Mark Henry sat down with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin on The Stone Cold Podcast. The pair discussed a variety of topics, including how he struggled during his transition from an Olympic lifter to a WWE wrestler.
The former World Heavyweight Champion claimed that he felt like an outsider and was often the victim of jokes from other wrestlers in the early stages of his career. He revealed that this led to him having a rather aggressive attitude backstage.
Henry recalled how WWE sent him back to developmental to work on his attitude after the ‘World’s Strongest Man’ seemingly “wanted to fight everybody”
“[WWE] sent me down to [Ohio Valley Wrestling] to get my head together because I wanted to fight everybody who said anything negative to me because my wrestling coop was off. I had a lot of respect for the boys. It wasn’t that I didn’t have any respect for the boys but I came from a different place. When you tried somebody you better be able to whoop them where I’m from or don’t say nothing to them. Let a sleeping dog lay. I used to always pick on Bradshaw because he and Ron Simmons used to entertain themselves by messing with me. And Ron would would tell John, ‘He don’t like black jokes. Don’t say nothing but you got to do it cuz watch him get hot’.:
Henry even revealed that he actually threatened to beat up JBL after the Texan made jokes at his expense:
“I walked up to [John] behind the bleachers one time and said, ‘Hey man, today is the last day. There’s nobody around. One more joke and I’m putting your lights out’. John said, ‘ What’s wrong with you? Are you crazy?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am. It’s over. All your passes are gone. I don’t care if they fire me. But you’re going to be hurt.’ So he took me over to Ron and I said, ‘ I’m going to kill him because I’m tired of all his jokes’. And Ron said, ‘I’m sorry I put him up to it cause it’s so entertaining watching you get mad!’ And we laughed.”
Henry claimed that after threatening to beat up Shawn Michaels, he was sent to Canada. Mark claimed that here he was able to work on his wrestling skills, and this really helped his career:
“It took me getting banished to Canada because I threatened to kill Shawn Michaels. He hid my crutches when I broke my ankle and I said, ‘This is it’. I was like, ‘Man, you’re 180 pounds. It would be unfair for me to whoop you.’ And he said, ‘Are you threatening me?’ And I said, ‘I don’t think it’s really a threat. I’m just telling you like it is. Y’all need to leave me alone’. So he told Vince and Vince said, ‘You can’t threaten our top guys. What’s wrong with you?’ And I said, ‘Look man, I’m just not used to having people trying me.’ And Vince said, ‘Beating people up is not going to fix it. They’re trying to bring you in but you keep pushing them back’. So he said, ‘I’ll talk to Bret Hart, he’s training some people up in Canada.”
Henry discussed how his nine months in Canada really helped take him to the next level in the ring:
“I was up there for nine and a half months. Training everyday. Every morning in the ring. Four hours a day. And then Owen introduced me to his dad Stu Hart. I would leave Bret’s house where the gym was and drive over to the Hart’s house and wrestle in the basement in The Dungeon. Stu started teaching me wrist locks and hand holds. Stu was a master in wrist locks and hand holds. He was like, ‘With your strength, you could do things to people that would be illegal. Wrestle like that. I want you to put people in holds that look like you’re going to pop them.’ That’s when a light switch came on and I started to wrestle like that…I felt like after nine months I understood what it was to be a wrestler. They should have done that to me first before putting me in the locker room with seasoned wrestlers.”
Mark Henry is now one of the most respected backstage personalities.
Thanks to WrestlingInc. for the transcription.
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