WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry had some strong words for former WWE star Ryback, where the World’s Strongest Man called out the Big Buy on the latest edition of Busted Open Radio for being unsafe in the ring and difficult behind the scenes. Henry was also not a fan of Ryback’s recent tweet where he referred to wrestling as fake and dishonoring the championship belts, something that Henry reminds fans he wore proudly when he had a reign in 2012.
Ryback would later respond with a lengthy statement on Twitter about how he’s always loved the business, but will never not call out WWE, who he claims was not looking out for him during his time there, including forcing him to drop a multi-million dollar lawsuit against them.
I have nothing but love for the wrestling business. I made the decision at 22 years old to drop out of college to pursue my dream, which I was with WWE for many years before I walked away at 34 years old to save my health. It would be very easy to get upset at Mark’s comments and engage in back and forth bickering, but the moment I do that this turns into something I’ve said I would never do and that is make it against me and WWE wrestlers. My issues are with the organization and Mark most likely unaware of. The tweet Mark is referring to was a sarcastic tweet to Fox not knowing wrestling was entertainment and yes the word fake was used. Could it have been worded different, absolutely, but in 2021 where every podcast exposes the business just talking about it, including the show Mark is a part of and organizations selling tickets to let fans see how the “magic” works along with a host of other things letting the fans in. I have held a Championship in WWE and never once felt I “won” it or that I was a legitimate Champion.
There is a lot of realism in the work and sacrifice that goes into being a professional wrestler and I myself having to walk away from needing a 5 disc fusion and shoulder replacement know all too well how serious the business is. Had I not “won” a championship I would understand Mark thinking I was bitter etc, but that simply isn’t the case. I have a very serious matter I’ve dealt with WWE since my ankle injury in Nexus and the company forcing me to drop a multi million dollar lawsuit after debuting as Ryback and many other issues that resulted from that injury that Mark wouldn’t be privy to and that continues to this day. I am grateful to own my brand and the Ryback trademark will be awarded to me in the future, but I want to make one thing perfectly clear and I love pro wrestling and I speak very highly of it. I speak up against WWE and everyone has different experiences, so while I understand Mark being very loyal to WWE and Vince, that is his experience and unfortunately not everyone’s. Mark starts off stating I was difficult and dangerous with once again zero examples of said comments. I’ve dealt with WWE pushing out false narratives from the start and this is the most upsetting thing to hear come from Mark. All I can say is I’ve been blessed to overcome needing a 5 disc fusion and shoulder replacement with zero help from the company the injuries were caused in, but my career and next chapter will far surpass even what my first half did.
My comments on wrestling and my views on wrestling and wrestlers playing roles(Extremely Physical) are simply how I embrace wrestling, as I refuse to let that define me as a man in anything outside of the business or my happiness. The difference to what role you play any given day or night lies inside a room where people lay out said card or show and Mark saying my career was a failure would be countered with if you call having a goal of being a professional wrestler and achieving that playing both the lead babyface and heel and in between while garnering significant reactions a failure, then I’m beyond proud to be a failure. I have always gotten along with Mark and I’m not sure why he chose to go the route he did with personal insults, but I will always respect him for his achievements in weight lifting as he is one of the GOAT’s and reaching pro success in multiple endeavors is a rare thing in life that he has achieved.
Mark also was the one who insisted I get checked for sleep apnea, which probably saved me from a heart attack at some point, so I will not resort back in anger or firing back personal insults. I love professional wrestling and believe that it while performing and in the environment it is imperative to protect it, but when we live in a time where everyone profits from talking about it (myself included) Talents taking pictures backstage and the various other shows etc letting people in I just don’t find this the way he claims. My tweet was a sarcastic reply once again and not intended as an attack on the industry that has allowed me much of what I have in life. I’ve overcome too much to get my health back to once again return and fulfill my destiny, which is playing the role of a champion once again. The work and emotion to get to that will be very real, but rest assured and I give you my word when it happens I will still believe I am playing a role because that decision will be made by someone other than me regardless of the work I put in and I know this very well. Mark is entitled to his opinion as am I and I wish Mark the best, but won’t resort to personal attacks because my issue is with the company and not Mark. I thank @TheMarkHenry for our matches and wish him nothing but happiness and success in his life. PS. I know much “punches” taste like candy, that’s part of being a good worker.
Check out Henry’s comments below. Ryback’s full response can be found here.
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— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) January 17, 2021