As previously noted, WWE Hall Of Famer Mark Henry was recently a guest on WWE Network’s Broken Skull Sessions with WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin. Notably, Henry talked about sharing an apartment with The Rock.
Six months after WWE hired ‘The Doctor Of Desire’ Tom Prichard to train Henry, The Rock moved into Henry’s apartment.
“I worked with Tom for about six months,” Henry recalled. “And then, Dwayne [Johnson] The Rock came in. He didn’t have two nickels to rub together and couldn’t afford an apartment by himself, so I told him to move in with me. He lived with me for about six months. And then, we got sent to Memphis.”
Henry, who recently fantasy booked his own modern Nation Of Domination, spoke fondly of his former stablemates. According to Henry, he learned something different from each of them.
“Man, everybody had a different element of teaching for me,” Henry professed. “The Godfather didn’t know he was going to be in The Nation until the day that he got to the arena. He got to the arena one day and they were like, ‘hey, we’re going to put you in The Nation.’ That’s very strong. D’Lo was probably the best worker of all of us. I remember they said they wanted to have [Austin] do something with me and D’Lo on top of this truck and D’Lo said, ‘I’ll do it!’ And [Austin] gave him a backdrop and I was so glad it was him and not me! Oh my God, D’Lo could work like [Dean] Malenko for a 285 lbs. guy at the time. And Dwayne is the most studied guy that I was ever around. Meticulous notes. Always practicing something he was going to say using it on you in the car, at a restaurant, in a hotel. Like, ‘oh s–t, will you let it go? Let it rest! Give me a break! Like, can we eat?’ It was like he was consumed with [pro] wrestling in a way that other people weren’t consumed with wrestling. And Ron Simmons, Ron was your typical father figure for all of us and wouldn’t take [any] s–t from [any] of us. Even Godfather, Godfather was damn near the same age, but [Simmons] talked to him just like he talked to us. Like, ‘guys, look, this is what the business requires. Until you learn that the business comes before your little selfish ass, your little piece of s–t idea, you won’t succeed. You’ll listen to me or you can get out of this.’ ‘Like, you mean the WWE? You’re going to kick us out?’ ‘No, fool! The Nation.’ Because it was his and you just listen. And he never led you wrong. Not one time did I ever do anything that Ron Simmons told me to do that was wrong. Never! And everybody in that line right there would tell you the same thing. He was just a brilliant mind for wrestling as well as an awesomely built and athletic human being.”
During the podcast, Henry explained that he was sent to train with the Harts in Calgary, Alberta, Canada after an altercation with The Kliq.
“I broke my ankle,” Henry remembered. “I was frustrated and somebody hid my crutches. And when my crutches got hid, around that time, Shawn Michaels, The Kliq, those guys came up and were like, ‘man, what happened to your crutches?’ And I just went off on them. And it didn’t go over very nice, so Vince sent me to Canada to kind of let the heat blow away. And for me to not be around TVs, so I’m pissing those guys off.
“I meet Leo Burke and start training. I meet Owen Hart and Bret Hart. I started kind of babysitting Bret’s kids, just letting him and his wife go out and have a break while I work with the kids. Yeah man, we were cooking and having a good time. I loved being in that environment, but then it came time for me to head back.”
When Henry was not babysitting The Hitman’s kids, he was getting stretched by Stu. The elder statesman of The Hart Dynasty told Henry that he could be very devastating with some submissions in his arsenal.
“Stu was like, ‘you know, there [are] a lot of things that you can do with your strength that, boy, you can really put people in a bad way’ and he started stretching and choking the s–t out of me for like two months!” Henry acknowledged, “and I started to actually like learning how to do the holds and locks. And I just took what they taught me and added it to my style.”
Henry got the idea to be a technical beast when he returned to WWE with his education in submission wrestling, but WWE was going more in the direction of entertainment at that time. Henry told The Rock and D’Lo that he wanted to try a ladies man type of character and Henry’s NOD brethren doubted it would happen.
“And when I went back, I was like, ‘I’m going to be this monster. I’m going to be choking people. I’m going to be doing this.” Henry recalled, “and then I sat in the car with Dwayne and D’Lo and it just all changed. It was like the WWE was going back to being more entertaining and they wanted characters. And I was like, ‘you know, I’ve got this idea of kind of being this ladies man.’ And they were like, ‘[scoffing] whatever!’ And I was like, ‘naw, naw, I think I’ll call myself Sexual Chocolate and hang out with the ladies.’ D’Lo was like, ‘there is no way they’re going to let you call yourself Sexual Chocolate!’ And I’ll be damned – they liked it!”
Check out this episode of The Broken Skull Sessions by subscribing to WWE Network. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit WWE Network’s Broken Skull Sessions with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.