Mark Henry and his “Hall of Pain” returned on Monday night’s Raw and left a in his wake a devastating path of destruction. For Henry, the almost-yearlong return likely signals his final run as an active wrestler for the WWE.
At last year’s WrestleMania, when the WWE universe last saw Henry, he was coming off his best stint since joining the WWE 17 years ago. He won his first world heavyweight title cleanly over Randy Orton, after taking out top names along the way. As Henry is a longtime veteran of the roster, it was nice to see a different person in the title picture for a change.
It’s a shame that an injury sidelined him when he was riding so high, and it’s a shame this upcoming WrestleMania seems like it might be his last. Only Triple H and the Undertaker have been with the WWE longer, but since Henry’s just not at their level, don’t expect him to challenge either.
What could happen is one final bullrush through the WWE roster that ends with Henry losing at WrestleMania in his sendoff match. The next few weeks should have Henry plow through the likes of Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Kane and Daniel Bryan, and then a larger built wrester – like the Big Show or Ryback – should be the one to end Henry’s career.
Since The Big Show has been a major heel in the last year it’s tough to see him filling that role, though he is the best candidate. For Ryback, it gives him a WrestleMania opponent and a much needed win. It works for both, as one star leaves and the other reaches a new level. The image of Ryback holding the monstrous sized Henry on his shoulders for Shell Shocked could be mentioned for years.
While Henry may have more than a few months left in him, it can’t be that long. He’s had numerous injuries and this last one had him out for close to a year. Even if he wanted to stay longer, all the years of competition on someone that size is usually too much for the body to take.
Whatever happens, Henry has greatly improved from when he debuted as a 24-year old. He showed heart when most doubted him. He deserves one good, final run before he bows out.