Mark Henry’s Hall of Pain run began with a prank pulled by Vince McMahon.
The WWE Hall of Famer recently appeared on Steve Austin’s “Broken Skull Sessions” and spoke about the low points in his career, the injuries he suffered and what specifically led to the Hall of Pain run. Back in 2006, Henry suffered a major injury and then later suffered another major injury in his return.
Fast forward to 2011 and Henry thought he was going to be in a match against Sin Cara after SmackDown went off the air one night. As it turns out, there was no match and most of the people in WWE working that night had left the arena while Henry had no idea of what was going on.
“Mostly, it was Vince’s idea. The Hall of Pain started with a rib. To go back to the beginning of my career, Vince always ribbed me. He took me out into the ring and told me I was going to have a match against Sin Cara. I’m standing there in the ring, nobody comes. I go to the referee Scott Armstrong and go, ‘Where is he?’ They told me [they’re re-wrapping his knee]. Now I’m pissed. If Sin Cara were to come out, I was going to hurt him because I felt like he was disrespecting the business. Now, I’m pissed. I come to the back, it’s a ghost. Nobody’s there and I just started destroying things and tearing shit down, punching the walls. Like Darth Vader, I just wanted everything to melt,” Henry said.
After his backstage rampage, Henry went back home, fully ready to retire out of frustration. It wasn’t until a phone call from a remorseful McMahon that not only changed Henry’s mind but also utilized the destruction he created that night as the catalyst for the “Hall of Pain.”
"I start calling Vince, telling him I quit, nobody ribs, I’m a grown ass man, yada yada. My wife when I come home says, ‘You can’t quit. You got bills to pay.’ Vince calls and says, ‘Man, why did you get bent out of shape for? We were just playing.’ I said, ‘I love this business, I respect you and I feel like I opened myself up for you to disrespect me. Obviously you don’t respect me and you don’t fear me. So we don’t need to talk anymore.’ Vince was really remorsefully sorry. He was like, ‘Don’t quit. You are too valuable to us. You just got too much left to stop.’ I said I can’t go through that again. Vince said, ‘Okay, but can I show you something?’ He showed the footage of me in the ring angry and me coming to the back and the camera cuts off. He’s like, ‘That’s the most visibly afraid he’s been on screen in years.’ He said, ‘If you could do that in the ring, we’re going to make a lot of money,’” Henry said.
Henry ended winning the World Heavyweight Championship in 2011 after creating the Hall of Pain aspect of his character.
You can check out the full episode at this link.