Over the last four months, Mark Henry has began a career resurgence. Regardless of whether you like Mark Henry or not, it's undeniable that he has been performing the best work of his career.
In three weeks at Night of Champions, Mark Henry is set to face Randy Orton for the World Heavyweight Championship. On the surface, this seems a stacked card against Henry, as Orton has been built as SmackDown's John Cena.
At the conclusion of this week's Super SmackDown, Mark Henry left Orton lying in the middle of cage, with the world title raised above his head.
I remain realistic about Henry's odds of winning at NOC, what with Orton's current position. If I had to make a prediction, I'd say Randy Orton will win. However, there are at least four good reasons why Mark Henry should win the championship.
This is a timeless truth in wrestling. There can't just be one dominant entity. John Cena's domination of the main event over the last few years has taught us that such booking will get stale. By 2010, we got to the point where there were no believable opponents left for Cena.
It's indicative that this is the direction WWE Creative is going with Randy Orton on SmackDown. With his feud with Christian seemingly over, he can now ask why Christian wasn't preserved as a main event talent on SmackDown, as opposed to looking like Orton's inferior.
It's well established that Mark Henry is not very exciting in the ring. He clearly can't move very fast, and requires strong opponents to look good. Randy Orton is a great opponent.
Orton has a huge fan base right now. While personally I don't like him, you can't deny the mainstream WWE audience loves him. With his incredible popularity, the most logical booking is to pair him up against a dominant and dangerous opponent. An opponent who will allow Orton to elicit sympathy from the crowd.
Perhaps this was the downfall of Christian. Orton is consistently booked as near-unbeatable. With Christian booked as the weak heel challenger, who can be blamed for not buying in to him?
However, the WWE has yet another chance to create a real challenge for Orton. Mark Henry's stingiest suit is his monolithic presence, and ability to portray a monster heel. It compliments his slow in ring style, and he has proved that his mic skills as a heel are far greater than his abilities as a face.
Without a doubt, Mark Henry is already looking like a dominant force on SmackDown. Logic states that he should win the World Heavyweight Championship through the destruction of Orton. Randy would gain sympathy from his fan base, and could be far more effective if he is chasing the World Heavyweight Championship.
Set your personal opinions of Mark Henry aside for now. It's hard not to acknowledge the longevity of Mark Henry. Henry has become one of the longest serving veterans in the WWE, joining the federation in 1996.
Of course he has sustained many injuries in that time, but he has still shown loyalty to the WWE, which Vince McMahon considers highly. There are many cases of Vince holding grudges against those who "jumped the ship", often punishing them upon their return e.g. Christian.
While Henry hasn't been a main event star for his whole run (in fact he has been a mid carder for almost the whole time), His recent run is deserving of a world championship.
No, longevity and loyalty will not equal championships. However Mark Henry has shown how good he can be as a monster heel.
I understand the argument against it, he is less than average in the ring. However, for all the criticism Randy Orton receives, he is fantastic in the ring. Given the correct booking, a match between the two could be great.
Similar to Kane's reign with the World Heavyweight Championship a year ago, Mark Henry deserves at least one title reign. A Mark Henry run could prove to be very entertaining if given a chance.
Recently the SmackDown TV ratings have been down, as have the RAW ratings. As we now know, the RAW SuperShow concept has been implemented as a ratings booster. Only time will tell if it works.
However regarding SmackDown, Mark Henry could be the answer. Not as a superstar himself, but as a change. Why are viewers not watching SmackDown? One of the reasons could be the brand domination of Randy Orton.
While many are fans of Orton, there could also be fans who are turned off at the thought of a John Cena-esque title reign. Orton has so far been pummelling all of his opponents, it becomes predictable for us, the fans who don't like Orton.
With Mark Henry as World Heavyweight Champion, it adds unpredictability to SmackDown. The kind of unpredictability we are seeing on RAW.
More viewers could be inclined to watch SmackDown if they aren't expecting Randy Orton to reign supreme. However, it is doubtful that Mark Henry can draw.
He doesn't exude charisma, and his track record doesn't portray a wrestler who draws attention. But as I alluded to earlier, if Randy Orton was in chase-mode for the title, it would be far more entertaining than watching him dominate.
It isn't necessarily Mark Henry that would draw viewers, it would be change, and SmackDown is ready for change.
It has been awhile since we saw a monster heel as believable as Mark Henry. He is built for the role, and it's surprising that he didn't make that gimmick permanent years ago. Yes, he has used it every few years, but never has it been so convincing.
When was the last time we saw a monster heel champion? Or even a heel champion who dominated their opponents. Both Christian and The Miz were booked as weak champions who needed to cheat.
The WWE has made a habit of portraying all of their heel champions as inferior to their face rivals.
Mark Henry is a step in the right direction. While Randy Orton may be a great face champion, a dominant heel if far more useful.
It is a great tool that the WWE should utilise. Faces in need of legitimacy can step up to Mark Henry and challenge him. Even if they lose, they look better for it. If Mark Henry is booked properly as a champion, then the shear act of providing him with a challenge could be enough to get over.
Finally, it would lead to the awesome moment when a face finally defeats him. A dominant heel champion bring the quality of competition up to higher levels, and make SmackDown interesting again.
It's like CM Punk says, we want change. A monster heel champion, Mark Henry, would be a change for SmackDown.
Evidently, there are positives that come with Mark Henry winning the World Heavyweight Championship. As I'm sure many of you will make clear, there are negatives as well.
While I think Mark should win the title, I don't believe he will. The WWE seem to be giving Randy Orton a giant championship run, and will continue to feed him opponents for the near future.
Nevertheless, Night of Champions should be a great show. Maybe adding Christian to the WHC match would ensure a quality match. With Mark Henry laying Orton out on SmackDown, we can only imagine the potential of Mark Henry as champion.