Glenn Jacobs, Better Known As WWE Wrestler Kane, Elected Mayor In Tennessee

You might say he body slammed the opposition.

Glenn Jacobs, who is better known as his WWE alter-ego Kane, the “brother” of legendary WWE personality The Undertaker, has been elected Mayor of the third-largest community in Tennessee:

The Big Red Machine has been elected to political office.

Glenn Jacobs — better known as WWE wrestler Kane — won his bid for Knox County, Tennessee mayor after roundly defeating his opponent, Linda Haney. He had the Democratic nominee on the ropes in Thursday’s election, tallying twice as many votes — 51,804 to Haney’s 26,224.

It was a much easier victory than his primary win over fellow Republican Brad Anders, who took the wrestling superstar to the mat — Jacobs only won that race by a 23 vote margin.

In his wrestling persona Jacobs, most often a “heel” or villain, is a fan favorite. He has previously wrestled in a red mask, giving rise to his nickname.

He was already winding down his wrestling career before he ran for office, according to Bleacher Report.

His new responsibility, Knox County, is home to the city of Knoxville and is the third-most populous county in Tennessee.

A self described “farm boy from rural Missouri,” Jacobs was aiming for a career in pro football before a knee injury shattered those dreams. The injury allowed him to instead focus on wrestling and after several years of performing in local competitions he signed for the WWE in 1995. He debuted the Kane character two years later.

Described as “a monstrous abomination that seems to have been extracted directly from your childhood nightmares” in his character’s WWE bio, the wrestler weighs over 320 lbs and stands at 7 ft.

His final WWE appearance — assuming he doesn’t mount a post-politics comeback — was an Extreme Rules SmackDown Live tag team championship match, which he and partner Daniel Bryan lost to the Bludgeon Brothers, according to Bleacher Report.

Generally speaking, I haven’t really watched professional wrestling since my early years in college, although I did return to the audience for a brief time in the late 90s when the WWE’s expansion with broadcasts on major cable networks such as USA and TNT, along with the rise of a new breed of stars such as Dwayne Johnson, who has of course gone on to an extraordinarily successful career as a movie star. In any case, it was around that time that the Kane character was introduced and he was indeed a ‘scary’ character that fit into the heel role quite well, especially when paired against his ostensible “brother.”

As for Jacobs, he has been politically active for several years now and has described himself in the past as being generally libertarian in his political philosophy. He supported Ron Paul in the 2008 and 2012 elections and was courted as a potential Senate candidate in 2014 as a primary challenger to Senator Lamar Alexander, although he did not run in that election. As noted, Jacobs had narrowly won the Republican nomination for Knox County Mayor back in May, but the fact that he won the election by such a wide margin yesterday is a strong indication of just how heavily Republican this part of the state is.

In any case, perhaps a few body slams are just what we need in government.

FILED UNDER: 2018 Election, Entertainment, Popular Culture, Sports, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I had an instructor once who had a theory that the dark ages were caused by an overabundance of lead in the air…which led to mass insanity. (lead/led…get it?)
    I never put any stock in his theory…but now I’m beginning to wonder if there has been a marked increase of lead in OUR air over the last couple years?
    We seem to be losing our collective minds.

    Pretty so-so jobs report, this morning.

  2. I’m not certain that Jacobs winning is all that bad a thing. I’ve seen in interviews outside of his wrestling persona and he comes across as well-educated on the issues and appreciative of the challenges he will face in an entirely new career. He’s far from being a Jesse Ventura.

  3. Joe says:

    This reminds me: Is Linda McMahon still running the SBA? The fact that we haven’t heard more about her suggests that she’s getting the job done without a lot of drama. In this administration, that makes her a standout.

  4. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I never put any stock in his theory…but now I’m beginning to wonder if there has been a marked increase of lead in OUR air over the last couple years?

    Most likely the opposite: a reduction.

    Early on in the development of automobiles, there was a big problem with engine knock. The solution adopted was to put tetraethyl lead in gasoline, which is a lead compound.

    Reduction of this compound began in the 1970s, and by now most gasoline is lead-free (or at least without added lead).

    Lots of people, though, grew up with lots of lead in the air, not to mention lead-containing paints, and maybe other sources. Most of that is gone, but lead is still used in some applications (BTW, lead crystal is perfectly safe to drink out of, but not lead glazed ceramics). This may have had some long-lasting effects that, perhaps along with aging, are manifesting now.

  5. Timothy Watson says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Lead exposure is actually done from the peak in the 1970s/80s.

    My theory is epidemic levels of undiagnosed Crutchfield-Jacobs disease (a prior disease similar to Mad Cow).

  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Doug Mataconis: However, running as a Republican in this age of trump calls into question his judgement. That said, I will withhold judgement until we have an actual tack record to judge him by (I am talking about his sanity, not his politics or policies, 80-90% of which I will most likely disagree with).

  7. Tyrell says:

    @Doug Mataconis: I agree. I remember the Kane “storylines” and dramas that they presented some years ago. Not a bad soap opera.
    I saw a news story that featured Kane campaigning. He seems to be very popular and a nice person. I have found that to be true of many of the pro wrestlers. They never turn down an autograph or picture.

  8. Ratufa says:


    However, running as a Republican in this age of trump calls into question his judgement.

    In the Presidential election, Knox county went for Trump over Clinton by 59% to 35.1% . Tennessee is also a solid red state. You play the cards you are given.

  9. James Pearce says:


    However, running as a Republican in this age of trump calls into question his judgement.

    Trump is a very weird Republican, though. Kane…er, Jacobs…is pretty traditional.

  10. Tyrell says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “losing our collective minds” : could be from the energy bursts from the sun or the Pacific rim activity- look at all the strange natural events that occurred just in the last two weeks.
    “so so jobs report”: I go in few stores or businesses today that do not have a “help wanted” sign. Some plants have reopened here that had been closed and shuttered for years. One plant has a large sign: “workers needed, no experience necessary Please call!
    Housing construction is literally going through the roof. Anyone here who wants a job could get hired on the spot in a matter of minutes.
    I haven’t seen things like this in years.
    I see people now who have hope.