WWE Hall of Famer and recent AEW signing Mark Henry appeared on Busted Open Radio, where he discussed the conversations he had with WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon prior to leaving the company, why he left the WWE and more.
On always wanting to be more than a talent: “I’ve always wanted to be an executive. I’ve always wanted to get credit for the things that I say and my job depends on how well I do that. As a talent, it’s undeniable. You go in, you have a good match, you have another good match, you get a string of matches and people grow to know you like that. In the world of being in the office, you have to have pelts on the wall. If you don’t have pelts on the wall, people will tend to go, ‘Well, what is he doing?’ I want a room full of pelts on the wall, like, ‘Mark Henry did that.’ It’s not vain, it’s just I’m ambitious. I’ve always been ambitious. You don’t get to be a national champion in four different things that have nothing to do with each other and a world champion in three others if you don’t have a strong work ethic, if you don’t want to be successful.”
On why he left the WWE: “My deal was up. This is not something that was recent. I go back to five months, six months. I wanted a position in the office and I wanted everything that comes with it.”
On wanting an office position with the WWE: “Yes, and I talked to Vince himself. He said, ‘Write it up. You’re somebody that I’ll hear from and listen to.’ I was told that there was a lot of cleaning house and there were a lot of cuts that were happening and there were a lot to come. I’ve seen hundreds of people in the company go. I still felt like, knowing this, I feel valuable enough that I’m not going anywhere. Well that’s cool. But, when your deal comes up, and the rights, the legalities part of it, come up to where are you going to go next and what are you going to do, I felt like I wanted to do more. I always wanted to do more. You know me. I’m a busy body. If I’m not doing what I know I can do, especially if I think I can do it better than somebody else, and I can’t get that opportunity, then I have to start looking for that opportunity somewhere else, and I did.”
On what was his conversations with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon like: “Everybody knows me and Vince have love for each other, and more than love, respect. Me calling him and saying what needed to be said came from a place of like a brother telling his older brother, ‘Man, I’m tired of being in the shadows. I feel like somebody beneath you is holding me back. If somebody is holding me back, I have to go because you can tell everybody what to do, but there might be something that comes with that, but I feel like I’m being held back. I’m not getting what I want. I want it to be successful. I want to be able to earn more. I want to be able to get those pelts on the wall.’ Man, it was like the coolest thing. He was like, ‘You know everything you need to know. If you feel like you have to go, I don’t necessarily want it, but if you feel like you need to go, then go. I know you’re going to be successful.’ That’s what you want. I’m not going to run from the conversation like that. There are some people who are scared and unloyal. Nobody will ever say, ‘Mark Henry is unloyal.’ I’ve been loyal. There were times I was offered more money and I didn’t leave. 25 years with the same company, through the good, through the bad. I was there. Everything wasn’t perfect. What family has a perfect existence? Not very many, but mine was really good. I had a good experience. I learned a lot. I spent more time in the production office and in the trucks than I did around the ring and in catering. I always joke about being in catering and all that, but man, I always had an executive mindset.”