Dave Scott – Greatest Rivalries: Kane vs Undertaker
Hey there guys, gals and everything in between. Dave Scott here for my usual Monday night madness. Last week I did not write anything because I didn’t think there was anything to talk about that hasn’t already really been covered. Now this week I am in a similar position where after Raw last week I felt again there isn’t that much that I could cover that you would not have already read somewhere else. So rather than talking about what is happening just now, I’d like to go back and talk about something from the past.
Over the last few weeks I have been watching a lot of the Legends of Wrestling round table discussions. I have to say for anyone who hasn’t watched them as of yet, go check them out, such a good watch! So with that I watched the two shows about the greatest rivalries in wrestling, in that they covered the guys on the panels thoughts as the greatest rivalries and though I am definitely not a legend of wrestling, I am going to put forward my two cents on this subject.
Now like a lot of people that will be reading this I grew up watching wrestling throughout the early nineties right through to the point we are at just now. One person who was very prominent throughout these years has been The Undertaker. The Undertaker has had some great feuds through the years and some terrible ones also, but the one that always stands out to me is the feud with Kane.
I felt this feud demonstrated and applied effective long term booking as this whole story took a whole year from its major starting point to the point where it ended at Wrestlemania 14 with The Undertaker finally defeating his younger brother.
Keep in mind that I was 10 years old when this whole thing was happening so I may be a bit sketchy on some details, but I’ll certainly try my best to explain it all. In the early days of this feud before Kane debuted we were pretty much placed with Paul Bearer harassing The Undertaker about a dark secret from his past, Bearer was with Mankind at this time after having turned his back on Taker around a year prior to this whole charade.
I can remember not being completely sure what was going on at the time other than knowing that The Undertaker has been placed in a position where he was doing things to protect himself and this secret and through this you could feel the importance of what was going on. Now this was rare that we had gotten to see this human side to The Undertaker as he always came across as a monster and the closest to non human that someone could be.
This whole thing between Bearer and Taker went on from April of that year right through until October where we were at the Badd Blood PPV. This PPV had the first ever Hell In A Cell match, which was a huge thing in itself where we seen The Undertaker destroy Shawn Michaels and have him in a bloody heap. Just when we thought it was going to be all over… The lights go out. Then an eerie theme hits and the lights go red, next being led by Paul Bearer we see this huge monster making his way to the ring to come face to face with The Undertaker, at this point we have Jim Ross coming to the conclusion that this must be that big bag secret that Bearer had been talking about over the last few months, it was The Undertaker’s brother Kane.
Now at this point me being a little whipper-snapper at the time I was totally scared. I can remember sitting in my bedroom watching the whole thing live, I was sitting with the lights off and the whole room was red because of the light from the television and that put even more fear into me!
Then The Undertaker was given a Tombstone Piledriver by his brother and was laid out allowing Michaels to crawl over and pin Taker. I was sitting gob smacked at what had just taken place and I can remember going to my bed after the PPV had finished and lying in my bed thinking that if Kane could do that to The Undertaker, who had always been one of the toughest guys on the WWF roster, then he could definitely destroy all of my favourite wrestlers! I was a huge Bret Hart fan at the time and I can remember fearing for Bret Harts safety, little did I know that Bret was due to jump ship to WCW a month later and would never actually have a match against the Kane character. This feeling was something that I had never had before in WWF/E history and have never experienced since, where one storyline had actually made me think that all of the roster was in danger of being destroyed by Kane.
After this the next few months were filled with Kane destroying everyone and everything in his path and doing everything he could to make The Undertaker want to fight him, which The Undertaker refused to do. Kane over this time would beat the crap out of various midcard wrestlers and absolutely demolish Mick Foley on more than one occasion if I’m correct. Now I’ve had to reference Wikipedia for some small details on this feud and it has mentioned that Kane and Undertaker actually teamed up together briefly before the Royal Rumble in 1998, this I can only remember slightly now that I have read it, however can’t remember any of the ins and outs of the situation.
After a title match at the Royal Rumble, Kane and Bearer locked The Undertaker in a casket and set it on fire. At this point, I thought back to when Undertaker had been placed in a casket, disappeared for several months and had Leslie Neilsen searching for him and I initially I thought that at this point that was definitely The Undertaker gone forever.
In my naïvety I failed to think about the storyline as a whole and was surprised when The Undertaker actually made his return and challenged his brother, which I thought was HUGE! Mainly because it was at the time. Now the match at Wrestlemania was great, we had never seen someone kick out of one Tombstone, let alone two! I can remember thinking at the time that if two of those can’t finish off Kane, nothing will. Then Undertaker hit him with a third and it was over.
When The Undertaker finally beat Kane, I just felt a sense of relief. That feeling that had been placed with me six months before where I had the fear of Kane destroying all my favourite wrestlers had finally been lifted.
After the match at Wrestlemania the two had numerous matches throughout their careers and also teamed up on many occasions, and as great as some of the things they have done in their careers together have been since then, I don’t think anything tops that first period of The Undertaker and Kane legacy. These two will definitely go down in history as two of the greatest big men in WWE and are pretty much guaranteed Hall Of Fame candidates.
There are another few rivalries that I want to discuss over the next few weeks so I’m certain you guys will definitely get more over the coming weeks.
This week I’m going to pretty busy with writing as I’m going to be writing my first column for the lovely Inside The Ropes website (www.insidetheropes.co.uk) and I will be back with some friends for our round table predictions for TLC at the weekend.
Thanks for reading guys and hope you all enjoy this week of wrestling!