Mark Henry recently celebrated his 20-year anniversary since making his WWE debut against Jerry “The King” Lawler at the In Your House: Mind Games PPV event in 1996 and spoke WWE.com about his career. When asked about the accomplishment, Henry said that getting the respect from fellow WWE Superstars is well worth all the time he has spent on the road and worked for the company.
“You know what, man? It’s really cool. At one point in my life, I thought getting old was a bad thing. Then I realized that the prestige, the respect and the honor that people hold you at for being able to do anything for 20 years is well worth it. It was hard because I had been an anaerobic athlete my whole life – and when I say anaerobic, I mean you do quick bursts and you can have a lot of time to rest. Your body has to get used to that. When I came into sports-entertainment, it’s an aerobic sport. You have long periods of time to get used to working. I’ve had matches go 38 minutes. To be able to move for 38 minutes and have somebody’s life in your hands is a difficult thing.”
When asked how he mentors some of the younger talents in the company, Henry explained that he talks to them about the culture in the locker room and other things that they need to know.
“Well, one, I explain to them the culture of the locker room. That’s the foremost thing you have to learn. To respect, to honor the people that came before you, and don’t talk so much. [And] listen. Learn how to humble yourself, and be able to take advice and not feel like you know everything. Once you can do those two things, you open yourself up for the psychology lessons, because people think that our business is being able to flip, jump, catch and all that. It’s really psychology-driven. Sometimes [it ’s] simple psychology — big vs. small, fast vs. slow, good vs. evil. But then, it takes an unbelievable turn where – with your movements and your looks and your eyes and actions – you have to be able to tell people what they usually use words for.”
When asked which Superstar he has helped in WWE, Henry pointed out that he has helped several Superstars but Daniel Bryan is one talent that he takes a lot of pride in.
“There have been several. Daniel Bryan was one that I take a lot of pride in saying I saw him on the independent scene and told him what his future was going to be before he started here. He just laughed and looked at me like, “OK, I’m just happy to be here.” [Laughs] I said, “No, brother, don’t be happy to be here. You gotta take the initiative to be what I’m telling you that you could be.” Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston … To sit here and say I had a hand in [their careers] is awesome, but I can’t take credit for the work. I can only say I saw something in that person, and did my best to try and help.”
You can read the entire interview here.