WWE has never shied away from controversial storylines and by “controversial,” I mean tasteless. We’ve seen homophobia. Transphobia. Racism. Right now, there’s a cuckolding storyline going on RAW. We’ve seen bra and panties matches, endured the immature gibbering of Jerry “The King” Lawler, and been witness to a crucifixion. Surely, there is some depth WWE hasn’t sunken to yet. Maybe necrophilia.
Surely, WWE wouldn’t have their performers have sex with a corpse on national television, right?
Bless your heart.
In 2002, The Hurricane, Shane Helms, and Kane were tag team champions. They were set to defend the titles in the main event, but The Hurricane was wiped out backstage by Triple H. Kane retained the tag team titles by himself because of course he did. You’ve seen Kane, right? He’s a big strong boi.
But Trips came ambling out to interrupt Kane’s victory celebration with a single question: “How happy is Katie Vick?”
No one should have been surprised that Kane had killed someone. He was, after all, the victim of a fire set by his kayfabe brother, the Undertaker. The blaze killed their parents and left Kane scarred. He grew up in an insane asylum, having been placed there by his real father, Paul Bearer, and look. There’s a lot of backstory to this, and you can delve into that if you’re of a mind to do so.
The takeaway is Kane being a murderer made sense. But, Kane was a good guy at the time with a great deal of fan support.
Here’s where it gets weird.
The next week, Kane came out to tell the crowd what really happened.
Let’s break this town. After Kane says Katie Vick died in an auto collision, Triple H comes out and not only calls Kane a drunken murderer, but he accuses him of having sex with Katie Vick’s corpse. That’s like the beginning of a slasher movie. Katie should be roaring back from the grave to take her bloody vengeance.
Unfortunately, here’s where it gets weirder.
The next week, WWE held an ersatz funeral for Katie Vick who, as Kane said, died ten years before. Having a funeral at that point would have been silly. Triple H, wearing a Kane mask, approaches Katie’s body, which is clearly a mannequin in a cheerleader uniform. With Trips talking to Katie as if she is still alive, he climbs into the casket and engages in the cringiest spot WWE has ever produced.
Go somewhere private, slip in some earbuds, and watch this spot.
There you go. Real simulated corpse fucking, sanctioned and created by WWE.
I know things are bad on the main roster right now, but it could be ever so much worse.
Here’s a quote from Bruce Prichard, who helped create the segment, taken from the podcast Something to Wrestle.
“That’s another important lesson to learn here, kids. So we do it, and Hunter does this thing about as straight as you can do it. Over-the-top straight and serious,” Prichard said. “We shoot it, we’re done and Vince is like ‘Goddamn, I love it! That’s perfect!’ Hunter and I are looking at each other like ‘Ok, now let’s show him how the over-the-top one is going to be and how it’ll be so much better to do it tongue-in-cheek.’ He says ‘Alright, let’s go guys.’ I said ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, we’ve got to shoot the other one.’ He says ‘Goddamn, Bruce, we don’t have time. You’re not going to get better than that.’ Hunter just looks at me like, ‘Save me. We can’t air that. There’s no way we can air that.’
But they did air that. After multiple viewer complaints, Triple H brought the Katie Vick mannequin to the ring. He sat the mannequin on his knee and did a ventriloquist act full of double entendres.
It didn’t help the situation. The arrival of The Hurricane, who had fake footage of Triple H in the hospital having items removed from his rear end by a doctor, was another exercise in scraping the bottom… of the barrel.
The angle was dropped soon after in favor of a feud between Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
One would think there would be a lot more to say about this angle, but the segments speak for themselves. To paraphrase the words of Triple H, WWE will always do what it wants to do and if you don’t like it, you can lump it.
Sometimes, they give us great stuff, memorable for all the right reasons.
Sometimes, we get Katie Vick.