Mark Henry On Oral Sessions With Renée Paquette: Podcast Recap

WWE Hall of Famer and recent AEW signing Mark Henry recently guest starred on Renée Paquette’s podcast Oral Sessions. They talked about why Mark Henry decided to move to AEW and what led to that decision. They also talked about his new role in AEW and the location of his iconic salmon jacket! The most notable quotes can be found below:

On why he signed with AEW:

“I talked to Vince about 6 months ago. I said ‘Man, I really really want to do more. A legends deal is not enough.’ For the usage of my name, I was using a loan out agreement for them to use the licence of my name. It [the licence] was coming up, and I didn’t want to sign unless I was going to be working as an employee. One, for all of the benefits. But also I knew wrestling and I know wrestling in a way that a lot of people don’t, because of the trainers and the coaches I have had. I’ve been wrestling for 25 years, and I’ve had the best people the whole time. I didn’t come up on the indie scene, which is no disrespect to the indie scene, because I scout and watch the indie scene more than I do mainstream wrestling. We had that conversation and he said ‘Woah, write it up. what do you want to do?’ I said I wanted to do educational program, community involvement, I want to be on the writing staff, I want to be an agent. He was like that’s 5 jobs, I told him I’ve been doing all of this already for free. I did it the last 12 years. I had to brag on myself for the first time in my career. I never had to say I lied to get Daniel Bryan here.”

On him lying to get Daniel Bryan into WWE:

“I saw Bryan at an indie show in Canada, I was like damn that dude is good. I could tell he was carrying the guy he was working with. He made his ass look good. I went back, found him on social media and reached out to him. I said ‘Hey man, I saw your match against so and so.’ He was like it wasn’t one of my best ones, well it was pretty good to me! I then said ‘I want you to come to a camp.’ He was like yeah for who? I said it was in Tampa and he was like for WWE? I said yeah I’m Mark Henry, he’s like no you’re not! I got his information and passed it onto Johnny Ace. Johnny is like [imitates voice] ‘Well how big is he?’ I said he was like 6 feet, I lied through my teeth because they wanted bigger guys. Once I transferred the information, they did all the scouting and I didn’t touch him again until he ended up in FCW and here we are, hall of fame guy. I brought in Rich Swann and Apollo Crews and there was a bunch of guys I was mentoring. I saw Braun Strowman at a strongman competition and I was like you need to try wrestling, you have the personality for it. But I don’t work in talent relations, I didn’t get paid for none of that. I did it because I wanted to.”

On the Vince McMahon conversation breaking down:

“It just wasn’t going. I wrote it up and Vince told me to talk to Brad Blum. I spoke to Brad, I had a come to Jesus with him. I’m like look man I’m not going to sign a loan out agreement using my name if I’m not working here. I got to get a job man, I got kids. They came back and Johnny took over talent relations and Carrano got released. Johnny called me, which I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting Vince or Brad to call me and say ‘Hey, we are still doing cuts.’ Or something to that effect. I pretty much had made up my mind from when Johnny called me that it was them telling me no and that was the way it was going to be. It wasn’t going to get better at that point, so I called Tony [Khan]. I had been friends with Tony a long time before AEW was even born. Tony is a big wrestling fan. We would talk wrestling for a while, and then we would talk football. We talked football more than anything. I finally got to the point where if I was going to do something in an executive role, or I was going to be an employee, I was going to have to leave WWE. I considered it home for 25 years. Home is not where you are it’s who’s there. So now I had to leave and transition to a new home.”

On his wife’s reaction:

“I had been loyal, because I had companies offering me more money in the early to mid 2000’s. I never went, and Vince knew I didn’t go. We talked, Vince knew my loyalties. There were troubles that I didn’t talk about because it wasn’t pertinent to talk about. I had got over whatever troubles there were. But I came to grips with it pretty easily, because I knew I did all of the right things. I never disrespected him or the business. No one can say anything bad about Mark, I did it right. Me leaving means I am going to have to re-establish a new legacy. I was wrong because my wife was like wrestling is wrestling, regardless of where you are. If you leave, you just take everything you know and share it with those kids. I was like if you are comfortable with it, I’m comfortable with it, and we made the move.”

On what he wants to improve about AEW:

“We got to work on the social media aspect. What is going out and what is being portrayed that is setting an example. AEW is more brash and more of an adult feel to it. You get people putting the birds out and all kinds of stuff. But at the same time, you got to balance that. You have to do the stuff in the communities and the live events. In this community where we are giving back to the city. We are trying to be an example and not a problem. Wrestling wise, I want to see less repetition. I want everyone to see the match before them, because there is a repetition thing. Somebody will do a tope, then the next match will have 2, then the next will have 3. Stop trying to out do what you have seen before. Find something else to do rather than that. Repetition is kind of a pet peeve of mine. I feel like you aren’t watching the product if you do something and someone else has just done the same thing. I love The Bucks, but there are 3 matches before them where someone does a superkick. If I was them I would get mad about it.”

On how he has been preparing for his upcoming commentary role:

“I’ve been watching wrestling and talking over the commentators, saying what I would say. I put the emphasis on what I would put it on. I ask the question, why is that and I will tell you. I won’t leave it up to interpretation. You have to process that quickly, but I’ve had a lot of fun. Me and Booker T used to do commentary in the back, and we were way better than who was out front, because we were clowning. There’s going to be an element of fun and clowning with me out there.”

Mark’s reaction to the Braun Strowman release from WWE:

“I wouldn’t have let him go. But you know what, if he wasn’t happy and he asked them for more grace, more time or more money, and they didn’t want to pay it, then you got to part ways. I don’t know what the circumstances were with their relationship. With me, I knew what that was, with him I don’t know. I was to speculate, there was an opportunity with him and Brock 3 years ago, and it never came. During the pandemic, he had a little shine, but it wasn’t like if he was to be in that role now. I don’t know if it was going in his direction, but I would love to ask him.”

Mark’s opinion on the recent WWE releases:

“I’m kind of shocked at everything that is happening. When I look at the product, I think that some people might be disappointed. Morale has got to be down. But it looks to me like WWE is breaking everything up and closing some doors that get everything to be normal for a change. Usually when people start closing doors and moving departments like that, it’s so they can sell. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, I don’t own it. You saw what happened with Peacock. They had a network and they went to Peacock, now it’s somebody else’s responsibility. They are taking the expenditures out and they making it more of a pretty package to buy.”

On the whereabouts of his salmon coloured suit:

“It’s in the WWE archive. If I want it back I can get it. But I think the memory of that was there, and I have no problem with it. The fans will be able to see it, I’m coming over here fresh. I got a lot of compliments on my blue blazer I came out with.”

Featured image: Wikipedia

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