Throwback Thursday: Kane’s Debut (Undertaker, Hell in a Cell, Paul Bearer, Shawn Michaels)

With Kane currently out of action and Undertaker’s status with a big question mark I wanted to look back a the history of these men in the WWF/WWE.

These two men first cross paths in the ring as the story line of them being brothers was made a permanent fixture in the WWE universe. Paul Bearer, the Undertaker’s former manager and ally was scorned by the Undertaker and began taunting him saying that The Undertaker’s brother Kane had survived the fire in their home as children. Bearer claimed that Kane was going to come to the WWF and challenge his brother.
The Undertaker, refusing to bow to Paul Bearer’s demands met in the ring with Kane at Badd Blodd in October of 1997 when,  in the middle of his Hell in the Cell match with Shawn Michaels the Undertaker froze in the middle of the ring as the lights dimmed.

Kane stalked down the aisle, with Bearer at his side, right to the door of the cell. There he ripped the door off the hinges and stepped inside the cell while the Undertaker looked on, shocked. Tossing a referee aside Kane then climbed into the ring and stood face to face with the Undertaker.

Ripping the cell door off its hinges.

The two men squared off and slowly Kane raised his arms and when he thrust them towards the ground fire shot out of the four turnbuckles, the first time of many we would see this entrance. Taking advantage of the Undertaker’s shock Kane kicked him and then, lifting him easily, set him up for the tombstone.

The stare-down as HBK lays prone on the mat.

With the Undertaker down Kane and bearer strode off through the crowd that was mixed between cheering for the shock factor or booing the fact that the great match, and the Phenom, had been ruined by Kane’s debut.

The match, however, had not been called off as referee Earl Hebner (who spent a lot of time getting tossed around by WWF talent back then) crawled back into the ring just as Michaels came to and crawled over to the Undertaker. Throwing his arm over the Undertaker HBK got the win.

In the next few months the Undertaker refused to wrestle his brother, not wanting to fight his family member. However, in another match with the Heart Break Kid at the Royal Rumble in 1998 Kane and Bearer interfered again in the Undertaker’s casket match, locking the Undertaker in the casket and giving Michael’s the win. Kane took an axe to the casket then lit it on fire, thus angering the Undertaker enough to start the feud these two would go on to have before uniting as the Brothers of Destruction.

At this time I will admit a slight obsession with this feud. I mean, brother v. brother is always a big pull (look at any time any brothers, real or fictional, have squared off in the ring. It’s intense.)

However, aside from the obvious facts that they were both younger, in better shape and the billing differences between then and now I have to say this is one of my all time favorite examples of wrestling. This debut is one I show friends who don’t really watch wrestling because everyone can relate to the feud aspect and, even though we all know some things are staged, seeing Kane rip off the door was pretty cool back in the 90s.

Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions for future articles? Let me know!

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