WWE star Mark Henry says his match with John Cena is the best of his career, what took him so long to enter the main event picture, continuing to wrestle at age 42, fires back at a WWE legend who took shots at him
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On if his match versus John Cena Sunday at Money in the Bank is the biggest of his career: "Yeah. This is it. This is what you work for. This is the Super bowl. This is the NBA championship. This is the Olympics. This is being at the point in your life where you go right or left, and you have to go right. And if you go left, then you could either end up not in the business. You end up being marginalized, whatever. I mean, I don’t have a choice."
On if winning the WWE championship will validate his career in his mind: "Man, I almost cussed. (Laughs) Yeah. It will. I mean I really did, I almost cussed. I have to win. This will be the one that people say, Ok. He may not have had a career that had as many championships as The Rock or The Undertaker or Shawn Michaels. But as far as big guys, super heavyweights. My name will be in the conversation for the next 100 years. And that’s what I’m looking at."
On putting all his eggs in one basket on Sunday: "Well, I am because it’s important to me. And I didn’t get to where I am today by resting on my lores or resting on what happened yesterday. I’m very hypercompetitive. I carry a chip on my shoulder. The law protects people from people like me. And John Cena is going to be a recipient of a whooping that where he can’t be protected by the law. There ain’t nobody that can protect him from me. I mean I won’t go to jail for what I’ll do to him on Sunday. So I have to do this. I’m doing it for me. I’m done. Like man, I want to do it for my family. I want to do it for the business. Like all of that stuff. And it’s real. People think that it’s some kind of wrestling angle or this and that. I told Vince himself. I was like look, I’m in it to win it, if not I’m done. And that’s what’s gonna happen on Sunday. John is gonna get his ass kicked. There ain’t no way or buts about it. Otherwise, I’m just talking shit."
On if there was any truth to his fake retirement speech on Raw: "Man, I’m 42 years old man. You got people like Steve Austin, who’s in my top five of all time wrestlers, who had to quit because of how much physical torment he took. And you look at The Undertaker and The Undertaker’s not old. The Undertakers 44. And he’s beat the hell up. Man, I’m a 410 pound guy that throws his body all over the place. I am beat the hell up. But I got one more night in me. That’s the way I look at it. Every night, I got one more. Until it happens, until they put me on crutches or wheel me off or cart me off. I got one more night. And every time I go out there, I have that in my mind. Like what am I going to do to top what I did last time. And this might—I wish I would have had this mentality when I was a younger guy. When I wasn’t so beat up but I didn’t. I can’t dwell on that. That’s why I look at putting—like you said I put all my eggs in one basket. I ain’t never ran from the press. I ain’t never disrespected the fans. And the ones that got the evil Mark Henry, they deserved it."
On what was the thought process behind the retirement speech promo: "Well five years ago when I signed my contract, my last contract. I took a 50 percent pay cut. And a lot of people don’t know that because I never said nothing about it. And I wanted this these last five years—the reason that I’ve had this steadily incline is because I wanted to validate myself financially as well as career wise. And I’ve been able to make a good living over the last five years. But I ain’t made nothing compared to John Cena. The Randy Ortons, the Brock Lesnars and The Rocks of this world. I ain’t making that kind of money. And Money in the Bank it’s just funny that it all happens to be about the money. But a lot of it is about the money. And it’s about the respect that comes with the money. Donald Trump. Great business man. Unbelievable business man. Is he known for being a business man? No. He’s known for the money. And I’m trying to get mine, man. I’m trying to get mine. And John Cena is the stepping stool, the foot hole or whatever you want to call him, to me getting my paper.
On why it took so long for him to be in the main event picture: "I think a lot of it was focus, a lot of it was desperation. A lot of it was umm—that epiphany. That day you wake up and go damn! Is this what it is? Like sometimes the trigger don’t happen until something stimulates. And when I sat there in that chair in WWE headquarters, and they say hey we wanna resign you but we can’t sign you for this money. This is what we offer. And it was nothing."
