It wasn't long ago that Mark Henry returned to WWE on Monday Night Raw back on Feb. 4 after an extended absence to heal up from various injuries. He spent most of 2012 on the shelf, getting shoulder surgery in May and telling anyone who asked that it was entirely possible he would decide to retire if he couldn't come back at full strength.
He got into great shape while he was away, but it looked bleak for some time there.
Then, he returned and looked like the Henry of old. No, he wasn't as hot as he was during his run as world heavyweight champion on SmackDown but at least he appeared to be healthy and had solid matches at Elimination Chamber, WrestleMania 29, and Extreme Rules.
Then, he up and left.
The storyline reason given was that he was devastated after his loss to Sheamus at Extreme Rules and he "took his ball and went home." The reality is that he decided to leave on his own accord because apparently he's not as healthy as he seemed to be upon his return and he wants time off to deal with those issues.
According to Dave Meltzer in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required but strongly recommended), this has put "huge heat" on him from people within WWE:
There is huge heat on Henry right now from the creative side. They had a storyline planned for him, and after the Sheamus match, or at some point last week, he said he was banged up and needed to take time off due to injuries. As a general rule, while they say they want people to rest when they are hurt, they usually push them unless it's something major like a concussions or neck or knee issues, the pressure is on them not to miss dates. We've seen examples of guys needing knee surgery who are asked to stay a few weeks for what's already laid out and to build for an angle to give a storyline injury reason. Henry saying he was going home after losing to Sheamus was something added at the last minute once Henry told them he was injured and taking time off, and was not part of a long scripted plan to lead to a face turn as it seemed the way it was planned and going. The feeling was they had done all this to get him hot and then he left. According to those in the company, the heat was he was taking a significant bit of time off without undergoing surgery, although at press time, the official company word is that it has not been determined yet whether Henry will be needing surgery. That was the reason for JBL's"took his ball and went home" references on Raw.
As noted, it looked like Henry was about to turn babyface but those plans are now out the window. And, really, it's fair to wonder now if this will mark the end of what was once a very promising but ultimately disappointing career for "The World's Strongest Man."