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5 wrestlers who owe their career to Mark Henry

Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill
Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill
Daniel Wood
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Mark Henry became the latest WWE Superstar to become a 'former' WWE Superstar when he joined the likes of Christian Cage and Big Show in becoming 'All Elite'. The WWE Hall of Famer made an appearance during AEW's Double Or Nothing Pay-Per-View and his official involvement in the company was just announced.

I don't think many people are aware of how big a 'get' this is for AEW, as Mark Henry has been crucial as a behind-the-scenes player in WWE, particularly when it comes to talent scouting and development, which is one of the things AEW have signed him to do.

In fact, many of today's top wrestling talents were either scouted by Mark Henry or nurtured by him during their development, so it isn't a stretch to say that the former World Heavyweight Champion is responsible for the careers that many current wrestlers have. So let's take a look at five wrestlers who credit Mark Henry for their success in wrestling so far.


#5 Mark Henry found Bianca Belair

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Bianca Belair has been one of the fastest rising female stars in WWE for quite some time after winning the Royal Rumble this year. The EST of WWE went on to become the first black woman to co-main event WrestleMania alongside Sasha Banks, where she'd go on to win the SmackDown Women's Title.

Belair is now enjoying a run at the top of the SmackDown women's division where the incredibly exciting and promising athlete shows no signs of giving up her spot at the top.

There's certainly no denying that Belair is a special talent with a ton of upside in WWE, but even before that she was a successful track and field athlete who competed in the hurdles. The reason she went from athletics to wrestling is because of one man - Mark Henry, who scouted and discovered her.

Belair revealed Henry was responsible for her wrestling career in an episode of WWE Chronicles that revolved around her, where she said:

You know, I'm starting a new chapter of my life, I want to find the kid in me again. I want to go back to who I was before the world told me who I was supposed to be. I went out there in a pink tutu, literally, glitter's flying everywhere, and it was so much fun. There was video footage of all this stuff online. My sister-in-law texted me, she was just like, 'Oh my god, your nephew just was going crazy right now because Mark Henry commented on your photo'. I was like, that's fake. So I ignored it. Then he actually ended up DMing me, 'I want to invite you out to one of our camps

So it could be argued that without Mark Henry to an extent, we don't get the history-making main event on night one of WrestleMania 2021 that blew the roof off of the place.

#4 Braun Strowman was scouted by Mark Henry

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Mark Henry isn't the only strong man to successfully transition into a top WWE superstar. Braun Strowman is a former world champion and at one point he looked like a dead-cert for the next truly great Hall of Fame-worthy big man in WWE. Although he's cooled down a little bit since his height a few years ago, Strowman is still a considerable force in the company.

But it apparently takes a former strong man to notice another. 'The Monster Among Men' and former Wyatt Family stable member revealed that it was Mark Henry who helped him transition from strong man events to the world of professional wrestling during an interview with Busted Open Radio.

"Truth be told, I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for Mark Henry. I traveled around the world doing strongman competition. That's the first time I met Mark, back in 2010 when I competed as an amateur. I introduced myself and said 'I've always been a fan of his in WWE and what he's done in the strength sports world." Strowman said.

Strowman has certainly had his ups and downs in WWE as far as title success, but there's no denying he's had more than his fair share of memorable moments. From tipping over a truck, surviving being compacted in a trash compactor and smashing people through barricades like it's nothing, not to mention the iconic train noises, there are dozens of exciting examples of the former Universal Champion showing off his incredible strength.

None of that would've happened without Mark Henry, as Strowman goes on to reiterate,

We sparked a friendship from there and he pretty much turned WWE's eyes on me. Lo and behold, here we are today.

