At Money in the Bank, Mark Henry failed to win the WWE Championship from John Cena. After a decent match, much of which he dominated, he tapped out to Cena's STF move.
This development will no doubt be disappointing for Henry fans, but it isn't altogether surprising.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via WrestlingInc.com) has indicated that Cena is heading into a title feud later this summer with rising star Daniel Bryan—meaning a Henry win here wasn't likely.
It didn't help that the wrestler has lost a great deal of momentum over the past month. Sure, his fake retirement speech on the June 10 Raw was a spectacular promo—and really will go down as one of this year's best moments—but after that?
He floundered and became just another flavor-of-the-month Cena challenger—no better, no worse.
It didn't help that most of his interviews were hindered by the dreaded “What” chants from fans (talk about something that has gotten old).
There was also the fact that both Cena and Henry found themselves playing second fiddle on Raw to the trials and tribulations of the McMahon family. You know, the main storyline of the show. Wonderful.
It would be unfair to say Henry failed in his role, but he didn't really excel either. And, with his loss Sunday night, his future seems to be up in the air.
His monster heel act is still fun, but its appeal has diminished recently due to Brock Lesnar and Ryback playing essentially the same role on television. He's been struggling with various injuries this past year, too.
Additionally, retirement always seems to be a strong possibility for the 42-year-old. The promo on June 10 smartly played into all the talk and speculation about just when the star intends to walk away.
Sad as it may sound, one last run at the top seems unlikely now.
Of course, he still has options, even if he's not in the title picture.
There are plenty of babyfaces left to feud with. How about CM Punk, who turned recently? Those two have never had a program together, and the idea is compelling.
And who wouldn't like to see Henry pair up with Paul Heyman, who is currently on very bad terms with Punk after costing him a title match at Sunday night's show?
His promising program with Ryback was dropped suddenly back in April. How about WWE giving that rivalry another go?
Henry could turn face—a tantalizing idea—and attempt to teach the bullying Ryback some respect. It's worth a try, isn't it?
And judging by how heavily he was cheered Sunday night by the Philadelphia crowd, fans are clearly eager to get behind him.
Can a face turn rejuvenate Henry's WWE career? Hopefully the company will turn him and we will get a chance to find out.