Mark Henry On His Work In AEW: I Want To Give People ‘Ammunition’ So We Can Win When The War ‘Really Starts’
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling
Mark Henry previously stated that he plans to “tighten the screws” through his work in All Elite Wrestling, and “The World’s Strongest Man” doubled down on these comments during a recent appearance on Talk Is Jericho.
Henry explained that, when he joined AEW, he wanted to focus on the psychology of wrestling in his mission to help the company’s young stars. The WWE Hall of Famer then noted that, even when he’s not directly coaching them, his critical analysis as a member of the “Busted Open” team is meant to fill a similar purpose — his drive to give the wrestlers “enough bullets” in the wrestling war to ensure that they win.
“Being on ‘Busted Open’, like we talk wrestling six days a week, now seven days a week because we have a ‘Masterclass’ on Sunday,” said Henry. “I don’t want the wrestlers, and I’m gonna have to address everybody at some point, when you hear me be critical of you, don’t think that I’m hating on you. I want you to be better so that when the war really does start, you got enough bullets in your gun to kill. And I wanna win. And I’m gonna do everything I can to give them the ammunition to make that happen.”
Henry then pointed to Dante Martin, an electric young star in AEW, as an example; one screw Henry wanted to tighten, regarding Martin’s work, has been his facial expressions in the ring. Henry, who has been in the business for 25 years, could quickly tell that Martin was used to wrestling with a mask on, so he focused on this aspect of the wrestler formerly known as the masked wonder, Angel Dorado. Henry pointed to Martin as one example of his plan to correct everyone’s flaws as a worker. Still, despite his comment about “the war”, Henry made it clear that his purpose is to not to “stick it to the man”; instead, he wants to help everyone around him find success.
“I can tell that Dante [Martin] worked in a mask without asking him or talking to him, by just looking at his expressions,” said Henry. “I know stuff about pro wrestling that’s instinctive and intuitive, it’s not studied. So when I say, ‘Dante, man, like did you work in a mask or something? Like, you gotta use your expressions.’
“He said, ‘Yeah I just started without a mask in the last year and a half. And I said, ‘Bro, we need to talk. Let’s go sit down and talk.’ And that’s where it starts, like finding each individual, where their flaws are and helping them correct their flaws and giving people more ammunition. That’s why I’m here. It’s not to stick it to the man, if you will, because that’s not what my purpose is. My purpose is to be a success wherever the f—- I go and bring everybody along for the ride.”
The former World Heavyweight Champion went on to explain how he embraces his role as a “heater”, someone who will be the proverbibl “bad cop” when it comes to that screw-tightening process, because he knows he has earned respect throughout his remarkable career. He also stated that allowing legends like himself to have a voice and make a difference is necessary for the survival of wrestling itself.
“When you get older, you want to show people that you can think, that you know things that’s gonna help benefit a situation, and to be able to interject that,” said Henry. “And I can call Tony [Khan] on his phone right now and say, ‘Tony, I wanted to just bring this to your attention, like too many people are doing super kicks, the Young Bucks do super kicks, like, can we curtail that a little bit so it’s more impactful when they do it?’ [And he’d say,] ‘Yeah Mark, okay, just put it on the board. Tell the guys.’
“I can do it. And that’s what the business needs to survive on any front. In any company, you need somebody that’s willing to be the heater, and I’m willing to be the heater because people respect me and I realize they respect when I talk.”
The full episode ia available here: