Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Complete History of the Dark Side

In case you weren't hanging out with me on Twitter yesterday, you missed me recite the complete history of The Undertaker/Kane/Paul Bearer saga from memory... for five hours. It's a miracle I've ever felt the inside of a vagina.

Anyhoo, the wonderful Rhiannamator (best Twitter handle ever, btw), was kind enough to compile the whole thing in some semblance of order. Many, many thanks to her.

Per @flairchops request, I will attempt to recite (from memory) the Taker/Kane/Bearer story.

When he was a child, The Undertaker, then "Mark," got a new baby brother named Kane.

The Takers were morticians by trade, and unbeknownst to the majority of the Taker family, Kane was the son of their assistant, Paul Bearer.

I'm not sure if this part is relevant, but Mrs. Taker seduced Bearer while wearing a naughty little teddy. #OhYes

Around age 4 Kane was playing around in the funeral parlor, messing with embalming tools and the like and accidentally set the place on fire

(or at least that's what went on the police report)

Kane, along with Mama & Papa Taker were burnt to a crisp and died. Don't put foil in the microwave, Kane!

Mark survives and goes onto become a professional wrestler, learning the secret of the Heart Punch as "Mean" Mark Callous.

At some point between WCW and WWF, Mark goes back to the family business, working as a mortician, or "undertaker," if you prefer.

Now there are some conflicting stories here. If you believe legend, Mark died on the job.

According to the legend, the funeral parlor may have been on a Timbisha Indian burial ground in Death Valley.

So, Mark's soul was unable to rest and he became cursed to walk the earth as a mystical zombie.

Now, obviously no one is going to hire a zombie mortician, but as we've seen, Vince McMahon will hire anyone over 6'6".

So Mark returned to the squared circle under the tutelage of Brother Love, who thought he could control the tortured soul.

It worked, briefly, Taker (still tormented by the memories of his previous life), even used the name "Kane the Undertaker" for a short time.

Eventually, The Undertaker became too much for Brother Love, and he turned the monster over to a man named Paul Bearer.

It's unknown if Taker remembered Paul from the childhood of his previous life, but surely Bearer knew him... more on that later.

The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were a near unstoppable force in WWE. Championships were won, giants were slain, it was good times.

The indescribable power of The Undertaker seemed somehow connected to the power of Paul Bearer's magical urn.

The contents of the urn have been the subject of much debate. Some say it was the ashes of Undertaker's parents...

And their blood ties would explain how Bearer could harness the power of The Undertaker within the urn...

However, that would be a little weird since we later learned that Undertaker's parents were buried.

So the contents of the original urn are up for debate, but we do know once they were emptied by Yokozuna, Taker's powers were zapped.

Having twelve guys kick his ass didn't help either, but the green smoke from the urn would indicate dude lost some mojo.

So Taker was vanquished in his own "double-deep, double-wide" casket he crafted for Yokozuna and disappeared.

Ted DiBiase, who gave Taker his debut match as part of the Million Dollar Team, insisted he had found The Undertaker.

Paul Bearer knew that wasn't HIS Undertaker though, and The Undertaker vs. The Undertaker was signed for SummerSlam 1994.

WWE, hoping to avoid the PR disaster of being duped by an impersonator, enlisted the help of super sleuth Leslie Nielsen.#FrankDrebin4Life

But Paul Bearer was right, his Undertaker returned at SummerSlam, with a new urn, and this one shined bright (like a diamond).

The Undertaker's powers were restored and all was right in the world. Foes were vanquished, people rested in peace, etc.

This rejuvenated Undertaker even survived Kama Mustafa melting down his urn into a gold chain that would make Run-DMC blush.

He even survived having his face CRUSHED by Yokozuna and King Mabel... he did have a sweet mask for awhile though.

It may have been the power of the Timbisha Indian curse making him stronger the longer it lasted...

Or it may have been Paul Bearer dabbling in the black arts.

Glad you asked! RT @TheBigMacRobot and then what happened!?

BTW, if I get Twitter jailed, I will resume this when I post bail.

Okay, so then Undertaker met his match... the demented Mankind.

Mankind didn't seem to have any mystical powers, he just appeared to be a man without fear of pain, so how could he beat The Undertaker?

As we learned at SummerSlam 1996, Paul Bearer was using the urn against the Phenom and had aligned with Mankind.

