Having debuted with the company nearly 23 years ago, Kane is WWE’s most tenured active pro wrestler. But, when December 25th lands on the same day as Monday Night Raw, even the “Big Red Machine” has to work during the holidays.
“The thing about it is that this is one of our most important times of the year business wise. We do really, really good business the week after Christmas,” Kane, whose real name is Glen Jacobs, said Friday. “It is what it is. There’s always trade-offs. We’re not the only people who this year will be working on Christmas Day. A lot of people do that to provide for their family. My family — we’ll just do Christmas on Sunday.”
Yes, WWE’s resident demon does have the Christmas spirit, and he says he’ll be feeling it when the WWE Live Holiday Tour stops at Nassau Coliseum tonight after visiting Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. It will be Kane’s first visit to the Uniondale arena since it underwent its recent renovation.
And, as much as Kane said he’s looking forward to seeing the Coliseum’s facelift, he said he’ll miss some of the magic of the original building.
“When you’d go down to catering, there was this big room and it has a mural of the Islanders. And then when you’re walking down the hallway to the locker room, they had a sort of Islander Hall of Fame with busts of players and management and staff over the years. Just being backstage was pretty cool,” said Kane, who likened the original Coliseum to other historic arenas no longer around, including the Boston Garden and Philadelphia Spectrum.
“It’s bittersweet, because being a sports fan, there’s so much history in a lot of those places,” Kane said.
The two-time world champion recently returned to the ring after a nearly year-long hiatus, during which time he announced his candidacy for mayor of Knox County, Tenn. The election is in May.
Running for public office while also performing on the road with WWE is “challenging,” Kane said, but it also gives him the opportunity to connect face-to-face with interesting people from around the world. He said he’ll do the same in the political arena if elected.
“I think what’s happened now is that people are tired of politicians. They’re tired of people saying one thing when they’re campaigning and something else when they actually take the job,” Kane said. “The politician is your best friend — he always wants to be there when he’s asking for your vote. But then, often, he doesn’t have time for you when he gets into office. To me, it’s the opposite. They should listen to you more when they’re actually in office.”
Despite his efforts to win voters over as a mild-mannered public servant, Kane says he’ll be in full “demon” mode when he locks up with fellow big man Braun Strowman at the Nassau Coliseum. Even after stepping away from WWE for nearly a year, Kane said it “feels like I never left.”
“I’ll admit, when I look back on the past couple decades, a lot of it seems like a blur,” said Kane, who is occasionally reminded by younger wrestlers how long he’s actually been around.
“One day I said something about Clint Eastwood, and someone said, ‘Oh, yeah. The old man from Grand Torino. And I was like, ‘Oh. Oh God.’”