In response to some of the controversy stirred up by The Undertaker’s comments on Joe Rogan’s podcast, Mark Henry gave his thoughts on whether today’s wrestlers are soft.
Here are excerpts from his answer:
“Yea, guys were a little bit wilder. Guys were a little bit impulsive back then, but the men were still as tough now as they were then. We’re a corporate industry now. You have to have some decorum. You have to have some class otherwise you will not be employed by any of those companies. They recruit a certain type of guy. Recruiting wild cannons and guys that you didn’t know if they were going to show up high or they got arrested the night before, you can’t employ those guys. Taker was right to an extent. He should have said wild cannons and guys that were quick to get angry. It was a badge of honor at times to show your toughness. You go out there and you beat the hell out of somebody. Then the fight spills into the back and everybody’s entertained.
It’s a different time…I came in the early ‘90s and there were guys that tried to take liberties with me. There was stuff that happened in the locker room that was looked at as unspeakable…I can tell you, some of those guys against John Morrison, against Bobby Lashley, Matt Riddle, these guys can really fight. They know the strategy of how to fight…There were tough guys in both eras…Taker wasn’t wrong because guys back then carried guns in their briefcases or a knife or a crowbar. Sh*t went down. Guys were ready and accepting of it, but also you could go to the local cops and go, ‘Hey man. This never happened. Can I get you some front row tickets?’ Nine times out of ten, it got squashed and never hit the news. Now, everybody has a camera. You can’t do all the stuff that guys did back then.
Greg “The Hammer” Valentine having a gun in the locker room and the gun going off, like, bro, if that happened today, you would face federal jail time. That’s why things aren’t the way they used to be, not just the fact that it’s a corporate company and you don’t want to make those mistakes in the first place because you’ll never work again. Taker was right. There was a level of wildness, Wild Wild West, that doesn’t exist today. That’s what he meant. I think people took it out of context actually. I heard what he said and I agree with what he said, it’s just I didn’t agree with how he said it. The description of what it was, was off.
Even me, I had to choke people and threaten people’s life. I would never do that today because I wouldn’t have to. Nobody messes with me like that. It was different. I was in defense mode. I was so stressed a lot of times when I went in the locker room because I didn’t know what was going to happen. Me and the Rock, we always had our locker right next to each other. I came in and saw people laughing and giggling and running away from where our lockers were. Dwayne would pack chicken breasts and broccoli and stuff to get in the car because he was a body guy. I saw his box was open. I grabbed the box and was going to close it and I looked in it and there was sh*t in it. Somebody sh*t in his food box, so of course, I have to dispose of this and tell him, ‘Hey man, don’t leave your food in here.’ They were envious of us new guys coming in.
We have developmental contracts or a full contract in my case. They hated us. They thought we were taking their jobs. That was the mentality, not making the business better because we didn’t grind like they did. We didn’t go through the ringer. We didn’t get brought into the business hard like they did. I respect how hard they were brought into the business but you can’t expect the world to be the same to everybody else as it was to you. You’re supposed to make it easier on the next generation, right? You would think.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.