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Mark Henry Reveals Why He Turned Down Vince McMahon’s Idea Of Him Defeating John Cena To Become WWE Champion

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Mark Henry has disclosed that he declined an opportunity to win the WWE Championship from John Cena after Vince McMahon pitched the idea. This revelation has sparked considerable discussion in the wrestling community, especially following AJ Styles’ homage to Henry’s iconic 2013 segment on the May 31, 2024 episode of SmackDown.

In 2013, Henry delivered a memorable segment where he faked his in-ring retirement, only to attack Cena and reveal the retirement was a ruse. AJ Styles recreated this moment 11 years later, by attacking Undisputed WWE Champion Cody Rhodes, bringing Henry’s original segment back into the spotlight.

On Busted Open, Henry revealed that Vince McMahon had proposed for him to take the WWE Title from Cena following his famous ‘retirement’ promo on RAW.

Despite the significant opportunity, Henry declined due to the intense physical pain he was enduring and his inability to handle the demands of being the company’s top champion.

Henry was well aware of the grueling schedule and physical toll that came with being WWE Champion and knew he couldn’t manage the pressure at that point in his career.

Here’s what the WWE Hall of Famer said:

“When my contract came up I actually told Vince ‘Man I’m not re-signing’. And then he did, ‘Come on into my office Mark, let me talk to you’. He talked me into coming back and doing it. Guys don’t be mad at WWE because I lost to John Cena.

The same way I didn’t want to beat Taker at WrestleMania, is the same way I did not want to carry the strap and the pressure of that and my body couldn’t take it.

When you’re the main event guy, every night you gonna do promo, in-ring, have a main event style match and then you gotta go to the next time and you gotta be on every show, every brand. So I physically could not do it, it was not their fault. I was like ‘No, I’m not doing it’.”

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