Ah, the World's Strongest Man... almost. His career has truly been one-of-a-kind. Signed to a still-unheard of 10-year-contract in 1996, his first feud was with Jerry "The King" Lawler, still able to get a ton of heat at the time (and able to get away with a couple off-color jokes). It was against Lawler that Henry got his first PPV win, a promising start to his then-young career.
He later moved on to the popular Nation of Domination stable, later tag-teaming with fellow former NOD member D'lo Brown. While Brown was embroiled in a feud with Jeff Jarrett over the European and Intercontinental titles, Henry turned on Brown at the 1999 SummerSlam. As a reward, Henry was given the European title by Jarrett. Yes, GIVEN. Perhaps this wouldn't be laughed at in retrospect had this not been the only title Henry would hold in the WWF/E for NINE YEARS. In his first defense of the title, Henry lost it to his former tag partner, D'lo Brown.
Now, many people would declare such a short reign with a title never won, embarrassing. With regards to the storyline that followed, Henry's career might as well have been declared hall of fame-worthy.
Enter Mark Henry, Sexual Chocolate. Henry now lost all sight of such unimportant things as "titles" and now focused solely on the ladies, courting such sexy divas as Chyna and the youthful Mae Young. Why, he even impregnated the latter lady, though due to a vicious splash by Viscera (ironically enough later named the World's Largest Love Machine), Mark Henry's first child was a hand.
A hand, ladies and gentlemen.
To say this was the most embarrassing moment of Henry's career is quite the statement, considering Henry later had sexual relations with a drag queen (though he swears he had no idea) and admitted his first sexual encounter was with his SISTER. Truly, it was the worst of the creative team's worst, and it resulted in Henry's career hitting a sharp decline, with his spending 3-4 years in and out of OVW, the WWE's developmental territory at the time.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Mark Henry returns to face off against the then-World Champion, Batista. It was like God himself (well, Vinnie Mac IS sort of like God) came down from the heavens, and randomly selected someone to be a main event contender, someone, mind you, who had never had a taste of the main event before.
A week later, Mark Henry legitimately injured Batista, forcing him to vacate the title. A promising start, if I've ever seen one.
From there, Henry would stay on the upper card, feuding with Kurt Angle, The Undertaker, Rey Mysterio, and Chris Benoit. Henry was eventually drafted to the ECW brand, where finally WON a title, defeating Kane and Big Show for the ECW Championship.
Once again, however, Mark Henry's career has taken a turn for the bizarre, though this time it doesn't involve him shtupping old ladies. He's a participant in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXV. Why is this so bizarre, you ask? Well for those of you who weren't aware, Mark Henry weighs in at a gentle 380 lbs. To say ladder matches aren't his "thing," is like saying a lactose intolerant person would be slightly uncomfortable drinking milk.
Yet here he is again, on the threshold of the main event. Few men can tell such a tale with so many ups and downs and twists and turns (maybe Scott Hall, and that's not a drunk joke). Mark Henry is a legend, in his own, weird way.
Keep on truckin', Silverback.
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