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Mark Henry

Mark Henry

REAL NAME: Mark Henry
6' 1", 331 pounds
BORN: June 12, 1971 in Silsbee, Texas
NICKNAMES: The World's Strongest Man, Sexual Chocolate

While he may have won the gold, Kurt Angle isn't the only former Olympian currently competing in the WWE. In future World Championship title matches, he need only look across the ring to see another athlete who has represented the United States at the Olympic Games: weightlifter-turned-wrestler Mark Henry.

Born in Silsbee, Texas, Mark Henry headed to Barcelona and the 1992 Olympics weighing in at 366 pounds, making him the largest weightlifter in Olympic history. In the 1992 Olympics, he placed 10th in the superheavyweight division. His finish there didn't mean the end of his weightlifting career. At the 1995 Pan-American games, Henry won a gold, silver and bronze medal, and a year later, he became NACACI (North America, Central America, Caribbean Islands) champion.

Mark competed in the Olympics again, in Atlanta in 1996, the same Games that Kurt Angle won gold at. Henry, voted team captain, finished fourteenth, felled by a back injury.

Soon, the WWE came calling and Henry signed a very lucrative, ten-year, ten million dollar contract to compete as a professional wrestler. Trained by Leo Burke in Calgary, Henry was already competing in WWE, and already had one feud, with Jerry "the King" Lawler under his belt, not to mention a win over Lawler at the September In Your House pay-per-view by the end of 1996.

Finding little success as a face, Henry joined forces with Faarooq (Ron Simmons), D-Lo Brown, Rocky Maivia (The Rock), and Kama Mustafa (The Godfather) as part of the Nation of Domination.

When Miavia ousted Faarooq as leader of the Nation, Henry switched loyalties and helped The Rock send Faarooq packing. Meanwhile, Henry went to his first Wrestlemania, teaming with D-Lo in a Tag Team Battle Royal, won by the the Legion of Doom.

The departure of Faarooq and the installation of The Rock as the leader of the Nation of Domination brought only temporary stability to the group and by mid-1998, the Nation disintegrated. At Judgment Day, Henry took on and, with the help of D-Lo, defeated The Rock.

Although The Rock would go on to bigger and better things, Henry continued to remain active in the tag team ranks with D-Lo. Gaining a manager in Ivory, the team of Mark Henry and D-Lo Brown began receiving several tag team titles shots against then-champions the New Age Outlaws and the teams of Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett and Kane and X-Pac.

In addition to teaming with Brown, Henry began referring to himself as "Sexual Chocolate", developing an unhealthy affection for Chyna, leading to a controversial angle involving a transvestite named "Sammy" and a minor feud with Terri Runnels and Miss Jackie. However, things were not as friendly between Henry and D-Lo Brown, as Henry nailed D-Lo with Jeff Jarrett's guitar to help Jarrett win the Intercontinental and European Championships at SummerSlam '99. Jarrett later gave Henry the European Championship.

Henry soon lost that European Championship to D-Lo Brown at Unforgiven but the loss did little to slow down his gimmick as "Sexual Chocolate". After admitting he was a sex addict, Henry then became "involved" with Mae Young, leading to Young's pregnancy which in turn led to Young's giving birth to a hand.

Troubled by weight gain, by mid-2000 Henry was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling for some fine-tuning while WWE tried to create a storyline for him. Henry would both battle The Big Show and team with him. Henry would also team with Nick Dinsmore (Eugene) during the tournament for the OVW Tag Team titles in the summer of 2001.

Although Henry made an appearance at the 2001 Brian Pillman Show, defeating Hugh Morrus in August 2001, he departed the wrestling world, temporarily to train and later compete in the Arnold Schwarzenegger Strongest Man Contest. In February 2002, Henry won a $75,000 Humvee for placing first in the contest.

On March 25, 2002 Mark Henry was drafted to Smackdown as the #9 pick during the initial brand split. During the next few weeks, Henry would perform feats of strength, as well as battling Christian and Chris Jericho in the ring.

Over the summer of 2002, Henry would compete sporadically for Smackdown (defeating Kurt Angle by disqualification and Tajiri) while preparing for another weightlifting competition before injuring his ankle. Henry still returned to Smackdown, teaming with Rikishi in the Smackdown Tag Team title tournament, but lost in the first round to Los Guerreros.

Henry disappeared from WWE TV, spending some time in Ohio Valley before returning to WWE (Raw, not Smackdown) in late summer 2003. He joined with Teddy Long and Rodney Mack in an attempt to get some respect in WWE. He tangled with Bill Goldberg and Shawn Michaels before feuding with Booker T. While Henry may have dominated the early part of the feud, it was Booker T who got the win at Armageddon '03.

In February 2004, Mark Henry tore his quad during a practice in Ohio Valley and had surgery, leaving him on the shelf for almost a year. When Mark Henry finally returned to the ring in February 2005, it was back in Ohio Valley where he would stay until late December.

The year 2005 would not end, however, before Mark Henry returned to WWE, appearing on Smackdown to attack WWE Champion Batista during a WWE Tag Team titles match pitting Batista and Rey Mysterio, Jr. against MNM. Henry cost Batista and Mysterio the Tag Team titles and set his sights on defeating Batista for the World Championship.

After Batista went down with an injury, Henry thought he might win a battle royale to fill the vacant World title, only to be eliminated by Kurt Angle. However, now managed by former Angle ally Daivari, Henry remained in the World title hunt, only to lose to Angle at the Royal Rumble.

Rebounding from the loss, Henry then turned his attention to the Undertaker, only to become another Wrestlemania victim of the Taker's streak.

Batista's return in the summer of 2006 meant that Henry was to pay for his previous actions against Batista. However, just before the Great American Bash, it was Henry who went down with an injury, a torn patella which has him out of action for the foreseeable future. --- compiled by John M. Milner with files from Greg Oliver

MARK HENRY STORIES

  • February 27, 2013: Mark Henry takes pride in longevity, reinvention
  • February 15, 2013: Mark Henry aims to win the Elimination Chamber
  • March 2012: The Streak: Finishing the World's Strongest Man
  • September 28, 2000: Mark Henry: Two-time Olympian