Betrayed, The Undertaker was powerless and had to rely on his own strength to defeat his foes.

But despite not having the urn, Taker was able to survive being buried alive. He learned his power came from within... like in Spaceballs.

Taker would eventually overcome Mankind, as well as other Bearer henchmen like The Executioner, Goldust, even Vader.

Bearer eventually became nothing more than a thorn in Taker's side, he couldn't stop him from his destiny at WM13: the WWE Title.

Defeated, Bearer only had one card left to play: "HE'S ALIVE! KANE IS ALIIIIIVE!"

That revelation was the first indication that The Undertaker may not be a mystical entity, because his reaction was entirely human.

We had never seen The Undertaker rattled and Bearer would've kept his biggest secret a secret had he just realigned with him.

But Undertaker could not forgive Bearer and refused... so Bearer told the world: the Undertaker murdered his brother and parents.

Taker clarified that Kane loved playing with matches (or putting Reynolds Wrap in the microwave) and he was the one that started the fire.

But Taker refused to believe Kane was alive... until he ripped the Cell door off the hinges at Badd Blood 1997.

That's.... that's GOTTA BE KANE! THAT'S GOTTA BE KANE!!!!#BringBackCommentatorVince

The Undertaker refused to fight Kane though, even as he wreaked havoc upon the WWE landscape.

That was until Kane locked Taker in a casket and set it on fire... that tends to piss a guy off.

But not even Kane could stop The Undertaker at this point, it took 3 Tombstones, but Taker defeated his brother at WrestleMania 14.

And then Taker returned the favor by setting Kane on fire in the first ever inferno match. #ThatsCalledAReceipt

So for awhile, things weren't exactly cordial between Taker and Kane, but they seemed to have an understanding.

"You kick my ass, I kick your ass, you set me on fire, I set you on fire," typical sibling rivalry stuff.

It was around this time, we learned the truth that Bearer was Kane's father and that Mrs. Taker frequented Frederick's of Hollywood.

But Kane became more and more detached from Bearer and speculation was abound that he and The Undertaker were "in cahoots."

Working together, albeit tenuously, Kane & The Undertaker were able to wrestle the WWE Championship away from Stone Cold Steve Austin.

But... SWERVE! Paul Bearer and The Undertaker had secretly reconciled and turned their backs on Kane!

And guess what? Undertaker set his parents' funeral parlor on fire! Kane is the true sympathetic antihero!

As it turns out, The Undertaker had been dabbling in the dark arts himself and turned his attention to one Vince McMahon.

And perhaps more disturbingly, Vince's daughter, Stephanie.

And this is where the legend of The Undertaker comes under heavy scrutiny. During an interview at home, Vince refers to him as "Mark."

And it's when we begin to wonder if this man is actually a mystic zombie or just a really sick man who believes his own hype.

This upset The Undertaker, so he broke into Stephanie McMahon's childhood bedroom and stole her teddy bear. #WhiteVanCreepy

The Undertaker would then kidnap Stephanie McMahon and attempt to wed her in a black wedding.

Oddly, this is only the second most rapey thing to ever happen to Stephanie McMahon on WWE television.

Stephanie was rescued by Stone Cold, but this didn't go over well, leading to him getting crucif-- err... symbified.

Meanwhile, Kane had been hired as the muscle of The Corporation, but he got really tired of them calling him a "retard," so he joined DX.

DX, specifically X-Pac, did their best to humanize Kane.

Being locked in Paul Bearer's basement for 20 years isn't great for your social skills, but it's no worse than hanging out with X-Pac.

To his credit though, Kane did learn how to say "suck it" without his voice box thingie. Although it sounded more like "SOOOAUUAUCK ETTT!"

So Kane & X-Pac are bros, Kane might also be banging Tori, and The Undertaker has lost his goddamn mind.

Undertaker and Stone Cold trade the WWE Title a few times, Taker's still pissed SCSA stole his bride, but then...
It turns out Vince McMahon was behind the whole thing and Taker has been serving him. #ItWasMeAustinItWasMeAllAlong

Yes, Undertaker had attempted to marry his daughter, turned his son against him, but it was all a Vince plan to screw Stone Cold.

Vince was trying to paint himself as a sympathetic victim and earn Austin's trust only to screw him out of the WWE Title.

