While he may not be the man to eventually face Cena for the WWE Championship, having him seek to become the No. 1 contender would further elevate the importance of the title and give Henry instant momentum upon his return.
After losing to Sheamus at Extreme Rules 2013, Henry has been absent from WWE programming.
Apparently he was nursing an injury, which caused a stir backstage. F4WOnline.com reports (via WrestlingInc.com) that "WWE officials had something big planned for Henry and aren't happy that he's taking time off when surgery isn't needed."
Rumors then circulated about Henry being in the WWE doghouse and about him potentially retiring due to his nagging injuries. Henry tweeted an emphatic denial of those rumors.
The only reason I'm breaking my silence to the twitter world is to tell u I'm not retiring!!!! I have hate in my heart that's too dangerous.— TheMarkHenry (@TheMarkHenry) June 10, 2013
Now that WWE has announced his return, the question becomes who will be the unlucky recipient of the hate that Henry mentioned.
WWE's reported big plans may lead him to feud with a turned Big E Langston or someone like Chris Jericho, but he should at least attempt to force his way into the WWE title picture first.
According to Wrestling Observer (via CagesideSeats.com), Daniel Bryan may the one to take Cena on at Money in the Bank 2013, but perhaps Bryan has to go through both his temporary partner Randy Orton and Henry to earn his shot at the championship.
Without official rankings, it sometimes feels random as to who gets to fight for the company’s top title.
Ryback followed a loss to Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29 with a title shot against Cena, for example. Couldn't Henry argue that since he beat the latest No. 1 contender, he should be next in line?
For him to just step into that spot is too easy, though.
In the weeks leading up to Money in the Bank, there could be a series of matches to determine Cena's next challenger. Bryan, as popular as he is right now, should be in that mix and so should Henry. He presents a huge obstacle for Bryan to overcome and a convincing threat to Cena's reign.
Chaos, passion and a scrambling for position should be the focus from Payback to Money in the Bank. Orton, Bryan, Henry and perhaps CM Punk—if he defeats Chris Jericho on Sunday—can all battle for the right to try to dethrone Cena.
Because of his age, Henry's time with the company is limited. Having him return in the thrust of a title hunt is a wise way to keep him in the spotlight and elevate those around him.
As soon as Henry returns, WWE should have their monster start tearing people apart, clearing a path to the top.