He is one of WWE’s longest-tenured Superstars, having been with the company for several decades. During that time, he’s been a man of many hats…er…gimmicks. Isaac Yankem, DDS? Sure, that was him. Fake Diesel? Why not. But, of course, the role he’s most known for is that of Kane. Call him The Devil’s Favorite Demon, The Big Red Monster, or anything in-between. He’s been one half of The Brothers of Destruction. He’s served as a suit in The Authority while still doing his thing as Kane, but acting like it was two separate people no less. He’s been loyal and largely has managed to keep his personal life personal. But, there’s always something floating out there, even on someone who is one of the more secretive Superstars when it comes to what happens outside the ring and away from the arenas. And, considering how long he’s played a darker persona, or even that of a walking and (not always) talking monster, some of what we’ve managed to uncover might surprise you.
At the end of the day, Kane, The Big Red Monster, has done an excellent job of maintaining separation from Kane the actual human being (who, of course, isn’t named Kane, but rather Glenn Jacobs). While there may not be any supposed skeletons in Kane’s closet, it’s always nice to have a bit more background on the man behind the mask. Often times, whether via a website or print interview, I’ve found it quite enlightening to actually get to know a bit more about someone whom I’ve seen work for a long time within a WWE ring. It shows a different side to him and may just allow me to appreciate him a bit more. So, without much more needing to be said, let’s take a look at some of the more surprising things about Kane that you might not have known.
15 Kane Has Kids!
This may be a scary thought for some, especially if you have a hard time separating Kane the wrestler from Glenn Jacobs, the actual human being behind the mask all these years. In spite of some really bad, often regrettable and sometimes downright disgusting angles involving Kane, pregnancies and babies during his time (not to mention the supposed violation of a corpse), the real person, Glenn Jacobs, is a father of two. He and his wife of 21 years, Crystal Goins, have two daughters. It’s okay, folks. Believe me. Considering the pregnancy angle with Lita or the even worse necrophilia storyline with Triple H and Katie Vick, you wouldn’t expect Jacobs to actually be…you know…normal, outside of the ring. But, it would appear he actually is and it would appear he's a terrific father as well.
14 He’s Very Accomplished in the Ring
Ridiculously so, as a matter of fact. As in, not just championships too. Some of his acknowledgements aren’t all that great. For example, The Wrestling Observer newsletter gave him “worst feud of the year” seven times. But the accomplishments aren’t all bad. Using titles as a measuring stick, during his long tenure in WWE, he has held championships eighteen times, covering ECW, WWE and WCW brands and including singles and tag team varieties. In addition to those titles, he also won the Money in the Bank briefcase in 2010 and was the eight Triple Crown Champion (World title, tag title, Intercontinental title), as well as the third such Grand Slam Champion (same as the Triple Crown, but also adding an additional title, such as the defunct European or Hardcore titles). He has also appeared in 19 Royal Rumbles thus far and has eliminated 43 men during those appearances. Both are current Royal Rumble records. While this might not be shocking per se, even if you’ve followed him since he broke into the WWE in the 90s, it is seriously stunning to see all of his accomplishments itemized like that.
13 He’s Been on a Lot of PPVs
And, really, matches in general. Seriously, as of December of 2016, Kane has appeared in 178 PPV matches and among those are 63 PPV main event matches. Of those, he’s won 72 PPV appearances, lost 98 times and fought to what amounts to a draw in 8 other matches. When looking at his entire career, including the work he did pre-WWE, his win-loss record stands at (again, current as of early December, 2016) a staggering 859 wins and 791 losses, to go along with 84 draws (double DQ/ double countout). I mean, think about it. That is a lot of work. A lot of matches. A lot of travel and wear and tear on a guy. And, through it all, he has been a pretty durable worker too. His kind of longevity is not unheard of, but when you look at how other guys are oft-injured, Kane has been lucky and largely dodged the injuries, or at least the major ones.
12 He's Been With WWE for Over 20 Years
Think about it in two ways, if you will. Kane has been with WWE nearly thirty years. That is amazing, especially when you consider how the landscape of wrestling has changed over that time. He stayed loyal to Vince during an era where Eric Bischoff was throwing money at any WWE star who was unhappy or who was becoming a free agent. Bischoff didn’t care if he didn’t need the guy, he just wanted to collect talent so that they weren’t working for WWE anymore. And still, Kane stayed.
