WWE WrestleMania 29: If Not Ryback, Who Should Mark Henry Face?

Travis TaylorFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Mark Henry 'The World's Strongest Man' is introduced during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

For weeks, it looked like Mark Henry was on a collision course with Ryback at WrestleMania 29. But if the WWE moves forward with Ryback vs. The Shield, where does that leave The World's Strongest Man?

Who should Henry face at WrestleMania 29 if not Ryback?

It would seem a sure bet that Henry should face Big Hungry at the year's biggest event. For the past several weeks, the two have continued to run into each other. What started off with long stares backstage quickly escalated into Henry attacking Ryback.

This past Friday, after Ryback was beaten by The Shield, Henry delivered The World's Strongest Slam three times to the fallen big man. It was a clear signal that Henry was ready to welcome another entrant to the Hall of Pain.

But if the WWE ignores what it has set up and keeps Ryback in his six-man match with Randy Orton and Sheamus against Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, where does that put Henry?

Henry is a monster heel, a bad guy who hurts people because he just likes to hurt people. He needs to be on the WrestleMania card against a worthy opponent. Someone who looks like he can take Henry's beating and perhaps pull off a win too.

What he doesn't need is a squash match like King Kong Bundy vs. SD Jones at WrestleMania 2. In that bout, Bundy—also a monster heel—defeated Jones in 24 seconds.

If Ryback is off the table, there aren't too many other options. The only real choice, and the most obvious one, would be Big Show, who as of now is without a match. Show is one of the few wrestlers in the WWE who is bigger than, and perhaps as strong as, Henry.

Given their history fighting for the World title in 2011, this would be an easy one to set up and make happen. Henry could challenge Show in an attempt to avenge his loss and prove that Show's victory was a fluke.

Both men are slower in the ring, but because of their power-move-based style, they could be very entertaining in the ring. Several large spots that echo into the rafters might be enough to ignite the crowd behind the bout.

Show wouldn't need to win this one; he'd still be a threat to anyone and any title even without a victory.

But Henry, who lost at Elimination Chamber despite eliminating two men and needing three finishers to put him away, could use the win. On a show known for memorable moments, the image of Henry lifting up Show, perhaps even walking around the ring with him, before hitting his finisher would be

A win would do wonders to establish Henry as the resident monster heel and keep him as a candidate for the World title.

In a perfect world, Ryback would bow out of the six-man tag team bout to formally challenge Henry at WrestleMania 29. That could happen. But if it doesn't, there is only one choice for Henry, and that would be an epic clash between The World's Strongest Man and The World's Largest Athlete.