On if the Money in the Bank briefcase getting cashed in on Sunday is in the back of his mind: "Man I ain’t thinking about them cats. I ain’t thinking about what happens second. I’m about being first. And they can try to cash it in if they want to. I ain’t ready for it. You know somebody can catch a hot one. I'm going to hold it until I want to give it up. That’s basically—or unless they call the police and they say hey, you either gonna do what we want you to do or we gonna get rid of you. I’m going out in dramatic fashion."
On if winning his first WWE title from the man who has held the WWE title the most is apropos: "Man it’s—you know when you sit around and think about it, you’re gonna psyche yourself out. You’re gonna say aww man what ifs and this could happen or that could happen. I don’t care about his prestige. I told you before I’m very selfish. I’ve become very selfish in my old age. It don’t have nothing to do with John Cena. It don’t matter if it was John Cena. It don’t matter if it was The Undertaker. It don’t matter if it was Hulk Hogan and Andre in their prime. I want it for me. And these cats were standing in the way of me being them. You hear what I’m saying? We talk about them with reverence. Nobody talks about me with reverence. It might be one or two Mark Henry fans and I think y’all are two of them."
On being the fan favorite Sunday in Philadelphia highly possible: "It’s not gonna bother me that people are gonna cheer for me. I’m going out there to do me. My attention and my focus is going to be on John Cena. You watch. You look in my eyes and you’ll see what is going to happen. You sit there, you watch. You watch what I do."
Response to Ken Patera: "You know I’m a vengeful, vindictive SOB. And I came on this show a few months ago with the intent on saying how—and this is totally off the subject. But I came on this show with the intent on giving props to a great strong man. And you know what I’m talking about. And for those who don’t know, Ken Patera was on the show. And I called in because I was a fan, he was one of the people when I was a kid that you know I would look at in wrestling and thought wow man, I wanna be like that. Nothing changes from that stand point but when I came on the show, Ken Patera started to just run me down. And talk about how much greater he was then I was and so forth and so on and so on.
"A lot of that I think was bravado and trying to give himself a little shine because you know when people stop talking about you, that’s the beginning of the end. And nobody was talking about Ken Patera. He made a comment that I was not close to him in his numbers. And if you go back and look and do the background check, I have almost surpassed him in everything. And I thought it was wrong on his part to take a chance and not look at the numbers and say how I’ve been good in everything I’ve done. I’ve been to two Olympic Games, he went to one. My numbers were better than his. My professional wrestling career was better than his. I will stick high in your face if you try to shine on me. And this is a guy that’s in his '70s, that I’m sticking pie in his face for disrespecting me. So what do you think is going to happen to John Cena? He is gonna get pie in his face."
***Ken Patera Excerpts on Mark Henry from Interview from March 29 2013 - On if Mark Henry being called the 'World’s Strongest Man' is a compliment, how he feels about it: "Well it’s just. I was the real athlete. I was world class shot-putter and discus thrower. Hammer thrower, everything I did I excelled at. And Mark was a big, strong guy you know but he was never in my class. I mean he never even came close to any of my records. And that was 20 years after. Like I tell everybody, records are meant to be broken. That’s why when I came up, I broke all the records of the great Paul Anderson. He was the world’s strongest man 20 years before I came along. And then Mark Henry came along 20 years later but he never—you know Mark’s a big, strong guy but he wasn’t in my class. I don’t know what his records—I military pressed more than he could clean and jerk."
On Mark Henry calling in to say that he was one of his idols: "Yeah well Mark is the world’s strongest wrestler now. You know since I retired. I mean there is no question about that. Is that what you’re looking at? I’ve met Mark a few times, he’s a nice guy. He called in today? Well say hi to him for me. Well, his mentor when he was training for the Olympic Games was a guy by the name of Terry Todd. And Terry Todd back in the day wrote an article on Andre the Giant for Sports Illustrated. It was like a four-five-six page article. Did you guys ever see that? Well Terry came up to the WWF and with Vince McMahon’s permission traveled around the circuit with Andre. And wrote a hell of an article about him. But yeah and Terry Todd’s the one who told me about Mark Henry before I even knew. I never knew who Mark Henry was. He says oh yeah this guy is gonna come up and break all your records, Ken. And I said well records are meant to be broken. You know, god bless him but he didn’t achieve any of those goals."
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