I asked for ideas on what wrestlers to node next, and bol picked ,
of ALL PEOPLE, Mark Henry. So, blame him.
In the midst of plummeting ratings and a mass exodus of talent to
World Championship Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation opted
to purge much of their old talent in 1996-97 and take gambles on some fresh
blood. One of these was Mark Henry, who had won several Strongman
competitions and competed in the Olympics at one point (I don't know exactly
when or in what event). They signed him to a ten year contract, unheard
of at the time (or today, for that matter).
He debuted at SummerSlam '96 as Mark Henry, the "World's Strongest Man".
His initial babyface push was aborted in early 1998 when he turned heel
and joined The Nation, a thinly-veiled black supremacist stable run
by The Rock, as a lackey. He stayed with them until late 1998,
when The Rock left the group and it prompty fell apart. He turned
face and started teaming up with D'Lo Brown, who had been another member
of The Nation. Henry underwent a character transformation of sorts,
being given a new nickname in "Sexual Chocolate" and sort of becoming
a ladies man while being very fat at the same time.
He took some time off in 1999 to lose some weight. They decided
to make a storyline out of it, with his trusted friend D'Lo acting as Henry's
personal trainer and helping him lose weight. Henry returned at SummerSlam
'99, promptly turning on D'Lo for pushing him too hard. There's nothing
more dangerous than a fat guy denied his dinner, I suppose.
He then turned the Sexual Chocolate bit into overtime, being portrayed
as a sex addict who couldn't stop thinking about it during matches.
This was funny for about two minutes and then fizzled completely.
He took some more time off.
He resurfaced in early 2000, his sex addiction quelched by, YOU GUESSED
IT, Mae Young. Mae Young, for the uninitiated, is an old woman
pushing ninety that was a women's wrestler back in the day. I don't
know WHICH day, exactly, but it was way way back there somewhere.
Well, she had resurfaced a few months earlier to give the Fabulous Moolah
a partner in the ring, and the WWF thought it would be a nifty idea to
have Henry be Mae's boyfriend.
It was really gross. It also culminated with Mae giving "birth"
to a hand. You don't even want to know. To say that this was not one of the WWF's brightest
booking ideas would be a giant understatement. It's the kind of thing that follows you throughout your career, and if Henry had had ANY common sense he would have refused to do it.
Well, after that gem failed, the WWF ran out of bright ideas on how
to use Henry. They promptly released him.
So, in conclusion, World's Strongest Man --> Black supremacist gang
member --> Sexual Chocolate --> D'Lo's overweight friend --> Sexual addict
--> 90-year-old woman's boyfriend. You get the idea they just
didn't want him to succeed or something.