Mark Henry Returns to WWE at Survivor Series PPV After Hamstring Injury

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 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

Mark Henry has become one of WWE's most entertaining characters in recent years, but he has had plenty of bad luck when it comes to injuries. After missing some time with a hamstring ailment, Henry finally made his return to WWE programming Sunday night.

The World's Strongest Man made his highly anticipated return at the Survivor Series PPV and defeated Ryback via the World's Strongest Slam. WWE's Justin Roberts snapped a photo of Henry in his return to the ring:

According to WWE.com, Henry suffered the injury during a house show in Boston on Aug. 31. Henry was doing a run-in, but he came up lame, and he hadn't been in action since until tonight.

Henry confirmed the injury on Sept. 1, and while his comments made it seem as though the injury wasn't too significant, it kept him on the shelf for quite some time.

It will be interesting to see how the creative team decides to utilize Henry moving forward because he is a very versatile character. Prior to getting injured, Henry had just turned face, and he seemed poised to team up with Big Show against Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield, although that never came to fruition.

Many believed Henry's face turn was somewhat ill-fated to begin with due to his success as a heel. It remains to be seen if WWE has come to that same realization, but Henry's injury gave the writers an opportunity to reassess the situation and determine whether proceeding with his face character is truly the best course of action.

Based on his recent success as a heel, that may be the best route to take. After all, Henry was doing some of the best work of his career in all facets leading up to WrestleMania and during the aftermath of it. His feud with John Cena for the WWE Championship was especially good, but that was cut short after Cena forced him to tap out at Money in the Bank.

That loss prompted a change in persona, but it still feels like WWE may have dropped the ball. For starters, the submission loss was unnecessary as it made a dominant monster like Henry look weak. Even if he had lost the match cleanly via pinfall, Henry's credibility would have been intact, and he certainly could have continued on as one of the company's top heels.

Henry's fake retirement promo, which ignited his feud with Cena, was a perfect example of how far he has come during his time with the company. There aren't many heels in the business who could have pulled that off, but Henry did it to perfection.

It doesn't take much other than glancing at the roster to figure out that the WWE is a bit short on top heels right now. There are plenty of good faces, including Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Cena and a host of others, but WWE's go-to guys in terms of heels are Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio and not much else.

Whatever the WWE decides to do with Henry, it appears as though he will be in the fold for the foreseeable future. Some might say he is on the downside of his career from a physical perspective as he is 42 years of age, but he is better than ever on the mic and in terms of character development.

That is probably why Henry recently signed a three-year contract extension with WWE. The extension was revealed when Henry was a guest on the Jay Mohr podcast back in September, according to Arda Ocal of the Baltimore Sun, and there is no question that there are plenty of happy fans because of it.

Regardless of Henry's role moving forward, his return is a huge addition to the roster, as he can do essentially anything that is asked of him. Even though he may be getting up there in age, his experience is only going to help the creative team as they look to build future feuds.

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