Maybe the WWE CEO position too? I'm not sure, but this isn't Austin's story, so if I messed up something there, who gives a shit?

But despite this ridiculous Rube Goldberg-ian scheme, it blew up in the face of the Corporate Ministry and Austin laughed at them.

So then Undertaker started hanging out with Big Show (Kane was still chillin' with X-Pac, probably smoking weed).

Again, if you believe legend, The Undertaker and Big Show bonded when they drove motorcycles together in Death Valley.

Saying "drove motorcycles" also proves I've never been on a motorcycle in my life... RODE motorcycles is what un-lame people would say.

Okay, so they get out in the middle of the desert and Taker tells Show that he only put half a tank of gas in his bike, and rides away.

Taker was kind of a huge dick at this point.

But as he waited on the road, he saw Big Show make his way out of the desert, carrying the empty motorcycle on his back.

So Undertaker knew he had a new protege, they even wrestled the Tag Titles away from Kane & X-Pac, but their alliance was short lived.

Some say Mark was hurt, some say Taker's powers were completely gone, some say he was just tired of your shit, so he left.

Jesus Christ, we're not even out of the 90s yet, are we?

Shortly after Taker's departure, Kane learned a harsh truth about life: everyone you love will eventually betray you.

Whether it's setting you on fire, locking you in a basement, or stealing your woman, X-Pac & Tori turned on Kane and joined DX Evil.

X-Pac and Tori were an item during this time, but I'm pretty sure Tori and Stephanie McMahon were doing it too.

I'm not sure if it's relevant, but it can't hurt, right?

It appeared as if DX eliminated Kane once and for all in early 2000... that was until he returned with Paul Bearer and kicked everyone's ass

I'm not kidding, he kicked EVERYONE'S ass. It was like a 20-man tag match involving DX & The Radicalz and Kane destroyed EVERYONE.

Alright kids, now would be a good time for a snack break. Story time will resume in just a few moments.

I'm sorry for the delay, I'm going to assist an elderly neighbor with their computer. As you can tell from this story time, I'm a masochist.

Alright class, please return to your seats. Now, where were we?

So Kane's back, but Bearer was only back for a hot minute, like many things in late 99/early 00, he just disappeared.

So X-Pac and Kane do their thing, X-Pac gets his head shoved up Rikishi's ass, fun for the whole family.

A few months later, during a match between Triple H and The Rock... GONG!!!!!!!!!!!

The Undertaker is back and he's... different. Instead of the Deadman or the Phenom, we get GHOST RIDER!

Okay, WWE called him "American Badass," to promote a Kid Rock album, but you know Ghost Rider would've been way cooler.

By the way, that Kid Rock shit really messed up The Undertaker's entrances on the N64 wrestling games.

So The Undertaker's back, he has his sights set on Triple H and he seems to have patched things up with Kane. Time heals all wounds.

Oh, it should be noted that during this time, Undertaker said the coolest thing ever...

"I may not dress like Satan anymore, but I'm still down with the devil." Sorry kids, you'll never be that cool, don't even try.

Taker and Kane did the whole Brothers of Destruction thing for a minute, but as is typical with this relationship, it didn't last.

This time, Kane turned on Taker (for... some... reason?) and they had a "confrontation" at SummerSlam 2000.

It was actually really bad and is probably the lowest point in the Taker/Kane mythos, so let's just move on, k?

So this is when it all gets a little shaky for me, but little of it has to do with the greater Taker/Kane story until after WM17...

I know the Kane/Jericho coffee feud is somewhere in there and Taker getting duped by Eric Angle, but their stories are mostly separate.

Kane sets the Rumble elimination record in 2001, Taker goes 9-0 against HHH at Mania, yadda, yadda, yadda.

Okay, so Brothers of Destruction are back together (at this point, I don't even think they bothered explaining it, they just were).

But now, Stone Cold and Triple H are aligned with Vince and we have the Two Man Power Trip vs. The Brothers of Destruction.

One highlight of this feud was when a Raw "main event" was Taker getting a fake phone call that said his wife was hurt in an accident.

I was at that show and it was the worst live event I've ever been to. Still miss the Attitude Era, kids? You shouldn't.

Kane did beat HHH for the IC Title, but little more came out of the feud. Then the Invasion happened and everything went to shit.

