Nearly 20 years ago, Vince McMahon first introduced the man birthed from hellfire and brimstone with a cry of “that…that’s gotta be…that’s gotta be Kane!” Mere minutes later, Kane demolished his kayfabe brother The Undertaker to ignite a rivalry that only ended when it became a partnership. Those years of feuding indirectly ended at WrestleMania 33 not with a bang, but a whimper, when The Undertaker laid his hat and cloak to rest once and for all, with Kane nowhere to be seen. Less than one month later, it already feels long overdue that Kane should take a cue from his older brother and consider a similar exit.
Quite frankly, an exponentially increasing number of fans have been calling for Kane to wrap things up with or without The Dead Man by his side. In fact, the WWE Universe may be turning into a place where Kane and monstrous characters like him simply don’t belong anymore. Although there are probably still a few Kane superfans out there who hope the Big Red Machine will never power down, the fact is, he can’t last forever, and there’s no better time than the present for him to make the move. If you find yourself having trouble saying goodbye, keep reading and discover 15 reasons Kane needs to follow The Undertaker into retirement.
15 He Was Always The Weaker Of The Two
Six months after Kane made his explosive debut at Badd Blood 1997, he suffered his first loss at his brother The Undertaker’s hand, falling victim to the Streak at WrestleMania XIV. From that moment on, it was clear from a kayfabe perspective that Kane was the lesser athlete in comparison to The Phenom. Granted, Kane was still a big, bad monster who stuck around for a lot longer than expected. However, virtually every time he crossed paths with Undertaker, there would be a whole lot of smoke and mirrors, and then Kane would lose. Kane finally got his comeuppance at Bragging Rights 2010 by burying The Undertaker and largely ending his career as a full-timer wrestler, but even then, fans never quite accepted the Brothers of Destruction as equals. Since The Undertaker couldn’t survive any longer, nor should Kane have that ability.
14 Brothers In Death
Everyone has heard the cliché about brothers who do everything together, and for the first half of Kane’s career, he and The Undertaker fit such axioms to a tee. No matter how bizarre the storylines surrounding one of them seemed to get, there would always be winking backstage references to their family ties, subtly reminding fans about years of WWE history in doing so. The Brothers of Destruction won Tag Team Championships together, competed over WWE and World Championships at the same time, not to mention countless other links they share throughout the WWE Universe unrelated to gold. And now, it just feels right they should retire together, as well. In recent years especially, the company has billed multiple ends of an era, yet they keep missing the mark by picking the wrong people to represent the change. Having both Kane and The Undertaker gone for good would make that message crystal clear.
13 From A Dentist To A Demon
Setting aside The Undertaker for just a second, let’s be realistic and acknowledge that at 49 years old and with over two decades in the industry, Kane probably wouldn’t have much time left regardless of whom his gimmick pretended he was related to. In other words, had Isaac Yankem somehow survived past the first few months and experienced a long career, people would still be calling for him to put down the drill and retire already. The same goes for Fake Diesel, Unabomb, or any other character Glenn Jacobs played throughout his strange and unique tenure in sports entertainment. Few wrestlers are able to keep performing at his age, especially considering Kane’s size and hard hitting style. Were it not for his relationship with The Undertaker, it’s hard to imagine Kane would still be around in the first place. Now that there’s no more Undertaker, it should be obvious what comes next.
12 Kane Is Already Entirely Off The Rails
While it’s all well and good to look back on Kane’s long career and pick out favorite moments, looking at some more recent aspects of his career reveal things haven’t been looking too hot for the Devil’s Favorite Demon in quite some time. Truth be told, Kane’s character hasn’t made a lick of sense in well over a year, when Demon and Corporate Kane were both running wild on Raw. The higher profile roles Kane has been receiving lately, the less sense they’ve been making, his bizarre and convoluted issues with Randy Orton and The Wyatt Family the worst example of this trend. Worse than the fact WWE doesn’t seem to bother with having it make any sense is that Kane’s insanity has gradually become boring. There’s simply nothing Kane can do to surprise fans anymore, with his once powerful bursts of flames now representing the audience’s collective yawns.
