Last night (Sept. 18, 2011) at WWE Night of Champions, Mark Henry cleanly went over on Randy Orton, winning his first world heavyweight championship.
Henry started his WWE career all the way back in 1996 and has spent the majority of his time with the company saddled with embarrassing gimmicks and being treated like absolute garbage by the same executives who signed him to give him a mega-push after a run in the Olympics in Atlanta.
When his initial push failed, it was as though Vince McMahon took it personally and made it his goal to torment Henry for as long as he would put up with it, which has been for well over a decade. He's had to deal with a great deal of racism and discrimination in the workplace for the past 15 years, which you can read a lot more about by clicking here.
And that's what made his world heavyweight championship victory over the golden child of WWE, Randy Orton, so damn special last night. Because he, quite literally, went through hell to finally get to the point that they would give him the ball. Will they make him job out in two weeks at Hell in a Cell before he ever really has a chance to run with it? Maybe. Hell, I would say probably. But for right now, this is his moment and only his.
The promo he cut immediately after winning the title was one of the best I've ever seen. Here's the text:
"Give me the microphone. You didn't believe, did you? You didn't believe that I would be holding the most coveted prize in professional wrestling, did you? Oh and don't start cheering. Don't start cheering because none of you believed it either. You're all doubters. You're all haters. I'd like to welcome all of you to the Hall of Pain! This is my moment and I'm not sharing it with none of you. You don't deserve this. I'm going to be the most dominant champion of all time. I'm taking on all comers. I ain't running from nobody and I'm never, ever losing this title."
Now onto the video, which is admittedly low quality and might not last for very long, so watch it while you can. His passion and delivery is as good as I've ever seen and this should be in the running for promo of the year. See for yourself: