Pro wrestlers, no different than actors, have to perform as though the fantasy world they inhabit is their reality. With pro wrestling, the performers have more leeway to mix in elements of realism that movie stars cannot and, in fact, every feud features some level of this.
But Mark Henry is taking it to an entirely new level in his promotion for his WWE championship match against John Cena at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV) on Sun., July 14, 2013, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Henry has been teasing retirement for some time, what with his 42-year-old body having sustained a ton of damage throughout his near 20-year career. He's been injured too many times to remember and after he was asked to take a pay cut some years back by WWE, he decided it was now or never to make something special of his career.
And that's what he did, winning the world heavyweight championship and embarking on a run as a monster heel that was as good as any seen before it. Unfortunately, injuries once again got in the way and cut it short. Even with it, Henry is looked at as a guy who has been good but not great throughout his time in the industry. Yes, he's "The World's Strongest Man" but he's never held the WWE championship.
Hell, he's hardly ever even had a shot at it until now.
Henry is using all of this as fuel to make this upcoming match as real as he possibly can. On top of saying he's legitimately going to beat the shit out of Cena -- no, he's not actually going to, but he's believable when he says it -- he's claiming this is his last shot at glory and if he comes up short, he's likely done.
And that may actually be the case.
Here he is talking to the Busted Open Radio show, which you can hear on Sirius 92, XM 208 and on the app on Sports Zone.
"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.
"Well I am because it's important to me. And I didn't get to where I am today by resting on my laurels 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."
Does anyone think he's got a realistic shot of walking out of "The City of Brotherly Love" with the title?