Glen Jacobs has spent most of his wrestling career as a guinea pig for the writers’ most idiotic ideas. First, there was his stint in Smoky Mountain Wrestling with a name based on terrorist Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski (albeit before he was identified and caught… and while he was still blowing people up).
Then, there were his runs in the WWF as Jerry Lawler’s dentist and as a replacement “Diesel” after Kevin Nash jumped ship.
And finally, Jacobs hit his stride as Kane, the long-running persona with whom he has won most of the awards on his impressive Wrestling Observer résumé. Of course, that list of accolades looks like this:
Frankly, for putting up with all this nonsense for nearly twenty years, Jacobs has got to be in the running for WWE employee of the century.*
*“independent contractor of the century” – Jerry McDevitt
Edge, on the other hand, has remained relatively Wrestlecrap-free. I suppose the most questionable stunt he ever had to perform was 2006’s “live sex celebration,” but that was still a million times better than the dead sex celebration that Kane allegedly had in 1992.
How unfortunate, then, that after declaring war on all things stupid (smashing the Anonymous Raw GM’s laptop after a lengthy argument with the computer),
one of Edge’s first orders of business on Smackdown was a feud with The Big Red Machine.
On the plus side, Kane had captured World title that summer, ending a twelve-year drought, and then became one of the few people in WWE history to ever decisively win a feud with The Undertaker, re-establishing the Devil’s favorite demon as a believable heel and main-event player after a Decade of Distraction.
On the minus side, Edge decided to gain a psychological edg— uh, advantage over the monster by kidnapping Paul Bearer.
This served as diversion enough for the Big Show to pick up a win over Kane, which made the World’s Largest Athlete refreshingly giddy, but Edge wasn’t finished with Bearer by a long shot.
He kept Kane’s manager and father tied up in a wheelchair and gagged with duct tape, letting him speak only occasionally to curse Edge and the audience who laughed at his amusing abduction and torture.
The kidnapping happened in England, by the way, but the next week’s shows were in the U.S. I’m still trying to imagine how Edge managed to smuggle his captive through airport security and customs. Maybe he packed him in an extra-large suitcase and stowed him away in the plane’s luggage hold.
On the wrestling end of the feud, things started off to a nice stupid start, as their world title match at Survivor Series ended in a double pin, with Edge neglecting to take his own shoulders off the mat after spearing Kane. Details, details.
But who doesn’t love a good tie in wrestling?
Edge channeled his anger at failing to win the title into something productive, like loading Kane onto Bearer’s wheelchair and rolling him through a ringside barrier.
The fan-favorite international criminal continued having fun at Kane and Bearer’s expense, torturing Paul every week and tricking Kane into thinking he had killed his father.
Edge and Paul’s itinerary of fun activities included dodgeball…
…and chair shots.
Just in case you felt sympathy for Kane, Edge reminded fans why kidnapping his father was justified, pointing out that Kane had done evil things in the past.
This was transparently absurd, as it was Paul Bearer who was suffering the most, not Kane, and Edge didn’t accuse Paul of doing anything wrong. Did Paul Bearer ever rape Lita?
Did Paul Bearer ever hook up a car battery to Shane McMahon’s testicles?
Did Paul Bearer ever bury The Undertaker alive? No, it wasn’t Paul Bearer who did all those things, but Kane. Paul only did one of those three things.
After a while, Edge got bored and decided to let Kane come and take his father back…
…only for it to end up being a ruse every single time.
There was the flat-bed truck incident…
…then the impostor Paul trick…
…as well as the times he pretended to Zach-Gowen Paul down a flight of stairs…
…and run him over.
All the while, fans at home were surely wondering whether Edge was using the same spare wheelchair and dummy every week, or if he had a stockpile of them that he took on the road with him.
Once, Edge threw a Paul Bearer dummy off a balcony.
That last stunt ended up being a Funny Aneurysm Moment, as after a month of captivity, Paul would at last meet his demise by falling from a great height. For once, Kane didn’t buy that Edge had the real Paul Bearer in any danger, but as “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” taught us, always believe the shepherd boy no matter how many times he tells the same lie.
One push later, and Kane’s daddy plummeted several stories (off camera, of course).
(This being wrestling, though, the fall off a balcony wasn’t fatal, as Bearer reappeared a little over a year later to be stuffed in a freezer by Randy Orton.)
Finally, Edge beat Kane in a four-way ladder match to “gain custody” of the coveted World title, as the best way to settle this patricide storyline was to have Edge climb a ladder faster than Kane and two other guys.
Even WWE had to acknowledge how silly this entire feud was, especially given that it was over the World title and made a complete fool of a character who two months prior had not only utterly dominated The Undertaker, but ostensibly murdered him.
All it took was for Kane to get duped over a dozen times in a month to halt all the momentum he had gained since the summer, forcing WWE to put the mask back on him if they ever wanted him to be an effective heel…
…which, as you may have noticed, has not worked out too terribly well, either.
Edge closed the feud by airing footage of the angle’s “highlights”, sped up, to the tune of “Yakety Sax.”
Still, this light-hearted spin on the past month’s events couldn’t change the fact that Kane had basically killed his father, and that for the rest of his life, he would have to grapple with the man in the mirror.
Oh, sorry, wrong angle.