Commonly acknowledged as the “World’s Strongest Man,” despite an injury robbing him of a legitimate opportunity at winning the super heavyweight weightlifting gold medal at the Olympic games, Mark Henry was one of the most hyped prospects to ever join the WWE.
Not only did Henry have the legitimacy of many weightlifting titles behind him, the 6"4", 420-pound behemoth looked the part as well.
This prompted Vince McMahon to sign him to a ten-year, multi-million dollar contract.
To say his career was a flop is a huge understatement.
Slow to understand ring psychology, Henry struggled in the ring by himself and so was used as an enforcer. As he continued to learn the trade, Henry was then used in a comical role, as he was transformed into Sexual Chocolate, the woman-loving giant.
Needless to say, this ill-judged angle lead to the infamous Mae Young giving birth to a hand storyline.
The following ten years can be summarized by the two words: mediocrity and injury, as Henry struggled from brand to brand in his search for a place in the company.
A brief run for the SmackDown title in 2006 looked promising, but was cut short by injury, and his time as ECW Champion in 2008-09 could have been interesting had it been seen by more people, but none of this made up for so many months as the "World’s Strongest Jobber."
It really looked like Henry was going to go down as one of the biggest busts in wrestling history.
Yet, last year, Henry turned it around with a shock win over the Big Show and the introduction of the Hall of Pain. Finally, Henry came across as a legitimately scary individual who was willing to use his size and strength to crush the opposition. WWE cleverly used the fact that he had been so unsuccessful despite the expectations as part of the reason why he had suddenly found his way.
This rise in stock lead to Night of Champions, where he defeated Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight title at the age of 40.
Injury has once again halted Henry’s time in the ring, and rumors have circulated that his career in the WWE may be coming to an end, however, Henry has finally lived up to expectation and had one moment in his career where he was the most feared wrestler around.
It just took a lot longer than people expected.