Hell in the Cell 2013 marked Kane’s second return in two years after being sidelined by another more malicious, baleful wrestler. The first return, after a nice build up that stoked fan interest, prompted a deafening din when he appeared in the ring and chokeslammed John Cena. This second return at Hell In A Cell saw him take out the Miz after trading a few blows with Bray Wyatt’s followers. The common theme in both of these returns however was a line of behavior that seems to run counter to Kane’s persona; Kane returned after being shelved by other wrestlers without seeking revenge. Consider that a wrestler whose career was sparked by revenge on his older brother decided not to seek revenge on those who injured him in his last two returns. Is this bad booking or deep psychology?
One on hand, it could be that the WWE Creative was lazy. They didn’t smartly plan ahead enough to re-insert Kane back into the storylines in a way that would allow for him to exact revenge on those who were the source of his rage, and you definitely hope that this isn’t the case. The anticipation that led to his return at the end of 2011 erupted once he walked to the ring wearing a welder’s mask. Given how invested fans were in Kane’s return, you would think at least a match against Mark Henry would have made sense and given that angle some sense of closure, instead of leaving horrible loose ends. Yes, Kane returned to turn heel, but there was a way to do it after exacting revenge. Kane acted as if Henry wasn’t the guy who (in kayfabe) tried to brutally and maliciously end his career. Had Kane chokeslammed both Henry and Cena, fans would have celebrated that the uncontrollable, unpredictable Kane was back. This would have then created a three way match where Kane could exact revenge. After that match, and sufficient retribution on Henry, Kane could then go after Cena and turn heel.
The same line of thinking extends to the angle with Bray Wyatt. On two separate occasions, the Wyatt’s” bludgeoned Kane, twice sandwiching his head between ring steps. Despite those instances and the fact that they dragged him to some unknown hole after Summerslam, Kane barely troubles them in his return. (A big boot, a few punches, a botched slam, and a clothesline to be exact). Instead, his character is obsessed with the Miz, doing what’s best for business, and being a faithful servant to Stephanie McMahon (Is this setting up the 79th feud between Kane and the Big Show?) with revenge for an unspeakable wrong not even being a prominent thought of his based on his behavior.
The lack of vengeance in Kane’s returns makes you scratch your head given the hallmark traits of his character, but it could also be good psychology. After being destroyed by Mark Henry and the Wyatt’s, conventional thought would be what was hinted to above: gain vengeance on those who sidelined you for weeks and then turn heel or stay face. However, let’s remember that for most of his career, Kane has been billed as a cold, malevolent, mentally unhinged monster with no rhyme or reason to his behavior. This lack of vengeance against his aggressors can be further evidence of that. By not having Kane attempt to destroy Henry and Wyatt after what they inflicted upon him, creative is signifying that Kane’s mind is an enigma in an of itself. It actually makes Kane’s character slightly more foreboding; if Kane won’t launch into a devastating, destructive frenzy seeking vengeance for what Mark Henry and the Wyatt’s did, then what sets him off into the depths of demolition that he visits once in a while?
By not pursuing Mark Henry and then Bray Wyatt, Kane’s making a decision and following a line of behavior that is hard to rationalize through normal booking. But then again, with Kane’s mental instability, this character can’t be booked like most wrestlers. He must do things that clash with what amounts to regular behavior…even for 6’9″, 320lb wrestlers with anger issues. It baffles most that Kane would not seek retribution on Henry or Wyatt after the devastation they brought to him, but Kane is a character with a demented mindset, a unique fascination with destruction, and a distinct air of unpredictable behavior.
When you look at Kane through the prism of an erratic, mentally unhinged character, then his disregard for the Wyatts upon his return makes some sense. At the same time, many of us were actually looking forward to seeing Kane face off with Bray and reign down his fiery, vicious, brutal brand of justice to the family from the swamplands. The quandary of Kane’s current character is somewhat dictated by commercial interests, but depending on how you look at it, the most recent turn with his character can be attributed either to lazy booking or clever psychology.