The People’s Tribune

“Kane” Inducted Into WWE Hall of Fame

1985 Bowling Green High School graduate, Glenn “Kane” Jacobs, Mayor of Knox County, TN.

For many Pike County residents – especially those from Bowling Green – Glenn Jacobs needs no introduction. Stories of the 7′ wrestler visiting home in the early 2000’s circulated far and wide.  

Tales of him running on the Bowling Green High School track wearing the signature mask of Kane.  

Others whispered of school staff closing the window blinds so none of the students could see the unmasked face (at the time) of the WWE superstar.  

But many already knew the much friendlier man behind the persona as he signed autographs and took pictures covering fans’ faces with his giant palms.  

Palms that easily handled a basketball as he wowed the crowds on the court as a Bowling Green Bobcat. 

The 1985 Bowling Green graduate has since gone on to climb the ranks of the WWE, star in Hollywood films, and become a prominent political figure as the mayor of Knox County, Tennessee.  

Both fans and Mayor Jacobs himself were treated to a surprise announcement during the March 24 episode of the WWE talk show, The Bump.  

While Jacobs reminisced about WrestleMania XIV and his career with the Undertaker Mark Calaway his on-air half-brother, often rival, Brothers of Destruction partner, and off-camera friend, Calaway announced Kane would be inducted into the 2021 WWE Hall of Fame. 

The moment caught Jacobs by surprise and left him speechless.  

In an interview with The People’s Tribune, Mayor Jacobs talked about his induction into the Hall of Fame, his back home friend Mark Morton, and his transition into politics. 

“Being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame is the greatest honor of my professional wrestling career,” Mayor Jacobs told the Tribune after having a few days to process the news. “I take a lot of pride in what I’ve done in the WWE, but I’m also humbled to think about all the people who have helped me throughout the years. Most of all, I’m thankful to the WWE and our fans for everything they’ve done for me.” 

Jacobs has done a lot over the last 25 years in his role as Kane. From performing in the first-ever inferno match – a ring surrounded by flames – with the Undertaker to tombstone pile driving baseball Hall of Famer Pete Rose. Getting there has taken a dogged (or as he might put it, a mule-headed) level of determination to get there from the family farm just outside of Frankford.  

“People back in Missouri and people here in East Tennessee are a lot alike: hardworking and neighborly,” Jacobs answered when asked how life in Northeastern Missouri prepared him for his career. “My mom and dad, especially, instilled a good work ethic in me. Of course, the official state animal of Missouri is the mule so it should come as no surprise that I’m too stubborn to know when to quit.” 

But as with many sports environments and workplaces in general, success takes more than physical prowess and mulishness.  

“The other thing is just getting along with people, both when I played sports and now in politics,” he said. “That is a skill and one I learned growing up in a place like Northeastern Missouri.” 

He would use that skill from the start in 1992 as Angus King in the Central States Wrestling Alliance (CSWA) as he worked through various ring names. 

No story about the start of Jacobs’ wrestling career and the eventual rise of ‘The Big Red Machine’ would be complete without talking about his close friend and then owner of CSWA, Mark Morton. 

“Mark actually got me into professional wrestling,” Jacobs said. “He and I were watching WWE one night at his house. He joked with me, we should try that…and we did!” 

Wrestling wasn’t something new for the two friends. 

“As a kid, I watched All-Star Wrestling out of Kansas City and sometimes Wrestling at the Chase out of St. Louis,” Jacobs noted. “Wrestling at the Chase was probably the top pro wrestling show in the country back then. I liked Bulldog Bob Brown, Bruiser Bob Sweetan, and Ray Candy. When I first started, I wanted to be like Hulk Hogan (who didn’t) or the Undertaker.” 

As for his friend, Mark was more than the owner of CSWA, he also wrestled up until recently as the popular instigator or ‘heel’ in the independent wrestling leagues of the area with two championship belts.  

Known in the ring as Marcus “Every Lady’s Fantasy Mansfield, Mark has been there from the very beginning of Kane. 

“There are lots of stories from my first couple of years traveling throughout the Midwest, not making any money, and performing in front of sparse crowds, but my best story with Mark was the day that Kane debuted,” Jacobs shared a tale of his trip to St. Louis where he would eventually stun crowds in St. Louis during the first-ever ‘Hell in a Cell’ match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.  

