Mark Henry made history nearly ten years ago. To celebrate Black History Month, WWE fans took a look back at when Henry won the World Heavyweight Championship. Henry won the title by defeating Randy Orton at Night of Champions in September 2011 and became the fifth Black man to win the championship.
"Why they chose not to capitalize on Mark Henry's retirement promo and give him the WWE title in 2013 is beyond me," one fan wrote on Twitter. Another fan added: "When he had that fake retirement and ended up hitting Cena with the WSM was such a great moment! He should've went over against Cena and won the WWE title though." Henry held on to the title for three months before losing it to Big Show in December. He would not win the World Heavyweight Championship again but put together a strong career regardless.
Along with winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Henry won the ECW Championship and the European Championship. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2018. Henry began his WWE career in 1996 and was under contract for more than two decades. He was a member of the Nation of Domination and then became one of the most dominant Superstars in the company's history. But his first love was weightlifting, which is a sport he competed in during the 1995 Pan American Games.
"Once I started overhead lifting, the Olympic Committee came and got involved and I started traveling the world," Henry said in an interview with KVUE. "As much as I love football, I was the best in the world at [weightlifting]. And it's not many people that can lay that claim to say, 'I'm the best in the entire world' and I just really enjoy it," Henry added. "I thought that being different than everybody else was as equal to me as being a successful college football player."
Henry currently works in WWE on a legends contract. He talked about how he scouted Biacana Belair who became the first Black woman to win the women's Royal Rumble match. "It's special. It really is," Henry stated. "Bianca was one of those that I scouted, that I found in CrossFit and asked her if she was willing to put what she was doing down and change her life to pro wrestling."