Diamond Dallas Page was stalking Taker's wife... then Taker's wife pinned DDP... these were dark days.

And then to make things worse, Taker and Kane had to feud with Kronik and Stevie Richards... #darkdays

We're all in agreement that Brothers of Destruction vs. Kronik is like the worst match ever, right?

@flairchops True story, I'm pretty sure Taker and Kane beat them for the WCW Tag Titles.

No. RT @thejd44 I've never seen the match. Worth watching just so I can say I've seen the worst match ever?

The reason for the Kronik feud was Taker got rid of the Right to Censor at some point, so Stevie Richards hired them. #darkdays

Taker had a bit of a knack for just fucking random people up during the Ghost Rider days.

I remember when he bit up William Regal when he was doing the Mr. Manners shtick and told him, "you talk funny." Taker is the best.

Kane & The Undertaker are more or less WWE henchmen in the whole Alliance thing, but Kane did have an awesome match with Angle in late Oct01

I was at that show, Angle had turned Alliance for about a week and it's seriously my favorite Kane match ever. A rare Kane tap out.

I think Taker and Austin wrestled on that show too, pretty sure I have pictures of them brawling just a few rows in front of me.

Anyhoo, Taker & Kane are on Team WWE at Survivor Series, they win, Alliance Invasion story is put out of its misery.

And just be aware, the Taker/Kane saga is about to get pretty boring.

To be fair, Taker's return to evil (BIG EVIL) was great, even if it did start with him making JR kiss Vince's ass.

But Taker was glorious at this time, this is when he just kicked the shit out of people, like RVD, Maven and eventually Ric Flair.

Using the Hardcore Title as an ornament for his bike... great stuff.

But then Kane disappeared and Taker entered a feud with Hulk Hogan. #darkdays

Hogan was great at the time with the right opponent, as was Taker, but together. Hoo-boy.

2002 WWE was not a happy place. Taker did get a title run out of it though, and a fun Triple Threat with Angle and The Rock.

So again, little of this has to do with the mythos until Kane returns in the summer, leading to a feud with HHH in the fall.

And yes... it's THAT feud with HHH. #necrophilia

There are a frightening amount of tweets on the #necrophilia hashtag by the way.

Turns out, Kane had not always been locked in Paul Bearer's basement. In his teen years, sometimes he snuck out to go to high school parties

And that's where he met a young woman by the name of Katherine "Katie" Vick, a cheerleader at Sweet Death Valley High.

Katie was a sweet girl, she didn't mind that Kane was burnt to a crisp and wore a ski mask everywhere he went. It's what's on the inside.

She even threw him a sympathy bone, he wasn't burn all over, guys.

After their passionate lovemaking in the backseat of Kane's car (he borrowed it from Paul, Ferris Bueller style), Katie wanted to drive.

But Katie didn't know how to drive stick, and drove the car off the road and into a ditch, she was killed on impact.

Kane survived, his semen was found during the autopsy, but foul play was not suspected.

Paul Bearer, either due to his connections or his dabbling in the black arts, got the police to suppress the records.

After all, he couldn't have anyone poking around wondering why he's harboring a child declared dead years before.

Bearer, furious with Kane, never allowed him out of the basement again. Years of shaming and mental abuse led Kane to becoming mute.

Kane's guilt over Vick and the shaming from his father got his head all sorts of screwed up... was he even burned at all in that fire?#hmmm

The records stayed under wraps for years... until Triple H came along, because even sealed juvenile records job to THE GAME!

HHH used Kane's past as a mind game, even suggesting that he killed Katie, raped her corpse and staged the car accident to cover it up.

For you youngins out there, yes, this really happened on a wrestling show.

Kane had made so much progress in the last five years, but opening the Katie Vick wound did some damage and he fell out of the title picture

While Kane was wrapped up in a #necrophilia feud... Undertaker got the ever-loving shit kicked out of him by Brock Lesnar.

Kane and Taker went their separate ways during the brand split, each finding new brothers to destruct with.

Kane, showing a previous affinity for marijuana by teaming with X-Pac, naturally teamed up with Rob Van Dam.

The Undertaker got to team with the greatest professional athlete in the history of sports, Nathan Jones.

It wasn't until the summer of 2003 that Taker and Kane's paths began to slightly intertwine again.

After losing a match to Triple H, Kane was forced to unmask, and besides a bad haircut, he wasn't scarred at all!

