I can already see it starting. One click here, one click there the high-minded wrestling community has something new to bash. You see, this is a normal course of events for us. Every Tuesday and Friday we come together to discuss, moan, praise, and argue over last night’s offering from the programs we all hate to love and love to hate. It’s fun and makes us a community.
And as I write this, things are no different. The July 14th edition of Raw gave us plenty to talk about. From Jericho’s petition, Lance Storm’s loss to Maven, Evolution’s dismantling of The Dudley Boys, Austin’s potential firing, to the biggest of all, Kane lighting Jim Ross on fire; there is plenty to discuss.
But there is a snowball out there in the vastness of cyberspace that has begun to roll and pick up steam and I could see coming a mile away. You see, if you’ve been around the Internet Wrestling Community for any amount of time, you can almost predict when an event in Vince McMahon’s universe will cause the uber-geeks of the wrestling world to shake their heads in disgust and rush to their computers to type away. Not that I have a problem with that I am one of those geeks. Only this time, I might be disagreeing with the masses.
The Holy Grail of the Wrestling Community is a blessed thing called continuity. Continuity rewards the long-time fans. Continuity makes the Smart fan smile. Unfortunately, professional wrestling is a fad and as such, only brings in the large audiences once a decade or so and only for a few years. Vince and the writers, however, are always tailoring their shows to help usher in the next cycle where wrestling is “cool” again. But the casualty of this type of booking ends up being continuity, which, in turn, angers the long-time fans. And the vicious circle goes on.
Continuity was broken on Raw. And for once in my life, maybe the only time, I am okay with it. It’s been four weeks since Kane took his mask off after losing to Triple H. And since that time we have had all manner of confusion regarding this once beloved character. For six years, Kane was seen as the masked brother of the Undertaker, horribly disfigured by a fire when he was a child that was supposed to have killed him, along with his parents. After his initial feud with his brother, Kane jumped from heel to face and back again so many times, it’s hard to count. He won the Title Belt from Steve Austin in a First Blood match on the same night that Foley fell from the Cell, only to lose it the very next night. He has had tag-team partners such as Chyna, X-Pac, Hurricane, and RVD. But along the way, he lost his mystic and became stale. I won’t even spend time discussing the Katie Vick angle.
It was only when the stipulation was made that if Kane lost his title match with Triple H then he would have to unmask that the character of Kane became interesting again. And when the mask did come off, it was met by rousing displeasure. No scars. Nothing hideous. Just a big man with a partially shaved head and some makeup smeared across his face to look like soot. The announcers carried on like he was scary looking anyway.
The next week, when we saw Kane, he wore a black towel over his head for most of the show. But finally he came out and chokeslamed Eric Bischoff, then mugged for the camera. Gone was all the hair and smeared makeup. Now he just made crazy faces so that he could look scary and disfigured without actually being scary or disfigured. Again, fans of the WWE were disappointed and even more confused. At least with the “soot”, we could imagine that he had been burned, but now there was nothing.
Two weeks ago, Kane started the turn into the monster heel the writers were wanting him to be. He wanted to quit because he felt people were laughing at him. Strangely, General Manager Steve Austin would not look Kane for very long, averting his eyes, presumably because of Kane’s horrible face. Jerry “The King” Lawler repeatedly talked about how grotesque Kane looked. Yet, to the viewer at home, Kane did not look bad. Sure, he had wild eyes and no hair on him, but grotesque? Odd-looking at best. To many of us, it was beginning to look like the writers had no idea what to do with Kane because people just were not buying it. And we were right, but so were they.
Then came Raw this past Monday, complete with an exclusive interview, live from Stanford. When questioned about his recent actions, Kane spoke of how he had lived his entire life being ridiculed because of his scars. At first glance, it seemed pretty predictable that Kane would beat up Jim Ross during the interview to further cement himself as a scary monster heel that felt people were making fun of him. But then the writers added a wrinkle. Ross pointed out that he didn’t see any scars on Kane. Kane spoke of the doctors that tried to get him to see a psychiatrist. J.R. says Kane needs help, mentally. What transpired beyond this Kane burning Ross went as predicted, but this new thing; this acknowledgement of what the audience already knew, as well as the subsequent backstory, was a refreshing change. It was new. It was something they could play with. Another layer to the Kane character that now can be played out for months and breathe new life into an angle that was quickly falling apart. And for Glen Jacobs, the man who portrays Kane, some job security.
But what about continuity? What about the time the NWO took Kane’s mask off and were appalled by what they saw? What about the announcers saying Kane was ugly? What about when Austin couldn’t look at Kane’s face for very long? Why hasn’t anyone ever mentioned that he had no scars from the time he unmasked four weeks ago till now?
To that I say: look past it. Do as the writers want you to do and forget about it. Never mind the continuity for once. Why? Because at a time when the writing has hit some all-time lows; at a time when there are poor angles and mediocre matches; at a time when the powers that be stubbornly refuse to change things just because the fans don’t like it this may have righted a wrong. This may have given us more than just the standard black-and-white “heel is bad, face is good” story. This is a gray area. Kane is bad for doing the things he does, but he really does have some psychological problems. The fans want to cheer him but he perceives it as mockery.
Gray. What Attitude used to be all about.
My only hope is that it continues down this path. If it doesn’t, I will help lead the charge in criticism. But for now, I’m checking the continuity at the door for the greater good.
– Feedback in regards to the above article may be emailed to email@example.com. With the amount of time each author puts into an article, your responses are appreciated.