Mark Henry vs. Ryback Is a Must-See WrestleMania 29 Match

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2013

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Mark Henry and Ryback crossed paths for the first time this past Monday on Raw, when Mark was headed to the ring and Ryback was leaving.  

It was only for a moment that the two men stared each other down, but the tension in the air was thick and at this point, I for one am already anxious to see these two monsters face off at WrestleMania 29.

I know what you’re thinking.  Cart before the horse, right?  Totally.

But this is WWE we’re talking about here, the company in which all it takes is one exchange, one promo and suddenly a full-fledged feud is underway.  What begins as just a passing glance leads to all-out war and truth be told, that actually fits in with today’s typical WWE fan.

Let’s be honest, our attention span is not what it used to be.  Back in the day, we would invest ourselves emotionally and mentally in a storyline, following every move the guys made and every match that followed.  We seemed more likely to commit before, as opposed to now, and that is likely due to one very simple reason.

It’s all WWE’s fault.

Seriously, though, we don’t always have a consistent run of good, dramatic feuds to get involved with. But, we do have the major programs for the top championships to keep us dialed in each week.  On that front, WWE usually delivers.

And perhaps it’s too much on our part to believe that the night will be filled with one main-event rivalry after another.  After all, the only real job the mid-card talent has is to warm the crowd up, to provide the sizzle, in preparation for the steak that will be served in the last match.

So, Mark Henry vs. Ryback?  Just out of the blue, with no good reason other than neither man has a WrestleMania opponent so far?  

Just call me a fan with no attention span then, because I’m buying this one.

As far as last-minute rivalries go, this one is near perfect to me.  From the moment that Mark Henry returned to WWE, the wheels began turning in my head almost immediately.  And the first guy that came to mind was Ryback.  Not just because Henry is such a good heel, but because this match is right down his alley.

Ryback has been on a tear since last year, running through every opponent placed in front of him.  It takes three men in The Shield  to beat him down and he has yet to be pinned in a one-on-one match without some controversy surrounding it.

So far, he has proven to be unbeatable in a straight-up wrestling match.

Enter Mark Henry.  If there is anyone who could stare down a guy like Ryback and not flinch, it’s The World’s Strongest Man.  Mark has been in WWE for a long time and has seen a parade of muscle-bound Superstars pass right through.  

Ryback would be just another powerhouse, just another set of muscles for Mark to test and overcome. Mark Henry would likely not even see Ryback as a threat, more like a challenge.

Been a while since The Hall of Pain had a new inductee, right?

Mark needs to reestablish himself on the WWE food chain and that means he needs more than just squash matches if he’s going to move back up the ladder.

Beating opponents half his size is fine, it does allow him the opportunity to show off his strength, but it does not do much in terms of getting him back in the main-event scene.  

Squaring off against the monster known as Ryback?  That would put Henry right back in the thick of things, as he could lay claim to being the first man to defeat Ryback without needing help from anyone else to get the job done.

The biggest problem with this possible WrestleMania match?  What happens to Ryback if he does indeed lose to Henry?

Ryback is great on TV, he is the epitome of strength, the definition of domination.  But on pay-per-view?  The guy is second rate, at best.

For whatever reason, Ryback is not given the rub on WWE’s pay-per-view stage that he is usually given on TV.  For him to job once again, especially at Mania, could perhaps be the final moment for a career that seemed to be heading upward for so long now.

Or, it could just be the beginning.

After all, every babyface is just one losing streak, one frustrating series of events away from turning heel, and maybe that is where Ryback is heading.  

He does not exactly have a world of respect from many fans, perhaps that could be used to help explain why he would turn his back on them right after WWE’s biggest event of the year.

Just imagine Ryback managed by Paul Heyman.

Despite who would win between Ryback and Mark Henry, I for one do want to see this match happen at WrestleMania 29.  It would be a collision of two unstoppable juggernauts, two forces of nature who shake the ground when they walk.  

The strength and ferocity of Mark Henry vs. the power and intensity of Ryback on WWE’s grandest stage of them all.

I’m in.  Let’s do this.