WWE legend Kane has gone from silent masked, professional wrestler and The Undertaker’s brother to Mayor of an American county
It’s not every day you go from masked, severely burned monster wrestler to mayor, but that’s what Kane has done.
Glenn Jacobs, the man who portrayed Kane during his WWE run, won the Republican primary election for the mayoral seat of Knox County, Tennessee in 2018.
He is also a former three-time world champion, having won 19 championships in the biggest wrestling promotion on the planet.
Kane’s WWE career has spanned 23 years, but he took a while to find his feet.
The now 53-year-old was born in Spain and made his wrestling debut at 25 in the St. Louis, Missouri area.
Given he was 6ft 9in, it didn’t take long for WWE to notice a true big man who could also move.
His first few years with the company did not go well. First he debuted as Mike Unabomb and then returned as Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler’s dentist – yes, dentist – Dr. Isaac Yankem. By 1996, that gimmick had run its course and he was now portraying the ‘Fake Diesel’ after the real one – Kevin Nash – had departed for WCW.
Finally, in late 1997 after a long storyline that was teased between Paul Bearer and The Undertaker, Kane debuted as the The Deadman’s brother and a star was born.
Facing The Undertaker and aligning with him to form the Brothers of Destruction made him an instant player, but given the complexity of his character, he certainly did some outlandish things.
Kane wore a mask for the majority of his career and, for the first six years it was kept on because he sported burns, in storyline.
Because of his tormented childhood, he would attack people in demented ways like hooking up a car battery to Shane McMahon’s privates, he set The Undertaker on fire in a casket, he locked Paul Bearer in a freezer, pushed him to his supposed death and buried his brother in concrete.
And yet, he parlayed all of that into becoming a member of the United States government.
Wrestling has often been the butt of many jokes for grown men and when Congressman Tim Ryan made a flippant remark earlier this year, Kane took great pleasure in shutting him down.
“I just walked out of the #StateOfTheUnion. I’ve had enough. It’s like watching professional wrestling. It’s all fake,” Ryan wrote of Trump’s SOTU.
Kane responded: “Sir, your statement is emblematic of the out-of-touch elitism, so typical of Washington, that has alienated countless everyday Americans. Professional wrestling brings joy to millions around the world. Politicians like yourself usually bring nothing but misery.”
From 2015 onwards, Kane has only made sporadic appearances in WWE, many of which have been tag team reunions with his most famous partners The Undertaker and Daniel Bryan.
Many wrestlers have cited Kane’s intelligence over the years. Of course, fans seldom noticed due to how little his character spoke in the early going and the evil connotations that followed him throughout his WWE tenure, but they were given glimpse when he started writing blogs about his political views in 2008.
In May 2016, Kane, free from the ever-demanding full-time WWE schedule, declared his interest in running for mayor of Knox County. In March 2017, he officially entered the race as a republican.
First he won the republican primary by just 17 votes to run for them, but he would win the actual election in May 2018 by a landslide.
He has made appearances in WWE while serving in his role as mayor – even acknowledging it on screen – since being elected.
He won the 24/7 title from R-Truth and was attacked by The Fiend in 2019.
From Kane’s perspective, after years with WWE, it wasn’t too hard for him to set his heart on something else.
“Going out and performing is always awesome, especially when you go out for WrestleMania and there’s 100,000 people there.
It’s the most incredible thing ever, it’s just indescribable.
“By the same token, it’s hard work. Folks look and they see us for 10 minutes on TV and they think that’s the whole job. It’s a lot harder than that.
“Everybody’s travelling all the time. I spent easily 250, 300 days a year on the road for 20 years. That takes a toll on you. When people say ‘you’re getting beat up a lot in the ring,’ I’m like ‘that’s not the hard part!’ Yes, it’s very physical, but, you know, I played football, I played basketball, that’s the stuff I like. It’s the getting there, getting to the next show that was often a challenge.”
As Kane’s in-ring mortality crept closer, he began to realise his other passions in life. The Big Red Machine had learned how much influence government – national and local – can have and for the next chapter of his life, he wanted to play a part in that.
If a murderous wrestler could become a prominent politician, there are truly no surprises left. Just need The Rock to become president now and lay the SmackDown on Capitol Hill…