The following is a first-person article originally posted on WrestleEnigma.com. It is from the point of view of Mark Henry and his current character and previews Henry's upcoming WWE Championship match against John Cena at Sunday's Money in the Bank pay-per-view event. Thank you and enjoy!
Here I stand, 6’4″ and 412 pounds. The World’s Strongest Man. I am the longest-tenured superstar in the WWE today. Seventeen years I’ve been in this company, to be exact. Seventeen long, agonizing years of hard work. Seventeen years worth of sacrifices, such as leaving my family on holidays and birthdays as my daughter cried and pleaded for me to stay, just to entertain you people. And what did I get? What opportunities was I given? What gratitude was I shown throughout that time?
I got nothing. I was given nothing. People always told me what to do, how to live and what defines me, and it got me nowhere. People suspect that being big is easy, but being big is far from easy. You don’t carry the weight of being the World’s Strongest Man on your shoulders. I defy you to walk a day in my boots.
I’ve been mocked, laughed at and ridiculed by fans and management alike. I was nothing but a big joke. From being Sexual Chocolate to being the joke of the Nation of Domination to being sent down to developmental because I wasn’t good enough, I was the lowest common denominator in the WWE.
“He’ll never make it; he’s too fat!” they said. “He can’t wrestle!” they claimed. But when I finally returned from developmental, I proved those critics wrong. I proved you all wrong. Rivalries with Batista, The Undertaker, Rey Mysterio and others proved that I was the best big man in this business. Yet what was I given? The ECW Championship. Not the WWE Championship, or even the World Heavyweight Championship, but a glorified midcard title.
I did the best I could with the ECW Championship. I was the best champion and made ECW the best show I could—and did so successfully, I might add, by raising ECW’s ratings to levels they’d never seen before. But as soon as they saw the first opportunity to rip that title out of my grasp, they did. I lost it to Matt Hardy. Matt Hardy!
From here, I got drafted to Raw and was again made the butt of the joke. I was forced to smile, kiss babies and hug fat girls while MVP and I floundered around in the tag team division. This was two years of my career lost. After proving just how good I was, I lost two years of my career doing absolutely nothing.
But, finally, I’d had enough. I attacked John Cena on the night that I was drafted to SmackDown and immediately inserted myself into the World Heavyweight Championship picture. I was sick of waiting around. I’d induct Big Show, Vladimir Kozlov, The Great Khali and Kane into my newly opened Hall of Pain on my way challenging Randy Orton for the World Championship, and finally I’d win the title that had eluded me my entire career. I’d reign as the king of the SmackDown jungle for many months, as SmackDown’s—much like ECW’s—ratings skyrocketed. Only an injury would slow me down.
Now, I again set my sights on the title that I haven’t won, now the only title I haven’t yet won: the WWE Championship. And once I become WWE Champion, my career will be instantly validated. I will become a first-ballot Hall of Famer. It’s only fitting that to get that validation, I—the man who scratched and clawed his way to the top after a decade-and-a-half—face the man who’s been handed the keys to the car. He’s the face of the company. He’s been a WWE Champion so many times over that I’ve lost count. He’s on the magazine covers, in the WrestleMania main events and takes all the credit for everything we do: John Cena. And, quite frankly, I’m sick of it and sick of him.
On the night of my so-called retirement, I took great joy in fooling all you puppets, in pulling your strings. However, I took even greater joy in giving John Cena the World’s Strongest Slam. I don’t think there’s ever been a more deserving recipient of my finisher.
Now, this Sunday, nobody can hold me down any longer. I have reached the top in spite of this company and don’t plan to come down any time soon. At Money in the Bank, I’m going to beat John Cena because that’s what I do. And I—Mark Henry—am going to become the WWE Champion.
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