Reliving A Feud #34: Kane Vs. The Undertaker WWE ’97 – ’10
Siblings alway bicker and fight, but in this instance it is super human siblings who hated, loved, hated and loved each other for nearly fifteen years on WWE television. It’s one of the more memorable feuds to ever happen in the WWE as it happened during the peak time I was ever interested in the product. Join me as I relive the feud between the Undertaker and Kane.
From November 1991 to October 1997, The Undertaker was the only supernatural character in the WWE and was scary competitor whether he was loved or hated by the WWE fans. He had a manager in Paul Bearer who provided great strength through the power of the urn to help the Undertaker overcome the odds numerous times throughout his career. However, at SummerSlam 1996, Bearer betrayed the Undertaker and aligned himself with Mankind with the mission to ruin the Undertaker.
For over a year, Bearer was unsuccessful with attempts to ruin Undertaker with Mankind and later on Vader. So, Bearer attempted to rejoin the Undertaker by May of 1997 by using a deep and dark secret from the Undertaker’s past. Apparently, in the past the Undertaker had burned the family funeral home and murdered not only his parents, but severely burned his half-brother, Kane. Undertaker naturally denied the claims, but Bearer was insistent that he had proof. Undertaker put blame on Kane for being a pyromaniac and didn’t think there was any way that Kane could have survived the fire. Bearer claimed that Kane had survived and was waiting to exact revenge despite being horribly burned and disfigured.
By the fall of 1997, Undertaker was involved in a major feud with Shawn Michaels which saw them compete in the first ever Hell In A Cell match at Bad Blood in October. To the shock to many, it was at this event that Kane would make his debut. Kane ripped off the door to the cell and proceeded to drop Undertaker with a tombstone to allow Michaels the victory.
Following the event, Kane and Paul Bearer made several challenges to the Undertaker, but the Undertaker was insistent that he would never compete against Kane. As a result, it appeared that Kane and the Undertaker had formed an alliance. They’d fight off other wrestlers, and Kane saved the Undertaker from the Degeneration X prior to the Royal Rumble, where the Undertaker was to battle WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels.
However, at the Royal Rumble, Kane showed his true colors by costing Undertaker the match by locking him into a casket and proceeded to light the casket on fire. When the casket was opened, the Undertaker was not inside.
Undertaker would return on the March 2nd edition of RAW. It was a truly a great segment where Undertaker rises after lightening hit the aisle and walked through Kane’s fire. Taker issuing a warning of what was to come at WrestleMania sent chills down my spine and the anticipation to their showdown was at an all-time high.
WrestleMania XIV is the first WrestleMania I ever ordered and this feud was one of the most highly anticipated matches for myself. At the event, the Undertaker was able to defeat his half-brother Kane but it took three tombstones to put him away. If you thought that was the end of the feud, you’d be mistaken. They’d have a rematch the following month at Unforgiven in the first ever inferno match where the winner of the match would have to light the other on fire. Of course, the Undertaker won the match when Kane’s arm was lit on fire.
Kane would get his first victory over the Undertaker on the June 1st edition of RAW and as a result became the number one contender to the WWF World Championship when he pinned the Undertaker following a tombstone. Kane would team with Mankind two weeks later to take on Steve Austin and the Undertaker inside a Hell in a Cell match on RAW, which neither team won and it was a brawl between the four feuding men.
At Fully Loaded ’98, Kane and Mankind lost the WWF World Tag Team Championships to Steve Austin and the Undertaker, who didn’t like each other. After SummerSlam, Kane and the Undertaker would join forces with the Undertaker selling out to the dark side in order to regain the WWF World Championship. At In Your House: Breakdown, Kane and the Undertaker both pinned WWF World Champion Steve Austin causing the championship to be held-up.
Kane and the Undertaker were deemed the rightful WWF World Champion and thus they squared off at Judgment Day with Steve Austin as the special referee in a match for the vacant championship. Of course, neither man would prevail as Steve Austin was a rebel referee counted both men down because if anyone was going to be champion, it was going to be Steve Austin.
