February 15, 2013
Mark Henry aims to win the Elimination Chamber
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
A month ago, Mark Henry wasn't on the active roster. Now, heading into WWE's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view on Sunday, given his recent destruction of his foes on TV, he is a favourite to walk out of the imposing structure as the leading contender to be in the World heavyweight title bout at WrestleMania.
Henry was gone from WWE TV for nine months with some pretty serious shoulder issues. He returned on the February 4, 2013 episode of Monday Night Raw, attacking -- and destroying -- Sin Cara, Daniel Bryan, and Rey Mysterio. Then he then beat Randy Orton on SmackDown for his chance to be in the Elimination Chamber match this weekend.
"The last two or three weeks, I've done more marketing than some of the people that I've been watching for the last six months," bragged Henry to SLAM! Wrestling.
Indeed, the World's Strongest Man is once again inducting foes into his Hall of Pain.
At the pay-per-view, his opponents are Jack Swagger, Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Randy Orton. The winner is scheduled to face whoever is the World heavyweight champion after Sunday's match between the champion, Alberto del Rio and The Big Show.
The Elimination Chamber is unique in and of itself, with the large, chain-linked circular fence that surrounds the ring. Instead of a fall to the floor, there is an elevated steel structure around the ring. Two wrestlers start, and the other four competitors are kept in the chambers in each of the corners until they are released into the action in five-minute intervals. The winner has eliminated everyone else by pinfall or submission.
Henry said that the Elimination Chamber is one of the harders matches the company has, and he is making his first appearance in this type of bout.
"People look at that and go, 'Oh, man, that's rubber.' That's a steel structure," he said. "When you see guys fall in there, it's next to falling on the sidewalk. It is brutal to no end. Everybody who has ever been in one, they'll tell you right off the bat, that's the last match they want to have all year long. It's going to be brutal."
"It's not so little. As long as I can breathe," he said. "It's not locked down like a tunnel. I don't think there will be too much claustrophobia."
And his hearing isn't affected: "As long as I can still hear the fans, I'll be fine."
Last year at WrestleMania, Henry was lumped into the John Laurinaitis versus Teddy Long storyline over control of Raw and Smackdown, on the winning side as Team Johnny (The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and David Otunga) beat Team Teddy (The Great Khali, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Booker T, and Santino Marella).
This year, for WrestleMania in New Jersey, Henry has bigger plans.
"This is what I would like to do: I would like to win the Elimination Chamber. I'd like to go into WrestleMania and be already the World Heavyweight champion. If somebody, just by chance, is lucky enough to take it from me, I want to be able to be right there to take it back."
Greg Oliver is the Producer of SLAM! Wrestling, and wants to avoid being inducted into the Hall of Pain at all costs. Greg can be emailed at email@example.com.