Following The Undertaker’s comments that wrestling nowadays is “soft”, WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry has responded to The Deadman – and opened up about some cruel pranks played during his time in the WWE, particularly noting one The Rock suffered the consequences of.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, The World’s Strongest Man would reveal how the talents of yesteryear were “a little bit wilder” and more impulsive – and why that wouldn’t fly today.
“We’re a corporate industry now. You have to have some decorum. You have to have some class otherwise you will not be employed by any of those companies. They recruit a certain type of guy. Recruiting wild cannons and guys that you didn’t know if they were going to show up high or they got arrested the night before, you can’t employ those guys. Taker was right to an extent. He should have said ‘wild cannons’ and guys that were quick to get angry. It was a badge of honor at times to show your toughness. You go out there and you beat the hell out of somebody. Then the fight spills into the back and everybody’s entertained.”
Henry went on to discuss how it’s a “different time” now, and how some people tried to “take liberties” with him when he entered the business, pointing out the toughness of today’s Superstars – but would reveal one major difference.
“Taker wasn’t wrong because guys back then carried guns in their briefcases or a knife or a crowbar. Sh*t went down. Guys were ready and accepting of it, but also you could go to the local cops and go, ‘Hey man. This never happened. Can I get you some front row tickets?’ Nine times out of ten, it got squashed and never hit the news. Now, everybody has a camera. You can’t do all the stuff that guys did back then. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine having a gun in the locker room and the gun going off, like, bro, if that happened today, you would face federal jail time. That’s why things aren’t the way they used to be, not just the fact that it’s a corporate company and you don’t want to make those mistakes in the first place – because you’ll never work again.”
The WWE Hall of Famer would state that he actually agrees with The Undertaker’s statement, but that the context was wrong.
Taker was right. There was a level of wildness, Wild Wild West, that doesn’t exist today. That’s what he meant. I think people took it out of context actually. I heard what he said and I agree with what he said, it’s just I didn’t agree with how he said it. The description of what it was, was off.”
Henry would disclose that he even had to threaten people’s lives back then, and choke them.
“Even me, I had to choke people and threaten people’s life. I would never do that today because I wouldn’t have to. Nobody messes with me like that. It was different. I was in defense mode. I was so stressed a lot of times when I went in the locker room because I didn’t know what was going to happen.
The World’s Strongest Man also opened up about how no-one was safe from that type of behaviour, as The Rock was the victim of a cruel prank due to the “envy” that veterans harboured towards him.
“Me and The Rock, we always had our locker right next to each other. I came in and saw people laughing and giggling and running away from where our lockers were. Dwayne would pack chicken breasts and broccoli and stuff to get in the car because he was a body guy. I saw his box was open. I grabbed the box and was going to close it and I looked in it and there was sh*t in it. Somebody sh*t in his food box. So, of course, I have to dispose of this and tell him, ‘Hey, man, don’t leave your food in here.’ They were envious of us new guys coming in.”
Henry would go on to say that older talent “hated” younger talents back then, when the reality is, older talent should be making life easier for younger talent.
“They hated us. They thought we were taking their jobs. That was the mentality, not making the business better because we didn’t grind like they did. We didn’t go through the ringer. We didn’t get brought into the business hard like they did. I respect how hard they were brought into the business but you can’t expect the world to be the same to everybody else as it was to you. You’re supposed to make it easier on the next generation, right? You would think.”