Today, Glenn Jacobs turns 53 years old. While his time now tied politics as the Mayor of Knoxville County, Tennessee it was one character that he defined his career for over twenty years as Kane. The earliest days of Jacobs career began as a member of and the United States Wrestling Association and Smoky Mountain Wrestling under Jim Cornette. However, prior to that Jacobs life began as the child of a military family. Jacobs was born in Spain. Athletics always appeared to be his passion. As an excellent Basketball and Football player, Jacobs was an extraordinary player in High School. His Football and Basketball skills were on full display while attending Truman State University. Jacobs in-ring career began under the alias the Angus King.
The Angus King
As time passed his ties to the Kane character would have a rather uncanny quality with the emergence of name Doomsday in United States Wrestling Association and later Unabom in Smoky Mountain Wrestling. It was also while there that he teamed with former WWF superstar Al Snow. Jacobs familiarity with Snow came about prior to them teaming with one another in SMW.
“I had a [wrestling] school at the time that I was running, in Lima, Ohio and Glenn [Jacobs], came, for a period, a week or so, up there to kind of work with me and kind of learn some stuff just right before he went up to WWE. He was already polished and everything, but he just wanted to come and get himself tuned up a little bit.”– Snow on first meeting Glenn Jacobs
Before He Was The Big Red Monster
His debut in the WWE was a name that he used competing for Smoky Mountain Wrestling as Unabom. The match didn’t air on television and was dubbed a dark match. Thus only available to those in attendance of the live event. However, what is interesting to note is that there was a time before their rivalry with his ‘brother’.
When Jacobs made his way into the WWE as an on-screen character he was introduced into a storyline. As Isaac Yankem DDS, Jacobs was the Dentist of Jerry Lawler. Lawler was in the midst of a feud with Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart. Lawler needed ‘dental work’ after having Bret Hart’s foot and his own foot shoved into his mouth. He had a short-lived feud with Bret Hart which culminated with Hart ultimately winning.
The Yankem character was relatively short-lived and by the Fall of 1996, it ended.
Jacobs’ next character was one that was all too familiar with WWF fans. The problem with it was fans didn’t believe it. He was the new ‘Diesel’. Alongside, ‘Razor Ramon’, Jacobs challenged for the tag team championships. In less than a year as the ‘Diesel’ character, it eventually came to an end. After years of trying to find a character that Jacobs could fully embrace and sink his teeth into. When he finally debuted at In Your House: Bad Blood, Kane emerged and the rest, as they say, is history.
Kane and The Undertaker: Birth of Destruction
As many will recall the build-up of ‘he’s coming’ from Paul Bearer informing The Undertaker that Kane is alive and he’s coming. At the In Your House: Bad Blood pay per view, Kane arrived, and with a red light that flooded the arena the Big Red Machine arrived. Kane was covered with a one-piece red and black suit. He also wore a red and black mask to hide his identity. He pulled the cage door from its hinges and confronted The Undertaker. A confused and shocked Undertaker was unprepared for the Tombstone piledriver that he would then receive. With The Undertaker left incapacitated his opponent, Shawn Michaels made the pin for the win.
Over the course of the next year, both brothers would feud with one another.
Despite The Undertaker saying, he wouldn’t fight his own brother, it didn’t prevent him from ultimately doing so. It seemed as though a temporary alliance between the two was all to lead to Kane once again betraying The Undertaker. At one point Kane locked The Undertaker in a casket and set it on fire. That hardly screams of brotherly love. No harm ultimately came to the Undertaker but that didn’t prevent it from making a statement.
By 1998, The Undertaker and Kane had put aside their differences and united as The Brothers of Destruction. Divided their issues were apparent but together there was no denying their profound impact in the ring. However, The Undertaker never quite seemed to forget the issues between the two. This time, The Undertaker while battling for the vacant WWF Championship turned his back on his brother Kane to align himself with Paul Bearer. Unlike the past when Kane had held in built-in frustration against his older brother this would not be the case. At In Your House: Rock Bottom, Kane interfered in the Buried Alive match between Austin and The Undertaker costing The Undertaker the match.
