WWE Superstar Kane will be appearing on WWE’s SmackDown “Road to WrestleMania” live event at Norfolk Scope, March 23.
The show will feature World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio taking on The Big Show in a “Last Man Standing Match.” Other Superstars will include: Mark Henry, Wade Barrett, R-Truth, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, Sin Cara, Layla, The Great Khali and many more.
I recently had the opportunity to speak with Kane about his career and his life – in and out of the mask – and his predictions for the upcoming WrestleMania 29 event.
Jonathan McLarty: You grew up in an Air Force family, so you are no stranger to the military lifestyle. Can you tell us about the last time you were in this area?
Kane: I know it’s hard being away from home – away from your families. Tribute to the Troops was at the Scope (last December) and we did a lot of meet and greets. It was great to meet the guys and girls. They were extremely hospitable and showed us a great time. I think it was a good time had by all.
JM: With the unfortunate passing of Paul Bearer, would you like to share how he impacted your career?
K: He was an integral part of my early years as Kane. Without Paul Bearer, there wouldn’t have been a Kane, because he was such an important part of that story. Also, we traveled together for a few years, so it was a loss on a personal level for me as well. He came back and managed me in 2010 when I was World Champion, which was really cool – again against The Undertaker. Just like everyone else, I was a big fan of Paul Bearer and Percy Pringle, and all of the other names that he went by. It was a tough loss for everybody. We went to the viewing and what was really amazing was there were flowers there from all over the country – really, all over the world. It was nice to see an outpouring of affection from fans all over the place.
JM: You’ve been in the WWE for nearly 18 years now. What do you attribute to your longevity?
K: Well, I work hard and I show up. I’ve been very fortunate that I haven’t gotten injured a bunch. I try to take care of myself. I think, too, my size gives me an advantage in some ways. I’m not always the guy getting knocked down a whole lot. My body probably hasn’t been punished as much as the other guys have been. I think it’s because I show up everyday and I try to do my best – give everything I have.
JM: You’ve worn a mask as Kane, and also without it. Which is more comfortable for you?
K: At various times, I’ve favored either one. There are advantages to each. With the mask, there’s more mystery … more mystique. The problem with the mask is that people can’t see your face, which in some ways is pretty cool because they can’t really tell what you’re thinking and you have to use more body language … When you’re able to express emotion with your face, it’s more clear. From an entertainment and showbiz standpoint, the mask certainly adds a different element to Kane.
JM: You’re currently one half of the WWE Tag-Team Champions and you’ve had various tag-team partners throughout the years. How would you compare your current partner (Daniel Bryan) to other partners in your past?
K: Well, he’s different – that’s for sure. What’s cool about Daniel Bryan is that I have now been able to do something that I’ve never been able to do before. Kane has always been sort of a dark character. With Daniel Bryan, we’ve been able to add a lot more lightheartedness, some humor and a lot of comedy. It works even better because it’s such a contrast from what I’ve normally done in the past. He’s completely different than any tag-team partner I’ve ever had. He’s a pain – a monumental pain to get along with. It’s like the odd couple, and somehow, I’ve become the voice of sanity. I don’t know how that’s happened – he’ll do that to you.
JM: WrestleMania 29 is coming up (April 7, live on Pay-Per-View) and we know that The Rock will be defending his WWE Championship against John Cena in a rematch from the main event of WrestleMania 28. Do you have a prediction for which way this match will go?
K: I don’t, and who knows – John Cena made the mistake last year at the last stage of their match when he went to do Rock’s People’s Elbow and it cost him the match. I’m not saying that John Cena would take The Rock lightly, but I think this year he’ll be even more serious about it. I think The Rock is going to be in for more than he may have bargained for.
JM: In another match, which I know you’re watching closely, The Undertaker will be facing C.M. Punk.
K: I think Punk’s going to get dropped on his head. There is no doubt about that.
JM: Do you still go into a fit of rage whenever someone mentions May 19?
K: No, not anymore. I’ve gotten over that somewhat. Dr. Shelby has really helped me with my anger management issues. I just take a deep breath and think tranquil thoughts.
JM: You’re an intelligent individual given your past history of being the winner on the then WWF-themed episode of Weakest Link. Do you know your IQ?
K: I do not know a number offhand. I am not a member of Mensa, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night. I’d probably way overestimate myself by thinking. I’m a lot smarter than I really am, which is probably true of most people.
JM: Do you have a favorite WrestleMania moment, whether it’s one you’ve taken part in personally or one you have observed?
K: My favorite is the Pete Rose deal at WrestleMania 14, right before my first match with The Undertaker. That entire night was a big deal because it was my first match with The Undertaker. It was the culmination of our storyline at that point and I think that was one of, if not the best story WWE has ever done – the whole Kane vs. The Undertaker thing when we first started in 1997. I’ll never forget the Pete Rose thing because it was my first WrestleMania. I was really jacked and really nervous. Paul Bearer puts his hand on my chest and my heart’s just thumping and racing. I got a mini warm-up with Pete Rose, so it was pretty cool.
JM: You and the rest of the SmackDown crew are coming through Norfolk on your “Road to WrestleMania.” Is there anyone you have in your sights?
K: C.M. Punk better watch out. He’s got a couple of problems in that he has The Undertaker and myself. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston have cheated Daniel Bryan out of a match and seem to be sticking their nose in our business, so we’ll take care of business with those guys.
Tickets for WWE SmackDown “Road To Wrestlemania” can be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com, or Sevenvenues.com. Tickets start at $15, plus delivery and/or processing fees. WWE VIP Packages are also available, visit http://bit.ly/WKrchh for more details.
Jonathan McLarty is a contributing writer for The Flagship, as well as a local sports and event photographer. If you have any questions or comments, connect with him on Twitter (@JonathanMcLarty).