Brian Damage & Craig Wilson
The WWE roster is filled with “superstars” at every level. There are the main roster guys who regularly appear on Raw and SmackDown, those who are used as glorified jobbers and those who are barely used at all. In this series of pieces, we will take an individual wrestler barely used and decide if they are worth keeping or should they be let go. Today we decide if we Book or Cook Mark Henry.
Brian: I thought this would be an interesting one to look at. ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ Mark Henry is approaching his 20th anniversary with the WWE. In that time, Mark has gone under a few gimmick changes including Sexual Chocolate, The World’s Strongest Man and quite a few heel and baby face turns. It seems though, Henry has been more on the shelf than he has in the ring. Whether it was an injury or competing in Strong Man competitions.
He is now used very sparingly on TV and when he is used…he is mostly utilized as enhancement talent to other wrestlers. It is obvious…at least to me…that the WWE feels that Henry’s best days are way behind him. Is that the case? Can he offer anything substantial anymore or is this the beginning of the end for Mark Henry?
Craig: it’s certainly a good pick and one I’d not actually considered. Perhaps a reflection of how far off the radar he is.
I should say I’m not a fan of Mark Henry nor have I ever really been. I did enjoy his retirement angle with John Cena the other year but that’s for me one of the few highlights in a lengthy WWE run.
That all said, I still think there is a role. He could be used to put the next generation over. If Baron Corbin, say, is to be the next dominant force in the WWE what better way to mark his arrival than going over a former champion such as Henry?
A more substantive role? It’s a no from me. Maybe could have played a significant part the last few years but a mixture of injuries and edging on being past it meant it wasn’t to be. For me, it’s a book on the way towards being cooked…
Brian: Normally, I would agree with that summation about Henry…he would have been a great tool to use to get somebody else over. The problem that I see, he’s been doing that with everybody when he appears on TV. So much so, that jobbing to a new talent to “pass the torch” would be deemed irrelevant now. I just don’t see much more you can do with the big man at this point.
I really liked when Henry was a monster heel for a brief period of time…but those days are long gone. 20 years is long enough of a career…I say cook him.
Craig: All in all, you are probably right. His status is diminished too much in the last few years for a passing of the torch to actually mean all that much. With next year being, I assume, the end of his 20 year contract I can only assume a renewal isn’t likely to be on the cards. There certainly would be very little to gain from that from a WWE perspective. I don’t see him being an obvious choice, either, for a behind the scenes role, a commentating gig or a coaching position at the Performance Centre. I suspect his run is very much coming to an end. It promised so much but bar fleeting occasions, delivered precious little.
It’s fair to say, unsurprisingly, it’s a cook from us. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
You can read all previous ‘Book or Cook?’ pieces here.