Saturday, April 13

Jim Ross Discusses Why Kane Didn’t Spend More Time As A World Champion


  • Kane didn’t need world titles to be a star. He was an attraction who didn’t rely on carrying a belt to the ring to get over. His persona and size made him a standout.
  • The WWE Attitude Era had a stacked main event roster, which made it difficult for Kane to achieve tangible success like world titles or WrestleMania main events. Despite this, he could have easily headlined any event.
  • The episode also revealed interesting tidbits about Kane’s early career, including Jim Ross connecting him with Vince McMahon and his transition away from wrestling as the current Mayor of Knox County.

Kane is an undisputed legend of WWE who felt totally in his element as a WWE Hall of Fame headliner when he was inducted in 2021. It’s little surprise that The Big Red Machine’s career would justify its own episode of the Grilling JR podcast with Jim Ross (and perhaps unsurprising, too, the conversation spilled over and is set to continue on a future edition).

RELATED: 10 Things We Learned From Jim Ross’ Grilling JR PodcastGood Ol’ JR spent much of the November 2 episode putting over how Kane was a can’t miss prospect, a nice guy, and ultimately one of the greats. The late stages of the show fielded some interesting questions from the fans, though, including delving into why Kane didn’t have more world title victories or enjoy a longer reign with the belt.

Kane Was An Attraction Who Didn’t Need A WWE Title

Kane Entrance Cropped

Co-host Conrad Thompson cited that fellow podcaster Bruce Prichard would point out talents like Jake Roberts, Andre the Giant, and Ted Dibiase didn’t need the world title because they were “attractions.” Jim Ross readily agreed that Kane fit this category and didn’t require title reigns to be seen as a star.

Ross continued to explain, “I’m a big fan of the personas that we see on TV getting over [when] they’re not getting over because they carried a belt to the ring … Kane didn’t need that prop; he was a human prop—a seven-foot, three-hundred prop.” He cited that, in addition to Kane’s talents, the creative team and the work Ross himself and Jerry Lawler did on commentary positioned him as a top talent.

The WWE Attitude Era Roster Was Crowded On Top

The Rock v Triple H v Angle SummerSlam 2000 Cropped

Moments later in the conversation between Conrad Thompson and Jim Ross, they discussed Kane’s spot in the hierarchy of the Attitude Era. Ross indicated that he thought “Kane could have headlined anything,” including a WrestleMania.

RELATED: 10 WWE Attitude Era Wrestlers: Who Were They Trained By?The two elaborated further on the depth of the main event roster at the time, including names like Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, and The Undertaker. While Kane was in the mix and worked feuds with all those individuals at different points, Ross seemed to suggest him enjoying less tangible success—world titles, WrestleMania main events, etc.—more out of happenstance than by design, and that Kane absolutely could have been in a tip-top spot.

The episode of Grilling JR dedicated to Kane also included tidbits like Jim Ross himself being the one to first connect The Big Red Machine with Vince McMahon, back when the man beneath the gimmick was still quite green, in addition to other insights about Kane’s early career. The current Mayor of Knox County had a remarkable career in wrestling and remains a fascinating figure for fans to ponder, even now that he has mostly transitioned away from the business.

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