And then, consider some of the gimmicks and angles he was given. I ask you, if you were stuck working as a dentist with bad teeth…as a WRESTLING GIMMICK….would you really want to report for work every day? Or, if your bosses told you that for some new angle, you were supposed to have an affair with another Superstar’s girlfriend and “get her pregnant,” you’d probably run for the hills. And, seriously, do we need to rehash Katie Vick? As offensive an angle as there ever was, and even after that, Kane kept doing his job.
11 You are in Good Hands With Him (and His Wife)
As in, Glenn Jacobs has long planned for a life after wrestling and in doing so he’s invested his earnings from within the squared circle into a Tennessee based Allstate insurance agency. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. This masked behemoth sells people Allstate insurance with his wife. As scary as he has been inside the ring, including having a ring entrance that would probably make most insurance people cringe (I mean, to quote Jim Ross “he walks through hellfire and brimstone), and would send insurance deductibles skyrocketing…he works outside the ring to take care of people’s insurance interests. Could you imagine buying a policy from Kane and his wife? Or, could you imagine NOT buying a policy from Kane? You'd just say yes and be happy you left with your life.
10 He was Born in Spain
Clearly he wasn’t there long, considering his accent sounds as American as apple pie, but indeed he was born in Spain before his family came back to the United States, settling initially back in Saint Louis. So why was young Mister Jacobs born in a Spanish town? Well, honestly, it’s a fairly easy explanation and one that isn’t all that uncommon, actually. He was born into a United States Air Force family, so as is the nature of that particular job, the enlisted person is often changing posts and, with it, bases. This can be great if you like to travel and move around, but it can also mean that your children, even though being born to American citizens, might happen to be born abroad while his or her parents are serving Uncle Sam from a base in a foreign land. Such was the case here.
9 He was Trained by Dean Malenko
This surprised me because I’ve often considered Dean Malenko, The Man of 1,000 Holds, to be one of the greatest technical wrestlers of his generation and perhaps the best I’ve ever seen in person, thanks to his time in ECW. So, when I learned that Kane had also been trained by such a technically proficient grappler as Malenko, it was not at all what I expected to learn. I expect Jacobs would have sought out a school, and a teacher, more focused on enhancing his talents and skills from a big man’s perspective. Instead, he went and learned under the guidance of someone who was (when compared to Kane) rather diminutive and who made his mark in pro wrestling not through power moves, but through leverage, holds and submissions.
8 He has an English Degree
How is that for a stunner, ladies and gentlemen? Now, seeing a pro wrestler with a college degree isn’t exactly new. We’ve seen guys who have Harvard Law degrees perform for WWE, so a little old English degree isn’t that crazy (though I expected to see more sports-related majors than anything). So, Mister Jacobs attended Northeast Missouri State University and eventually he graduated with the aforementioned degree in English. He’s a smart guy with a degree to prove it and considering how he’s rather well spoken (take a look at some of his more recent work with The Authority), you have to come to the conclusion that the English degree has served him well. He’s intelligent and the degree, has more likely than not, helped him in crafting and cutting promos. There is, after all, a lot of speaking involved in the job of a wrestler-especially once they dropped the notion that Kane could not speak or required the vibrating device to help him communicate.
7 He’s got a Political Interest
Well, okay, most everyone over the age of 18 does (and I am sure some under it do too, though they cannot legally vote). But, Kane likes politics. He follows politics and he’s even had a blog site dedicated to his own political musings. In a day and age where WWE won’t allow its women to pose for Playboy anymore, where the Facebook and Twitter pages are effectively WWE-owned extensions of the wrestler’s persona, having his own blog dedicated to a rather polarizing topic is actually pretty surprising. He’s predominantly a Libertarian, in case you were wondering, having supported Ron Paul during previous election efforts. And, he may actually follow in fellow WWE Superstar Rhyno’s footsteps by running for political office. That’s right folks, he’s considering a 2018 run for Knox County (TN) mayor on the Republican ticket. Yes, I said it. We could see Mayor Kane.
