Is Tennessee ready for The Big Red Machine?
The professional wrestler known as Kane is making a bid to become mayor of Knox County, Tenn.
The towering WWE performer, whose real name is Glenn Jacobs, had previously filed papers to be able to raise money for a bid to succeed term-limited Mayor Tim Burchett. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Jacobs formally kicked off his campaign Tuesday.
Tea party groups urged Jacobs to challenge U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander in the Republican primary in 2014, but he ended up not running.
Knox County Commissioner Bob Thomas is also running and Knox County Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones has filed paperwork naming a treasurer for a possible bid.
Jacobs, 49, has long been a fixture of the pro wrestling scene. He debuted in the WWE (then the World Wrestling Federation) in the early 1990s as Isaac Yankem, an evil dentist. He later returned as Kane, the fictional brother of The Undertaker, in 1997.
Over the years, he has been involved in many of the WWE's most fantastical — and often nonsensical — storylines, from setting adversaries on fire, to burying The Undertaker alive, to attending anger management seminars.
He also starred in two WWE-produced slasher films See No Evil and See No Evil 2, and had cameos in the film MacGruber and an episode of Smallville.
Wrestlers in politics
Jacobs joins a modest list of other wrestlers who transitioned from the ring to the lectern. Jesse "The Body" Ventura famously served as governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003.
Japanese wrestler and promoter Antonio Inoki (who fought Muhammad Ali in a mixed-martial arts bout in 1976) served in Japan's House of Councillors from 1989 to 1995, and was recently re-elected in 2013.
And Linda McMahon, former WWE CEO and wife of WWE owner Vince McMahon, was approved as administrator to the U.S. small business administration in February. She ran unsuccessfully for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012.