Mark Henry Calls His Faux WWE Retirement ‘One Of The Best Moments In Pro Wrestling History’
WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry had a number of memorable moments during his pro wrestling career, but none made a bigger impression than the fake retirement angle he did with John Cena in 2013. During an appearance on the “Attitude Era Podcast,” “The World’s Strongest Man” detailed the decision to do the angle on “WWE Raw” and Vince McMahon’s role in crafting the moment.
“During that time, my contract was expiring and I was thinking about taking a break, so I went probably about 6-8 months basically really preparing myself for retirement,” Henry said. “So it was like 50-50 ,and then Vince talked to me and said, ‘You know what? I think this would be a really good time to pull the wool over people. Everybody thinks you’re going to retire, but you won’t re-sign, what’s the deal? Is it more money, this or that?’
“I said, ‘No, it’s not the money, I just want to go home.’ When you’re on the road for like 18 years and I was missing stuff, seeing my kids growing up. At that point I was like, ‘Man, I’m done, I made enough money. Let me go and be the dad that I always wanted to be.’ It ended up being Vince talked me into it, and all of that emotion and the reality of it was true. It’s just that I ended up putting it into the show. It ended up being one of the best moments in pro wrestling history.”
On that memorable night, Henry stood in the ring and emotionally talked about his family and the WWE Universe, mentioning how he had never held the WWE Championship. Out came WWE Champion Cena, who handed his belt to Henry in a show of respect. A teary-eyed Henry then sent a message to his young daughter, saying, “Baby, I’m coming home,” before dropping Cena with a World’s Strongest Slam to reveal the entire retirement was a ruse to get a shot at Cena’s title. Unfortunately for Henry, the feud was just a one-off, as he lost to Cena and would never capture the WWE Championship.
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit “Attitude Era Podcast” with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.