The World's Strongest Man, Mark Henry, had a 21 year run as an active competitor for WWE. He started out in tag teams and factions like the Nation of Domination before embarking on a successful singles career highlighted by a Hall of Pain World Title run.
During the latter, Henry feuded with Christian which included a triple threat match with them and Sheamus to determine the No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Title. Henry talked about what he enjoyed the most about working with Christian on E&C's Pod of Awesomeness.
"That is one of the things that you [Christian] are going to agree with," Henry said. "That is one of the things about you that I always liked. You didn't speak from a standpoint of how I am going to get myself over, you always spoke from a standpoint of how you are going to get us over and how we will have the best match. That was one of the things of working with you all of those years where we never disagreed. If you said, 'man, I think we should do this,' I would respond with, 'sh-t, let's go.'
"I never disagreed because I know who you were. Don't think I did that with everybody. Some people I would say, 'man, that's the s--ts, I'm not doing that,' but with you, you always allowed me to have fun. Next to Owen Hart, you were the most fun to be in the ring with because you liked to clown around."
The Hall of Pain run was the most successful of Henry's career, and it was during this time he claimed his only World Championship by defeating Randy Orton. Henry says he enjoyed this period so much because WWE creative allowed him the freedom that he never had before.
"That was probably my best work and I was given the word to do what I wanted, which I never had in my career. I had the freedom to have a promo segment against someone like John Cena, and I can go out there and say, 'listen, just because you won a bunch of championships, and just because the company is behind you and because you do Make-A-Wish and that everybody loves you, doesn't mean that I do. When I see you on this date and this time, I am going to bury you and all of these people that clamor behind you are just a bunch of puppets. They love you because everybody else loves you, so they're followers'," said Henry.
Henry says he was given the freedom to do pretty much whatever he wanted in the ring because of the years he had put in proving to everyone that he can work safely.
"Vince McMahon told me not to hurt anybody, but everything else is up to you. Very few people get that. I was able to parlay that into about a 3-year period of beating the bloody hell out of people and I got the go-ahead to do whatever I wanted to do and I think that it was all the years of me not hurting people," stated Henry. "It was all the years of me being easy to work with and all the years paid off to go out there and do what I wanted to do. I had a lot of fun. That Hall of Pain run was great."
Even though the run was successful, Henry admits that some fans thought the Mark Henry character they saw on TV was what he was like in real life. That led to some awkward conversations with fans.
"It was very real and people walk up to me all the time and they're like, 'hey man, I don't want to bother you, but you know, can I get your autograph?' I'm like man, I'm not going to hit you," said Henry.
"It didn't help that my music said, 'Somebody's gonna get their ass kicked, somebody's gonna get their wig split.' Like, my music did that to me too. It channeled me. I knew what I was going down to the ring for, and it worked."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit E&C's Pod of Awesomeness with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: E&C's Pod of Awesomeness
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.