11 The Further Apart They Get, The Less Sense Kane Makes
Taking a step back, although Kane’s character not making sense isn’t the biggest problem with his wrestling career continuing, it still is an issue. More importantly is that his character has always made the least sense when The Undertaker was nowhere to be found. On the one hand, this seems almost paradoxical, considering how unbelievable and unreal Undertaker’s character is. On the other hand, May 19th. Marrying Lita, followed by Snitsky causing her to miscarry their demon baby. Pete Rose. Electrocuting Shane McMahon’s testicles for virtually no reason whatsoever. Katie Vick. Clearly, Kane’s storylines get significantly crazier when his cowboy zombie older brother is nowhere to be seen. With said cowboy zombie brother permanently out of action, it pains one to question how bizarre Kane could get if he can’t take a hint and finally retire.
10 The “Family” Patriarch Is Gone, Too
In all the discussion of the Brothers of Destruction’s careers and how they’ve intertwined, it’s worth noting the third name inexorably linked with their characters: Kane’s kayfabe father, Paul Bearer. The ghastly and ghoulish Bearer made his WWE debut as The Undertaker’s manager in 1990, and then went on to introduce the world to Kane in 1997. Bearer managed the two on and off throughout their careers, until his sudden death in 2013 brought the union to an untimely end. Kane and The Undertaker both gave their onscreen goodbyes to their former manager, after which they more or less continued on with their careers unfettered. While that was an acceptable reaction at the time, Bearer being gone nonetheless stands as yet another sign Kane is running out of reasons to stay in wrestling.
9 WWE Has A New Evil Family
Despite pro wrestling and WWE specifically promoting traditionalism and nostalgia for decades, the fake family comprised of Kane, The Undertaker, and Paul Bearer was one of the most legendary in wrestling history. That said, the Bearer’s day is done, and WWE is already prepared to introduce a new demonic clan to take over the dark side: The Wyatt Family. In retrospect, the feud between the Wyatts and the Brothers of Destruction should have gone better for the Eaters of Worlds, yet the real test will be whether or not Bray and his followers embody that same dark aura Kane and Undertaker once possessed. One thing that’s pretty certain is the Wyatt Family will always be seen as second tier until the more famous evil family disappear, and that seriously has to end now that Bray Wyatt is a former WWE Champion.
8 Less Magic, More Realism
Let’s face it—taking absolutely everything into consideration, Kane is probably the least believable character in WWE history. Yes, this includes The Boogeyman, Papa Shango, or anyone else who presented some sort of smoke-and-mirrors magic in their matches. Kane shot lightning bolts out of his hands and set people in the crowd on fire. There is seriously a character in the WWE Universe that has that ability. Wrestling fans have always been willing to suspend disbelief, and Kane’s long career has pushed this concept to the limit in every way imaginable. While sports entertainment will never entirely give in to realism and become legitimate, WWE and other organizations have been trying to make things seem at least a little bit realistic lately. Unfortunately, realism could never be attained with Kane on the roster, marking another reason he has to go.
7 He’s No Longer The Devil’s Favorite Demon
Part of Kane’s appeal was his evil mystique, covering himself in a menacing red and literally hailing from hell. His nickname as the "Devil’s Favorite Demon” was more than the typical wrestling boast, as Kane genuinely spent over twenty years evoking fear into the hearts and souls of WWE superstars everywhere. That said, if any new wrestlers out there are still afraid of Kane, they should probably pack up their boots before even he does. WWE has countless new demons ready to take his place, including The Wyatt Family, Braun Strowman, the Authors of Pain, and who knows how many other monsters NXT will produce in the next couple years. Trotting out Kane as an alleged “monster” with these hulking young superstars clearly outperforming him in this category is dishonest, and only serves to make everyone look like fools.
