I’m currently binging every SmackDown post the 2002 draft and I’m up to the go home show for Judgement Day 2006. The date of this SmackDown was May 19th and JBL had a mystery opponent for Rey Mysterio. He asked Rey what day it was, and Rey said “May 19th” and then Raw’s Kane was revealed as his mystery opponent. I looked down at my clock, and it’s 2:30 AM on May 19th. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me the story behind Kane and May 19th, thus I am now writing this small piece. The match ended in a no contest, but Kane left both laying.
So, what is it that makes this day important in wrestling lore? That’s the date the Undertaker set the funeral home on fire (yes, it was originally Kane but Undertaker in 1999 said he fabricated that and it was him. Their feud is convoluted and a lot of forgotten about segments change the entire story arc).
By 2006, Kane is tag champs with Big Show, unmasked. Although, who didn’t win the tag championships with Kane? The Big Show said “it’s happening again” in reference to Kane’s disappearance in the match where they lost to The Spirit Squad, in other words, 5 male cheerleaders. Don’t you just love professional wrestling? That’s the voices Kane hears. His childhood trauma. He’d hear these voices during matches, as the lights flickered on and off, off and on.
In reality, See No Evil, a slasher flick starring a chain wielding Kane was released to theaters. The WWE was building a storyline to hype the movie. Kane threatened to kill the Big Show and they brawled at the next PPV, Backlash. The next match between the two, they chain wrestled. No joke, a hold for hold scientific wrestling match.
It was bizarre. The next week you’re finally at some detail. Shawn Michaels enters the fray when Kane wrestles Rob Conway with Shawn as the referee and Conway’s shirt has May 19th all over it, which Kane freaks out as Shawn makes a big deal out of it.
See No Evil by all means is a paint by number slasher flick, but also an enjoyable one if you just want to pass the time. The day See No Evil was released was a Friday, which brings us to the opening of this piece where he is a surprise opponent for Rey Mysterio. May 19th has come and gone, and finally this strange story has finished, right? No, it was just getting started.
2 episodes of Raw later, on May 29th, Kane came face to face with his past self. Complete with the original Kane organ music from the Attitude Era, the recently released Luke Gallows was dressed in a 1998 Kane costume that looks like it was bought at Party City. This, in no way, was good television. In the defense of Gallows, the mannerisms weren’t necessarily un-Glenn Jacobs like. He did the old Kane head tilt. flip out of the ring and pulled up the glove to a tee, but that wig made it dead on arrival. The imposter Kane chokeslammed the real Kane and attacked him for weeks until the 2006 Vengeance event.
They proceeded to have one of the worst matches in WWE history. The impersonator won (with the signature pinfall only the original Kane character ever did). The following night, Kane took his mask back and through the man out of the building, for that man never to be seen again in kayfabe, even though that man did end up being Festus, and Luke Gallows for the Straight Edge Society before going to Japan and joining the Bullet Club. Kane kicking him out was, figuratively, exorcising his inner demon.
This could’ve been an excellent storyline, especially considering Kane has arguably the most interesting character lore in the history of professional wrestling and it was a unique idea, but the execution was extremely poor and therefore this has become one of many “what were they thinking” type storylines. I mean, how can one not laugh at how bad the wig looked when masked Kane first reappeared? Anything menacing was gone.
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