After more than twenty years in the WWE, Mark Henry has now officially retired from in-ring competition according to Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Mark Henry himself actually announced his retirement back in September of 2017 on an episode of The Sam Roberts Show).
Before his wrestling career, he was a successful powerlifter, Olympic weightlifter, and Strongman. His nickname “The World’s Strongest Man”, followed him throughout his entire career, from when debuted with the WWE at twenty-four years of age. He appeared on an episode of Monday Night Raw where he was interviewed by Jerry Lawler. Not happy with the way the interview went, he power-slammed Lawler. Henry would then go on to participate in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia and at the conclusion signed his first WWE contract.
Henry feuded with Lawler before he eventually would join the Nation of Domination, led by Farooq. Once the Nation disbanded he would go on to become Sexual Chocolate. He would then be given his first taste of WWE gold as Jeff Jarrett gave him the European Championship in exchange for helping him defeat his former Nation teammate D-Lo Brown in a match that crowned him the Intercontinental champion as well.
After a short stint in Ohio Valley Wrestling, Mark Henry returned but would spend the next few years alternating between face and heel storylines and dealing with nagging injuries. With the addition of Extreme Championship Wrestling to the WWE portfolio, he found himself on the ECW roster. At Night Of Champions in June of 2008, he fought in and won a triple threat match for the ECW Heavyweight Championship, beating both the Big Show and Kane. His title reign would only last a few months as he lost it at Unforgiven the following September.
He would not capture another title until Night Of Champions 2011 defeating Randy Orton and winning his first and only World Heavyweight Championship. He would lose the Championship to the Big Show four months later at the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs pay-per-view.
Henry would spend the next few years again dealing with injuries and trying to get back into the title picture. He would become the WWE Ambassador to the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. His last in-ring appearance would come at Wrestlemania 33 in 2017 where he participated in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Although he only had a handful of title reigns, there is no question that Mark Henry had an incredibly successful career in professional wrestling. Not many performers can say they spent more than twenty years performing with a WWE contract. Henry has already started to book wrestling shows and appearances where he will be taking photos and signing autographs for fans.