6 Someone Will Get To Slay The Demon
Well before The Undertaker even retired, rumors hit that Roman Reigns would be the last person to defeat him. Naturally, this soon-proved-correct assumption also meant Reigns would be a made man for the rest of his career, and it looks like that part of the equation will ring true, as well. Although Kane was never quite on the same level as The Undertaker, he still holds a considerable enough legend that a properly promoted retirement match could easily do the same for another rising star. Knowing WWE, there’s always the potential downside that they’ll let Reigns do the honors again, but even that would ultimately be a good thing by giving a young wrestler more to brag about. Better than that, absolutely anyone else could get to do the honors, and that actually gives fans something to look forward to.
5 His Star Power Has Significantly Dwindled
For everything they have in common, unlike The Undertaker, one area where Kane hasn’t exactly dominated has been the ratings. In fairness, the Big Red Machine didn’t have the same chance as his brother when it comes to holding the WWE Championship, so there’s no direct way to judge the two against one another. However, the fact that Undertaker was regularly in main events and could affect buyrates even in the slightest already puts him above Kane in this respect. Sure, Kane has appeared in plenty of main events as well, but he was almost never the actual focus; the incredible, demonic challenge his more marketable opponent happened to be facing was. When it comes down to it, Kane had very little drawing power in and of itself, and whatever value his name had has almost blinked into nothingness, thanks to his decades of diminishing returns.
4 He’s Done It All
Since Kane made his WWE debut in 1997, he’s managed to win 18 championships with the company, almost amounting to one per year as an active wrestler. Included amongst his accomplishments are runs with the WWE, ECW, and World Heavyweight Championships, two reigns as Intercontinental Champion, and an impressive 12 reigns as Tag Team Champion with seven different partners. In fact, he held a couple of those belts at the same time. The wrestlers he defeated to win these titles is an incredible trip through the WWE Hall of Fame, featuring names like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Edge, Christian and “Diamond” Dallas Page. The only thing Kane hasn’t done is find success outside of the WWE Universe, but chances are he doesn’t want to, and it wouldn’t prove anything if he did.
3 There’s Nothing Left For Him To Accomplish
Continuing the point that Kane has already done everything there is to do in wrestling, it tracks that the natural conclusion of this thought is that nothing he could do would improve his standing in WWE history. The fact is, Kane is already a bona fide future WWE Hall of Famer whether you like him or not, his career one that absolutely any aspiring wrestler could reasonably aspire to. Given the way things have been going, Kane could probably keep popping up as a savior tag team partner to smaller newcomers, but the Big Red Machine himself wouldn’t gain a thing from the ordeal. Kane’s sole remaining value is a few key losses to make new superstars, because anything else would be a waste of his and everyone’s time. He can’t put those losses off forever, and once they come, hopefully Kane will go away.
2 They’ll Seem More Legendary In Retrospect
Neil Young once said “it’s better to burn out than to fade away,” and what WWE superstar has burned more brightly than the Big Red Monster? Actually, despite appearances, the fact is that old rock and roll adage definitely applies to wrestling as much as it does almost every facet of pop culture. With this in mind, Kane has been dangerously close to fading away for a long, long time now. Take away The Undertaker for good, and he has a genuine risk of imploding to a point of no return with one especially insane angle or storyline. On the other hand, if Kane makes a handful of final appearances before exploding in spectacular fashion, disappearing into the flames, his legend will remain i tact and possibly even turn into something greater in retrospect. By staying away with him, The Undertaker will reap the same rewards, and the Brothers of Destruction will grow ever stronger in death.
1 He’s Headed For Politics
Forget everything this list has said about The Undertaker. In fact, virtually everything mentioned thus far related to Kane’s career in wrestling is kind of irrelevant when considering this last, most important point. On April 12, the Associated Press reported that Glenn Jacobs has officially filed the papers to run for Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee. While running for office didn’t stop Rhyno from maintaining an in-ring presence, Rhyno didn’t win his electoral race, and Kane might. Or he might not, but the point is that if he’s actually serious about politics, he needs to walk away from wrestling for good. In contrast to his demonic character, Kane has apparently been interested in transitioning to government for several years, so it’s safe to say he’s pretty committed to the idea.