Three Ways for Mark Henry to Regain Relevance in the WWE
The last time Mark Henry (@TheMarkHenry) was in a televised match for the WWE people across America were preparing for Thanksgiving. The Hall of Pain’s doors had seemingly been closed long before that however; according to The Internet Wrestling Database Mark Henry’s last televised singles victory was August 4, 2014 against Damien Sandow. After that he went on to have odd encounters with the Bulgarian Brute, Rusev, in which they traded victories in arm wrestling. He then transitioned to a forgettable feud with Bo Dallas that more often than not saw Mark Henry eating canvas thanks to a “Running Bo-Dog.” Ultimately, before disappearing again, he had completed a cowardly heel turn in which the “World’s Strongest Man” was essentially intimidated into siding with the Authority. The IWD shows his last televised match saw him lose to a newly re-instated Ryback on November 24, 2014 and he has not been seen in the ring since. Most people speculated about injuries for the big man, which Henry confirmed in a tweet from the 30th of December, 2014:
Thank you WWE fans for all the respect. Yes I’m still hurt, I see the things people are saying. I will respond when the time is right.
— TheMarkHenry (@TheMarkHenry) December 30, 2014
Henry has been oft injured in the WWE, but the injuries seem to be mounting in the last couple of years. When the he does return to the ring, here are three possible landing spots for the aging but still intimidating veteran:
1. Mark Henry joins The New Day as an active wrestler. There are a couple different angles this could take. Henry could return from injury and realize the error of his ways, see that the jealousy and anger that gripped him before siding with the Authority did not do anything for his career, and look to take a more positive and upbeat track to victory. The three-man stable could use a veteran presence to help anchor them and give credibility to the group; Henry could be just that guy. He fits the WWE’s demographic for the group, he would balance the team as a second powerhouse next to Big E, and he gives the team more flexibility in achieving domination in the ring. The other option would be a change for the whole group. Realistically, The New Day has not exactly been thriving under their positive gimmick, how about a heel turn? Mark Henry could be the catalyst to get the group to realize being positive is not always the best option, that sometimes brute force and an angry attitude can be more powerful than any positivity they could muster. This would benefit both parties, as it would let Mark Henry still be an in-ring competitor while also giving him a supporting team to take some of the load off of his aging shoulders, all while giving The New Day a different and more aggressive look.
2. Mark Henry joins The New Day as an “active” manager. This would mean that Henry could take bumps, get involved in matches, step up and challenge a competitor if the rest of his team seems outgunned, or any number of any possible situations WWE creative could dream up for him. During Henry’s brief feud with John Cena he wowed and shocked the wrestling world with the in-ring announcement on June 18, 2013 that he was going to retire.
The “World’s Strongest Man” had the crowd hanging on to every word he said, and with tears in his eyes and lies on his tongue he reeled everyone, even seemingly Cena, into his charade only to deliver an emphatic “World’s Strongest Slam” to the 12-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion. His acting drew rave reviews from the likes of some of WWE’s finest, including Stone Cold Steve Austin. Henry has the acting ability and the charisma to be an excellent manager, and similar to being an active wrestler in the stable, becoming the manager of The New Day would again add more credibility to the group overall. This would also free up Xavier Woods from the current role he plays in the group of often being the mouthpiece for The New Day, and allows him to move into more of a prominent wrestling role. When the WWE had multiple three-man tag groups only about a year ago, they produced some of the most entertaining and captivating matches in recent memory, they would be wise to build the division up again after depleting it so much in recent months.
3. Mark Henry reconciles with The Big Show and helps anchor the tag-team division with a veteran presence. This is the least innovative, but most realistic option in the group. They have history, and although their latest partnership did blow up, they both ended up in Team Authority’s corner in the end. The two did not appear to really reconcile during that time, but it would not be a hard sell to craft a storyline where both aging men want a title and see joining forces as the best way to get the tag team belts. The tag team division in WWE needs help in a big way, and the division gaining two legitimate, veteran superstars would be a big boost. The team is intimidating and capable enough to go toe-to-toe with any other tag team in WWE and a dominating run would do wonders to rebuild each man’s credibility after the last few months. It would also allow both Mark Henry and Big Show to transition to less in-ring action, this would be more beneficial to Mark Henry realistically as Big Show has not really appeared frail or injury prone, but it would still help lessen the abuse each man would take throughout a match and lengthen their careers.
[Images from wwe.com, youtube.com]