On Busted Open Radio, AEW’s Mark Henry shared a story about Vince McMahon calling him when his (Henry’s) mother passed away. The conversation started when Henry was asked if it’s strange for him to be working for another company after being in WWE for so many years.
“You know, it’s really not strange,” Henry said. “It’s more like you, you get a chance to go and prove that you know what the hell you’re talking about. Like, you know, Tommy [Dreamer] can attest to this, and Bully [Ray] too. When you work in the office, you, you have to placate to the masses, you can’t just pick one. And I’ve never had to do that. I always got to do whatever I wanted to do or focus on what Mark Henry was about. Now it’s like, I want to make sure that everybody shines. I don’t show favoritism and that’s hard to do because, you know, as we are on this show, we have our favorites…we all have our favorites. And that’s the same way in pro wrestling. Like, you walk down the hallway, and there’s some people that you gravitate to more than others, but you can’t not let everybody have the same kind of respect.
And Vince, he played favorites. Because just like us, we all play favorites. And Vince liked men. He liked guys to be respectful. But he also wants to say ‘hey man, have a f**king set of balls.’ You know, like, I mean, I’m not gonna agree with everything you say to me. And vice versa. But at the end of the day, if you own the company, you get to make the final call. And that being said, everybody would expect me to get on here and do something salacious. I’m not gonna do that because I don’t have any animosity toward Vince or the WWE.”
Henry then began to tell the story about the call he got from Vince:
Henry said, “The one that was the most effective to me is my mother died and Vince knew I was a mama’s boy. My mother came to shows. And he saw that there was, you know, I was definitely a mama’s boy. And when she died, he called me. He might have been like one of the first two or three people that I answered the phone. And he said, ‘listen, I don’t want you to say nothing.’ He said, ‘You deal with this the way that you deal with it. Don’t worry about work.’ He said, ‘You come back when you get back if it’s six months from now, if it’s a year from now.’ I was thinking to myself, like, what? Like he — they never called me. For three and a half months I stayed at home. I got my check every week. And there was a level of respect that I gave him for the rest of my career because of that day he called me. Bosses don’t do that. You have a death in the family? In a week, they call and go, ‘Hey, are you okay? Can you be at work on Monday?’ That’s the way bosses operate. This dude was like, no. And I’m not the only one. He hates this. Vince is gonna hear this [and] he’s gonna be a little pissed because he don’t want nobody to know that he has compassion, that he actually cares about the people that work for him. He’ll act like he don’t because he’s just the old curmudgeon. He just tries to act like a tough guy. He is a tough guy. But he wants the image of the tough guy more than enforcing it and I always take that, you know, to my grave, like, you know, like he did for me what I know a lot of people will never get.”
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.