WWE star Mark Henry recalls being "fed up with mediocrity" and discusses locker room leadership
WWE star Mark Henry spoke with Alfonso Castillo of Newsday.com. The following are the highlights of the interview, which can be read in full at Newsday.com.
On his his World Heavyweight Championship run: "I was fed up with mediocrity. I wanted to show strength that most people are afraid to bring out. It was hard for me to come down from that. I would leave the arena completely exhausted -- physically, mentally and emotionally. I'd make myself angry to the point that it was sickening. And I realized when I started doing that, that a lot of it was real frustration. I was tired of being trivialized. I was tired of being made the butt of the joke. I was going to retire. I was tired of it. And when I voiced that opinion, with that kind of anger, it was like, 'Damn, if you're going to be angry like that, then put it in the ring. Don't just say it. Do it.' And that's what happened. I started living it. And it was the best time of my career."
On being a locker room leader: "Most definitely. You have to set an example for the future of the industry. I'm early to the arena. I'm late to leave. It's business. I try my best to present myself with a level of respect in the locker room. I've never been a drinker or a smoker. I don't cuss people out. I don't show myself in a light where people will not respect me. I command respect. I make guys say, 'Sir.' I say, 'Sir,' even though they're young guys. I want them to have a level of discipline that is expected more like by a father or your boss than as a contemporary or somebody that you work with. We're businessmen. And you have to be able to come to work and put on a hard hat and work. If not, you're bad for the people that come after you. So I set that example. I relish that role. I take it on full speed ahead, because I don't want this business to suffer when I'm gone. And I will be gone soon. So these guys need to be able to uphold the standard that I was forced to do, and that I expect."
On some of his locker room role models: "Ron Simmons is No. 1. He jumps right out as one of those people. Steven [William] Regal. I remember hearing Steven Regal cuss out a group of guys, whose names I'm not going to mention because they were A-list, top five-percent guys. It was like, 'Pick your trash up! Your mama don't live here! Grow up. It's not a pig sty.' He just went off. And I was laughing my ass off, because he was talking to them like children. And later on, I saw one of those guys go up to him and say, 'Hey, Mr. Regal. I apologize. I'll make sure that don't happen again.' And I was like, 'That's what it's all about.' It's not about being a tyrant. It's about making people change and making people respect the ground that they walk on, because this is important ground. It's hallowed ground. And everybody who comes after us has to be able to set that standard. If not, then we are corrupting the business, and it's going to be defunct in a decade."
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