Former World Heavyweight champion and the Strongest Man In The World Mark Henry celebrated 20 years of his in-ring debut this past Thursday. WWE.com spoke to the former ECW champion on this occasion and below are some of the highlights from the interview:
When asked about the new arrivals in WWE locker room who come from their development territory NXT and what they can learn from a debut like the one of Henry, he replied:
"When I came in, I was one of the last guys to work in territories. You went, you learned your craft, and a lot of times you would go places and people would try to run you off. They really wouldn't teach you anything. They'd just take your money, beat you up and send you on your way.
“Vince [McMahon} didn't want that. He wanted us to really learn, and he had guys that were hyper-competitive come in and learn how to work and get in good condition. Be there early, leave late … the normal, traditional work ethic type of deal."
Talking about how he mentors younger talents who come up from a different development system compared to Mark's, the former wold Champion said that he teaches new talents to respect veterans in the locker room:
"Well, one, I explain to them the culture of the locker room. That's the foremost thing you have to learn. To respect, to honor the people that came before you, and don't talk so much. [And] listen. Learn how to humble yourself, and be able to take advice and not feel like you know everything. Once you can do those two things, you open yourself up for the psychology lessons"
When asked about a superstar who he relly feels has learned from the lessons he gave them, the former European champion said that there have been several such wrestlers:
"There have been several. Daniel Bryan was one that I take a lot of pride in saying I saw him on the independent scene and told him what his future was going to be before he started here. He just laughed and looked at me like, "OK, I'm just happy to be here." [Laughs] I said, "No, brother, don't be happy to be here.
“You gotta take the initiative to be what I'm telling you that you could be." Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston … To sit here and say I had a hand in [their careers] is awesome, but I can't take credit for the work. I can only say I saw something in that person, and did my best to try and help"
Along with this, Mark Henry talked about his debut match against Jerry Lawler and more.