Just before The Undertaker was about to finish off his opponent the arena went dark as organ music played. After the lights came back on, Paul Bearer walked Kane to the caged ring for the first time where he would rip the cell’s door from the hinges.  

But getting to the arena proved just as entertaining for Jacobs and Mark.  

“At the time, I was living in Knoxville. Since the Badd Blood show–where Kane debuted–was taking place in St. Louis, I came home a few days early to visit. I was staying with my parents in Bowling Green, and Mark told me that he’d drive me to the show. When Sunday morning came, Mark showed up in a beater of a car. I mean, the thing didn’t even look like it could move. He told me that his wife had taken the other car, but not to worry, we’d be fine. Ha, famous last words. We took off and got just past Wentzville and smoke started billowing out of the cassette player! I said, ‘Dude, your car is on fire!’ then there was a loud pop and the engine chugged off.” 

Stranded on the side of the road before the days of cellphones, Mayor Jacobs said he had a sinking feeling that his run as Kane had ended before it even started.  

“Luckily, another friend showed up and drove us to the show,” he continued. “And I made it in plenty of time.” 

That day launched a 25-year run as Kane – a role he reprised even after winning the mayoral election for Knox County, Tennessee in 2018.  

“No way! I never wanted to get into politics at all,” he answered when asked if he ever imagined becoming the mayor of a major area while growing up. “But like so many folks, I’ve become really disheartened with the way things are going. I figured that I would stop complaining and try to do something constructive instead.” 

As a high school and then college athlete at Truman State University (where he still holds the second-highest percentage for basketball field goals) he thought he would end up teaching and coaching basketball or football. 

That line of thinking along with being an avid reader led him to complete a degree in English Literature.  

Not the degree one would imagine for a wrestler nicknamed “the devil’s favorite demon,” but then it’s only one of many surprises when learning about the man behind the persona.  

As for his transition into the realm of politics.  

“I think it has been easier for me than it would be for most other folks since I’m already used to being in the public’s eye. I love being mayor. Next to a WWE Superstar, it’s the best job there is!” 

It’s a job that keeps him busy. As to whether Pike residents will see him again soon, “my family lives in Moscow Mills now, so I don’t make it back to the Bowling Green area much. I was there a couple of years ago and it’s amazing how it has changed!” 

His schedule has only gotten busier in recent weeks with the hall of fame induction and a recent appointment to the Missouri National Guard Hall of Fame Civilian Advisory Board, located in Kirksville.  

“I am deeply honored to join the Missouri National Guard Hall of Fame Civilian Advisory Board,” Mayor Jacobs said. “As the son of a Navy/Air Force dad and a native Missourian, I think it’s important to remember and honor those who have served America and the great state of Missouri with distinction.” 

Despite that busy schedule, he still makes time for friends back home and to talk with the Tribune about stories from his early days on the Bowling Green court. 

“I don’t know if it was during the Annual Bowling Green Tournament or not, but in one game I had breakaway dunks on two consecutive plays. The crowd went crazy. It was pretty awesome.” 

When asked if he would like to say anything to his many fans and friends back home or Pike County? 

“I want to give a big shoutout to my good friend Mike Cole who is a chiropractor in Vandalia and to Carol Gamm Smith who keeps me up to date on Facebook. 

For anyone with aspirations of becoming a pro-athlete, actor, or political figure, Mayor Jacobs advises them to keep working towards those ends. 

“I encourage everyone to follow their dreams. I’m just a farm boy from Northeast Missouri who discovered something that he was good at and didn’t quit going no matter the challenges. The most important thing is to keep going no matter what life hands you. Like Rocky Balboa said, “it’s not how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can get hit and keep going.” If someone like me can do what I’ve done in my life, anyone can achieve their goals.” 

On April 6, Jacobs will get to stand alongside those WWE Superstars he looked up to in the WWE Hall of Fame. The ceremony will stream on the NBC service, Peacock.   

To learn more about Mayor Glenn “Kane” Jacobs, check out his autobiography, “Mayor Kane: My Life in Politics” available through all major outlets. 

The People’s Tribune wants to thank Mayor Jacobs for the interview and Mark Morton along with Mike Donila (the Knox County Communications Director) for helping to set it up. 

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