On the October 19th, 1998 edition of RAW, Kane battled the Undertaker in a casket match, which Taker was able to win. A few months later on February 22nd, 1999 they’d meet in another inferno match where the Undertaker was victorious when Kane got his foot lit on fire.
They wouldn’t interact again until the summer of 2000 where Kane was randomly turned heel and he choke slammed the Undertaker two times on the August 14th edition of RAW. They’d meet at SummerSlam, which ended in a no contest.
For most of 2001 Kane and the Undertaker would be allies and would be drafted to different brands in 2002 making their interaction very limited. That is until Survivor Series 2003. Vince McMahon and the Undertaker are battling in a Buried Alive match and it doesn’t look good for McMahon to win the match. Luckily for Vince, the recently unmasked and dangerous Kane had his back and helped McMahon bury his brother to give the owner of the WWE the victory. This was a way to write the Undertaker off television.
Leading to WrestleMania XX, Kane was in denial that the Undertaker was behind all the spooky videos and smoke that would appear during Kane’s matches. Eventually, McMahon announced the match for WrestleMania and Kane said he had to bury the Undertaker because his brother had become “too human” and didn’t embrace the supernatural life anymore. In less than seven minutes of action, Undertaker got revenge on his brother and they would go their separate ways once again.
It wouldn’t be until the fall of 2010 until Kane and the Undertaker had a lengthy feud for the final time. At this time, The Undertaker had been put in a vegetative state prior to SummerSlam and Kane made it his mission to find out who did this to his brother. Kane would win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Money In The Bank, having defeated Rey Mysterio, who he thought was behind the attack of his brother. Eventually, the Undertaker returned and was attacked by Kane, making it clear that Kane was behind the attack and turned Kane into an evil monster. Kane won the match after driving Taker down with a tombstone. Perhaps had truly stolen the powers of the Undertaker to defeat his brother…
The following week on Smackdown, Paul Bearer returned and aligned himself with the Undertaker, which would lead to a rematch between Kane and the Undertaker for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and it would happen inside Hell In A Cell at the pay per view named after the match. At Hell In A Cell 2010, Kane was able to defeat the Undertaker again when Paul Bearer turned on The Undertaker by blinding Taker with a light from the urn. This allowed Kane to hit Taker with a choke slam to win the match and retain the championship.
Oddly enough, even after two losses, the Undertaker was challenged by Paul Bearer and Kane for one more match at Bragging Rights to be contested in a Buried Alive match. Of course, Taker accepted the match to get his hands on Kane one last time. At the event, Kane managed to prevail yet again with help from Nexus, and buried the Undertaker to end the feud once and for all.
Yeah, that’s literally how the feud came to an end. I don’t recall an explantation for the Nexus being involved at the end, though. This is a feud that I was heavily invested in when it started in ’97 and was probably the match I was most looking forward to at WrestleMania XIV because I believed Kane to be an absolute monster. Now, of course there is some ridiculous elements to their feuds that is centered on supernatural things, but I always found it entertaining. Their feud seemed to always be fun and entertaining from a story standpoint but when it came to actual wrestling, it left a lot to be desired since big man vs. big man rarely ever work out very well.
The later feud in 2010 is a surprising one because of how Kane seemingly dominated the Undertaker, and I can’t say that I hated it. Kane the character has been one that I’ve always liked when it was a monster heel and his run involving Rey Mysterio prior was stuff that I enjoyed. Of course, Kane’s reign of dominance didn’t last forever, but this run for Kane is just behind his heel run from 2003 when he first got unmasked as my favorite for Kane.
I should note that the involvement of Paul Bearer is an example of suspending your disbelief or just forgetting things since he was essentially murdered in storyline at the Great American Bash in 2004 when he was drowned in concrete thanks to the Dudley Boys and the Undertaker saying he couldn’t help Bearer, though he probably could. That warrants the heel turn by Bearer at Hell In The Cell some six years later, I’d say.
What are your memories of the feud between the Undertaker and Kane?
Leave your thoughts below.
Thanks for reading.