"The World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry has always found a way to leave a mark in pro wrestling. Whether it was as a wrestler, coach, talent scout, etc. he knows how to motivate the future generation of wrestlers to excel in their careers.
Henry recently spoke with Scott Felstead from Muscle & Fitness about his role as a coach and ambassador, and how he wants to provide a positive environment to those who work for the WWE.
"I work with our talent development," Henry addresses in his interview with Muscle & Fitness. "I want to be a part of having my fingerprints on the future of pro wrestling. I'm able to talk to all the younger wrestlers now and give them the life lessons and the travel lessons that I've learned. And so far, so good. I've not had one person reject what I am trying to teach. That speaks volumes for who we pick as talents. I think the important thing is to tell wrestlers to enjoy the [WWE] journey, and that it is important for the fans to have a connection with the talent."
In terms of sacrifices that wrestlers make in their careers, the biggest one many wrestlers face is the endless amount of traveling they have to do. Henry mentions in great detail about how hard it can be for men like him, who are bigger, to be in small spaces for long periods of time while on the road.
"I mean travel is the hardest part of pro wrestling for the big guys," Henry states. "We spend so much time in little tiny cars for four to five hours, and then on little busses for five to six hours, or on a plane. I came over here to Australia on the plane for sixteen and a half hours. It's very difficult when you are a man of my stature but you know, you have to tough it out, that's the thing about our [pro wrestling] business. I've been very blessed to be able to have a career for twenty-five years."
Ever since the business of pro wrestling began, many sports critics, in particular, were hesitant to consider this type of business to be sports-based. Instead, many argued that this was more of an entertainment industry and was not on the same tier as other professional sports. Henry argues that just because WWE is considered to be sports entertainment, it should not be looked down upon, instead, the wrestlers should receive the same respect that pro athletes receive in their respective sports leagues. He mentions several big named Superstars and how they have shaped the industry by inspiring other athletes to join this company.
"Kurt Angle was an Olympic Champion. I was the best lifter that was ever born. People like Shelton Benjamin and Brock Lesnar don't come along very often. Lesnar has been a world champion in pro wrestling and MMA. [They're the] best in the world. Just those three or four guys, and I could sit here all day. Randy Orton is an unbelievable athlete. Kofi Kingston is a really, really athletic guy with incredible balance.
"Those guys have so much to give, and they have given so much, for people not to know, or lookup, or read what they are talking about, or just going by what they've heard from somebody else. If those people live under a rock and don't know that pro wrestling is sports entertainment, and they feel like they are 'breaking news' when they say that pro wrestling is not up to par, I haven't got time for those people."
Henry also stated a big reason why he wanted to be part of the pro wrestling industry was because of the fans and how attached they get to the wrestler's characters both inside and out of the ring.
"I love the fans," Henry exclaimed. "The people that love our business who introduce you to their sons and to their daughters. They want to share how much joy they get from the WWE. Those are the people that I want to be around."