Throughout the history of pro wrestling bookers and promoters have always tried to come up with new, creative and innovative ideas to generate interest in their product. Some ideas have not only succeeded…but flourished. Others were DOA from the get go. Then there are those ideas which initially were innovative…but for various reasons….faded away. Those are the focus of this latest series of posts titled ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’.
Okay, I readily admit it…I was a fan of this storyline between Kane and the impostor Kane! I may be the only one, but if it was done correctly…it probably would have been a home run. From the rumors of how it was suppose to play out…it just might have been a winner.
Before we start comparing this angle with the failed Undertaker Vs Undertaker angle that took place in 1994…the Kane vs Kane angle actually had a backstory to it. All the “Underfaker” angle had was a rich sociopath in Ted Dibiase who paid someone to act and dress as the original dead man. The Kane angle was going to be complex and ultimately serve a purpose.
In 2006, the Glenn Jacobs version of Kane was running roughshod throughout the WWE. He had been doing so since his debut at the Bad Blood pay per view in 1997. By 2003, Kane had been unmasked and revealed his face to the world. So three years later, WWE creative wanted something to spark a renewed interest in the Kane character. That occurred when a man who had the same build and look of the classic masked Kane started appearing on WWE television.
It became almost immediately apparent that this “new” Kane had serious issues with the Glenn Jacobs Kane as at first he went from stalking Jacobs..to brutally decimating him in and out of the ring. Kane would then reveal to the WWE that he knew who this impostor was and furthermore…said he was even more vicious and sadistic than him.
A one on one match was set up at the 2006 Vengeance pay per view between the two Kanes. The two went at at it before the bell even rung and the they battled in and out of the ring. All this while the crowd was deathly silent. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler being the consummate professionals they were and are talked and speculated throughout the match as to who the impostor Kane might be. The silent reaction to the match was actually somewhat comforting compared to the “boring” chants that followed the silence.
The fans had quickly turned on the match and two wrestlers. The end result of the match went off as planned and the impostor Kane scored a victory over Glenn Jacobs version of the ‘Big red monster.’ Despite the negative reaction….it seemed as if the WWE was going to move forward with the storyline. That wasn’t the case…as the next night on Raw..the impostor Kane once again came out to attack Jacobs but this time…Jacobs fought back and got the better of the impostor. The duo fought all the way to back…where Glenn Jacobs ripped the mask off of the impostor..revealing a bald headed man…never showing his face and threw him out the backdoor.
Just like that, the angle was scrapped….just like that…the weeks of build up was made null and void. Kane went on to other feuds and the impostor Kane was never seen or mentioned again.
So after reading that…you may wonder what made this a great idea? Well, according to reports years after the angle was dropped…the plans sounded better than imagined. (At least to me) After a lengthy battle between the two Kanes…it would be eventually revealed by the Undertaker that the impostor Kane wasn’t really an impostor..but in fact the real Kane who was imprisoned by the Glenn Jacobs Kane. Now why was that?
The rumors were that Glenn Jacobs wanted to take an extended period of time off the road. The WWE wanted to continue using the Kane gimmick and this was a way to keep the Kane character relevant in future angles.
WWE developmental wrestler Drew Hankinson was selected as the “impostor” because of his size…he resembled Jacobs. Drew wasn’t exactly enamored with the idea of replacing Jacobs…but was ready for the opportunity on the main roster. Hankinson believed the angle was doomed from the start…in large part because of the wig he initially wore. The wig was too wild and didn’t quite fit right…making the impostor look foolish from the get go.
The other part of the problem was the first and only match they had…it was too slow, sloppy and methodical and fans just didn’t “get it.” Vince McMahon was not pleased with either the match or the fan reaction to it and decided to blow up the angle. It was Michael Hayes who went to Drew Hankinson and told him that the character was being dropped. Glenn Jacobs seeing how poorly executed the angle was, decided against taking time off. Drew was eventually repackaged as the bumbling Festus….and then as Luke Gallows.
What would have become of Drew Hankinson if the Kane angle was successful? Would Glenn Jacobs still be around or be happily retired by now? In the end, it all seemed to work out for everybody as Hankinson is now a big star in Japan and Glenn has continually evolved the Kane character. It just would have been interesting to see the angle play out.
You can read all other ‘Great Ideas That Didn’t Last’ pieces here.