Many of the WWE Superstars – and Legends – of today went through an awkward phase where they just couldn’t find a gimmick that worked. For Glenn Jacobs, now known as Kane that would probably be his turn as “Fake Diesel.”
The Kane we know today, aka the Undertaker’s Brother, the Big Red Machine, and The Devil’s Favorite Demon debuted, in 1997. He interfered in a Hell in a Cell match between the Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.
The sight of the big masked man dressed in red and black marching down to rip the door of the cage open captured the crowd’s imagination and remains an iconic debut even today.
It wasn’t Jacobs’s first attempt to create a character that would resonate with the WWE Universe however. Jacobs first began appearing in WWE TV in 1995 as Issac Yankem, a monstrous “private dentist” aligned with Jerry Lawler who was then feuding with Bret Hart.
Then, in 1996, Diesel and Razor Ramon left for WCW and WWE decided to mock them in storyline. As part of this, Jacobs was reintroduced as “Diesel”. He competed as what was basically a Diesel imitator, copying the other wrestlers look and move set. The storyline fizzled out and Jacobs was eventually re-branded as Kane.
Speaking during the podcast X-Pac 12360, Jacobs talked about his time as Fake Diesel. According to Jacobs, while the idea sounded good it didn’t take off. He attributes that fact to him being still green in the business and trying to find his style.
“ I don’t think the audience really ever got behind it,” stated Jacobs. “But again, for me, it got me more experience, and I was determined to make that succeed.”
“I was still trying to figure out my way around through this whole thing. And here I was in WWE… and I am in the ring with these guys that I’ve watched on TV… You know, ‘Oh gosh what am I supposed to do?’ And you can’t have that attitude, I mean you have to have the attitude of ‘I belong here,’ and I didn’t have it at that point,” he added.
You can check out the entire interview here: