MATCH #1: Special Challenge Match – Mankind vs. Kane (with Paul Bearer), Survivor Series, 11.9.97
Mankind doesn’t even wait for Kane to get into the ring before taking the beating everyone knew he would be taking. I’m glad they didn’t leave the red light on during Kane’s matches for very long. Kane throws Mankind around and they go back outside the ring, where Kane hits Mankind in the face with the steel steps. Back in the ring Kane continues to control the match. They go back outside the ring and Mankind is able to throw Kane’s face into the ring steps and then hit him with a chair. I guess this is unofficially a no-holds-barred match. Back in the ring Mankind hits the pulling piledriver and then puts Paul Bearer in the Mandible Claw. That gives Kane the opportunity to sit up and throw Mankind threw the Spanish announce table from the apron, injuring Tito Santana and Carlos Cabrera in the process. Mankind is able to fight back long enough to hit the Cactus elbow, but soon gets slammed from the middle rope all the way down to the floor. He makes his way back to the ring and gets spiked with a Tombstone Piledriver and that’s it at 9:30. That wasn’t exactly a good match but it was a good debut for Kane, as he looked totally dominating, even though he was still pretty clunky as a worker.
MATCH #2: Undertaker vs. Kane, WrestleMania XIV, 3.29.98
Pete Rose is the guest ring announcer here, and he waits about half a second before going heel on the crowd. He cuts a pretty good promo actually, and then Kane comes out and delivers a Tombstone Piledriver. I’m not sure why they would give the number two heel a big babyface pop, but I like Pete Rose so I’ll let it slide. They’re actually moving pretty quickly in the early going, with Kane initiating most of the offense and Undertaker being forced to counter him. Kane works Undertaker over, sending him to the floor and using the ring steps as a weapon. Bearer gets some cheap shots in too. Kane gets an early Choke Slam and pulls Undertaker up at two. He continues the punishment for a while, until Undertaker dumps him to the floor. He tries a big dive and Kane sidesteps him, and the announce table takes the brunt of the impact. Back in the ring Kane hits a clothesline off the top rope for two. Kane hits a Tombstone for another two-count. Undertaker recovers and hits a Choke Slam. He follows with a Tombstone but Kane kicks out! He hits another one and Kane kicks out again! Undertaker goes to the top rope and hits a flying clothesline. A third Tombstone is enough to get the pin at 16:58. The match was slow and plodding, and the crowd only popped for the big spots. Bearer and Kane beat Undertaker down after the match, with Kane hitting a Tombstone on a steel chair.
MATCH #3: Inferno Match – Undertaker vs. Kane (with Paul Bearer), Unforgiven, 4.26.98
The visual of the inferno match is admittedly pretty cool. Undertaker attacks first and does what he does. Kane fights back and does what he does. The flames periodically shoot up higher, and that’s just about the only time the crowd pops. Bearer throws a chair into the ring and Kane lands an unprotected shot to the head. Then nothing happens and they go back to doing the same old crap they were doing before. Kane controls for a while but the crowd starts to pick up when Undertaker comes back, only to be cut off by a Kane choke slam. Undertaker gets up and hits one of his own. Then, again, nothing happens. Kane goes up to the top rope and Undertaker crotches him. He follows up with a superplex, and then throws Kane over the ropes to the floor. Kane goes back towards the locker room, but Vader comes out and forces Kane back to ringside. Undertaker dives over the ropes onto both of them and the crowd pops big. Bearer hits Undertaker with a chair to no effect. He takes the chair and hits Kane with it instead, twice. Now he turns his attention to Paul Bearer, and chases him back to the stage where Jeff Jarrett performed earlier this evening with Sawyer Brown. In a goofily memorable moment, Undertaker smashes the bass drum over Bearer’s head, and he’s busted open. He then walks back to the ring and kicks Kane backwards into the fire and wins the match at 16:01. The structure of the rules resulted in a lot of “dead time,” so to speak, as it was hard to build drama to a finish when the choke slam had no chance of actually ending the match. It’s memorable because it’s the first and had a couple of cool spots, so at least it’s more entertaining than their WrestleMania XIV match.
