By RJ Marceau
The WWE has made some big mistakes over the years with booking. Instead of pushing someone who is over or is credible as champion they have fallen back on their big money makers like John Cena, HHH and Randy Orton. In 2003, the WWE was red hot and had many new stars on the rise. Brock Lesnar won the WWE title at WrestleMania XIX, Evolution was formed and John Cena was developing. The WWE had a unique opportunity in 2003 to make a bigger star out of a household name. When I started watching the WWE in 2002 the first person that caught my eye was Kane. He was being picked as the favorite to win the 2002 Royal Rumble, which was won by HHH.
After seeing Kane I thought he was more of a monster then he actually showed on TV. He was in a tag team with Rob Van Dam but wasn’t the dominant monster that Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler kept praising about him. Rob Van Dam and Stone Cold convinced Kane that he didn’t need the mask. On the June 23rd, 2003 edition of Raw, Kane faced HHH for the World Heavyweight Championship and if he lost then he had to remove his mask. After interference from Evolution, Kane was defeated by HHH. After the match, Kane proceeded to take his mask off. Kane turned around with “burn marks on his face” and chokeslammed RVD. He turned heel and destroyed RVD in the upcoming months. Kane threw him literally through a wall and beat him in a No Holds Barred match at SummerSlam. Kane went onto to chokeslam Eric Bischoff off the Raw stage, set Jim Ross on fire in an interview and tombstone piledrive Linda McMahon on the stage.
After attacking Linda McMahon, Kane feuded with Shane McMahon. He was thrown into a flaming dumpster, drove into an 18-wheeler and thrown off the stage by McMahon. Kane went on to attack Shane and electrocuted his testicles. Kane then beat Shane McMahon at Unforgiven in a Last Man Standing match and beat Shane McMahon at Survivor Series in an Ambulance Match. Kane was a demonic character and absolute monster. Later on in the Survivor Series event he helped bury the Undertaker alive with Mr. McMahon.
Kane was then put into the main event picture in a Triple Threat match at Armageddon for the World Heavyweight Championship against Goldberg and HHH. Kane didn’t win the match after interference from Evolution. After Armageddon, he was put in a feud with the Undertaker leading to WrestleMania XX. The WWE missed the opportunity to put the title on Kane.
Kane was a monster for the summer of 2003 when he was unmasked. He was a true monster heel and he destroyed anyone that came into his path. Instead of putting the title on Kane they decided to put it back on HHH. Kane didn’t need to hold the title for a long time but they could have him as champion for 4-5 months and have him drop it at Royal Rumble 2004 due to Undertaker distractions which happened in the actual Rumble match. Losing the title to Shawn Michaels would’ve been the way I booked it and then have Michaels vs. Benoit at WrestleMania XX. HHH was a great superstar but was John Cena esque since he was always in the main event.
Kane eventually won a World Heavyweight Championship in 2010 but it wasn’t the greatest run since it was 7 years overdue. He never was that big of a monster ever again and I think his career was not ruined but blemished since he became a comedy act and put the mask on and off multiple times. Kane will always be the Big Red Machine but he truly was the Big Red Monster in 2003 and should’ve won the World Heavyweight Championship that year.