WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry is the latest guest on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions, which is available now on the WWE Network. In the clip above, Henry revealed how his destructive “Hall of Pain” persona was created by a prank from Vince McMahon during a SmackDown dark match in June of 2011.
“Pretty much the whole ‘Hall of Pain’ era started with a rib,” Henry said. “You go back to the beginning of my wrestling career, Vince [McMahon] ribbed me. He took me out into the ring and said I was going to have a match against Sin Cara. I’m standing there in the ring, nobody comes out. I go to the referee ? who was Scott Armstrong ? I said, ‘Scott. What’s going on, man? Where’s he at?’ and he’s like, ‘They are re-wrapping his knee, I think, that’s what they told me. They’re re-wrapping his knee.’ Now I’m pissed at Sin Cara, and if he came out, I was going to hurt him because I felt like this is disrespecting the business.”
Sin Cara never shows up, so Henry heads backstage.
“Now I’m pissed,” Henry continued. “I jump through the ropes. I come to the back and it’s a ghost town! Nobody’s there, and I just start destroying it, tearing s— down, pulling the lights down, and punching the walls. Just ? Darth Vader s—. I wanted everything to melt. And I go down the hallways and I kick Vince’s door open and he’s gone.
“Started calling Vince, ‘Man, I quit, this is the last time. Nobody ribs me, I’m a grown ass man.’ … Vince calls, ‘Why did you get so bent out of shape about that, we just playing around.’ I was like, ‘Man, I don’t deserve that. I love this business and I respect you, and I feel like I opened myself up for you to disrespect me. Obviously, you don’t respect me and you damn sure don’t fear me, so we don’t need to talk no more.’ He was like, ‘Listen, I’m sorry.’ He was really remorseful and sorry.”
Vince was able to talk Henry into staying with WWE, then showed him the footage of how mad Henry was during the prank and told him if he could pull that off on TV, he was going to make a lot of money.
Henry won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship later that year, beating Randy Orton at Night of Champions.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit WWE and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.