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Examining WWE’s obsession with keeping Kane strong

(Courtesy of WWE.com)

Very much like the man who plays his half-brother, 21-year WWE veteran Kane has been a part of Vince McMahon’s corporation for the vast majority of his professional wrestling career. It took him a few years to find his niche, but once the Kane character was conceived, WWE never looked back. In fact, the 19-year anniversary of the debut of Kane was just one day after the occurrence of the incident that inspired this column.

This past Tuesday on SmackDown, Kane scored his second straight recent victory against Bray Wyatt. At the first SmackDown pay-per-view event, Backlash, he filled in for Randy Orton and pinned Wyatt with a chokeslam after Orton interfered and struck Bray with the RKO. On Tuesday he earned a count-out win over “The (alleged) New Face of Fear.” After dominating Kane for the duration of the match, Wyatt was spooked and bothered by Randy Orton appearing on the video screen. When he turned back to Kane, a single punch knocked him out of the ring and “The Eater of Worlds” decided to bail on the match. Up to that moment, he was in the driver’s seat on the way to a guaranteed victory. A win over the established star would have given him momentum leading into Sunday’s showdown with Randy Orton.

Orton very poorly imitated Bray Wyatt’s usual schtick, but Kane was left standing tall.

WWE has been tirelessly keeping Kane (at least the Demon version) as strong as possible for the majority of his 19 years under that persona. It made perfect sense for Kane to tear through mostly everybody for many years. The problem is that somewhere along the line he achieved the vaunted “bulletproof” status. That is something that very few continuously active stars can claim for themselves.

Chris Jericho earned it probably three to four years before he was unceremoniously ousted from WWE back in 2005.

Bullets started bouncing off of The Rock at some point in 1999, probably around his SummerSlam feud with Billy Gunn. If you can recover from something as bad as that and stay on top of the world, you truly are bulletproof.

Kane is, indeed, bulletproof. There aren’t enough Kane-a-roonies in the world nor enough stinkers to be had in the ring against men like The Great Khali to keep Kane down. Not enough to even damage him to the point that he needs to be built up again over the course of time. He is back to being unstoppable as soon as Vince McMahon decides he is.

Even May 19 can’t drag our man Kane down.

Not even Katie Vick can destroy Kane.

The most disappointing unmasking of all time? It had as much power as a fruit fly in terms of being able to do damage to “The Big Red Machine.”

That is why it is so bewildering that month after month, year after year, WWE refuses to allow him to play the role he should be cast in. The crowd loves Kane (hell, I love Kane). They stand by him no matter what. When he is a good guy, everyone knows that if he needs to clean house and chokeslam everybody in sight, there isn’t a person that can stop him. When he’s a bad guy, the WWE Universe knows that he is one of the most unstoppable forces of evil that a wrestler could possibly come into contact with.

Yet for some reason, instances like his recent encounters with Bray Wyatt happen. We understand the loss at Backlash. We accept it as a good part of the story arc, in fact. Wyatt’s loss on Tuesday, even though it was by his own will, was the wrong way to go. Why not have him finish his business in the ring with Kane first? The monster was one Sister Abigail away from looking up at the lights.

Instead, somebody thought it was more important to have Bray run away immediately in search of Randy Orton. It made Bray look weak and, for a reason we’re struggling to figure out, kept Kane looking strong.

This is Bray Wyatt, a guy who is supposed to be a serious, significant threat to Randy Orton. Wyatt is in one of the marquee matches on Sunday night. Kane doesn’t even have a match. Unless, of course, he winds up being Curt Hawkins’ mystery opponent.

Would Kane look too weak to defeat Curt Hawkins if he was pinned by Bray Wyatt five days ago? Would he?

Come on, now.

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