Not too long ago, we discussed the logic gap between bringing Kane back and not having him exact revenge on those who injured him—vengeance being a seminal quality of Kane’s well-defined, established character. While I still think there it was suspect booking to bring Kane back and make him forget about those who took him to parts unknown (where the Ultimate Warrior lives…that’s an old-school reference), this new version of Kane is nuanced and might actually work. Sure I would have liked to see him hunt down the Wyatts before becoming a corporate shill, but creative had other plans, and this one may be a strong one. Kane has transferred the warped, tortured mentality that made him a physical monster into the driving force behind his injurious, psychotic decision-making as Director of Operations, which has allowed him to maintain much of the character that’s made him so memorable.
Through sit-down interviews with Michael Cole, appearances with the Authority, match creations in backstage segments, and power ploys with other on-screen authority figures, Kane has stayed true to the vile character that made The Big Red Monster moniker a true calling card.
He’s been terrorizing, scaring Brad Maddox and Randy Orton among others when he felt it necessary and throwing his weight around at will to convince people to do things.
He’s been eery and explosively unpredictable, almost leaping out of his chair at a moment’s notice and telling the world that the monster still lurks within in his interview with Michael Cole.
He’s been notoriously private and furtive about his motivations, answering “No” to almost every question Cole asked him in that same interview with Cole.
Sentencing Daniel Bryan to a 3 on 1 handicap match at TLC was not only vile, but also emotionless, two hallmarks that have made him the legendary figure that he is in wrestling. He was not only aloof, forgetting the bond that he shared with Bryan as a tag team champion but also derisive, mockingly chanting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” after creating the match that put DB against insurmountable odds.
The logic behind Kane’s character change—he was allowing the monster that everyone represses—works in the wacky world of wrestling, where overly aggressive characters are the norm and violent rampages are only a provocation away. (See the battle at the end of Raw between Cena and Orton) After that interview with Cole, Kane flashed a smile that no one could love, showing flashes of the psychotic, dangerous man that he’s always been. As he evolves, we’re seeing Kane do great work and add unforeseen dimensions to his bruising, demented, evil character. At the end of his interview with Cole, he said that he was evolving. Those words were a harbinger of the character he’s now creating with his new character.