Ok, this is kinda goofy logic, but try and follow me. Triple H, Randy Orton, and Ric Flair are the closest thing we'll probably ever see to the Horsemen of old. Also, I like their "Evolution" name and gimmick. They don't need a 4th member, just the 3 of them will do.
Now then, it's obvious that TripleH idolizes Flair and the Horsemen. He's changed his moveset because of it. Now he's riding around with Flair. Therefore, he could be considered a modern day Ric Flair. We all know he's not(unless he picks up that 2000-2001 vibe again), but work with me. So if TripleH is Flair, he needs a Steamboat or Sting to counter him. Who better than Kane? Yeah, he's not Sting or Steamboat in the ring, and never will be. But he *is* exciting. If he had a match with Hunter that was half as good as the main event Monday night, he'd be even more popular.
Sting and Flair fought countless times, and granted, Kane/TripleH will never be Sting/Flair, but at least it'd be a good, solid storyline to use. TripleH invites Kane to join Evolution. He declines the first time. They fight in a title match. If Kane loses, he loses the mask. Obviously he lost. I think this might drive him over the edge enough, as it did Sting, to make him exciting again. I see TripleH vs. Kane for the title at SummerSlam, and as TripleH has lost to Kane before, I see Kane going over.
So now they're not only borrowing from Sting/Flair, they're also borrowing from Sting/Hogan circa Starcade '97. But that, in my opinion, is exactly what Raw needs.
edit: And if you want to give a Steamboat to TripleH's Flair, bring Benoit over.
The only difference is that there hasn't been a Flair/Sting '88 or even '89 match to establish Kane as an effective contender.
When Sting almost beat Flair in 1988, a star was born. The future of wrestling, at least what everyone thought it would be, was seen. The seeds were planted for an angle that would eventually pay off at GAB '90. We haven't seen anything like that about of Kane or HHH.
Also, Kane lost his cool facepaint.
"If you're asking if I would ever date a wrestler, certainly I would. However it wouldn't be good business for me to get romantically involved with anyone in any aspect of our business." -Stephanie McMahon (Off the Record, June 3rd, 1999)
I think Sklokazoid could be onto something here. If WWE is really losing faith in Goldberg, perhaps they see Kane as the next (home-grown) logical choice to be the one to finally unseat Triple H.
Over 1600 posts and still never a Wiener of the Day!
Oliva: You are the weakest link! Goodbye!
Stewie: Ahahaha. Oh God, that's funny. That's really funny. You write your own material? Do you? Because that is so fresh. 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' You know I've never heard anyone make that joke before. You're the first. I've never heard anyone reference that outside program before. Because that's what she says on the show, right? Hmmm? 'You are the weakest link. Goodbye!' And ye...ye..yet you've taken it and....and used it out of context to insult me in this everyday situation. What a clever, smart girl you must be. To come up with a joke like that all by yourself. Mmmmm...that's so fresh too. Any Titanic jokes you want to throw at me as long as we're hitting these phenomena at the height of their popularity. Mmmm? Cuz i'm here God you're so funny!
I've been thinking about how they might handle Kane now that the mask and his hair is gone. How about something like this:
His current music is playing and the red lights are still on, but the video has gone to a sort of frenetic "KANE" logo that just twitches on the screen like on a piece of film that's old and about shot. No flames, no "The Fire Still Burns", no clips of him wrestling.
He walks out with purpose from the curtain, mask in hand. About 3 steps down the ramp, he puts the mask back on and adjusts it before he gets to the ring.
As he climbs in, he just goes head-on to beating on the opponent. Sort of like the old Road Warriors entrance, but not sprinting. He's just there for business and is barely containing his rage, even taking the occasional swipe at the referee.
He would lose all of the old mannerisms like the pyro, the top rope clotheline, zombie situp, etc, just keeping the chokeslam and maybe the tombstone. On top of that, he's more of a 'tweener. He wouldn't play to the crowd (by not using the familiar spots) and would crush a face as soon as a heel. Glen Jacobs has proved that he can show emotion with a mask on and for a good while without talking, so cut off the promos and show him shutting himself away from the world to protect himself from the pain.
The idea is that he's gone over the edge. The mask gave him the chance to hide before, and he still carries it as a symbol, but it can't bring him any amount of comfort any more. He's more vicious than before, and if somehow the mask comes off during the match, he goes ballistic.
I know that the "animal" gimmick is being given to Goldberg, but I expect that this direction is going to be dropped before Summerslam. I don't know that they trust him with the big gold belt. Kane, at least, has a storyline purpose to go after HHH, not necessarily the belt itself.
Evolution, basically being the instrument of his losing the mask and by extension his grip on sanity, would be the natural ultimate target for his rage. Make the point of all of this getting to HHH, not the title.
Granted, it would devalue the belt to not be the focus of the feud when it's on one of the participants, but I'd say that you could get a more believable story of a person hating HHH rather than thinking they're the one to take the belt from him.
I doubt it. Fans were into his matches and his promos were getting better, plus he was on the verge of maineventer before he got hurt. Also I don't think Vince would have chosen him 3rd if he didn't plan on using him.