I have to admit, looking back I'm kind of surprised it wasn't Brian Lee that got the nod. Lee was the man that played the fake Undertaker in '94 and is well known as being one of Mark Callaway's best friends within the industry. I believe he was also a free agent at the time the Kane character was getting ready to be launched and so was ready to go under the mask, the only thing that was perhaps against him was that he 'only' stood at 6'6".
That's what I wondered. Undertaker apparently choosing Glen Jacobs over someone who was apparently his best friend never fit. It adds credence to the rumour of their fallout however, although the size of Jacobs probably had something to do with it. He wasn't just tall he was built like a tank back then, and I for one genuinely believed he could defeat Undertaker.
Kane is my favourite gimmick I think. The storyline worked, somehow, and he has had a longer career in the WWE than a lot of other actual "Super" stars, and even now is credible despite some ridiculous storylines. His current tale with AJ is interesting, Kane is playing his part well I think.
The original mask and then the attire changes up until he lost it were all pretty good. I'm not one of those who thinks Kane has been ridiculous since losing the mask, but I thought the original unmasking had massive potential. Even on Raw. The fact he wasn't burned, a pathological liar in having everyone believe he was, and as a psychotic fit really well I thought, and added another layer to the character. He should have had months and months just showing up and destroying faces and heels as he no longer gave a f**k after he had been exposed.
If he didn't work out then he would have followed so many; Giant Gonzales and The Executioner as examples. Two months of not being over with the crowd, Kane would have been buried alive and another string to the Undertakers bow.
I think there were a lot of reasons why Kane got over: The Undertaker was really hot at the time so with his 100% backing, the character could reach it's potential. Glen Jacobs had a tremendous Physique, and added with the mask and Red & Black attire, really stood out as a monster in a world of freaks. The storyline wasn't poor and had the right amount of time invested into it, if you suspend disbelief to watch wrestling and enjoy The Undertakers work, then you could suspend belief to believe in Kanes storyline. He didn't speak, (Were his first words "Suck It?") and just stood there like a menace, and a machine. He smashed peoples faces with wrenches and beat up 7 guys at a time, as well as eventually helping dump someone in a sewer. In a world where everything was changed, fans related to this positively and reacted the right way to a heel..
Kane is still around now, some 15 years later, main eventing television and winning at Wrestlemania. That is a massive feat and a credit to the longevity of the character and talent of the man behind him.
He has had to put up with some shit though.