The elaborate hoax meant to disguise Henry's challenge for the WWE Championship received a number of rave reviews on Twitter from fans and superstars alike.
Due to his recent absence from the ring, word of a shoulder injury (h/t WrestlingInc.com) and the power of the Internet rumor mill, the audience fully believed that Henry had come down to the ring to say his goodbyes.
He even wore a salmon suit to highlight the specialness of the moment. Michelle Beadle was not the only who saw that jacket and thought of another loudly dressed man.
Oh so we think Mark Henry looks like Craig Sager. Discuss. #itswhatido— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) June 18, 2013
Henry took control of the crowd with what seemed like genuine emotion about leaving behind an industry he's been a part of more than a decade. His speech was funny and heartfelt. He talked about wanting to be at home more with his family.
When someone blurted something about his elderly on-screen partner, Henry shouted, "Not Mae Young, dummy."
Tears slid down the big man's face and he was certainly not the only one in the arena or watching at home crying. Seeing your heroes hang it up is hard to do. Henry had us all roped in, throats full of lumps, heads swirling with memories.
None of it was real.
MARK HENRY WITH THE WORLD'S STRONGEST SWERVE— MaffewOfBotchamania (@Maffewgregg) June 18, 2013
Henry was only playing Cena and playing us. He complimented Cena throughout his speech and it seemed odd at first that the WWE champ was so involved with his moment. It all makes sense now.
NXT prospect Xavier Woods tweeted a funny comparison to the D-Generation X crotch chop.
Henry's performance was mighty convincing. He managed to fool an audience used to figuring things out ahead of time and scouring the web for spoilers and rumors.
WWE interviewer and commentator Scott Stanford was right on with his tweet.
The Oscar for best acting in a comedy or musical goes to Mark Henry! Man, I was fooled! #raw— Scott Stanford (@scottstanford1) June 18, 2013
Stanford wasn't the only one who Henry convinced. Road Dogg Jesse James was among many who confessed that they'd been had.
@BobbyWWETuxGuy I thought it was incredible, Mark Henry got me— Brian G.James (@WWERoadDogg) June 18, 2013
Henry growled at Cena, "I got a lot left in the tank." He apparently has at least one championship match left in him.
He aims to go after Cena’s title and split his wig in the process. Whether or not he can beat him, Henry already has a victory on his resume in the form of his acclaimed performance on Monday.
Reactions like this fan's were common as Henry received a thunderous round of virtual applause. I guess he's right, we are all puppets.