Monday, July 4, 2022
HomeWWE | Pro WrestlingMark Henry Joins The List Of Big WWE Champions With Little Talent

Mark Henry Joins The List Of Big WWE Champions With Little Talent

Mark Henry is now WWE championI understand the need to get new wrestlers over and I can appreciate a well-booked championship challenge. But Mark Henry beating Randy Orton to win the World Heavyweight Championship at Night of Champions 2011 is laughable.

Is Henry better in the ring than Orton? No, he isn’t, not even close. In fact, Henry is at the low end of the food chain when it comes to working ability.

How about on the mic? Can Henry deliver a good promo? Nope. He’s wooden in his delivery, although to be fair, he’s got to say the crap the scriptwriters give him. And these days, we’ll never know whether he has the charisma to give a great promo on his own.

[adinserter block=”2″]How about drawing at the box office and selling tickets and pay-per-views? Honestly, I’m not sure if Orton really sells seats these days (very few guys do), but I’m 100% positive that Henry has not, does not, and will not make a difference in getting more people to come to a house show or order a PPV.

Maybe Henry has got that “it” factor, like “MegaMan” Tom Magee in the late 1980s? Sorry to both Henry and Magee, but Vince McMahon’s judgment of the “it” factor is often preceded by an S and H. Fortunately for all of us, Magee was so terrible in the ring that eventually the memo got to the corner office in Stamford, CT, and his push was cut. Henry, after hanging on for 15 years in the WWE, looks to have figured out how to make sure the system keeps him employed.

Even a time-tested gimmick such as the “world’s strongest man” hasn’t helped Henry. Look at how someone like Ken Patera used that shtick and then compare it to Henry’s efforts. It’s not pretty.

Despite all of those lackluster qualifications, and the fact that Orton is actually one of the best performers they have on the roster, Henry beat Orton solidly. Orton must have a great taste in his mouth now knowing that not only did he lose the belt to a sub-par opponent, but also the opponent that Orton has told everyone he least likes to wrestle.

So why did Henry get the title? The answer is simple and threads throughout WWE and WWF history. Henry is a big man. That’s it. Large wrestlers have given Vince McMahon a hard-on for as long as I can remember, regardless of their skill set. Some big ex-champs are great in the ring or have a ton of charisma, like Hulk Hogan, Yokozuna, or Superstar Billy Graham.

[adinserter block=”1″]Henry, however, joins that other list — the one comprised of big men who are overrated, yet rewarded time and time again. Congrats, Henry, you’re a big, slow guy just like Kane, Sid Justice, and John Bradshaw Layfield — all of you really are lucky bastards to have held a world title.

There are so many people that the WWE should have taken a chance on as world champion in the past (“Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and Vader come to mind), and there are also wrestlers on the roster right now who should get a chance and likely never will (Daniel Bryan). But somehow Henry rises above all and gets the gold ring — and in doing so, he exposes what a joke the hierarchy of the WWE dressing room is.

Scott Wallask has followed wrestling for 30 years and writes about growing up watching the WWF in the 1980s on his blog the Boston Garden Balcony.

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Scott Wallask
Scott Wallask has followed wrestling for 30 years and writes about growing up watching the WWF in the 1980s on his blog the Boston Garden Balcony.
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15 COMMENTS

  1. These guys all hit it right. How can you say guys like JBL and Kane weren't good? Honestly Glen Jacobs can wrestle with the best of him, he's just not given the chance to show off what he can do. Here's what I think; you NEED big guys to really put the experience over the top. What Mark Henry is doing right now is great work with what he's given. Fact is, he deserves some spotlight and I feel like Orton should end up in a new feud so that someone else(hopefully someone on the rise) can take the title

  2. I am glad after having Mark Henry in some ridiculous angles and stuff to try to make him quit, he FINALLY gets a credible push and I think he has done well with his promos. I do feel that JBL was a lousy champion. His year long reign was just awful. He was a much better promo man and a much better commentator. His reign reminded me of that terrible year long reign given to Kevin Nash. Don't get me started about that five month Kane reign we fans had to put up with. UGH.

  3. "Congrats, Henry, you’re a big, slow guy just like Kane, Sid Justice, and John Bradshaw Layfield — all of you really are lucky bastards to have held a world title."

    please tell me you did NOT just imply that kane and jbl were talentless too… Fail Article.

