On Thursday, the 36-year-old Anthony Henry, who is an 18-year veteran of the industry, announced that he will be retiring from wrestling at the end of 2020. Citing the “level of toxicity” as well as the “latest revelations in the world of wrestling,” as contributing reasons that helped him make up his mind about walking away from his career, Henry acknowledged that his retirement is something he had previously been considering.
I am happier without the darker side of the business. For years I was obsessed with professional wrestling. It was to the point that I didn't know who I was without it. Upon taking this break, I found out a lot about myself. I now know wrestling is not my identity… https://t.co/72uau7wBVa
— Anthony Henry (@Antnyhenry) June 25, 2020
Known mostly for his early work in the NWA and recently for the World Wrestling Network family of promotions, Anthony Henry, who has a background in kickboxing and Ju Jitsu, began his training with the NWA’s Todd Sexton and Sal Rinauro. A native of Augusta, Georgia, Henry made his pro wrestling debut in 2002 with NWA Wildside. After wrestling just a handful of matches over the next two years as he temporarily stepped away from the sport to pursue a career in MMA, Henry began his wrestling career in earnest in 2008, with NWA territories, Alternative Pro Wrestling and NWA Anarchy. Henry spent the next five years of his career primarily with those two promotions and among them, won a combined 10 of his 16 overall championships. Henry’s first championship came in 2009 as alongside Brandon Parker, he won the APW Tag Team Championship. His first singles title came a year later when in 2010, Henry won his first of three NWA North Georgia championships.
By 2013, Anthony Henry had started wrestling for South Carolina’s WrestleForce, North Carolina’s Pro Wrestling EVO and Premiere Wrestling Xperience, Illinois’ IWA:MS and more. With Anarchy folding in 2015, Henry began wrestling primarily for Georgia’s Flatline Pro Wrestling as well as PWX, where he won his first-ever heavyweight championship in 2017 and held it for 399 days, which is the second-longest reign in company history, behind just the 456-day reign of Caleb Konley. But prior to that title win, Henry found himself breaking out of the Southern territory scene, most notably in 2016, the same year he made his debut with EVOLVE Wrestling.
A 13-year pro at the time, 2016 was a huge year for Anthony Henry. In addition to winning the X 16 Tournament in PWX and making his first appearance in EVOLVE, Henry also worked matches for the first time at promotions including Legacy Wrestling, Combat Zone Wrestling for Best of the Best 15, Carolina Wrestling Federation, Freelance Wrestling and the Wrestling Revolver.
The following year was truly his breakout as Anthony Henry expanded his resume, working a career-high 96 matches. The majority of these were for EVOLVE and WWN, which became Henry’s home promotion. Henry took part in several of that year’s Style Battle tournaments, winning Style Battle #5 in June 2017 by defeating Fred Yehi. Shortly after that Henry and his new tag team partner and real-life good friend, James Drake, as the WorkHorsemen, defeated Catch Point to win the EVOLVE tag team titles. This marked the WorkHorsemen’s first career title, but not their last as the duo would go on to win the tag team championships in three additional promotions: Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment in 2018, Rockstar Pro in 2019, and Freelance Wrestling from 2018-19. The seventh-ever tag champs from Freelance, the WorkHorsemen still hold the record of the longest reign, at 427 days.
All hallmarks of an impressive career, Henry’s biggest accomplishment came in September 2018, when he defeated Austin Theory to win the Full Impact Pro World Heavyweight Championship and held it for 509 days, which is second only to Yehi’s reign of 562 days. As the champ, Henry successfully defended the title against AR Fox, Eddie Kingston, Absolute Andy, Leon Ruff, and Cyrus Satin, before finally dropping the title in February 2020 to Jon Davis at FIP Everything Burns 2020.
In his career, Anthony Henry has wrestled across the country and across the pond as well, having debuted in the UK and Germany in 2019, wrestling for wXw, Southside Wrestling Entertainment, and more. In addition to the promotions listed above, Henry has also wrestled for Game Changer Wrestling where he took part in Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport 2, Black Label Pro, ACTION Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Bushido (where he won the King of Bushido 7 in 2018), Limitless Wrestling, and International Wrestling Cartel just to name a few.
Taking some time away and working a reduced schedule in wrestling recently following his departure from Evolve toward the end of 2019 when the two sides couldn’t agree on a new deal, Anthony Henry has slowly been stepping away from the career he spent 18 years building. On June 19th, in the midst of the #SpeakingOut Movement taking Twitter by storm, Henry tweeted, “Reality is, not agreeing or relating to the lifestyles of my peers in wrestling is a major part in my reduced schedule this last year. I didn’t want to be around the people in many locker rooms. You have to remove toxicity from your life. I did. Now we can rid it from wrestling.”
Having tweeted earlier that day to discuss the toxicity in wrestling and how he tended to stick to himself in locker rooms because “mostly I did not agree with their lifestyles and attitudes on an ethical/moral level,” Henry, who had been contemplating hanging up the boots for some time, announced on Thursday that he was officially retiring.
I am equally thankful for the friendships I have made through wrestling and the fans i have acquired. It has been a wild ride. I have a few things i still want to do & peeps I want to tussle with (@fakekinkade ). Hopefully we can make this stuff happen this year. I love you all! https://t.co/tbyTdMbAO5
— Anthony Henry (@Antnyhenry) June 25, 2020
Suggesting there are still several things he wants to accomplish and several people he wants to wrestle, time will tell if Henry’s final year is everything he wants it to be. An underrated indie wrestler for much of his career, Anthony Henry is now ready to write the final chapter and we wish him well in whatever he chooses to do next with his life, and celebrate everything he has done over the last 18 years in pro wrestling.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.