MATCH #4: First Blood Match for the WWE Championship – Stone Cold Steve Austin© vs. Kane (with Paul Bearer), King of the Ring, 6.28.98
Austin rushes to the ring and hits a Thesz Press right off the bat and drops an elbow. He hits Kane in the face with his title belt and removes the turnbuckle and tries to ram Kane into that. Austin has a sizable bandage around his right elbow. Kane starts to beat on Austin and the Hell in a Cell cage starts lowering (this was the same night as the famous Undertaker vs. Mankind Hell in a Cell match). Kane tries to trap Austin under the lowered cage, but he just kind of stops trying at one point. Kane throws Austin into the cage several times, trying to bust him open. They continue to fight outside the ring and now the cage is being raised, with Kane hanging over the doorway. Austin pulls him down and rams him into the guardrail. Austin has a small cut on his back, but the referee said earlier today that it was going to have to be something major to end this match. Austin tries a piledriver on the floor but Kane delivers a back body drop. They fight all the way up to the entrance ramp and around that area. They fight back up to the announce table and Austin hits Kane with one of their mini-fans. The referee goes down and Kane hits a flying clothesline from the top rope. Austin comes back and slugs away on Kane. Mankind comes out with a steel chair and the cell starts coming down again. Mankind takes a Stunner and Kane gets one too. Now Undertaker makes his way out with a chair of his own. Austin has a chair too. Undertaker goes to hit Mankind but instead he hits Austin’s chair and knocks it back into his face. Undertaker clotheslines Kane over the ropes and dumps Mankind out as well. Undertaker throws the referee back into the ring, and Austin is bleeding heavily from the head. Undertaker revives the referee and Kane hits him in the back with a chair. Austin is up and he levels Kane with the chair, but the referee sees Austin bleeding and calls for the bell at 14:52 and Kane is the new WWE Champion. The match was a pretty boring brawl, since Kane has always been a boring brawler.
MATCH #5: World Tag Team Championship Match – X-Pac & Kane vs. Jeff Jarrett & Owen Hart©, Raw, 4.5.99
Hart and X-Pac start it off with some fast paced back and forth. Jarrett and Hart actually meshed together very well as a team; it was probably some of the best stuff Jarrett’s ever done. The champions gain an early advantage on X-Pac, but he tenaciously hangs in there. He finally tags the newly babyface Kane into the match and he throws both champions around. X-Pac hits the Bronco Buster on Hart, as Kane choke slams Jarrett. Kane then picks X-Pac up over his head and drops him onto Jarrett to score the pin and become wacky tag team champions at 5:57. I think Hart & Jarrett certainly had more steam in their title reign, but Kane & X-Pac wound up having good chemistry and their feud was surprisingly entertaining if a bit too long.
MATCH #6: Steel Cage Match – Kane (with Tori) vs. X-Pac, Armageddon, 12.12.99
X-Pac tries to put some moves on Tori, so Kane climbs over the cage and starts throwing him around ringside. I think walking out the door would have been quicker. X-Pac comes back by hitting Kane in the face with the ring bell, but it has little effect. They both climb over the cage and the bell rings, with Kane continuing to no-sell X-Pac’s offense. X-Pac can win this match by pin, submission, or escaping the cage, but Kane can only win by pin or submission. Kane gets most of the offense, but X-Pac is crafty. He ends up crotching Kane on the top rope and hits a spin kick. He climbs up and hits a guillotine legdrop. Kane fights back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and the New Age Outlaws make their way out. They cut the lock off the cage door and slam it into Kane’s face and slide a chair into the ring. X-Pac hits the X-Factor right onto the chair and apparently the Outlaws also gave X-Pac handcuffs, because he cuffs Kane to the cage. He hits him with the chair twice. X-Pac goes to climb out of the cage, despite the door being a much easier option, and Tori comes into the ring to stop him. She takes an X-Factor for her trouble. X-Pac once again tries to climb out but Kane breaks the cuffs and goes outside the ring to put X-Pac on his shoulders and toss him back into the ring. That’s a pretty clever spot given the stipulations. Kane slams the door in X-Pac’s face and hits a big clothesline from the top of the cage. He follows that up with a Tombstone to get the pin at 8:13. That was a fun match; they kept it pretty short and had a couple of cool spots and good heat.
MATCH #7: Last Man Standing Match – Chris Jericho vs. Kane, Armageddon, 12.10.00
Ah yes, the coffee feud. The match starts up near the entrance, with Kane throwing hands. They go immediately backstage and the crowd dies. They finally get a camera feed back there and Kane stays in control. Jericho fights back and Mideon gets in the way. They fight back into the arena and back to the ring, with Jericho in control. They fight to the floor and Kane hits a powerslam. Back in the ring Kane stays on offense. Jericho fights back and tries the Lionsault and Kane gets his knees up. Kane hits a choke slam, and Jericho barely gets up at nine. Jericho comes back with a low blow and a DDT. He also hits a missile dropkick, and then a chair-assisted Lionsault. Both men get up at nine and Jericho runs into a boot. Kane then tosses him to the floor, and they fight up the aisle. A choke slam attempt through a table doesn’t work, so Jericho tries to slam Kane’s face through it, and that sort of works. I can’t believe they have to blur the WWF logo on referee shirts. Jericho pushes over part of the set, burying Kane underneath. That keeps him down for the full 10 count, and Jericho wins the match at 16:45. This feud had so little going for it to begin with, and the match was pretty dull and heatless.
