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Mark Henry and his Place in WWE History

[adinserter block=”1″]I was going to write a blog tonight about the return of Big Show to the WWE, but I was taken back by something said last week by Mark Henry in his interview with Peter Rosenberg last week.

Henry, who is arguably one of the greatest big men in WWE history, said he wanted to be known as one of the 10 best of all time.

Memo to Henry: You are already there.

With thousands of wrestlers who have graced rings and promotions and organizations and have held titles and been through wars with the greats of all time, it would be foolish to rank Henry, a champion in the WWE and ECW and someone who has accomplished everything in this company except win the WWE Title, ranks amongst the best of all time.

He is not King Kong Bundy. He is not One Man Gang. He is not Crusher Blackwell and he certainly is Happy Humphrey.

Like Big Show, Henry has been handicapped in many ways by the way the WWE used them in skits, promotional work and in humiliating situations.

When I think of big men, Andre the Giant, Big John Studd, Vader, Big Show and Henry come to mind. Add Undertaker, Kane, Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash to the list and well, and there are some of the greats of wrestling history (and a great nostalgia lesson).

Now that Henry is armed with a new three year contract and a new role in the company, I am interested to see how the company uses him. The Big Show as a heel champion (World Champion), he showed he could still wrestle in what was one of the greatest runs Paul Wight has had in years.

Could the same be said for Henry? When he defeated Randy Orton for the World Title, Henry was in my estimation, the greatest heel in the company since JBL. A purely hated character who fans drew a line in the sand with.

Now, it will be interesting how Henry will fair with the fans now that he just got done with a short program with John Cena. Is he the man to make The Shield think twice about challenging him? We shall see.

Back in the day when the larger, more “hefty” wrestlers were sideshows at carnivals and road shows and attracted crowds as the overgrown monsters they were portrayed to be. No one cared about speed and agility.

Now, we are used to seeing Undertaker go old school, climbing a top rope and walking it with ease or watching Big Show climb the second rope and landing on someone chest.

Henry is also the type of character to who is equally adept at talking in the microphone, making threats and taking names.

According to the Encyclopedia of Professional Wrestling, what make a champion in the business is one who has a gimmick, identifies with the fans and is slightly better opponents and is beatable. Henry exemplifies all those traits.

[adinserter block=”2″]What happens over the next three years with Henry (and his new contract) is unknown. I like the idea of his possible last true run the company on the side of fan appreciation instead of him being on the side of evil. His speech faking his own retirement will go down in the annals of wrestling history as one of the greatest ever.

And when we look back at the big man from Silsby, Texas and critique his career, we will see a man hard at work, confident of speech, and one of the greatest WWE big men and superstars of all time. In other words, it was a career fit for a man of Henry’s size.

David is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and can be read here. Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I tend to agree with bostongardenbalcony. Until maybe at most last year, I couldn't have cared less for Mark Henry. But as he pointed out his promos in the last 4 or 5 months has been Gold! The fake retirement promo will be tried to duplicate but I don't see it selling and going over as good as Mark Henry's did. I actually feel like half way through the promo he probably felt bad and wished he didn't do it.

  2. Got to disagree on this one. I think there are plenty of fans hot on Henry these days, but if you look at the overall WWE run he's had since 1996, he is a forgettable wrestler. Yes, he's had some good promos of late, and I wish he had talked like this for the last 10 years. But he hasn't. No doubt some of that falls on WWE's shoulders because he has been booked in some stupid angles. As for what makes a champion, it's not a gimmick or someone who is beatable. It's someone who draws money. Henry has never done that. He seems to be hitting on all cylinders right now, so maybe he'll have an amazing last few years of his career that will change my mind, but based on what I've seen of him, I honestly doubt it.

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