  4. The other comments have done an excellent job highlighting my disagreements with the thrust of your piece, so I'll content myself with:

    JBL might not be the world's greatest worker, but the man knows how to draw a LOT of heat and works an old-school heel angle better than almost anyone else in the business. I never saw him carrying the strap as a testament to his wrestling (his finisher is a clothesline, for crying out loud) but to his excellent mic skills and uncanny ability to make the entire arena hate him personally.

  5. As I said in my article, I don't dispute how well the push was done. The writers deserve to be commended for hitting the mark on all cylinders by establishing a threat to the title. My argument is about a bad choice for that push. There are guys who have worked so much harder than Henry and they either haven't been recognized or they have 48-hour title reigns.

    • Then who else? NO ONE on Smackdown right now has been built up to be a believable contender. You want Danielson? He's getting the Sin Cara storyline over. Christian or Sheamus? Feuding over the next contender. Wade Barrett? Greener than goose shit. Cody has his own great program going right now as well (although they could have added a slight bit of intrigue after Cody got a win over Orton on Raw).

      The problem with your "argument" is there IS no argument…NO ONE on Smackdown is believable as World Champion right now more than Mark Henry.

  6. I like a good argument, but this one was cut drastically short and made the point that…you dislike "big" wrestlers?

    The buildup was great IMO. Henry kept getting the rug taken out from under him (and at one point, had to win a 20 man battle royale when he was pretty much the No. 1 Contender) to the point where everyone thought it'd be laughable if Henry actually won. Well he did and this is a feud that can carry us out of 2011 now that Sheamus and Christian are picking up steam together.

    As for having no skill, his skill is that he's big to freakishly big. Not Khali or Yokozuna big, but he's big enough to work as a believable force of destruction, something I dearly miss from my childhood wrestling days. And his promos are meant to be more laconic and poetic–it adds to juxtapose his absolute intensity and penchant for breaking stuff in the ring. Silent Rage, if you will.

    You'd probably like that CMLL lucha stuff down in Mexico. But I'll take my wrestling with a side of characters, thank you!

  7. It's funny how you have a problem with Mark Henry as champion, considering it's something different. Logic would have us believe that after weeks of getting he better of Orton, the Viper would finally vanquish Henry at NOC. But they didn't go in that direction, and for that I'm grateful.

    Mark Henry hasn't been used in a meaningful way for quite sometime, and at one point was the World's Strongest Jobber. But the efforts to rebuild him have been nothing short of remarkable. The investment has paid off, and now Henry is a legit threat.

    The only way the WWE messes this up is to have Orton get his revenge. Right now, no one should be pinning Mark Henry. In fact, I hope they use Mark to elevate another talent to the main event. Imagine the reaction if (let's use your example) Daniel Bryan actually makes him tap out?

    If I were you, I'd be focusing all of that hate on the WWE Title picture. The only other credible heel in the WWE just lost via submission to the muscle head who clumsily applies said submissions. Same ol' basic thuganomics.

  8. Good piece, but you couldn't have hit any further off the mark, no pun intended. Henry has received a MONSTER and BELIEVABLE push over the past few months. Hell, he took out the other "big men" (Show and Kane) to get to where he is in the current storyline. He and Sheamus had two great outings, and Henry has even added a degree of intensity to his promos he hasn't displayed…well, possibly ever. The Hall of Pain gimmick is working in spades right now and has been the most positive reception Henry has EVER gotten from the IWC. Hell, check ANY set of message boards and the reaction to Henry winning the title is mostly congratulatory, citing his recently improved body of work and his longevity on the roster as reasons for his win. This whole article seems like sour grapes over a worker you never liked.

    Oh, and people need to get over the "big man" thing…especially when a lot of the top guys right now (Miz, R-Truth, Christian, Punk, del Rio, etc.) have a pretty average height/build. Plus, the last "big man" champ they had has Kane last year, his situation similar to Henry's (renewed push, interesting character, longevity). Before that, it was Sheamus, who is hardly your run-of-the-mill big man.

    Oh, and for the record, Sid Justice NEVER won the title…but Sycho Sid did. Just sayin'.

  9. I disagree with you, at least in the context of who Mark Henry is. He's a better big man than most. And JBL overrated? I disagree there too. Not to mention Henry's great promos over the last short while.

  10. Yeah, I can't disagree any more with this column. Henry's got a great handle on how to work a WWE match, and his sheer intensity in beating people down and the ease with which he can dominate people are both great character attributes. Thumbs down.

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