Mark Henry recalls the first time he ever spoke to Vince McMahon.
During the most recent episode of Shot of Brandi, Henry discussed how he got started in the wrestling business, sharing that he started lifting weights when he was eleven years old. Less than a handful of year later, Henry was already the Junior World Powerlifting Champion. From there, it was off to the Olympics and then eventually, WWE.
"Strongman was the third element of strength sports that I did. I started off powerlifting. At 14/15, I became the Junior World Champion. So I was really, really blessed, but that's all I wanted to do as a little kid was lift weights. So my mom bought me weights at 11 so I was pretty prepared already. I was four years in on my training. Moving right along the Olympic committee caught notice of me. I transitioned from powerlifting to Olympic weight lifting which is the over-head sports and the ones that are in the Olympics. I caught onto it and in 10 months I qualified for the Olympic team. Of course, after that, the pro wrestling world started to notice me because I used to say all the time that I was a big wrestling fan," Henry said.
The Worlds Strongest Man noted that Jim Ross had a lot to do with him getting signed, but said that the first time he spoke to Vince McMahon he thought he was being pranked, so he hung up the phone. He said the following:
"Jim Ross had a lot to do with it, but he brought me up to Vince McMahon and Vince wanted to know, 'Well, how is that going to translate to wrestling?' Jim said, 'You need to see him and meet him because this guy's kind of colorful,' which is short for me being a clown. The first conversation, I get this call and I think it's one of my friends joking with me and it's Vince. I say, 'Yeah right, Wes,' and I hang up on him. I get a call back from my coach and my manager and he's like, 'Hey, did you hang up on Vince McMahon?' I was like, 'That was him for real?' He was like, 'Yeah, how about you take his call.' I was like, 'Alright, my bad.'"
Henry competed in the WWE from 1996 until 2017. Following his retirement from in-ring competition he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (2018). He joined AEW in May 2021 and serves as a coach, backstage personality, and announcer.
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