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411’s Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions Report: Mark Henry Being Ribbed By Vince McMahon His World Title Win, More

June 29, 2020 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Broken Skull Sessions Mark Henry Steve Austin

411’s Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions Report

-Air Date: 06.28.20
-Run Time: 1:20:43

-Back at it with another episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions. This time Mark Henry is the guest of honor and this one should be fun. Let’s get to it!

-Small talk to start as Mark plugs his Busted Open Radio Show and how he is working on his autobiography. Austin asks Henry about how he feels and mentions that he lasted longer than he did. Mark feels he was blessed to stay in the business 22 years. He loves wrestling and wants to see the business better than when he and Austin were in the company. He talks about today being a transitional phase. He puts over Drew McIntrye and how he has matured. He talks about the rest of the roster and how some guys are getting a chance to do Main Events with people in his era gone and it will take time and seasoning to get them there.

-Austin asks Henry how he watches the show and Mark says he watches as a fan. He loves the Mandy/Otis storyline and found himself hating Dolph Ziggler. He will watch the show twice as the first time he does it as a fan and then looks into what they did right or wrong. He notes he hates the Dirt Sheets because it ruins the magic and some things need to be kept between those in the business.

-Austin moves on to life growing up and mentions Mark lost his father at the age of twelve. Mark says it was hard as you look for someone to bring you up as a man and that’s why he does mentor programs. His mother remarried and he didn’t get along with his step-dad. He calls his brother Superman as he was an All American Football player in High School and the salutatorian. There was a 2 year gap as Mark was younger and he felt his brother was the chosen one.

-We see a photo of Mark with his kids standing in front of the house he grew up in. He got his first weight set when he was 12 years old. He tells a story of his dad putting cinder blocks in the garbage to keep animals from knocking them over. Mark didn’t want to put the cans on a cart as he was lazy and just opted to pick them up and carry them on his back. He breaks down a bit as he talks about people being tough as he had to learn the world wasn’t going to hand him anything. He wishes someone would have told him to just stay within the confines of the law. He appreciates the tough love now, but back then it was different. He claims his strength is an extension of how he sees the world. Mark says that he didn’t run with the wrong crowd…he was the wrong crowd. Once he got strong and realized he didn’t care if he got hit, he did what he wanted. He and his brother didn’t speak for two years and Mark says it was Superman and Lex Luthor living in the same house. His brother felt he was lazy in school, but they learned later he had dyslexia. His mind would tell him what to write but he couldn’t put in on paper. The same with math as he learned to do everything is his head and his teachers thought he was cheating off someone.

-We move on to weight lifting as Mark met Terry Todd. He told Mark to stop football and just specialize on power lifting as he could be a World Champion. First he moved to Austin to train with Todd four days a week and then moved to Colorado to train with Olympic teams. Mark talks about steroids and how he wanted to do the best he could without competing against guys who were cheating. He left the Olympics after 96 because they promised things they didn’t deliver. So Vince McMahon called Todd to get in touch with him.

-He tells the story of Vince calling him for the first time and he hung up on him thinking it was a joke. Austin laughs as that is a common story because nobody ever really believes Vince is calling them. The call comes through a second time and Mark says he was standing there shaking. He isn’t afraid of anything yet he couldn’t stop shaking because he was caught up in being a fan. Mark apologized for hanging up on him and Vince invited him to Connecticut to see what the WWE can do for him. He flew to Connecticut and met The Undertaker and Yokozuna. He was told the young guys take care of the old guys so he became Yoko’s driver and bag carrier. He calls that the best part of his career and that Yoko treated him like royalty. He calls Yoko a lot of fun and an honest guy. Yoko took Mark to his first strip club. Fantastic! Austin brings up that Mark doesn’t drink or do drugs. Mark says strip clubs may have been his one vice. He didn’t even know things like that existed and he got ruined real quick.

-Austin brings up the massive contract Mark was given and how he got heat with the boys. He understands now as he was brought in with no experience and was getting double what the boys were getting. He thinks Vince could have done a better job of hiding it. He says nobody wanted to train him at first and then started working with Dr. Tom. He calls Tom and Rip Rogers the two best trainers around. The Rock signed soon and had no money so he asked him to stay with him. Now The Rock was the driver for Mark mainly because Mark had a lead foot.

-We see a picture of Mark’s debut look with the red, white, and blue gear. Mark was glad they pushed him, but wishes he would have had something other than his debut match on a PPV. He talks about the current developmental system and how that works so much better. He wishes he would have had a year at least and then slowly get introduced to everyone. He feels everyone should meet all the people in the office and in merchandise to get an idea of all the people working for the company. Mark became paranoid people were talking about people and his instinct was to fight them.

-He tells the story of meeting Taker who called him “the new babyface.” Mark didn’t even know what that meant so he was irritated. He says he had a 3 year period where he didn’t learn anything because it took him that long to learn if you don’t talk to someone, you don’t learn anything. He brings up the BSK guys and how they all took care of him.

-Next is the story of how Ron Simmons and JBL ribbed him in a way to bring him into the group. Mark says he never had to deal with ribbing because he was the man in lifting and instantly had respect. Obviously he hadn’t earned that in the WWE yet, so he got the padlock on luggage treatment and clothes tossed in the shower. Mark would tear the backstage area apart when they would mess with him and the boys found it funny and would keep doing it.

-Mark noted that Ron Simmons may be the only guy on the planet he was afraid of and tells the story of Ron asking him if he was looking at him to try him. Mark shot back “hell no” and said he was just admiring his beard. That leads to a discussion of The Nation of Domination. Mark says everyone of the guys had a different element they brought in teaching him. He calls D-Lo the best worker out of all of them and brings up how D-Lo volunteered to take the bump on Austin’s truck. They include the video and it’s still a sweet spot! The Rock was non stop about the business and was taking notes everywhere they went. Ron was the typical father figure for all of them and wouldn’t take shit from any of them including Godfather. The Nation was Ron’s and he threatened to kick them out if they didn’t do what was asked. He says Ron had a brilliant mind for wrestling and puts over his football background. Ron is a legit beast as he had his jersey retired at Florida State.

-Sexual Chocolate! Mark says The Nation split and he broke his ankle. Someone hid his crutches and he went off on Shawn and The Kliq because they just happened to be there. Vince sent him to Canada and that’s where he started training with The Harts. He was babysitting Bret’s kids so he and his wife could go out to dinner. He loved being in that environment and used the time to learn some things from Stu Hart. That is where he learned that his strength was an advantage. Stu stretched him out for two months and he learned so much and felt he was going to come back as a monster that could stretch people. When he came back the WWE was going to more entertainment and Mark had the idea for a ladies man called Sexual Chocolate. Mark says that was the beginning of him being a viable entity in the WWE. Vince took to the character and had so many ideas that Mark was all in on them. He was going to do anything Vince asked.

-Mae Young: Mark loved working with her and mentions Mae had a tattoo of an anchor on her arm. He brings up how tough she was and relates a story of her working in Dallas. A booker told her to change somewhere else and that if she did well, he might take her out to dinner later. Mae told him to zip his pants and when the poor sap looked down, she kicked him in the balls and started stomping him. She would not take people disrespecting her and Mark brings up that she set the path for the ladies today. He loved working with her and they rode together. He would go 100 MPH with her as well and she never sold that it bothered her. Mark says he was pulled over a bunch of times, but only ever got 1 ticket as he was good in talking his was out of them.

-Mae Young gives birth to a hand and the entire thing is shown. Mark is losing it watching it and Austin is laughing because of Mark’s reaction. Mark asked Vince why a hand and Vince just responded “it’s a hand” and walked off laughing. To this day he still doesn’t get it, but it was funny and he laughed through the entire segment.

-Austin brings up that the vignettes and character building moments are the icing on the cake. Mark says that is more important than the winning and losing because it gives people a reason to care about someone. Mark wanted to make sure the people were invested in everything he did because if they cared you didn’t need to dive off the top of the Tron. The Sexual Chocolate period was when he started to feel the business and he got his timing down with matches. He didn’t mind doing things to make others successful. He says the lost art of pro-wrestling is sacrificing yourself to get someone else over while also helping get yourself over. He calls it an art form and you have to love the business more than your character.

-Chyna: Mark says his goal was to always make her laugh. He calls that run the best part of Sexual Chocolate. Once he finally broke her into laughing all he had to do was look at her to make her laugh. It was real as they had fun working together. We get some footage of their first date with D-Lo playing the limo driver and it looked like they had a ball. Austin calls Chyna a sweet woman and he had a ball with her as well. He wishes she was still with us and Mark agrees that nobody was sweeter than her. Mark thinks that under different circumstances she would still be here. He knows she got frustrated with the business like others have and made bad decisions.

-Mark worked in OVW for The Brian Pillman Show and got some great feedback from Ricky Steamboat. Mark was at a low point and was thinking about leaving and trying football. He met Hugh Morrus at The Pillman Show when he was still working for WCW. They talked for about 20-30 minutes before he even knew his name so they paired them up for the show. Each was on their last leg in the business and they decided they needed to steal the show together. Mark can only equate it to how Keith Lee works as it was two big dudes bumping and flying all over the ring. They sold for each other and the ref told them to shake hands after the match. After it ended Steamboat told Mark it was great to see psychology back in our business. Mark admits he is an emotional person and it broke him down hearing that. He says crying is not a weakness and he feels stronger.

-Back to OVW where Mark was sent there after his time in Canada. They wanted him to drop weight as he put on 40 lbs while in Canada. He was able to get down from 430 lbs to 350 lbs. He needed to stop eating like he was still power lifting.

-Austin brings up that Mark was getting heating in the weightlifting community for calling himself “The World’s Strongest Man.” Mark was back home as his mom was getting sick and he started lifting again. His mom passed from cancer and Vince told him to take as much time as he needed and do what he needed. Mark saw a Muscle and Fitness magazine where he was called out for not competing and using “World’s Strongest Man” as his nickname. Vince told him they are entertainment and he really doesn’t have to prove that he is. In Mark’s mind he needed to prove it and Vince told him he would give him the time, but there is no place in the WWE for the second strongest man. Mark told him he got it and he left knowing failure was not an option.

-We get video of Mark at the contests destroying everyone and showboating to the crowd as well. Mark says that he is the Greatest Strong Man that ever lived and he did it clean. He didn’t need to cheat and everything he had was God given. He also have credit to all that got him there: coaches, trainers, and even Vince McMahon. Vince had the eye to see that he could be a wrestler and more than just a strong man.

-Mark came back to the WWE as he had said his part and did what he needed in the weight lifting world. Vince told him no more Sexual Chocolate as now he was going to be billed as The Strongest Man in the World because that’s what he was. They show the video of him using his legs to keep a limo from running him over. Mark points out that he was telling the driver to stop as he could feel the grill start to crack under his feet. He got a phone call from Terry Todd after the spot and was told how stupid it was and what could have gone wrong.

-Austin asks about the overseas trip where Mark moved a car. They were in Blackpool and someone had parked a car that it was blocking the bus they were riding. They either needed to wait for someone to move the car or backup and go a different direction. It was 2 AM and Mark was pissed so he asked where the car was. He got out and moved the car to the curb. He got back on the bus and Regal told him, “Henry don’t every get mad and touch anyone.” Awesome! The boys popped when they saw him the following day at the arena.

-Austin asks Mark about the time he was most frustrated in the business. Mark brings up his knee injury and Dr. Andrews told him he may never wrestle again. He destroyed the knee in a match with Angle. He was going to put him through a table on the floor. One of the legs broke and instead of getting a new table, he propped it up on the guard rail. When he did the spot his knee caught nothing but concrete. He opted to keep working and had people put his knee back in place. It finally blew out in a match with Rey Mysterio. They show where it happened as it was during an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event and all he did was a charge in the corner. You can hear Mark yell at Rey, “I tore my quad.” He then crawls to the corner yelling at Fit that he has to get out and make a tag. That’s brutal! He went and got his knee fixed and was depressed as he figured that was as good as his career was going to get. He started to train again and stuff started to get better. He came back and had his first chance at a World Title and tore his shoulder. Now he really thought his career was done, but again, he found motivation and come 2011 it was Hall of Pain time.

-Hall of Pain: Mark says it started as a rib from Vince. He was told to go to the ring as he was having a match with Sin Cara. Nobody was coming out and Mark had no clue what was happening. Chimel thanks the fans for coming and hopes they will come back next time. You can see the anger on Mark’s face so he went to the back and nobody is there. He started destroying everything in the back and kicked Vince’s door down. Vince was gone so Mark called him and said he quit. His wife told him they had bills to pay. Vince called Mark back and asked why he felt like that as it was just a rib. Mark told Vince he felt disrespected and didn’t need this. Vince apologized and told Mark he was too valuable to them to quit. Mark told him he couldn’t go through something like that again. Vince told him okay, but also wanted to show him something. He showed Mark the footage of him being angry in the ring and walking out of the ring to the back. He told Mark that was the most visibly afraid of someone in a ring he had been in years. He told Mark if he could be that guy he could make a lot of money. Mark told him he couldn’t control that guy and Vince told him he could and that’s what he wanted. Thus the Hall of Pain was born!

-They show angry Mark destroying the tech area and abusing a tech guy. This was easily the best version of Mark Henry as he was finally booked like the giant ass kicker he should have been. Mark says when he watched himself on TV he couldn’t recognize that guy. If he had been that angry in real life when he was fighting he would have killed someone. Mark also didn’t want to perpetuate a negative. He brings up that God found him at this time and he didn’t want kids to be scared of him. He realized he was an entertainer and didn’t want the negative stigma of big black dude that scared people. He took solace that he couldn’t be responsible and people can control what their kids watched. He just needed to do his job.

-World Title: Mark wins the World Title from Randy Orton and he calls it validation. It showed that the journey meant something as they show him dominating Randy to win the World Title. They show a female in the crowd that looked pissed and Mark points out that he was glad that she was pissed. He was now a World Champion and even when he lost it, he would always be a World Champion. He was the 139th man to win the title at the point and that means he will always be part of history.

-Mark says the fastest he ever recovered from a match in his life was when he won the World Title. He could have wrestled for another 30 minutes when he was handed that title. He calls it the proudest moment of his wrestling life. Again, it was validation for him. It was a wonderful feeling and he can’t explain it to Austin even though he knows Austin knows what it felt like. He cried, laughed, wanted to show off with it, call his family and take pictures. He was just lost in the moment and didn’t know what to do.

-Austin talks about winning the WWF Title at Mania XIV and how it was a screw you to everyone that doubted him. Mark brings up the in ring interview with JR when he told him that he was going to be something. JR did tell Vince to cut his losses at one point with Mark. They show a piece of the interview where Mark just held the Title in JR’s face and asked him to apologize. JR apologizes and Mark tells him he hates ass kissers. He grabbed JR by the tie and choked him while making JR say he was the World Champion. Austin jumps on the story as he never knew JR told Vince to cut his losses. Mark says that he loves JR and calls him one of the greatest descriptive storytellers of all time. He learned a lot from JR.

-Austin asks Mark’s favorite part of that run. Mark says he was at the peak of his strength and hit the peak of his understanding of pro-wrestling. They met at the same time as he says he could have worked with a broom stick at that point. He tells of putting Big Show through a table while also doing a curl while holding him. He got to the back and Kane told him it was the most impressive thing he ha ever seen. They show the spot and it is rather impressive.

-Favorite opponent: Mark says Taker because he learned so much. He is a strong proponent of learning even when people think they have it all figured out. He loved the atmosphere of being in a match with Taker and says it was more than he had from matches with Flair, Shawn, HHH, Hogan, etc. The opponent he had the most fun with was Fit Finlay. He also puts over Jamie Noble and says he was special and would have been Austin had he been a bigger dude.

-Austin asks about Keith Lee and what Mark sees with him. Mark brings up he was a guest on Backstage (sad face) and he told him he had brought back big guy magic. He compares him to guys like Bigelow, Vader, and Big Show. He feels Keith is the next guy in line and is the only guy that can do it. He feels Keith will bring back the big guy in pro-wrestling and other big guys need to step up to join him.

-In closing Austin asks Mark if he has an advice for the kids out there. Mark says his number one thing is to humble yourself. Once he humbled himself thinks took off for him. You have to know what you don’t know and don’t be intimidated by someone’s knowledge and power.

-What’s in the future for Mark Henry? Mark wants to get a sponsorship to be able to do his days of service. He has a group called The Under Bridge effort where they help mentally ill, drug addicts, and anyone who needs it. He went with Kane to Knoxville and helped service over 200 people. He wants to help as many people as he gain.

-Austin wraps things up and that closes another edition of The Broken Skull Sessions.

-A fun interview with some great stories. The only thing really messing was a discussion about the retirement angle with John Cena. Mark came off great here and I know I learned some more about the man and his journey. It had to be hard for him to come in with all that hype and massive contract to live up to. His World Title run was fantastic though as they finally unlocked what worked best for him and surprise, surprise it was letting him dominate people and look like an ass kicker. Definitely check this one out as this series continues to deliver. Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow for RAW Talk!