Mark Henry was thought to be a member of the WWE roster for life. Henry joined the company in 1996, signing a ten-year contract.
Though Henry had not competed since 2018, he served as a talent scout and made cameo appearances on special episodes of Raw.
At AEW Double or Nothing, it was revealed Henry was joining AEW to be a commentator on AEW Rampage and work in talent development.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Henry discussed his decision to leave WWE for AEW.
"My deal was up. It's not something that was recent. I can go back five or six months and I wanted a position in the [WWE] office. I talked to Vince himself and he said, 'write it up. You're somebody I'll listen to.' I was told that there was a lot of cleaning house and cuts that were happening and there were a lot to come. I had seen hundreds in the company go. I felt valuable enough that I wasn't going anywhere. When your deal comes up and the rights come up as to where you're gonna go next, I wanted to do more. I always want to do more. If I can't get that opportunity, I have to look for that opportunity somewhere else," he said.
When asked about his conversation with Vince McMahon when he informed him of his decision, Henry answered, "It wasn't negative. Vince and I have love for each other. More than love, respect. Me calling him and saying him what need to be said, came from a place of a brother telling his older brother, 'I'm tired of being in shadows. I feel like someone beneath you is holding me back. if someone is holding me back, I have to go.' I feel like I was being held back and not getting what I want, and I want to be successful and earn more. [Vince said,] 'You know everything you need to know. If you feel like you need to go, I don't necessarily want it, but if you need to go then go. I know you'll be successful.' That's what you want. I'm not going to run from a conversation like that. Nobody will say Mark henry is unloyal. There were times I was offered more money and didn't leave. Everything wasn't perfect, but what family is perfect? I had a good experience and learned a lot. I spent more time in production and the trucks than I did around the ring and in catering. I always had an executive mindset."
Bianca Belair has spoken highly of Henry and his recruitment of her in the past. You can find her comments by clicking here.
On Tuesday, AEW put out a press release announcing Henry had signed a multi-year deal with the promotion. You can find the press release by clicking here.
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