There's been a lot of talk in recent months about the backstage culture in WWE.
Adjusting to the locker-room culture of WWE was a rough transition for Mark Henry.
It also created some potentially frightening moments for Henry's new coworkers.
Appearing on a recent episode of MVP's VIP Lounge podcast, Henry recalled being ribbed and pranked when he first signed with WWE and started traveling to live events in 1996 and 1997.
"I wasn't used to being ribbed because, in my culture, you don't f-ck with people like that," said Henry, who suffered a broken ankle shortly into his stint with WWE. "They hid my crutches with my broke ankle and I just cut a promo on everybody. 'Hey, sh-t's all fun and games when I've got a cast on my leg but as soon as this cast's off my ankle, all y'all f-cking with me are gonna get dealt with, and there ain't sh-t you can do about it.' ”
Henry went on to recall being taunted by Shawn Michaels (not the current, born-again HBK, but the Attitude-Era, problem-causing, lost-my-smile-era HBK) after one of those crutch-hidings. According to Henry, Michaels was standing behind Sycho Sid and still making jokes.
The proceeding anecdote by Henry goes as follows:
“Shawn is all in my face, like, 'Aw man, big guy, they hid your crutches?' I was like, 'Man, you think this motherf-cker standing in front of you's going to protect you from me? I will rip you off the bone, and then I'm gonna put my foot in your ass.' So Shawn goes to Vince and says, 'this motherf-cker just threatened me.' "
A-TRAIN's EDITOR NOTE:
"Rip you off the Bone" makes it sound like HBK is a plate of Baby Back Ribs.
Also, I think Mark's got it mixed up a little. It makes no sense for him to put his foot in HBK's ass AFTER he's already ripped him off the bone.
It would be overkill.
He's much better off putting his foot in HBK's ass FIRST, THEN ripping him off the bone to finish him off.
Incidentally, if they ever make a Mortal Kombat style WWE game, that should totally be Mark Henry's "Fatality."
Anyway, back to the article.
All this talk about ribs is making me hungry.
After that incident, Henry had a meeting with Vince McMahon, who told Henry he would have to learn locker-room etiquette and how to "get along in this business." According to Henry, that led to him being sent to Stampede Wrestling, or, as he described it, "getting banished to Canada."
"I was the first developmental talent," Henry said. "I was the first guy that they hired to say, OK, they're gonna make you a wrestler. Man, it was a bunch of s--t that happened to me that these kids don't have to worry about it because I f-ckin' set the template."
And producing one of the great unknown taunts in recent memory. Seriously, leave it to the guy from Texas to use a BBQ-related metaphor when threatening violence on a locker room veteran. (EDITOR NOTE #2: John's BBQ joke is funny as well.)
If Braun Strowman does not start saying "I WILL RIP YOU OFF THE BONE!" now that he's returned from injury, we are all poorer for it.