MATCH #8: Triple Threat Tag Team Championship Match – Edge & Christian vs. Undertaker & Kane vs. The Dudley Boyz©, No Way Out, 2.25.01
The fight starts in the aisle and the Brothers of Destruction take out both teams and just generally dominate. The champions come back and introduce chairs to the match, laying out Kane and Undertaker. They get in the ring with Edge and Christian and work them over. Edge and Christian use some dirty and double-team tactics to take control for a bit. They try a con-chair-toe on Bubba but it winds up backfiring. They hit the stupid headbutt thing that they’re still doing eight years later. Christian hits the Unprettier on Bubba. Undertaker and Kane make their way back to the ring and they go back to dominating. All six brawl with each other, as D-Von sets up a table. Nothing happens from that. Undertaker and Kane almost get to put Edge and Christian through tables, but Rikishi and Haku run out to start a fight with them. I wonder why that tag match didn’t go to WrestleMania X-Seven. The leaves it a two-on-two match in the ring. The champions are soon able to hit the 3D on Christian to get the win and retain the titles at 12:03. The match was a little bit silly and overbooked but the action never stopped and the heat was good.
MATCH #9: WWE Intercontinental Championship Chain Match – Triple H© vs. Kane, Judgment Day, 5.20.01
Stephanie McMahon is carrying her husband’s World Tag Team title belt. Kane has an injured left arm coming into the match, and Triple H immediately attacks it at the bell. The referee tries to encourage them to join at the wrist with the chain, but neither man seems to have any interest in doing that. They fight outside the ring for a minute, and then back in they get attached by the chain as per the rules. Triple H stays in control. He goes to the floor to grab a steel chair but Kane pulls the chain to run Triple H’s face into the chair in a pretty cool spot. That busts Triple H’s head open, and Kane goes on offense for several minutes. He goes up to the top rope and Triple H pulls on the chain and Kane crashes down to the mat. They fight out on the floor and Kane reclaims control. He slams Triple H off the guardrail and onto the floor. They get back in the ring and Triple H goes for the Pedigree. Kane counters and hits a low blow, and then a chain-assisted clothesline from the top rope. He hits the Choke Slam and Stone Cold Steve Austin runs out to try and help his Tag Team Championship partner but Kane dispatches of him. That allows Triple H to hit a low blow. Austin comes in the ring with a chair and accidentally hits Triple H instead. Kane knocks Austin out of the ring and covers Triple H to get the pin and win the Intercontinental Title for the first time at 12:28. That was a decent brawl and Kane was surprisingly over.
MATCH #10: Kane vs. Kurt Angle, WrestleMania X8, 3.17.02
These two had a much better match on Smackdown in the fall of 2001; why couldn’t they include that match instead? Angle clobbers Kane with the ring bell before the bell can ring to start the match, so he can’t be disqualified. That’s pretty clever. It’s all Angle in the early going. Kane fights back with some punches and a back elbow. He throws Angle around and hits a two-handed Choke Slam. He goes for the one-handed version, and Angle blocks it. Kane stays in control though. Angle comes back with a belly-to-belly suplex and a couple of clotheslines. He hits a back suplex and I don’t really remember the angle behind JR and King selling Kane’s “head trauma.” Kane catches a running Angle in a side suplex. He tries a regular suplex, which Angle counters to the rolling German suplexes, hitting three of them for a near fall. He goes up top and hits a clothesline, and then goes up top again. This time Kane swats him out of the air and both men are down. They get up and trade moves. Angle hits the Angle Slam but Kane kicks out at two. He drops the straps and puts on the Ankle Lock. Kane fights out with an enziguiri. He goes to the top rope and Angle hits the run-up belly-to-belly suplex. Kane tries a Choke Slam but Angle rolls out of it and cradles Kane’s legs while putting his own on the ropes for the win at 10:43. This match seemed very hastily thrown together just to give each guy something to do on the card, and they kind of botched the finish too. It was okay but very forgettable, and I really wish they had used the Smackdown match instead.
MATCH #11: World Heavyweight Championship vs. Intercontinental Championship Match – Triple H vs. Kane, No Mercy, 10.20.02
This was early in the “two world titles” days, and would be the end of the Intercontinental Title for seven months. Kane overpowers the World Champion to start. It’s all Kane for the first several minutes. Triple H recovers and takes over and now he’s in control for several minutes. Man, he looks so weird without a beard. Kane makes a brief comeback, but Triple H cuts him off with a sleeper. He escapes it and tries an elbow drop but Triple H moves. Kane finally lands a big boot and throws Triple H into the turnbuckles. He hits a sidewalk slam and the top-rope clothesline. At this point Ric Flair (fresh off a loss to Rob Van Dam earlier in the evening) comes down to interfere, and the referee gets bumped. This allows Flair to get the belt to Triple H, who hits Kane in the face with it but only gets a two-count. The Hurricane runs out to help his tag team partner by taking Flair out. Unfortunately for him Triple H gives him a Pedigree on the floor. Kane uses that time to recover and is on fire now, and the crowd pops pretty big for him. He hits a powerslam for two. Triple H tries to come back with a leap off the ropes, but Kane catches him and sets him on the top turnbuckle. He tries a superplex but Triple H shoves him down. He jumps off right into Kane’s foot, and Kane motions for the Choke Slam.
