Mark Henry On How Vince McMahon Lit A Fire Under Him To Win Arnold Strongman Classic

Known as "The World's Strongest Man," Mark Henry was a record-breaking weightlifter before ever stepping foot into a wrestling ring. However, Henry still felt he had a lot to prove well into his WWE career. Speaking on "Busted Open Radio," the WWE Hall of Famer cited his desire to prove Vince McMahon wrong as the reason he won the very first Arnold Strongman Classic.


"I came out of retirement in 2002 after being retired since [1997] and won the [Arnold Strongman Classic]," Henry said. "With ... the pressure of, 'If you lose, then you don't have a job here [anymore].' How many people get to go to work every day and go, 'You know what? Hey boss, can I take some time off to do this thing?' And then the boss [says], 'Yeah, I guess, but if you don't succeed, then you're fired.'" Henry confirmed McMahon's belief that, if the company were to continue billing him as "The World's Strongest Man" and he wanted to compete in weightlifting, he had to win to prove the moniker was still true.

"I understood what he was saying," Henry continued. "But it made me angry, and I told him. I said, 'You doubt that I'm who I say I am? After all these years? You know me.' [He said,] 'Yeah, but you've been wrestling. You ain't out there. Those guys are training every day.' I said, 'Man, I'm gonna show you too.'" The AEW commentator believes it's possible that McMahon was purposefully trying to motivate him by pushing his buttons, and Henry said McMahon's plan, if it was purposeful, worked like a charm.


"I left his office pissed as hell, and I knew I was going to win the first day I went into training," Henry stated. "Because that's what I do. I work my ass off."