Wednesday 19 October 2011

Monster Push

WWE has spent six months preparing Mark Henry for a run at the top of the card. He was credited with seriously injuring Kane and Big Show, he pummelled Sheamus at SummerSlam, and he pinned Randy Orton clean to win the WWE World Heavyweight championship. That’s an impressive run by anyone’s standards.

At 40-years-old and with fifteen years of experience Henry was finally given the chance to show he could wrestle at a main event level. He can’t. His various pushes over the years, and there have been many, have made that very clear. He is a slow, uncoordinated, injury-prone lump. I’ll admit that he’s more over now than at any other point in his wrestling career, but that’s not saying a great deal.

Even if everything worked out perfectly and Henry was embraced overnight as an acceptable addition to the main event crew the fact still remains that he’s closer to the end of his career than the beginning. Mark Henry has weighed in excess of 400 pounds for around two decades. That will have resulted in incredible stress being places on his knees and back.

Even Henry’s current low standards will decrease within a few years as his joints fall apart. Essentially WWE have promoted a man with a fairly short shelf life who the majority of fans find boring to watch and can’t relate to. It’s not the best call ever made is it?

A better candidate for Henry’s recent push would have been Brodus Clay.

Look back at any episode of NXT season four and you’ll see a man with a clearly defined character who possesses verbal skills superior to the majority of the current WWE roster, a unique look and an understanding of how to carry himself as a monster heel. Brodus Clay did everything he could during that series to set himself apart from his peers and managed to do so so successfully that he took the runner up spot. That show left a lot of people, myself included, wanting to see more of Snoop Dogg’s former bodyguard.

The one thing ‘The World’s Strongest Man’ has brought to his recent push is an air of believability: you can accept he really is that aggressive and dangerous a man. Clay would have been just as convincing and would have provided superior verbal skills and a feeling of freshness to the role. Henry has faced pretty much everyone on the roster during his fifteen years with the promotion would have provided entirely fresh matches. 

It’s too late for anything to be done about the situation now. Henry is entrenched at the top of the card and is unlikely to leave for some time to come. WWE should consider giving Brodus something more meaningful to do than beating jobbers every week on Superstars. He deserves television exposure because he is one of the most promising wrestlers to have appeared for the company in several years. At the very least he could be paired with another young talent to bulk out the promotion’s tag ranks.

At 31-years-old there’s not a rush to elevate Brodus. WWE can afford to take its time. But he needs to be put on TV now so that fans can watch him develop and cultivate a bond with him. He has far more long term potential than Mark Henry. Personally I can see him being a surprise hit as a babyface if he’s allowed to establish himself as a heel first.

Sooner or later Mark Henry will be gone and WWE will once again begin the search for a new monster heel. Brodus Clay will be waiting.


  1. I like Mark Henry as a heel. They should have been doing this a log time ago. I believe WWE need a big monster. Lately their big men have wanted to be too nice (see Big Show).

  2. I agree with UnkleWheez, and I think you've been overly critical of Henry just because you don't like him.

    He's not the best technical wrestler in the company, and he doesn't have to be.

    He's a monster, and he squashes people with amazing believability as you say.

    Henry used to be VERY botchy, very hit and miss and very injury prone, but since he switched to Smackdown he's made a marked improvement and actually put on some VERY entertaining matches.

    Brodus Clay is a great prospect, but they can't push him through quickly, he's not ready for it and he'd end up being resented like Sheamus was when he walked into a World Title run so early in his career.

    Henry deserves his push for the service he's given the WWE, he's stepped up to the plate with both his wrestling and mic skills proving a lot of people wrong and if you were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt you'd see that too.

  3. I'm enjoying Henry's push but I do see your point. I think WWE knows Henry has a limited shelf life & they want to get the most out of their investment.