Mark Henry was the latest WWE legend to make the jump to All Elite Wrestling this weekend as the "World's Strongest Man" arrived during Sunday's Double or Nothing pay-per-view. Henry was last seen on WWE television during the Legend's Night episode of Raw back in January and, while he hasn't wrestled a match since the Greatest Royal Rumble back in 2018, had been talking about competing in one final match before retiring for good. Henry explained his decision to leave the WWE after more than two decades on Busted Open Radio on Tuesday.
"My deal was up. It's not something that was recent. I can go back five or six months and I wanted a position in the [WWE] office" Henry said (h/t Fightful). "I talked to Vince himself and he said, 'write it up. You're somebody I'll listen to.' I was told that there was a lot of cleaning house and cuts that were happening and there were a lot to come. I had seen hundreds in the company go. I felt valuable enough that I wasn't going anywhere. When your deal comes up and the rights come up as to where you're gonna go next, I wanted to do more. I always want to do more. If I can't get that opportunity, I have to look for that opportunity somewhere else."
"If I'm not doing what I know I can do...then I have to start looking for that opportunity somewhere else & I did."@TheMarkHenry discusses his decision to sign with @AEW & the conversation he had with Vince McMahon 🔊@davidlagreca1 @bullyray5150 #AEWDynamite #DoubleOrNothing pic.twitter.com/UR6F2mM4mY— SiriusXM Busted Open (@BustedOpenRadio) June 1, 2021
"It wasn't negative," he continued. "Vince and I have love for each other. More than love, respect. Me calling him and saying him what need to be said, came from a place of a brother telling his older brother, 'I'm tired of being in shadows. I feel like someone beneath you is holding me back. if someone is holding me back, I have to go.' I feel like I was being held back and not getting what I want, and I want to be successful and earn more. [Vince said,] 'You know everything you need to know. If you feel like you need to go, I don't necessarily want it, but if you need to go then go. I know you'll be successful.' That's what you want. I'm not going to run from a conversation like that. Nobody will say Mark Henry is unloyal. There were times I was offered more money and didn't leave. Everything wasn't perfect, but what family is perfect? I had a good experience and learned a lot. I spent more time in production and the trucks than I did around the ring and in catering. I always had an executive mindset."
AEW put out a press release on Tuesday confirming that Henry had signed a multi-year deal with the promotion working a number of backstage roles on top of being a commentator. Henry is scheduled to give his first promo for the company on Friday's edition of AEW Dynamite.
.@TheMarkHenry Henry Signs Multi-Year Deal with #AEW! This FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE on #AEWDynamite at 10/9c on @tntdrama we will hear from #AEW's newest signee! Get your tickets for THIS Friday's LIVE Dynamite NOW - https://t.co/9cZKrv0pNR— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 1, 2021
Full release - https://t.co/2U8HA8UccB pic.twitter.com/WKWKhaigW1