Triple H fights out of it and ducks a boot, which hits the referee instead. Kane charges and Triple H back drops him to the floor. Kane recovers and Choke Slams Triple H through the Spanish Announce Table, and then knocks Flair down. He throws Triple H back in the ring and tries a cover but the ref is still out. Flair brings the sledgehammer in the ring and Kane takes it away from him. Triple H is able to hit a low blow and goes to hit Kane with the hammer. Kane tries a Tombstone but Triple H hits him in the gut with his favorite weapon. He tries to hit him in the face but Kane blocks it and hits a Choke Slam. A new referee comes down to make the count and Flair pulls him out of the ring. Flair goes to the top and gets caught in a Choke Slam. Triple H recovers and is able to hit the Pedigree, and the original referee recovers and counts the fall at 16:14. That seemed like a lot to protect Kane, but at least the ridiculous overbooking woke the crowd up. The match wasn’t great, but at least it wasn’t the main event of this show. Kane had just returned from surgery and was never that good to begin with, and Triple H had returned from surgery 10 months earlier but still hadn’t managed to get his groove back. In fact he really wouldn’t until over a year later.
MATCH #12: Rob Van Dam & Kane vs. Chris Jericho & Christian, Raw, 1.6.03
This seems like a rather random match, but as someone who owns every DVD this company has ever produced, I appreciate random matches. Jericho and Christian are accompanied by Randy Orton, and I have no idea what’s up with that. I don’t remember that at all. To counteract Orton, Shawn Michaels is in RVD and Kane’s corner. RVD and Kane start off hot, knocking their opponents to the floor, and then RVD hits a plancha on both of them. Back in the ring RVD goes to work on Jericho. RVD goes to the top and Orton distracts the referee so Christian tosses RVD off the top rope to the floor. Where were you on that one, Shawn? Christian is tagged in now and he slugs away at RVD. He and Jericho work him over, and even toss him to the floor so Orton can get his shots in too. Michaels finally makes himself useful by hitting Orton with Sweet Chin Music. Jericho then sneaks up behind him and throws him into the steel steps. RVD finally makes a comeback and makes the hot tag to Kane. He cleans house on both opponents until they try a double suplex. Kane reverses it and suplexes both of them at the same time. He goes up top and nails Christian with the clothesline. Jericho distracts Kane and Christian recovers and hits the Unprettier for two. Jericho brings two chairs in the ring and they try a con-chair-toe. Kane ducks it and Michaels drags Jericho to the floor and they brawl into the crowd. RVD comes off the top rope with a single-leg dropkick on Christian. Kane follows up with the Choke Slam, and then RVD hits the Five-Star Frog Splash, which is enough for Kane to get the pin at 7:09. That was a good high energy tag team main event, as RVD and Kane worked well together as a team; surprising since I don’t particularly care for either of them as singles wrestlers.
MATCH #13: Steel Cage Match – Rob Van Dam vs. Kane, Raw, 9.8.03
I definitely appreciate them putting this match on the DVD instead of their SummerSlam match that I have twice already. Kane attacks right away and this could be a long night for RVD. Sadly RVD took a backseat to Shane McMahon in this feud, making him look like a total chump. He tries a few offensive maneuvers but Kane overpowers him and throws him face-first into the cage. Kane goes to work on his bloody opponent. He goes for a powerbomb but RVD punches his way out of it, only to run into a big boot. Kane goes up top and RVD kicks him down to the apron, and then smashes Kane’s body into the cage a couple of times. He hits the one-legged missile dropkick and Rolling Thunder. He tries to climb out but Kane stops him. RVD knocks Kane down and goes for the Five-Star Frog Splash but Kane sits up and avoids it. He resumes throwing RVD around, and actually throws him into the Steel Cage so hard he breaks through the door. RVD’s feet hit the floor, so the referee declares him the winner! General Manager Eric Bischoff is out to announce that RVD is not the winner because the rules clearly state a man has to climb over the cage or through the door to win. That’s a dick move but he’s actually right. We go to commercial and we come back with Kane bringing RVD back into the ring. RVD is just easy pickings now, as Kane appears to enjoy torturing him. He tries to climb over the cage as Kane just lets him do it. That appears dumb at first as RVD kicks Kane in the face and almost climbs out. It turns out to be smart though as Kane is able to Chokeslam RVD off the top rope to get the pin at 14:10. Again, I don’t care much for either of these guys but they even had a good dynamic as opponents and it was pretty smartly booked.
