On the day that it was confirmed that he had signed “multi-year deal” with AEW, Mark Henry has reflected on his departure from WWE.
Prior to his surprise appearance at AEW Double or Nothing Mark Henry had spent his entire 25 year wrestling career with WWE.
Henry’s final WWE appearance came at RAW Legends Night in January. Although he hadn’t appeared in the ring since 2018.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, the man formerly known as Sexual Chocolate, opened up about his decision to leave WWE. Henry said that he had originally wanted a job in the WWE office, something Vince McMahon was initially in favour of.
“My deal was up. It’s not something that was recent. I can go back five or six months and I wanted a position in the [WWE] office. I talked to Vince himself and he said, ‘write it up. You’re somebody I’ll listen to.’ I was told that there was a lot of cleaning house and cuts that were happening and there were a lot to come. I had seen hundreds in the company go. I felt valuable enough that I wasn’t going anywhere. When your deal comes up and the rights come up as to where you’re gonna go next, I wanted to do more. I always want to do more. If I can’t get that opportunity, I have to look for that opportunity somewhere else,”
Henry continued explaining that while he has love and respect for the WWE Chairman he also felt that he was being held back by someone below McMahon in the chain of command.
The former World Champion said that telling McMahon that he wanted to leave wasn’t a negative conversation.
“It wasn’t negative. Vince and I have love for each other. More than love, respect. Me calling him and saying him what need to be said, came from a place of a brother telling his older brother, ‘I’m tired of being in shadows. I feel like someone beneath you is holding me back. if someone is holding me back, I have to go.’ I feel like I was being held back and not getting what I want, and I want to be successful and earn more. [Vince said,] ‘You know everything you need to know. If you feel like you need to go, I don’t necessarily want it, but if you need to go then go. I know you’ll be successful.’ That’s what you want. I’m not going to run from a conversation like that. Nobody will say Mark henry is un-loyal. There were times I was offered more money and didn’t leave. Everything wasn’t perfect, but what family is perfect? I had a good experience and learned a lot. I spent more time in production and the trucks than I did around the ring and in catering. I always had an executive mindset.”
On June 1st AEW confirmed the details of Henry’s deal, revealing that he will work as a broadcaster on their new show Rampage, as well as behind the scenes. In a press release, the company noted that Henry will work as a scout, coach and mentor.
AEW Rampage premieres on Friday August 13th.
H/t to Fightful for the transcription.