BY RAJ NATION
If you’re familiar at all with Poor Scholars then you’re aware that we have some wrestling fans on the staff. In this week’s edition of the the Poor Scholars WWE Retro Vid of the Week, Poor Scholars’ Raj Nation breaks down a classic match between Kane and Vader from 1998.
(Editor’s note: The wrench moment that Raj refers to occurs at the 18:49 mark of this match.)
This week on Poor Scholars, we look back at another clip involving Kane (this time he’s actually in it) from 1998. On the Road to Wrestlemania where Kane would face his brother, Undertaker, WWE had to inject a side plot so that the build up could actually last six months without becoming stale.
That side plot would come in the form of the man they call Vader. Even In WWE’s world, this feud was hard to justify. Kane had a habit of attacking pretty much everyone when he first broke into the WWE, so Vader must have been the only one to actually care.
(Editor’s note: For those unfamilar with wrestling, Vader is most famous for his cameos as Frankie’s dad on Boy Meets World.)
I suppose it could have had to do with Paul Bearer (played by the late Bill Moody, who passed away last week). When Bearer managed Mankind and feuded with Undertaker, he would send Vader out to kick ‘Taker’s ass every now and then. Perhaps Vader had mortician envy of Kane, over Bearer? Was this really a classic story of a twisted love triangle? It took place the day after Valentine’s Day, after all.
I can’t say for sure why these two fought in the first place, but what I can say is that it worked. It garnered legitimate interest, and at the No Way Out: In Your House PPV six weeks prior to Wrestlemania, Vader and Kane had it out. This match would, for many, ultimately be Vader’s legacy in WWE.
Unfortunately, that legacy is taking the biggest wrench I have ever seen to the forehead. My brother watched wrestling as a kid, but since around 2000, has been largely uninterested or indifferent to it, relying on updates I give him whether he wants to hear them or not. Even with lacking interest in wrestling for most of his life, he still manages to sneak in a “Vader wrench to the head” reference every now and then either with a Nature Valley bar, or working it into a text message.
Watch Kane jack Vader in the face; that’s some serious wrench. It caused Jim Ross to exclaim, “Hell that should be assault!” Although, it’s professional wrestling, in which case nearly everything is assault. I actually almost believe it caused him to have reconstructive facial surgery, as WWE claimed.
No Way Out was a ‘smashing’ time for Vader, and was another chance for WWE to put Kane over as an indestructible monster.
And if the wrench to the head didn’t leave you with a lasting impression of Vader, perhaps this will: