Friday, August 26, 2011

Mark Henry

Goldberg vs Mark Henry

Mark Jerrold Henry (born June 12, 1971)is an American professional wrestler currently signed with WWE, where he performs on its SmackDown brand. Aside from wrestling, he is a 1992 Olympian, and winner of the 2002 Arnold Strongman Classic. Since joining the WWF/E in 1996, he has become a one-time WWF European Champion and a one-time world champion, having held the ECW Championship in 2008
Before becoming a professional wrestler, Henry was a weightlifter, and competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, where he placed tenth in the super heavyweight division. Three years later, at the 1995 Pan American Games, Henry won a silver medal in the super heavyweight division. The following year, he became a North America, Central America, Caribbean Islands (NACACI) champion. Also in 1996, Henry signed a ten-year contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWE).
Henry was trained by former Canadian professional wrestlers Stu and Bret Hart and Leo Burke. He made his television wrestling debut match in September 1996. Two years later, Henry joined the stable Nation of Domination. After the disbandment of the group, he acquired the moniker "Sexual Chocolate", which led him to participate in controversial angles. In 2000, Henry was sent to the company's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) in Louisville, Kentucky to improve his wrestling skills. That same year, he left wrestling and began focusing on weightlifting. Henry won a strongman competition, during the Arnold Classic in 2002.
In 2003, Henry returned to WWE, where he took part of the group "Thuggin' And Buggin' Enterprises", a group compiled of African Americans who worked a race angle in which they felt they were victims of racism and were being held down by the "white man". The following year, Henry tore his quadriceps muscle, and was unable to compete for over a year. Upon his return, he was briefly involved in feuds with Kurt Angle and The Undertaker, before suffering a knee injury. After it healed, he continued to feud with The Undertaker, before being moved to the ECW brand in June 2008, where he gained Tony Atlas as a manager. In June 2008, he won the ECW Championship and he held it for three months. He was traded to the Raw brand in June 2009, and drafted back to SmackDown two years later in April 2011 during the WWE Draft.
During his time in high school, Henry was a three-time state champion with state records in the squat at 832 lb (377 kg), bench press at 525 lb (238 kg) and deadlift at 815 lb (370 kg). At the Texas high school powerlifting championships in April 1990, Terry Todd, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas at Austin and former weightlifter, spotted Henry and persuaded him to go to Austin after he graduated to train in the Olympic style of weightlifting.Henry broke four national junior records in weightlifting after eight months of training in Olympic style weightlifting. In April 1991, he placed fourth at the United States Nationals, and finished sixth at the World Junior Weightlifting Championships in Germany two months later. In Henry's first year of competing, he broke the three junior (20 and under) American records 12 times, and became the United States' top superheavyweight, surpassing Mario Martinez.Henry was billed as the "World's Strongest Man" after he qualified for the weightlifting competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics, where he finished tenth in the super heavyweight class.Ten months before the 1992 Olympics, Henry had begun training with Dragomir Cioroslan, a bronze medalist at the 1984 Summer Olympics, who said that he had "never seen anyone with Mark's raw talent".At the 1995 Pan American Games Henry won a gold, silver and bronze medal, and a year later, he became a North America, Central America, Caribbean Islands (NACACI) champion.He also participated in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, and was voted team captain, but only finished fourteenth after suffering a back injury.
Henry joined the faction with Farooq, The Rock, Kama Mustafa and D'Lo Brown on January 12, 1998, becoming a villain in the process.After The Rock usurped Farooq's position as leader, Henry switched loyalties to The Rock. He also competed at WrestleMania XIV in a tag team battle royal, with Brown as his partner, but they did not win. After the Nation disbanded, he engaged in a short feud with The Rock, defeating him at Judgment Day: In Your House with help from Brown, and then forming a permanent team with Brown, gaining Ivory as a manager. During the next year, Henry gave himself the nickname "Sexual Chocolate", and was involved in controversial angles with Chyna and a transvestite. During a match at the August 1999 pay-per-view, SummerSlam, between Brown and Jeff Jarrett for the WWF Intercontinental and WWF European Championships (both held at the time by Brown), Henry turned on Brown and helped Jarrett win the match and the titles. The next night, Henry was awarded the European title by Jarrett in return for his help Henry dropped the title one month later to Brown at the Unforgiven pay-per-view.
After this, Henry turned into a fan favorite, and was seen on television romancing WWF women from Chyna to Mae Young as part of the "Sexual Chocolate" character.He feuded with Viscera during this time as part of a storyline where Viscera splashed Mae Young while she was carrying Henry's child. Young would go on to give birth to a hand. Along with this, Henry was made part of various other embarrassing and infamous storylines, including the admission that he was a sex addict.

In 2000, Henry was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) to improve his conditioning and skills. In OVW, Henry teamed with Nick Dinsmore to compete in a tournament for the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship in mid-2001 Later that year, he went on hiatus from wrestling to concentrate on weightlifting, and on February 23, 2002, he won a strongman competition, during the Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio.
Henry returned to the WWF the next month and was sent to the SmackDown! brand, where he developed an in-ring persona of performing "tests of strength" while other wrestlers took bets on the tests, but the gimmick met with little success.During this time he competed against such superstars as Chris Jericho and Christian. After being used sporadically on WWE (formerly WWF) television during 2002, as he was training for a weightlifting contest, and suffering a knee injury, Henry was sent back to OVW for more training.

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