Kane is the Big Red Machine, and now he is Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee, but there was a time when he was still unknown by a vast majority of fans. They certainly didn’t know what he was capable of.
Jim Cornette was in the room when Kane’s gimmick was created in WWE. He had a different idea for the character which he explained on the Jim Cornette Experience.
He admittedly didn’t come up with the Kane character, but they “left me alone to kind of help him along.” Kane was in Smoky Mountain Wrestling prior to WWE under a different character, but Cornette knew what he could do.
“Glenn Jacobs stared working for me in Smoky Mountain Wrestling because Dutch Mantell, who I’ve known forever and I respect and has a great mind, said ‘I’ve got this kid that’s gonna be great but he’s burning out down here in Puerto Rico,” Cornette said. “He’s huge and he looks great and you can do something with him.”
Cornette already had Kane under a mask in a character called the Unabomb. He knew that Kane could tell a story while concealing his face. Then WWE took this very topical character idea and turned Kane into Isaac Yankem the evil dentist. Later on, Kane played the failed fake Diesel.
“He was already working with a mask and the Unabomber was hot at that point so I named him Unabomb,” said Cornette. “Glenn had done a great job and I had brought Undertaker to Knoxville to face Unabomb the first time they’d wrestled each other at out Super Bowl of Champions in August of ’95. Taker goes up and tells Vince, ‘Hey this guy you know, I can make some money with him’. Of course, they bring him up to be an evil f*ckin’ dentist and then he became the fake f*ckin’ Diesel”.
“I thought, so Halloween is one of my favorite horror movies and Michael Myers to me was so cool and Undertaker was already doing the sit up and the mannerisms and I thought now if we did the original videos of Kane where you’re looking through the eyeholes of the mask and you hear the breath,” Cornette said. “And maybe you’re looking and you see the pictures and clippings of the Undertaker in a room and he’s been obsessing over the Undertaker. That was my original idea, but they went with the red superhero outfit.”
Cornette’s idea was to debut Kane much differently. The setting was still Hell In A Cell, but he wondered why Kane would just “start wrestling” after he was debuted. His past was horrible and that character’s demons could have been portrayed through not wrestling anyone on the roster. Kane was just there to destroy The Undertaker and that’s it.
“Why would Kane just show and start wrestling? His whole idea has been all these years, he’s been waiting fixated with trying to get even with his brother for all of these things that he done to him. He’s not a wrestler, he doesn’t work for the company, He’s trying to get Undertaker so the way we exposed Kane was every time in a match, no matter who it was, the red lights would hit and the music would play and the pyro would go off and Kane would chokeslam everybody.”
“He was basically saying that Undertaker didn’t want to fight his brother and Kane was saying ‘let the blood be on your hands’ I’m gonna do this until you agree to fight me.”
“Finally (Vince)Russo wanted the week after Kane tombstones The Undertaker, for Kane to chokeslam The Undertaker through the announce desk the next week. He’s done this one thing, Undertaker can come out and say ‘I don’t wanna fight my brother’ but if he comes out and beats Undertaker up every week then the fans are gonna say f*ckin’ your brother, fight him”.
WWE went their own direction and it created many memorable moments. The parts that Undertaker and Kane played for years will live on in WWE history. We’ll never know if Cornette’s idea would have worked as well, but he might like to think so.
Thanks to Wrestling Inc for the quote