The Brothers Of Destruction Open Up
By Ryan Satin
“Who knows where our careers would’ve been if they hadn’t intersected.”
The latest WWE Network documentary “Brothers of Destruction” takes a look at the history of The Undertaker and Kane in a unique way.
Premiering Sunday as part of "30 Days of The Deadman," a month-long celebration of The Undertaker’s WWE debut, the documentary centers around a filmed sit-down conversation between Mark Calaway (aka Undertaker) and Glenn Jacobs (aka Kane).
What sets it apart from other tellings of their story, however, is that for the first time ever both performers are able to let their kayfabe guard down and open up about their iconic rivalry, as well as give a glimpse into the close friendship they share.
Beginning with a brief reminder of Undertaker’s early beginnings, it doesn’t take long before footage is shown of Jacobs taking part in a WWE tryout match in 1993 at the event where he met his future “brother" for the first time.
The two then reminisce about their inaugural match in Smoky Mountain Wrestling and how Undertaker realized that night he had found someone he could do business with in WWE.
But that didn’t happen right away.
Kane was brought to WWE as Isaac Yankem, DDS, a terrible dentist gimmick which Calaway says he tried talking Vince McMahon out of at the time to no avail.
Years later, however, the idea for Kane came around.
Undertaker’s thought-to-be-dead younger brother returning to enact revenge on the WWE star for burning their parents alive as a child.
Even better, according to Calaway, was the fact that this masked Superstar’s name would be similar to the one The Deadman almost debuted with himself – which was Cain the Undertaker.
During this part of the documentary, footage is shown of Kane at a secret WWE training facility learning how the character should act in the ring before his 1997 debut.
Sitting up slowly like Undertaker.
The throat slash. The Tombstone.
This cool behind the glimpse of pre-debut Kane is the kind of thing that makes WWE documentaries can’t-miss for most wrestling fans.
Personally, I could watch an hour of pre-debut footage like this and find it fascinating. So this quick clip, and others like it in the film, give a little something extra to whet the appetite of hardcore fans who’ve already watched other documentaries on the Brothers of Destruction.
As explained in the film, Kane versus Undertaker was initially only planned to be a one-off match.
However, it quickly became evident WWE had something special on their hands and the story was extended to keep things going.
This leads to the duo discussing their way through the beginning of their 23-year rivalry, which feels like a great podcast conversation between two close friends.
They laugh about things like setting Taker’s casket ablaze, how hot it was in the ring during the first Inferno Match and fighting over their “dead” parents remains.
Kane also hilariously recalls asking Calaway to slap him once backstage in order to overcome not wanting do the same to Undertaker during an on-camera segment.
These conversation clips do an effective job of illustrating how their respect and admiration for each other only grew as the storyline deepened, which eventually led to a team up of epic proportions in The Brothers of Destruction.
One particular fun story here sees the two giants discussing a match they had on SmackDown back in the day with the smaller team of Taka Michinoku and Funaki, aka Kaientai.
The planned finish was Kane hitting The Undertaker’s Last Ride powerbomb on Funaki.
Instead, because Funaki was so much lighter than Jacobs was used to, he accidentally flung the wrestler over his head.
They then had to improvise their way out of it on live TV, which made for a memorable experience.
The normally serious wrestlers laughing about this and so much more throughout helps the documentary in not feeling like a rehash of anything produced on them in the past.
Not once at any point did I feel bored watching this.
Instead, I found myself fully invested in each story being told.
As most of you reading this know, Kane eventually took his character in a different direction in 2003 by getting rid of the mask. This wasn’t the most popular decision amongst fans, but hearing him talk about why he did it with a man who reinvented himself many times in The Undertaker was another unique part of this documentary.
Unlike many other legends these days, fans don’t get to hear random wrestling takes from The Undertaker very often. So to hear Calaway weigh in on something like this for the first time is awesome.
Same goes for the fact that he and Kane can have a good laugh about their match in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel against Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
All in all, “Brothers of Destruction” does a great job humanizing two of the scariest men in WWE history by showing how much they meant to each other both in and out of the ring.
It’s also successful in keeping the conversational tone throughout the entire feature, allowing viewers to feel like a fly on the wall during a 47-minute conversation between two absolute legends.
“Our story is probably the greatest story ever told in WWE because it never stopped evolving,” Calaway correctly says to Jacobs at one point in their conversation.
If you agree, then you’ll enjoy this documentary as much as I did.
For more from Kane ... watch our latest sit-down interview with the man himself as he talks about Undertaker's upcoming "final farewell" at Survivor Series, his favorite incarnation of "The Big Red Machine" and whether he plans to wrestle again.