Without question, Kane is one of the biggest legends in WWE history. In almost 20 years, the Big Red Monster has carved a path of destruction through World Wrestling Entertainment the likes of which has never been seen before, and may not be seen again. Atop a legacy of 3 World Championships, 2 Intercontinental Championships and 12 Tag Team Championships, Kane also happens to be a Royal Rumble record breaker, holding the all-time record at 44 eliminations.
So you can understand why so many of us weren't happy about his mysterious absence in this year's #RoyalRumble match. In fact, looking back, Kane hasn't been seen on WWE #TV since November. And now we finally know why.
Kane Is Injured
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Kane has been out of action as he is dealing with several nagging injuries. This raises a number of questions about Kane's career, including how much longer he can keep wrestling for. At the end of the day, behind the mask, Glenn Jacobs is 49 years old and has been entertaining us for over two decades. Are the "nagging injuries" a sign that he needs to hang up his big red boots — and mask — for good?
However, looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, it's highly likely that Kane will heal up and return to full-time action. The man is an easily reliable option for WWE to lean on as he is an incredibly safe worker and can still put on one hell of a show. In fact, he has stated on more than one occasion that he's having fun and feels his body is still able to go, and as long as he feels that way, he can keep going. In his almost two decade long career, he has rarely suffered a significant injury, thus his body should still be in great condition.
From a personal standpoint, while I want what's best for WWE's Big Red Monster, I have to agree with him. Of course, he's gotten slower over the past few years, but he's still capable of putting on a great match — and has done so upon request. However, his time away from WWE also provides the company with a unique opportunity — one that many of us have been longing for.
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Will The Original Monster Make A Fiery Return?
When Kane debuted back in 1997, the masked monster silently raged through the WWE roster, destroying anyone who unfortunately found themselves in his path. And for the next six years, he dominated — setting Royal Rumble records and winning major championships. Who could ever forget when he defeated Stone Cold Steve Austin to win the WWE Championship, or beating Triple H to win the Intercontinental Championship?
However, after he unmasked in 2003, things changed in a big way. Although his initial unmasking storyline was received well — in many ways he was more destructive than ever — he would find himself in questionable storylines for the next decade. While I much preferred the supernatural element of his masked escapades, I was also a major fan of the human pyromaniac era. But, in many ways it lasted too long and in 2011, he took time off and was repackaged into a new masked monster.
Once again, the "resurrected" — or Demon — Kane had an incredible run, destroying unsuspecting superstars, kidnapping people and cutting his way up through the floor of the ring. Like he had throughout his entire career, the Demon Kane also enjoyed his fair share of comedic moments. However, all this was abandoned when he became the controversial Corporate Kane in 2013. At the moment, he has returned to the Demon Kane persona, but thanks to the "Jekyll and Hyde" storyline, he could also revert back to Corporate Kane should the opportunity arise.
But the problem with Kane is that fans have gotten too used to seeing him regularly perform. As he has been misused for the better part of a decade, there are time when he only receives a lukewarm response from fans — who are well aware of his legendary status. Moreover, he has had more appearances on #RAW than any other superstar in history.
However, the injuries could provide the perfect opportunity for WWE to change that. Kane having some well-earned time away from the company could very well give fans a chance to miss him. Nobody can make a return like the Big Red Machine — the thought of another one gives me chills Furthermore, it could give WWE a chance to finally repackage Kane — back to his original masked monster form.
For years, fans have wanted to see the original Kane return to tear things up, and a period of absence might just provide WWE with the opportunity to make it happen. All it would take is for him to return and target a monster heel — or Roman Reigns — and the fans would truly be in awe of Kane once again. At the end of the day, he moved very slowly and methodically around the ring back in 1997, stalking his opponents, thus having him repackaged to that persona would still work today — even though he is much older. And it would be a sight that many of us would love to see.
One Final "Monster Run"
As the return of the original Kane is something fans have wanted to see for a very long time, I couldn't think of a better time for him to return in his old attire. It's no secret that Kane is in the twilight years of his in-ring career, so what better time to bring the mute masked monster back to the WWE.
Over his two decade long career, Kane has had approximately five true "monster" runs — his debut run in 1997, his unmasked run in 2003, his re-masked run in 2011, and his two Demon Kane runs in 2014 and 2015. However, the latter three of them ended up with Kane ending up on the losing side. And only one of these runs led to him capturing the WWE Championship — and that only lasted for 24 hours.
Giving the fans what they want from Kane would truly reinvigorate the Big Red Monster's career, and give him the final "monster" run he always deserved. Furthermore, they could use his monster run to propel him to winning the Royal Rumble match — something he has always deserved to do — and a longer title reign. When that time eventually comes, it would be a deserving end to an amazing career from the Big Red Monster.
After a few months absence from WWE, we finally know that Kane has taken some time off from the company to allow some nagging injuries to heal. Although the WWE landscape does feel a little unusual without the Big Red Machine's presence, he has most certainly earned a rest. Having rarely taken time off before and even appearing on house shows when he wasn't used on TV, Kane has been a regular part of WWE for almost 20 years. But along with his age and previous questionable storylines, this injury makes us wonder if it's a sign that Kane should finally hang up the mask once and for all.
However, it could also be a chance for WWE to reinvigorate his character, by taking the character back to where he started. A returning Kane wearing his 1997 attire would certainly wake a lot of the WWE fans up and put the spotlight on Kane in his final few years. After being overlooked for so many years, a final monster run might just be the way to breathe new life into Kane's character. And it would be a fitting way to mark the return of one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time.
Would you like to see Kane return in his 1997 attire? Let us know in the comments below!
(Sources: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Wrestling Inc.)