MATCH #14: Last Man Standing Match – Shane McMahon vs. Kane, Unforgiven, 9.21.03
This feud started because Kane Tombstoned Shane’s mommy. Jerry Lawler trying to save her was a nice touch. Shane sneak attacks Kane with a chair as he’s making his way to the ring. He clobbers Kane with it a couple of times and gets an early knockdown. Kane sits up at four and eats another chair shot to the face. You know, it wouldn’t be a great match, but if someone just kept hitting someone with a chair over and over in a Last Man Standing match that would knock them out eventually. Good for Shane. The fight goes to the floor and Shane actually continues to go on offense. Kane finally just shoves him aside but Shane comes right back and leaps off the guardrail. Unfortunately for him, Kane catches him and sort of powerslams him down to the floor. Kane then hits Shane with the ring steps. They go back to the ring and Kane accidentally boots the referee, not that it matters. Kane brings the steel steps into the ring, and Shane is able to reverse the momentum and bulldog Kane onto them, and follows up by baseball sliding the steps right into Kane. Shane continues to use the steps, seeing them up against Kane in the corner and hitting the coast-to-coast dropkick, but there’s no referee to count. Kane lies motionless for a while, so Shane crawls over towards him, and Kane pushes the steps into his head. Now the referee gets back in and starts counting both men. They get up and Kane tosses Shane to the floor. They fight up by the entrance and Kane whips Shane into a piece of the set. He keeps throwing Shane around, and actually dumps the Spanish Announce Table off its platform right onto Shane. Or so he thinks, as Shane attacks him from out of nowhere and shellacs him with a piece of metal. He throws the boom mic into his face, breaking the lens. Kane gets up at nine so Shane tries choking him with some electrical cords. They fight up to the platform and Shane hits a low blow and a DDT. Shane climbs up the scaffolding as JR and King read him his Last Rites. He tries a senton bomb but Kane moves out of the way and that sounded pretty nasty. Kane gets up but Shane sure isn’t going to, so it’s over at 19:54. That was definitely too long and pretty dull in spots, but Shane did some cool stuff and Kane sold for him appropriately.
MATCH #15: Ambulance Match, The Final Encounter – Shane McMahon vs. Kane, Survivor Series, 11.16.03
Shane attacks Kane right away with a cross body block and they both tumble over the ropes and continue the fight on the floor. Kane tries to use the steps but Shane counters him by using a steel chair. He hits Kane with a monitor and sets him up on the Spanish Announce Table. He hits the flying elbow through the table. It’s pretty early for a spot like that. They get up and Shane baits Kane to follow him through the crowd. They fight backstage and we lose the match for a few seconds. Shane runs away and Kane slowly follows. Amazingly, it was all a trick, as Shane comes out of nowhere and pastes Kane with a kendo stick. Shane gets into a car and backs into Kane, who falls through a glass security booth. He calls for the ambulance. Kane of course recovers and starts throwing Shane around again. They fight back into the arena, and Kane throws him into the ambulance. Shane responds by doing the same. He slams one of the doors into Kane’s face twice, the second one sounded pretty nasty. Kane is soon back on offense, and tries loading Shane into the ambulance, but can’t close the doors. Shane hits a Rock DDT on Kane right on the floor. He sets a trash can in front of him and then jumps off the ambulance with a dropkick. The dude is nuts. Shane tries to load Kane in the ambulance but Kane isn’t done yet. He slams Shane’s back into the ambulance and then hits a Tombstone on the concrete floor. That’s enough for Kane to throw Shane in the ambulance and shut the door at 13:31. That was boring brawling punctuated by a few contrived looking spots.
MATCH #16: Till Death Do Us Part Match – Matt Hardy vs. Kane, SummerSlam, 8.15.04
Lita gets her own entrance. Hardy attacks right away as Kane covers up. He pinned Kane in a no-DQ match at Vengeance so he’s confident. He controls the early going and hits a modified Side Effect for two. He hits a Tornado DDT and Kane lands awkwardly. That also gets two. Hardy stays in control, even hitting a plancha and then a Twist of Fate on the floor. The referee starts the count and Kane makes it back in at nine. Lita gives Matt the ring bell, and then distracts the referee. Hardy whacks Kane in the face with it, but Kane gets his foot on the rope at two. He jumps off the ropes and almost gets Choke Slammed, but he avoids it and tries the Twist of Fate. Kane pushes him off and hits a big boot to the face. He goes up top presumably for the clothesline, but Hardy stops him. He tries a DDT, but Kane blocks that and hits a huge Choke Slam off the top rope to get the pin at 6:08. Hardy actually got almost ALL of the offense in this match, and Kane hit two moves and scored the pin. Now he gets to marry Lita! The match wasn’t unwatchable (being short helped), but it seemed much more suited to TV.
