own brother, Rey Mysterio, Jr....Kane's an intense guy, and when he's teaming with them, he has straight up Ho Yay.
  • The Giant: Though he subverts a lot of the tropes, namely being actually able to wrestle and having charisma, he really is a charismatic performer with a gimmick beyond Squash Match and No Sell. It is hard to come up with another 7-footer in wrestling history with equal mic skills as Kane; this may be in part because he is a Genius Bruiser in real life.
  • Genius Bruiser: He holds a teaching degree in real life, and has said that he'd be a teacher if he weren't a wrestler. The ability to be well-spoken allows him to be a rare 7-footer who can handily carry a long promo on his own with the best of them.
  • Giant Space Flea From Nowhere: His character and the way he's booked tend to make him this. As a heel in particular, he'll often show up completely without warning and either attack everyone in sight, or go after someone specific, only making his intentions known after the fact. He started his feud with John Cena like this (especially glaring, as the guy who had put him out of action was right there in the ring). And then on Smackdown 3/2/12 he started a feud with Randy Orton in the exact same way.
  • Hannibal Lecture: His new promo after returning with his mask.
  • Heel Face Revolving Door: Must be nearing the record of flipping between face and heel in a career, if he doesn't hold it already. It's to the point where he switches multiple times a year, often without even building to it.
    • This has reached ludicrous levels as of March 2011, he did nothing to turn face... but gets cheered by the fans because not only is he teaming with The Big Show, but he is fighting The Corre.
    • The 7/22/11 SmackDown pretty much sums it up. Before his Street Fight with Randy Orton, Kane cuts a promo talking about how he is disturbed by his showing glimpses of humanity in the past few months and that he was going to exorcise it out of him against Orton. Sounds like a heel turn, right? Well, after Orton triumphs in a half-hour-long Street Fight, Kane offers his hand out of respect. [Surely, Kane's gonna use the opportunity to get a post-match drop on Orton, right? Nope, he actually shakes his hand in a sportsmanlike manner with no turn to be found, before being ambushed by Mark Henry, another man familiar with the face/heel door.
  • Heroic Sociopath
  • Humans Are Bastards: His feud with John Cena is centered around him teaching Cena this lesson, and how he should come to embrace The Power of Hate.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: He can dish out and take grievous amounts of punishment. Throughout his career, he's been written into some of the worst angles in recent WWE history. Katie Vick comes to mind.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: Felt he became too human in 2011 and thought by beating Randy Orton, he would exorcise his humanity. Only he lost to Orton and then was taken out by Mark Henry for a number of months. He now wants a rematch with Orton at the grandest stage of them all to get a closure on that particular subject.
  • I Have No Son: Paul Bearer has disowned Kane for the most part, siding against him at Wrestlemania XX; when he returned in September 2010 prior to Hell in a Cell, he sided with Undertaker again. This, however, did not last. Maybe he sees Kane as his son after all.

 Son? You're no son of mine!

  • Implacable Man
  • Kill It with Fire: The Inferno match, Kane's signature match where the only way to beat your opponent is to set them on fire.
    • Either he tried to do this to someone, or someone tried to do it to him in his original backstory.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Has red motifs. If that's not enough, look at his "Big" Red Barons below.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In most backstage skits, the wrestlers will never acknowledge that the camera man is right in front of them filming them, even if they're discussing top secret plans. Kane is the exception, usually giving a knowing glare to the camera at the end of the skits.
    • He now does most of his promos without an interviewer, backstage in a dark, moodily-lit area and talking directly to the audience.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Especially when you compare to other giants, Kane has a top rope move, has done an enzuigiri, and has an awesome ring exit where he uses the ropes to flip himself over, pretty impressive for such a big guy, he's even added a low angle dropkick, to his repertoire. Keep in mind all of that is in his arsenal at age 44, being in terrific shape for a wrestler that size and that age (compared to The Undertaker, who at that point couldn't even work a half-time schedule, while Kane still works a full year-round load).
    • Not to mention the time he performed a Frankensteiner on Albert.
      • Hurri-Kane-rana?
  • Made of Iron
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Zigzagged this trope throughout his career. Debuted playing it straight, averted it for a while, and now plays it straight once again.
  • Manly Tears: After Edge abducted Paul Bearer, and Kane searched backstage for him in vain. Poor guy.