Kane: Evolution of a Monster
As years passed so has the aesthetics of the Kane character. His ring attire would slowly reveal more of his upper torso. He would show character depth having a ‘girlfriend’ and teaming with X-Pac. Kane evolved from not being able to communicate to having aided speech through a device that would be pressed against his larynx. Kane wasn’t officially a member of Degeneration X but he was tied to the faction even uttering the words ‘Suck It’ at one time. Kane’s naivety and vulnerability showed once again when his friend X-Pac and girlfriend Tori turned on him.
Friends are temporary but family is forever. This appears to be what best describes the Kane character. After some time away from his brother The Undertaker, Kane returned to come to his brothers’ aid against the McMahon-Helmsley Faction. Feuds with Shane McMahon and Chris Jericho would soon follow.
At the 2001 Royal Rumble, Kane set a record at the time eliminating eleven wrestlers from the match. Despite not winning the match he certainly made a statement to his dominance. This show of dominance was aided later on with his challenge for the Hardcore Championship However, his on-again-off-again working relationship with the Undertaker was evident once again remerged. Feuds with Triple H and Stone Cold Steve Austin and Edge and Christian were among them.
Kane: An Unholy Champion
After competing on his own for some time, Kane then challenged Triple H for the Intercontinental Championship at Judgment Day. He not only defeated the Game but away the new champion. After the Invasion angle had come to an end with the Undertaker and Kane capturing the WWE and WCW tag team championships the were drafted onto separate brands.
In 2003 Kane’s appearance continued to evolve once again. He would begin to wear a half mask and speak clearly and coherently. His character was transitioning from the robotic character that had been so synonymous with him in the past. This new look brought with it even more championship success. He captured the tag team championship alongside The Hurricane and the Intercontinental Championship from Chris Jericho.
Kane’s World Championship contention was met with a rather awkward storyline. A relationship with a woman named Katie Vick with suggested necrophilia certainly left alot to be desired. It didn’t help this feud for the championship. However, in an attempt to make Kane look human the argument could be made that ‘humans make poor decisions?’ The two traded wins with Kane bringing it to a close-by defeating Triple H in a casket match in a non-title contest.
The Removal of Kane’s Mask
Kane once again joined the tag team ranks teaming with Rob Van Dam. Together they captured the Tag Team Championship but eventually lost them to La Resistance at the WWE pay per view Bad Blood. The loss led to an interesting set of circumstances by Kane. With an offer of a title match by Stone Cold Steve Austin against Triple H and an offer of joining Evolution hanging in the balance, Eric Bischoff offered a stipulation that if Kane was to lose he would lose his mask in the process. Kane accepted Stone Cold Steve Austin’s offer with Eric Bischoff’s stipulation.
He lost the match, removed his mask, and then set Jim Ross on fire in an interview. The enraged Kane became unhinged in the process. He attacked Linda McMahon and even feuded with Shane McMahon. He even came to the aid of Vince McMahon in a Buried Alive match against The Undertaker.
His attack on his brother the Undertaker was the beginning of a longstanding feud between the two. As 2004 came to be, Kane would hear bells toll and face incidents of paranormal incidents. Lightening clashing and thunder clashing would often appear.
At WrestleMania XX the two would once again face each other.
Love is a very beautiful thing. After his feud with the Undertaker came to an end, Kane had attempted to show his love for Lita. She didn’t welcome his advances and what this caused was a feud between him and Hardy. A pregnancy storyline followed with Kane saying he impregnated Lita when the belief was that it was Hardy’s child. The two would meet one another in a Til Death Do Us Part match where Lita would marry the winner. Kane defeated Hardy and would then be set to marry Lita. The on-screen pairing that was met with trepidation by Lita led to Kane acting in defense of her later on.
A Darker Side of Kane
After miscarrying accidentally at the hands of Kane, Lita turned on him much like Tori before her and sided with Edge in the process. Kane’s singles run then transitioned back into tag team action. He teamed with The Big Show in what was ‘fan’ voting the duo captured the world tag team championship. Together they defeated Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade for the titles. They later lost the titles to the Spirit Squad.
May 19th is a date that will long live infamy of the Big Red Machine and one we will discuss in further detail on that date.
An R-Rated Feud
Kane and Daniel Bryan: Team Hell No
Over the next few years, Kane had remerged as a corporate character.
Kane’s Ever-Changing Role