Sunday, July 3, 2011

Can Mark Henry "Be a Star" with the Anti-Bullying Campaign?

Whatever your opinion of Mark Henry may be, no one can deny that he has been a definitive "foot soldier" for the WWE.  After being signed almost immediately after the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, the "Worlds Strongest Man" (named after his power lifting days), has had a roller coaster career.

Henry originally had the image of an "All-American" athlete upon his debut.  He then became muscle for the militant Nation of Domination group.  Not long thereafter, he had his most gimmicky moment ever in wrestling as he was christened, "Sexual Chocolate".  The fun didn't stop there for Henry, as he also engaged in an on-screen romance with "Golden Era" female wrestler (and senior citizen) Mae Young.  This on-screen pairing resulted in Mae Young being pregnant and giving birth to a hand.

Yes, you did read that correctly.  If you were not watching the WWE during this era, you may want to view this moment via Youtube.  (If you choose not to, we do not blame you)

Henry also proceeded to be sent down WWE's developmental territory to lose weight, as the company felt like he was too big to compete.  However, later on they would ask him to put weight back on to perform his "feats of strength".

If you think this was it when it comes to gimmicks and story lines, you are in-correct.

Henry was also a part of a racist story line with "Thuggin' and Buggin' Enterprises, then asked to train to be a part of the Arnold Strongman Classic (which he won), and then put on the back burner by the company again.

Henry eventually did have a memorable run, being a heel World Champion on the revived ECW brand, as well as having his most memorable feud to date, facing the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXII.

It was back to the drawing board after he was moved off the ECW brand however, as he became a smiling face, teaming with MVP for a short run in the tag team division.

Currently, Mark Henry is back to his heel "ways" as he may be the biggest monster heel the WWE has at the moment.  Showing tremendous feats of strength, he has slammed both the Big Show and Kane through announce tables and has taken on a roll of a monster heel bully.

Quote the last word in that sentence, "bully".

Mark Henry has been on a rampage, even violently attacking and berating a crew member on the July 1st edition of WWE Smackdown.  In a very memorable (and well done scene), Henry "bullied" a crew member allegedly working a sound board that sounded the Big Show's
music, costing him a match against World Heavyweight Champion, Randy Orton.  This scene showed Henry grabbing him by the throat and tossing him over a table and off the set.

Now, while WWE has had many moments in it's history that would seem degrading to some (IE, Trish Stratus being forced to bark like a dog, the Big Boss Man torturing Big Show and family over his fathers passing, and various other wrestlers running stables telling their kin what to do and when to do it), the WWE seemingly has no problem running an anti-bullying campaign while they promote various "bully" characters on their programming.

The WWE has yet to have one of their "heel" characters really participate in this campaign, and even if they did, would this seem slightly hypocritical to the average viewer?

Here's hoping that Henry becomes that "Star" he's always worked hard to be, without someone calling hypocrisy on this angle.  Even then, that may even be better than giving birth to a hand.


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