Alex Kane isn’t worried about his MLW World Heavyweight Title defense on December 7th. Despite all of Matt Cardona’s attempts at trash-talk and demeaning, the 30-year-old champion is confident that he’ll leave Cardona in the dust just like his other challengers.
This confidence of Kane’s isn’t just a work or some kind of theatric boasting; Kane has had to endure incredible challenges from before he was even born.
In an interview with SlamWrestling.net, the 5-foot-11, 238-pound champion discussed the physical and mental roadblocks that plagued since he was in his mother’s womb. Both he and his twin brother endured a complicated birthing process, one that saw both of them come out via Cesarean section. He found himself in NICU for several months, and from there he would start a long life as a fighter.
Kane found himself constantly needing to prove himself to both his family and his peers. He struggled as a young man because he was undersized as a child and often lacked the things other kids had. These problems were confounded by challenges at home; while his parents did everything they could, he often found himself drawn into their own struggles. As a result, Kane suffered from depression as a child and contemplated suicide on more than one occasion.
But then he found an escape, a solution: professional wrestling. And while the expression “wrestling saved my life” has been used before, in Alex Kane’s case it was literal.
“I wanted to be a cop, join the army, do all of these rough jobs,” Kane told SlamWrestling. “But then I found wrestling and then I decided this has to be my life. It was that constant escape that I had. I saw these larger-than-life dudes and women and I thought that what they were doing is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Kane overcame that childhood depression by pushing himself both physically and mentally. He began training in high school by playing rugby and by doing and both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling until he was in college. Both of those disciplines gave him the mental acuity he needed to survive in wrestling, especially the latter because from the very beginning his many opponents and coaches tried to “break him.”
Then once he began training for pro-wrestling at 25, Kane took those physical and mental lessons and applied them to both his in-ring skill and his personality. The end result is a wrestler who behaves like Deion Sanders or Clubber Lang on the mic but then throws people around the ring like Kurt Angle or Tazz.
With a confident attitude and the technical skill and power to back it up, Kane has managed to experience what he described in his own words as a “meteoric rise.” Though he has only been wrestling for five years, Kane has already won singles told in some independent federations. But his biggest accomplishments to date have been in Major League Wrestling, where he has won the National Openweight Championship and is the current reigning and defending world champion. He also won the 2023 Battle Riot, which is MLW’s version of the Royal Rumble.
Kane won the MLW World Heavyweight title in July 2023, beating Alexander Hammerstone. In the months that followed he had successful defenses against the likes of Willie Mack, “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, and MLW mainstay Jacob Fatu. The latter was especially important for Kane because it was a match filled with firsts. At 48 minutes, it was one of the longest matches of Kane’s career, and it was one that forced the Kurt Angle/Tazz/Brock Lesnar-inspired technical grappler out of his comfort zone.
“That was the first time I used weapons in a match. It was the first time I went through a table. But I’m glad I went through that. I’ve wanted to face him for a long time,” he said.
Even though Kane can be typecast as a wrestler, he insists that MLW provides something for everyone. He described the company’s presentation as a cross between MMA and pro wrestling, a hybrid, a mix of different styles that makes it feel like a modern-day version of Jim Crockett Promotions. He also thinks that MLW is a company to follow because it brings attention to wrestlers that other companies might dismiss.
On the topic of dismissal, that was the attitude Matt Cardona took when he was asked about his upcoming title challenge against Kane. According to Cardona, Alex Kane is a generic scrub that he would throw in the trash if he were a wrestling action figure.
But Alex Kane has his own message for the self-proclaimed “Internet Champion”; or rather, not a message but a warning: “He’s not taking me seriously, which is a mistake. Alex Kane is all about talking trash and whooping ass. I enjoy entertaining and throwing people. I’m going to send him packing. Maybe that’ll teach him to have such an obsession with people named ‘Kane.’”
MLW One Shot takes place on Thursday, December 7, 2023 and emanates from the Melrose Ballroom in Queen’s New York. Those that can’t attend the show live can watch it on FITE TV at 8pm ET.