MATCH #17: No Disqualification Match – Shawn Michaels vs. Kane, Unforgiven, 9.12.04
I love Shawn Michaels and all, but Lita needing him to fight her battles for her makes Matt Hardy look like an even bigger chump. Michaels attacks right away and beats Kane through the ropes and to the floor. He follows Kane out and stays in control until they get back in the ring. Kane slugs Michaels around a bit, and then gets clotheslined to the floor. He goes to argue with Lita, giving Michaels the opportunity to hit a plancha to the floor. Then just to be a scumbag, Kane uses his pregnant wife as a shield, and then resumes tossing Michaels around, he even uses Michaels to break the Spanish Announce Table. They go back to the ring and Kane continues his slow, plodding assault. Michaels eventually makes the comeback and hits the flying forearm, and both men are down. He tries to fire up but Kane reverses an Irish whip and goes flying to the floor. Michaels is busted open now. Kane tries to hit him with a chair but Michaels avoids it and they go back to the floor. Lita distracts her husband, and when he goes for a big boot Michaels moves and he hits the ring post. Michaels then smashes his head against the ring post. They head back to the ring and Michaels is on offense now. He hits the Savage Elbow and fires up. He tunes up the band but Kane hits a big boot instead. That only gets two. He goes up and hits the flying clothesline, and then motions for the Choke Slam. Michaels counters that with a blatant low blow. He grabs a steel chair and levels Kane with it. Both men are down, and Kane is the first one to get up. He goes for the chair but Lita grabs it before he can. That gives Michaels the chance to get up and try Sweet Chin Music. Kane blocks it and tries the Choke Slam, but Michaels reveres that to finally hit Sweet Chin Music to get the pin at 18:04. Michaels is an expert at making opponents look good, and he managed to do that here, even if the match was not all that memorable.
MATCH #18: No Holds Barred Match – Kane vs. Gene Snitsky, Raw, 1.17.05
Kane somehow managed to turn babyface and actually had Lita on his side now, even though he raped her and forced her to marry him. That’s why wrestling is unique, folks. The fight starts outside before Snitsky can even make his way to the ring. Kane gets thrown into the crowd but comes back with a clothesline off the security wall. They go back to the ring and Kane hits another clothesline, this one off the top rope. Kane motions for the Chokeslam so Snitsky powders. They go over to the timekeeper’s table and Snitsky whacks Kane with the ring bell. They go back to the ring and Snitsky grabs a weight belt from under the ring. He whips Kane with it and seems to be enjoying himself. He grabs a steel chair and tries to Pillmanize Kane’s neck, but Kane sits up and knocks Snitsky out of the ring with the chair. Kane takes his turn with the weightlifting belt. Snitsky tries to escape but Kane follows him up the aisle and they fight on the entrance platform. Kane tries to Choke Slam Snitsky off the platform but Snitsky kicks him in the nuts. Snitsky tries to clothesline Kane, but Kane ducks and grabs Snitsky by the throat. He talks some trash to him and then hits a jumping Chokeslam off the platform and through some tables. Why Kane chose to jump with him I’m not sure. Anyway, neither man can recover so it’s a no-contest at 6:16. The match was about as good as two boring brawlers can have together in six minutes with no finish.
MATCH #19: Steel Cage Match – Kane vs. Edge, Raw, 7.18.05
Lita had just recently turned on Kane and joined up with Edge. Trying to keep Kane over as a babyface when the woman who he raped leaves him nine months after the fact is pretty bizarre logic. Matt Hardy attacks Edge before he can make his way to the cage, and JR and pretends like they don’t realize it’s Matt Hardy. Kane is on offense right away and Edge keeps trying to escape. Edge recovers and wedges Kane’s body between the ropes and the cage and bloodies Kane’s face. Kane makes the comeback and climbs to the top rope to deliver the clothesline. Edge comes back with a missile dropkick. Kane comes back by crotching Edge on the top rope and hitting a boot to the face. He motions for the Choke Slam and Edge counters with a low blow. Edge climbs to the top rope and Kane brings him down with a powerbomb, and Edge kicks out at two. Kane tries a Tombstone but Edge avoids it and hits a Spear, and Kane kicks out at two. Edge tries to use the briefcase but Kane grabs him by the throat and hits a Choke Slam. Kane starts climbing up, and Edge hits him in the spine with the briefcase twice. Edge climbs up now and Kane tries to stop him. He gets kicked down but still manages to catch up to Edge on top of the cage. He grabs Edge by the throat, but luckily for Edge he still had the briefcase and clocks Kane in the face with it and climbs to the floor to win the match at 10:29. Edge was getting really fun to watch at this point, but Kane was his usual self, and this was a total lame-duck feud while they waited for Matt Hardy to come back.