  • Man On Fire: Kane doesn't have the best win/loss record when it comes to Inferno Matches.
    • To be fair, that's mainly because he's the only person besides The Undertaker (who defeated Kane both times) who's actually been in more than one of them.
    • He also used to wear sleeves.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Kane is usually regarded as one of these. Fan interaction with him is considered the holy grail of meeting professional wrestlers among smarks.
  • Military Brat
  • Mirror Match: At Vengeance 2006 against an impostor who dressed like the masked Kane (the impostor later showed up in WWE as Festus, who is now Luke Gallows). It became an Aborted Arc.
  • Mismatched Eyes
  • Motive Rant: Gave one after burying Undertaker alive in 2003, and putting Undertaker in a vegetative state in 2010. Though they're considered two of his best promos.
  • Name of Cain
  • Oh Crap: When that big stage pyro goes off, Kane's coming to the ring - and whenever this happens, he is usually not a happy man.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Kane's instrumental themes all started with this.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: If Kane's a heel and comes down to the ring to kick some ass, never, ever assume that you're safe because you're a heel like him. You will regret it.
  • One of Us: Is regarded as one of the biggest gamers on the WWE roster. Stevie Richards said that during his time he roomed with Kane on the road, Kane would bring his XBOX to every hotel he was at. He even modded a Civil War FPS he was playing to make his avatar don the Kane costume.
  • Our Demons Are Different: They're big sadistic monsters that are related to zombies.
    • A book put out years ago by George Napolitano claims Undertaker was half humand and half vampire. So on this one Your Mileage May Vary on whether or not Kane's related to a Zombie or a Dhampir.
  • Out of the Inferno: Kane was alleged to have started - and survived - the funeral home fire that killed his and Undertaker's parents, though this resulted in his face being radically scarred (or so he thought). He also managed to survive getting set on fire in the first-ever Inferno Match.
  • Physical Scars, Psychological Scars: He was originally intended to have this, being scarred by the fire that killed his family, but the makeup didn't work out when the mask came off, so now he just has the psychological ones.
  • Playing with Fire: His ring pyro is amazing. Not only does half the arena light up in flames during the initial entrance, he lights up the four turnbuckles on the ring, too.
  • Popularity Power: Despite not being as popular as Undertaker, Kane remains respected amongst fans, likely due in part to his association with Undertaker (and, in some circles, because of his "company man" image - in that he takes the crappiest angles and runs with them, without complaint, for the good of WWE).
    • Also due to the fact that it's hard to find a nicer wrestler outside the ring, and that he does not seem to have an ego in an ego-centric business. Like Shawn Michaels, he's stated he preferred the world title be held by younger guys who would carry the company in the future than a veteran like himself, who was already firmly entrenched in the company and fanbase (although his loyalty and popularity was finally rewarded with a world title run in the second half of 2010).
    • When Kane cashed in the Money In The Bank briefcase against World Champion Rey Mysterio(one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster), he got a largely positive response to his title win. It was Kane's first major title win since his one-day WWE Title reign in 1998 (twelve years earlier).
  • The Power of Hate: His new gimmick in late 2011
  • Put on a Bus: By Mark Henry.
  • Quizzical Tilt: Kane commonly did this while mute and wearing a mask.
  • Recurring Riff: In '97, he first appeared as Kane with this theme. Said theme was updated in 2000, with the tune completely retained. In 2002, when he switched to Finger Eleven's Slow Chemical, which again, kept the same tune. He kept this as his theme until late 2008. So that's eleven years of that riff recurring.
    • His 2008 theme, "Man on Fire", still retained elements from his original theme though, but without the guitar riff.
    • The guitar riffs however returned with the re-masking in 2011, by mixing it back into "Man on Fire".
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over
  • Red Baron: The Big Red Machine / Monster and, recently, The Devil's Favorite Demon.
  • Redemption Demotion: He was never quite as threatening as a face. While his initial face run as Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds was still threatening and believable on some level, as time went on It Got Worse, to the point where he could tag team with The Hurricane and actually fit right in.
    • Although he arguably had his strongest push (prior to his 2010 title run) while he was a babyface in 2002; he held the Intercontinental and Tag Team titles simultaneously, winning the latter in a Fatal Four-Way Tornado Tag TLC match...without a partner' (The Hurricane had been attacked backstage before the match). Then the Katie Vick angle happened, and well...