6 He’s Not Just a Movie Star, He's a TV Star Too
Fine, so “star” might be a stretch, but give me a little freedom here, will ya? Some of the movies are easy to recall-everyone remembers his star turn as the main villain Jacob Goodknight in WWE-backed horror movie See No Evil. He was also in that movie’s direct-to-video sequel. But he didn’t stop there, appearing in three other films (biggest of them being MacGruber, alongside other WWE talent, as well as the Scooby-Doo WrestleMania Mystery). He has also found himself on the small screen once, having a role on an episode of the now-cancelled series Smallville. Moving into movies and television actually does make sense for wrestlers, considering that sports entertainment is basically just violent acting and a number of Superstars have earned movie gigs (it helps that your parent company is financing things).
5 He’s Got a Handle on Economics too
To go along with his political knowledge and prowess, he’s shown a wrestling-hold type grasp on economic policies too. Or, at least, he has a well-formed opinion about things. He’s shown a particular affinity toward the Austrian school of economics, which I will admit right here and right now, I don’t know much about. But, among the topics he has covered? Getting rid of the income tax, returning the United States to the gold standard and more. Those might not fly with everyone, but such ideas are not unheard of and do make sense when you factor in his Libertarian leanings. So, here’s a scary thought for you: imagine Kane, sitting with JBL, on a plane flying to a WWE event, talking finance and economics. Both are big men, both have insight into that realm…a disagreement, should they have one, could be quite interesting!
4 He Wrestled in the First-ever WWE First Blood Match
Now, if you’ve taken in all the content the WWE Network has to offer, you’ve probably seen this already. If you are a fan of Kane, you probably knew this. But it’s worth mentioning anyways. Why is this shocking? Well, consider this: the WWE has, basically, gone full-on PG over the past few years. Oh, sure, we’ve seen some blood, hard ways or otherwise, and some guys have been admonished for it. But this was a scheduled and promoted match, for a championship, involving Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin. And, considering Kane was wearing a mask, covering a part of your body more likely to be busted open during a wrestling match, wasn’t it obvious who was winning that match? Now, it may be overshadowed or forgotten to an extent, but for one very good reason: that same night of the First Blood Match was a wee bit of a historical match…Mankind and The Undertaker’s Hell In A Cell clash.
3 He’s a Solid Orator
No, he won’t ever be confused with say, Winston Churchill (and not just because of the missing accent, or the completely different statures, or the fact that Churchill is dead and Kane actually is not). But Kane, building off of his Libertarian views and opinions, has taken advantage of opportunities afforded him and has served as a public speaker. He has done so for the Free State Project, serving as a keynote speaker for the groups 2009 event, the New Hampshire Liberty Forum, as well as for other events. Anyone who ever thought wrestlers were just dumb, ‘roided up jocks? If Kane doesn’t shatter that stereotype, then I don’t know what else to tell you (except maybe put another one of these lists together for David Otunga, but no one would read that one...).
2 WWE Created a Match for Him
Now, this is not to say that such a match wasn’t ever done anywhere else, or that no other pyrotechnics were ever incorporated into a match (they have been). But for Kane, WWE came up with the fiery (and hot) Inferno Match. In my mind, the Inferno Match is to Kane, what the Casket Match has been for The Undertaker (though we’ve seen a lot less of the Inferno Match than the Casket Match). Considering that Kane’s career is winding down (or, at least, we think it would be as he approaches 50) and considering that the company is pushing far more family friendly fare, of which a match involving a ring surrounded by flames wouldn’t exactly fit into it, I do have doubts that we’d see another one ever again.
1 Kane Helped Get Pete Rose Into the Hall of Fame
No, not that Hall of Fame. Baseball’s disgraced hits king is banned from that sport’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. However, Pete Rose happened to get involved with WrestleMania XIV. He said enough to draw Kane out and, for his words, Rose was tombstoned. Rose returned again for WrestleMania XV, but this time dressed up as the San Diego Chicken in the hopes of getting one by The Big Red Monster. But, no such luck. We wouldn’t see the former member of the Reds at WrestleMania again until the 2000 edition of it and his luck remained unchanged. He ate one final tombstone on an episode of RAW, just for good measure. But, for the abuse he took at the hands of Kane (all because, perhaps, he took umbrage at the moniker Big Red Monster, as compared to Big Red Machine), Pete Rose was finally able to get enshrined in a Hall of Fame.