MATCH #20: Stretcher Match – Kane vs. Edge, Raw, 7.25.05
Lillian Garcia is looking hot on this particular evening. Kane attacks Edge from behind in the ramp-way before the match even starts. He dominates for the first several minutes and tries to drag Edge up the ramp on the stretcher. Edge blocks it so Kane counters by pushing him back down the ramp and into the ring apron. We go to commercial and come back with Edge now in control, choking Kane with some electrical cords. Back in the ring Kane regains control and hits a clothesline off the top rope. He motions for the Chokeslam so Lita comes in with a chair, but he thwarts her. Even so that allows Edge enough time to recover and hit the Spear. He puts Kane on the stretcher but before he can even start rolling it Kane grabs him by the throat. Lita hits Kane in the knee with a kendo stick. Back in the ring Edge tees off with the stick on Kane’s head. Edge tries to Pillmanize Kane’s neck, but Kane sits up and nails Edge with the chair, sending him to the floor. He brings Edge back in and Choke Slams him from the ring onto the stretcher. He tries to drag Edge across the line, but Lita hits him in the back with the briefcase. Kane shifts his attentions to his ex-wife now. He tries to Choke Slam her off the platform, but Edge rescues her just in time and wallops Kane in the face with the briefcase. He pulls Kane towards the line, and Kane sits up and grabs Lita by the throat. Edge hits him one more time with the briefcase and crosses the line at 9:59. That was the usual brawl between these two, who just never had that good of chemistry. Edge and Lita celebrate, and Kane is able to sit up off the stretcher and throws Edge face first into the set. He then hits a Tombstone on Lita.
MATCH #21: Kane vs. Umaga, Raw, 9.18.06
These two wrestled to a double-countout the night before on pay-per-view, hence this rematch. Kane attacks right away but Umaga weathers the storm and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Armando Estrada tries to pass a chair but the referee cuts him off. Unfortunately he gets caught between the two monsters and gets knocked out. Umaga gets a hold of the chair and hits Kane in the face with it. We cut to commercial and come back with a referee in the ring and Umaga hits a Samoan Drop. He charges Kane in the corner and gets elbowed. Kane fires his way out of the corner and hits a big boot. Umaga comes back and puts Kane on the apron, and Kane counters by dropping his neck across the top rope. Kane brings the chair back in the ring and Umaga avoids it. He whips Kane to the corner but misses a charge and injures his shoulder. Kane goes up top and hits the flying clothesline. He grabs the chair once again but Armando Estrada runs in, and Kane knocks him down and then hits Umaga with the chair anyway for the DQ at 8:01. It takes three massive shots to take Umaga down. Kane then gives chase to Estrada and beats him up backstage. Before too much damage can be done Umaga runs back to his manager’s rescue. The match wasn’t too bad, as Umaga is way better than most people give him credit for, and the match was surprisingly fast paced with little resting.
MATCH #22: Undertaker & Kane vs. King Booker & Finlay, Smackdown, 12.22.06
I don’t think I’ve ever seen this match. Sharmell seemed to get hotter as she got older. Booker tries to attack Undertaker early but he doesn’t get to do much before Undertaker takes over. He tries the Old School on Finlay but Booker knocks him down and hits a superplex. Finlay gets tagged in and Undertaker comes back with a flying DDT and makes the tag to Kane. He dominates and Booker and Finlay bail as we go to commercial.
We’re back and Kane is still in control of Booker. They work over both opponents for a while, until Undertaker misses a charge in the corner and crashes to the floor. But somehow Kane is the legal man, and Booker kicks him off the top rope to knock the wind out of him. Finlay beats on Undertaker some more at ringside while Booker delivers a spin kick to Kane. Booker tags in Finlay and then smashes Undertaker with a steel chair. They double team Kane and make quick tags. Finlay hits Undertaker with the shillelagh to keep him down. Of course he comes back to the ring apron, makes the hot tag, and doesn’t sell his injures whatsoever. All four men are in the ring and Undertaker and Kane both hit a Choke Slam on one of their opponents. Undertaker then hits Finlay with the Tombstone to get the pin at 12:34. That was a decent TV main event, but Undertaker’s speedy recovery from the beating he took was a little annoying.
MATCH #23: Kane vs. King Booker, No Way Out, 2.18.07
Michael Cole has laryngitis, so his voice just sounds lovely. Booker tries to avoid Kane in the early going but Kane overpowers him. Kane dominates for the first several minutes. The fight spills to the floor and Booker is able to slam Kane’s face into the ring steps and, then throws Kane into the ring and hits a missile dropkick for two. Kane doesn’t let Booker on offense too long and is soon back slugging away and hits a big boot. He goes to the top rope for the clothesline but Booker kicks him in the face on the way down. He hits another side kick for a two-count. The King stays in control as Sharmell cheers him on. Booker tries a suplex but Kane reverses it to one of his own. Both men are down and when they get up Booker hits another jumping kick for a near-fall. JBL tries to say that both of these guys have phenomenal endurance, but I challenge that view. They each try a finisher and can’t connect, but Kane is able to hit a big clothesline. Both men are down for an eight-count. Kane sits up and delivers a series of right hands, including a bunch of mounted punches in the corner. He hits a clothesline in the corner and a side suplex. Kane goes back to the top rope and this time hits the clothesline. Sharmell distracts the referee and Kane, allowing Booker to hit yet another kick. He bounces off the ropes right into the Chokeslam, and Kane scores the pin at 12:40. That was competent and all, but both guys were well past their prime at this point and this feud meant nothing.
