The Undertaker and Kane will forever be linked together in the annals of history and from the beginning of the Attitude Era and all the way to the family-friendly PG epoch; Undertaker and Kane have feuded over and over again. Yes, the battle between the two demon half-brothers took place across three different eras.
On second thought, Undertaker and Glenn Jacobs wrestled each a bunch of times in the New Generation era, with Kane wrestling under the names of Unabomb and Isaac Yankem so technically, these two fought across four different eras of WWE. Overall, these two have shared the ring a grand total of 42 times, from 1995 to 2010. Talk about longevity.
The origin of this long rivalry is rooted back in 1997. Around that time, Paul Bearer, former manager of the Deadman, started threatening the Undertaker about exposing his deepest, darkest secret.
The Debut Of Kane Was Foreshadowed For Weeks
For weeks, Bearer kept enunciating that Undertaker was hiding something, and later on, it was revealed that Undertaker had burned the family funeral home when he was a child. Bearer then warned the Undertaker, stating that his half-brother had survived the tragedy and that he would be coming for him.
This all came true at Bad Blood 1997 and during the classic Hell in a Cell match between Shawn Michaels and Undertaker, Bearer appeared on the ramp and alongside him was Kane. Jim Ross did a terrific job of letting the fans know who the big red monster was as Kane walked down the ramp and effortlessly ripped off the cage door.
Once inside, the two half-brothers came face to face and the confrontation ended with Kane chokeslamming his older brother and costing him the match against Michaels.
Ever since then, Undertaker and Kane have crossed paths numerous times and while the two monsters teamed up together often, laying waste to the tag-team division as the invulnerable Brothers of Destruction, their rivalry with one another has garnered far more attention.
Aside from the initial conflict, Kane and Undertaker were involved in months-long storylines in 2004 and 2010, with the latter being the final saga between the two.
The feud in 2004 saw the return of the iconic Deadman character for the Undertaker while the crux of the plot in 2010 had to do with Kane putting the Undertaker in a coma and usurping his position as the ruler of darkness. Something along those lines anyway.
The pair has undoubtedly given wrestling fans a number of memories to cherish and while a shade of supernatural is always appreciated in the world of professional wrestling, this particular rivalry all hinged on spectacle and not much else.
As stated above, Undertaker and Kane have wrestled each other 42 times and aside from two outliers, the first WrestleMania encounter and the Inferno Match in 1999, every other contest was a dud.
Even the much-anticipated return of the walking dead at WrestleMania 20 was special for as long as the entrance lasted, but once the contest actually began, it was no different from the prior matches between the two.
Moreover, given the characters of those involved, the promos were not too special either. Contrary to popular opinion, Undertaker is actually a solid mic-worker but as a deadman, he did not talk much and Kane was unable to carry the feud all on his own. Heck, even Kane was portrayed as a mute early on in his career as the arson had burned his vocal cords. Solid continuity, WWE.
There are a few promos that stand out, such as Undertaker explaining the allegations of Bearer and Kane’s eulogy after he had buried his half-brother alive at Survivor Series but for most of the time, Undertaker and Kane settled on having an intense staredown with each other whilst the folks at ringside lost their minds.
Lack Of High Quality Matches Hamper The Rivalry
This worked the first few times but was not very sustainable in the long run as the allure was bound to dissipate. That brings up another point.
The two feuded way too many times. Sure, the backstory and history between the two were enormous and Kane might as well be an extension of the Undertaker character, but 42 matches is just plain overkill.
The slew of underwhelming matches only served to contaminate the rivalry as not a single match after the Inferno contest encounter was worth a repeat.
The long-running feud worked like magic but only in short bursts, mainly due to the characters and lore involved. However, with a portfolio of below-average matches and the lack of high-quality promos, the fabled rivalry between the two half-brother demon children from beyond the stars is vastly overrated.