  • Red Filter of Doom: His entrance, in which the lights in the arena go red. Notably, when he first debuted the lights would stay red for the entirety of his matches. Sometimes when he's backstage he's still accompanied by red lighting.
    • Since the return of the mask, his promos have all had the red lighting remain on, until he gets interrupted by someone.
  • Ryu and Ken: Being kayfabe brothers, Kane and The Undertaker are of the same basic build and use a lot of the same moves. This was especially true during the late 90's when Kane was pretty much Undertaker with a mask and fire fetish.
  • Slasher Smile: If he's a heel, you might be more screwed if he's wearing one of these than if he's scowling.
  • Stalker with a Crush: During the storyline where he forced Lita to marry him and give birth to his child.
  • Suddenly Voiced: He debuted as mute, later was able to talk through a voice box, and later still was able to use his voice without any trouble at all.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky
  • Took a Level In Dumbass / Plot Induced Stupidity: One angle he's revealing a massive Indy Ploy Xanatos Roulette to wait for weakness in his big brother so he can take advantage and destroy him, ending up as World Heavyweight Champion with Undertaker buried alive. The next he's faced with Edge kidnapping his father for a couple months, has Teddy Long standing before him at least 2-3 times, and doesn't even take enough time out of scrambling around in desperation to force Teddy to make Edge give Paul back by threatening to walk with the title.
    • Would you really expect somebody like Kane to do that, though?
    • If he could mastermind taking the demonic seat of power from The Undertaker, yes. And even if he didn't do that, there's still other options. Like raiding the home of then-injured Christian and threatening to destroy him.
  • Unnecessary Roughness: Kane seemingly loves this trope, and is usually on the giving end of said Roughness. One time, he handcuffed Shane McMahon to a ring post, trapped him against the ring using the ring steps, and electrocuted Shane's testicles with a car battery. Guys, you can whimper now.
    • He's used a rather subdued, but brutal method of incapacitating John Cena in their 2012 feud; he holds his hand over Cena's mouth and nose, suffocating him. While it doesn't look to bad to the untrained eye, for those that recognize it as an actual method of murder can find it somewhat disturbing.
      • The first time or two, they used some Hollywood FX to have John coughing up blood the first time or two it happened. Apparently that was a bit too realistic and there were enough complaints that the fake blood (but not the hold) was dropped afterwards.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Ended up in the middle of the Punk/Bryan feud because each of them has used Kane's Hair-Trigger Temper to do damage against the other. Eventually Kane caught onto it and beat the hell out of both of them.
  • Unrelated Brothers: While half-brothers in kayfabe, The Undertaker and Kane are not related in real life.
  • Villains Out Shopping: His Stacker 2 commercials. The aforementioned Chef Boyardee commercial probably also counts.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kane and The Undertaker, who have both feuded and teamed up with each other at various times since 1997.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Particularly after Paul Bearer abandoned him to rejoin Undertaker in 1998 and attempted to have him committed to an insane assylum, Kane's character was portrayed as this. He's also done a promo about how much he loves the holidays and his family, he even said he wasn't a monster and that he's tired of being seen as an outsider, and the audience booed the entire thing, really puts his angle with Edge in a new light.
    • To be frank, they booed the whole thing because they'd just seen him declare himself the Devil's Favorite Demon while usurping Undertaker's power over the last few months, so they probably didn't believe any of it.
  • The Worf Effect
  • Would Hit a Girl: He once gave Linda McMahon a Tombstone Piledriver onto the stage.
    • And then about a couple years later, he did it to Lita.
    • Came close to doing this to Kelly Kelly during a short-lived 2008 angle, whom he thought was flirting with him. He kidnapped her and sequestered her to a back room to interrogate her as to who she was seeing, she claimed she was with The Miz, in order to protect Randy Orton, who in actually was only using her. The angle didn't go anywhere beyond a match on Raw.
    • As of 2012, not much has changed. Kane has made moves for Eve Torres on a couple of occasions, but WWE being PG, someone always showed up to rescue her at the last moment.
    • During the Attitude Era, he attacked Tori and Chyna.
  • Xanatos Roulette: Retcon into having everything he's done up to mid-2010 an Indy Ploy version of this, all part of a revenge plan for over 10 years. Whether this makes him a Magnificent Bastard or just an Ass Pull, Your Mileage May Vary.