MATCH #24: First Ever Belfast Brawl – Kane vs. Finlay, Smackdown, 9.14.07
Finlay attacks Kane on his way to the ring with the shillelagh and the fight is on. Kane soon takes over and throws Finlay around ringside, and then back in the ring. This is the rubber match in the feud, since Kane won at SummerSlam and Finlay won a couple of weeks ago on TV. Kane controls the match both in and out of the ring. He tries to climb back in the ring and Finlay kicks him in the face. Kane comes back by driving Finlay into the ring post. He then tries a charge and Finlay moves. Both men are down as we head to commercial.
Back from the break and Finlay is working on Kane’s arm in the ring. Finlay brings a chair into the ring and uses it to further weaken Kane’s arm. He then takes one of the turnbuckle pads off, but he winds up getting whipped into it himself. Kane then charges and Finlay moves again and Kane hits his injured shoulder. Finlay goes right back to the arm. They take the fight back to the floor where Kane regains control. Kane tries to Choke Slam him on the floor but Finlay shoves him into the stairs. He puts Kane back in the ring and grabs the shillelagh. Kane stops him before he can use it and hits a side suplex. He goes to the top rope and hits the clothesline. He once again motions for the Choke Slam but decides to grab the shillelagh instead. Finlay tries to get one of his own, and then tries to get a chair, but Kane stops him both times. He tries to escape up the aisle but Kane throws the shillelagh at him and drags him back to the ring. Kane brings the steel steps into the ring. Finlay hits him with the chair before Kane can use the steps. He hits the Celtic Cross and gets the pin at 17:28. That was a surprisingly good match, but maybe I shouldn’t be too surprised since Finlay rules. They didn’t do any contrived spots and the psychology was good and Finlay got a super clean win.
MATCH #25: Champion vs. Champion – Kane vs. Undertaker, Smackdown, 4.4.08
Kane is the ECW Champion and Undertaker is the World Heavyweight Champion. Apparently it’s been four years since they last wrestled. They try to outmuscle each other early on, trading holds and maneuvers. I think it’s funny when they act like they’re shoot-fighting. They trade punches but Kane forgot that the Undertaker is the best pure striker in the history of sports-entertainment. And Undertaker forgets that Kane is the most agile big man in sports-entertainment history, since he hits a big boot to the face. The fight spills to the floor and Undertaker takes control. They go back to the ring and punch each other some more. They grab each other by the throat and then boot each other in the face. Before they can get up, Edge, Chavo Guerrero, Zack Ryder, and Curt Hawkins run out and beat on both men, resulting in a no-contest at 9:07. Holy crap, that match was bad, with a bunch of pointless brawling with too little heat and no finish. Kane and Undertaker of course no-sell the beating and deliver stereo Chokeslams and Tombstones to their respective WrestleMania opponents.
BONUS MATCH: 24-Man Battle Royal for ECW Championship Title Shot, WrestleMania XXIV, 3.30.08
The participants are Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Shannon Moore, Jimmy Wang Yang, Val Venis, Cody Rhodes, Hardcore Holly, Jesse, Festus, Stevie Richards, Jamie Noble, Tommy Dreamer, Kofi Kingston, Brian Kendrick, Kane, The Great Khali, The Miz, Mark Henry, Deuce, Domino, Elijah Burke, Lance Cade, Trevor Murdoch, Chuck Palumbo, and Snitsky. Deuce and Domino are the first to go via Festus. Khali eliminates Duggan. Burke knocks Richards out, and then gets himself tossed by Kane. Noble eliminates Miz. Henry eliminates both Yang and Moore, and Snitsky tosses Jesse. Festus eliminates Murdoch. Cade then eliminates Festus. Kendrick eliminates Cade with a cross body and eliminates himself in the process. Henry dumps Kingston out. Noble does a cute spot but gets eliminated by Palumbo. Khali then tosses Palumbo out. Everyone that’s remaining teams up to eliminate Khali. Snitsky then tosses Holly and we’re down to Kane, Henry, and Snitsky. I think I must have missed a few eliminations, but I tried. Henry eliminates Snitsky, and the Kane eliminates Henry to win the title shot at 6:50. That was really short and I don’t care much for Kane winning the thing, so whatever.
BONUS MATCH: ECW Championship Match – Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero, WrestleMania XXIV, 3.30.08
Chavo has been the champion since 1.22.08 and this is his third defense. ECW GM Armando Estrada is on hand to do the ring introductions. This is the first time the ECW Title has been defended at WrestleMania. Kane appears in the ring behind Chavo, the bell rings, Kane hits a choke slam, and it’s over at 0:09. That would be the real shortest match in WrestleMania history. What a waste of time, and I can’t figure out why they continue to bother with Kane.