I was there the night in 1994 at Madison Square Garden when Mark Henry made his first appearance and announced that the had signed a 10-year contract with the WWE. I didn’t know who he was; I didn’t watch him compete in the olympic games; and honestly, I didn’t care because my first perception was – “Oh, this guy isn’t going to last long!”
But the sound of “10-year contract” continued to echo in my head. 10-years is an awfully long time to commit to something. At the time, the only talent with a long-term contract was Bret “Hitman” Hart…BUT, he was Bret “Hitman” Hart. I knew what he was worth; I knew how great he was; and locking him in for 10-years made all the sense in the world. Now we have Mark Henry, who I’ve never even seen hit the ropes, let alone seen a match. I was baffled as to why the WWE would make such a commitment. What had they seen that we hadn’t? What kind of plans were in the works for this guy that no one has ever heard of? And let me remind you, this was 1994.
Here we are in 2013, and Mark Henry is still here! Not only did he run the course of his 10-year contract, but they signed him up for another 10! Unless you’re related to him, there is not a person on the face of this earth that has EVER paid to see a Mark Henry match! NOT, ONE! Am I wrong? Prove it!
Even after he signed that contract back in the early 90′s, he immediately got injured prepping for his debut. That sidelined him for over a year. He finally came up during the Attitude Era with the Nation of Domination and has coasted along ever since. In those 19-plus years, we have seen the WWE part ways and wish the best in future endeavors to some great talents. There have been workers with unlimited potential who were told point blank, “Creative has nothing for you”. But, they had something for Mark Henry.
Henry avoided all the cost-cutting measures, all the house-cleanings, all the post-Wrestlemania releases, all the Black Friday firings… everything.
I don’t wish for anyone to suffer the loss of employment, but I have to question how some still have theirs when others don’t. How did the axe miss Mark Henry when it fell so many times? It’s not like he’s gotten any better – although he technically has, but he still doesn’t draw money. Does he have some kind of blackmail on Vince McMahon? Maybe some pictures of Vince dressed as a woman doing some kinky shit to a goat and a midget?
Help me understand how Mark Henry has survived 20 years of employment with the WWE?
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