#3 Baron Corbin was helped massively by Mark Henry

Mark Henry and Baron Corbin backstage in WWE
Mark Henry and Baron Corbin backstage in WWE

Another big man that Mark Henry helped in their transition to WWE was Baron Corbin. The former US Champion has certainly been one of the most divisive superstars in WWE over the last few years, with some people hating him and finding him boring and others appreciating how committed he is to his heel characters, particularly King Corbin and his memorable stint as the Monday Night RAW General Manager.

But Baron Corbin is another WWE Superstar who credits Mark Henry with being a pivotal influence in helping him develop as a wrestler, harkening all the way back to when Corbin started with the company at Florida Championship Wrestling, WWE's developmental territory prior to NXT.

“He came in and thought I had something special,” Corbin said speaking to WWE.com. “He told me I had a good look, the way I moved was good. He really helped mold me in those early days, which helped the evolution of who I am and what I do. When you have a guy of his caliber come to you and tell you they see something in you … if that doesn’t light a fire, nothing will.”

As you can see, Henry's talents in, well, talent development don't just revolve around scouting, but also helping wrestlers once they've been signed, and that's certainly something that he did for Mark Henry here.

#2 Jade Cargill was discovered by Mark Henry before AEW

Jade Cargill
Jade Cargill

Mark Henry's influence as a backstage producer and talent scout for WWE extends even further than the company he worked for at the time as the next entry into this list proves - Jade Cargill.

Cargill has been tearing it up as a dominant force in AEW's women's division and it certainly seems like the sky is the limit for her as she slowly rises up the ranks in that company, but it was Mark Henry trying to sign her for WWE that has eventually led to her having the opportunity to have the breakout 2021 that she's having currently.

Speaking on Wrestling With The Week, Cargill discussed Mark Henry's approach to her and how she was offered a WWE deal after her tryout in 2019 but turned it down.

"Watching Chyna really put a lot of confidence in myself. When she walked on stage she had a presence about herself that was so sure. She was very muscular and very fit. She looked damn good. Her talent and look was undeniable. That's what drew me in. I came in around the Attitude Era. The opportunity came up with Mark Henry, he set me up with a [WWE] tryout. It went well, I was asked to come, turned it down, and here I am at AEW and I'm enjoying it."

Cargill's emergence as a star and the fact that WWE offered her a deal after her tryout proved that Mark Henry was certainly right to see something in her, ultimately strengthening his credentials as a talent scout in wrestling.

#1 Apollo Crews was brought to WWE by Wale and Mark Henry

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Even the Intercontinental Champion made it to WWE thanks to Mark Henry. Apollo Crews may have had a rocky first few years in WWE but he's really come into his own thanks to an excellent feud with MVP and Bobby Lashley on Monday Night RAW and the embracing of a new Nigerian-centred gimmick on SmackDown Live, both of which saw him become a champion in WWE.

But until those recent successes, all we've been able to talk about is Crews' clear and obvious potential as a big star in wrestling. So it's certainly no surprise that the person responsible for bringing such a talented individual to WWE was Mark Henry.

Crews told the story of how Mark Henry, and also rapper Wale, were responsible for bringing him to WWE during an interview on WWE spin-off show The Bump.

“You know it’s funny ’cause actually Wale messaged me on Twitter about 2013 or something like that. He’s a huge fan of wrestling,” he said. “He was like, ‘I just got hip to all your work. I love it. How can we get you in the WWE? At the time, I was just traveling around in England and Japan, just enjoying what I was doing. I was enjoying life, I wasn’t working a real job just living off wrestling. It was pretty cool for me to be able to do that at that level. He gets in contact with Mark Henry who sees my work and he gets me a tryout. A couple of weeks later I get an email from Canyon Ceman saying they want to bring me down to Orlando for a tryout and I was like there’s no way this is real.”

Hopefully from these examples it's clear that Mark Henry has a hell of an eye for a wrestler and that his AEW signing means so much more than just another WWE Hall of Famer jumping ship. It means that the likes of Strowman, Corbin and Apollo will be joining AEW instead of WWE in the future!


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Edited by Greg Bush
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