Don't get me wrong, he's one ugly dude, but there are no burns, just that weird eye thing.

As expected, after years of mental abuse from the hands of Bearer and the horror of watching his first love die in a fiery car accident...

Kane merely BELIEVED he was this scarred, ugly, hideous creature. It is what's on the inside that counts, and inside, Kane is a burnt freak.

So while Kane was just destroying everything in sight, Vince McMahon started fucking with The Undertaker.

And since Kane had already done the Genetic Jackhammer a favor by Tombstoning his wife, he made for a natural ally to Vince McMahon.

Okay, I have to admit, I'm a little hazy here... I can't remember why Vince and Taker were feuding. Or was it just because?

Regardless of the reason, after Kane disposed of that pesky Shane McMahon, he helped Vince defeat Undertaker in a Buried Alive Match.

And like that, The Undertaker was dead, for real this time, forever. We swear. Kane said so.

RT @MikeSwoggle: @kickoutblog At No Mercy 03, Vince beat Steph in an I Quit Match and then cost Taker the WWE title vs. Brock. Taker was pissed about both.

But Kane should have learned, like any good horror icon, you can't kill them, you only make them stronger.

Remember the creepy videotape from The Ring? Well images like that started haunting Kane, most notably at the 2004 Royal Rumble.#7Daaays

And at WrestleMania XX, where it all began again, it all began again for The Undertaker. #OHHHYEEEESSSSSS

The Undertaker returned as "The Phenom" at the event, along with Paul Bearer (and a brand new urn).

Bearer told Kane, "you're no son of mine," firmly aligning himself with The Undertaker, who was victorious over his little brother.

Reunited, Taker and Bearer were going to be unstoppable once again... until those damn Dudleyz (and Paul Heyman) ruined everything.

The Dudley Boyz kidnapped Paul Bearer and harnessed the power of the urn, making The Undertaker do their dastardly bidding.

And though Taker won Bearer's freedom, he still buried him in a concrete crypt, because he couldn't allow anyone to have that power over him

We've all been there. Mom keeps telling you to clean your room or she'll take away your iPad... so you bury her in concrete.

After Bearer's demise, Taker and Kane pretty much went their separate ways. Taker solidifying his legacy, Kane being Kane...

They crossed paths and reunited the BoD occasionally, but it appeared their story was over and there was finally peace in the Taker home.

But in 2010, while getting ready for their Memorial Day barbecue, Kane found The Undertaker in the now infamous "vegetative state."

Despite a months-long search it turns out it was Kane himself who was behind the attack. It was kinda like OJ searching for the real killers

Yeah, that's right, an OJ joke in 2013.

And when you think about it, can you blame Kane? Taker got the last word back in 04 and killed the dude's dad.

And even still, Paul Bearer returned to help The Undertaker! Kane is his own flesh and blood and Paul keeps coming back for HIM?! Cruel.

Ah, but it was all just another twist in the massive pretzel that is Undertaker/Kane/Bearer... because Paul turned on Taker!

Taker never fully recovered from that vegetative state either, Kane beat him three shows in a row, including a Buried Alive match.

Finally free of The Undertaker's shadow, Kane and Paul Bearer ruled the galaxy as father and son.

Okay, maybe not the whole galaxy, but they did rule Smackdown!

That was until Edge made Kane throw Paul Bearer off a balcony... jerk. That was after he threw chicken wings at him too.

He was the greater purpose! MT @BigJerichool222 Bearer was leading Nexus, as there is no other explanation for why they took out Taker.

And with Bearer's apparent demise (again), that appeared to be it (again) for the Taker/Kane saga.

But at Raw 1000 last year, The Undertaker helped Kane during an attack from some dudes I don't remember.

Through all their battles, betrayals, and filicide, it appeared the Brothers of Destruction were finally (FINALLY) at peace with each other.

And though their relationship may still be rocky, they were able to pay tribute to Paul Bearer when he died (again) last week.

Like all dysfunctional families, funerals tend to get us to push aside our issues & remember that all we have is each other. And the streak.

And hopefully after WrestleMania, Taker and Kane will ride to Death Valley and sprinkle Bearer's ashes in the desert.

And they'll make Big Show walk back.

And thus, my friends, is the complete history of The Undertaker, Kane, and Paul Bearer.

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