WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry recently spoke to Chris Van Vilet to talk all things pro wrestling . Highlights can be found below.
On guys he watched before entering the business:
I watched a lot of Vader tapes, you know, when I say tapes, we had VHS back then, not none of this you go to the internet, you get DVDs with a bunch of wrestling matches on them. I loved Junkyard Dog when I was a kid and Andre the Giant, and I watched a lot of the matches and why they did things rather than how they did things. And that’s what I try to tell all the young aspiring wrestlers coming in.
Whether he’s ever experienced racism:
You know what man, I had all of that growing up in every facet of my life because that’s just the way I looked at America being. It’s sad, it’s unfortunate that there’s a double standard, but there’s always been a double standard and you know, even I go so far as to, I think the education of what’s going on should be the thing that people worry about the most and not the fear of if Black people had the same advantage, would they be as mean or as aggressive toward people as they’ve had it toward them. And I don’t think that. I think that’s completely wrong. You look throughout history, like you know, people of color were not the ones that started stuff. The history of violence against white people is really very low, and the ones that have had hate crimes and stuff like that, it could have been avoided by having systems in place where people didn’t feel subservient because, you know, you look at the history, the middle passage, there were a lot of Africans that just jumped into the ocean because they didn’t want to be slaves. And that history has not been taught to white Americans.
Says he still makes fun of Vince for the infamous hand angle:
I still pick on Vince every time I see him. ‘So are you ever gonna tell me what the deal was with the hand?’ And he just starts laughing. ‘It’s a hand.’ I didn’t know what the plan was, I just go with the flow. But I did think, why, just curious, of all the things, why a hand? And Vince, he just busts out laughing every time I ask him like it’s the biggest ongoing joke, and I think that’s what it is. He just did it to entertain himself. Sexual chocolate, near the beginning, that was so much fun. I got to go out every week and make a fool of myself and play with the ladies in the crowd, and it didn’t matter if I lost or not. It was because the whole point was to entertain people and make people laugh, and I’m a comedy guy, you know, I’ve done a couple of stand-ups. You know, I like making people laugh, I like seeing people enjoy themselves, and that was my chance to do that.
The fake retirement angle:
It was like the highlight of my wrestling career, as far as setting the example, only Mark setting the tempo, there was no Undertaker, no Randy Orton in there to save me, I had to go out there and perform that. And I take a lot of pride in the fact that it took me four months to get everybody conditioned that I was retiring, that it was gonna happen. So basically I lied to everybody’s face for about four months. So, sorry guys, but that’s what I had to do to make it happen and make it real.
Check out the full interview below. (H/T and transcribed by WrestleZone)