Jim Cornette has discussed how surprised he was to see footage of himself online teaching the would-be Kane, Glenn Jacobs how to imitate one of The Undertaker’s trademark moves.
While maybe never showing Kane how to perform a chokeslam or a tombstone piledriver, Cornette saw footage on social media of him teaching Jacobs how to copy The Undertaker’s menacing way of sitting up.
Speaking on his Jim Cornette Experience podcast, Cornette began:
“It’s a small grainy picture and it’s a wide VHS shot but that was the early – I don’t even know if it was before Hell In A Cell or shortly after but Glenn’s debut as Kane. Part of the deal was he had to sit up like The Undertaker and part of the deal was him having the mannerisms and I know this is gonna sound odd but he wasn’t doing the sit up the right way. And I know everybody’s gonna say ‘Oh yeah, Jim Cornette’s gonna teach Glenn Jacobs to do a sit up,’ look at our various physiques, that’s not the point. It’s not an exercising sit up, it’s the Michael Myers, Halloween, spooky, monster movie sit up.”
Cornette then laid bare the technical details of the sit up that made it so terrifying for opponents of WWE’s resident Phenom:
“If you can imagine this, a lot of guys when they try to imitate that when they’re laying there when they sit up their feet come up slightly off the mat and their arms will kind of with the momentum and they’ll sit up. But if you go back and look, the reason Michael Myers was spooky, the reason The Undertaker was spooky, the reason then why Kane got it is because you have to be laying there motionless, straight as an arrow like you’re laid out in a coffin. Then the only thing that can move is your waist like there’s a hinge on it. Your feet don’t move, your hands at your side don’t move, your elbows bend when your waist bends, and your head stays at the exact same angle, straight up and down as when you’re laying.”
Jim Cornette then likened the legendary sit up to the same way Aleister Black used to make his entrance. With help of a board, Black would be brought from lying on his back to fully upright in what was a unique presentation.
“Remember when they were bringing in old Aleister Black on that Hannibal Lecter board and then the board tipped up? Same thing, straight at the waist, boom, and when you come straight up then the only thing that moves is the neck when you do the turn and look. So it’s two moved and everything else has to be motionless. Bend up at the waist, stop, turn to the side, look ahead.”
“Glenn was moving his feet a little bit and kinda his hands would move and also when he was sitting up he started turning his head before he was all the way sat up. And I said ‘No, stop still, two distinct movements, that’s the spooky part. He did it a couple of times and he got it. But I never dreamed that twenty-something years later I’d see [that], and we were the only two in the ring. There wasn’t even a class going on as I recall.”
Cornette’s lessons must have worked as Glenn Jacobs mastered his role as The Undertaker’s younger, demonic brother Kane. In one of the most fondly remembered debuts of all time, Kane ripped the door off the first ever Hell In A Cell to confront his older brother and cost him his match with Shawn Michaels.