Mark Henry On Why Wrestling Companies Don’t Want Stars To Become Bigger Than The Brand


AEW analyst Mark Henry was a recent guest on the Swerve City podcast as he commented on why he feels that wrestling companies don’t want to see their wrestlers become bigger than the brand itself. Henry said,

“We don’t hold people to the same standard as the other industries. If we all collectively said, ‘erase them, block them, ban them, don’t talk to them.’ I guarantee people would stop doing it, but we don’t work together. We don’t work with a code in wrestling. Some of it is, the same way I always say, it’s hard for black people to work together in concert because over the years we were told ‘that’s the way it’s supposed to be.’ There is a conditioning process in the wrestling business. ‘Don’t ever tell anyone how much money you made. Don’t tell people the contracts you’re doing.’ You have to keep some of this secret, but there are structural things like insurance and medical, you have a wife, children, I have a daughter with Crohn’s. I need insurance. Why wouldn’t I tell another guy, ‘you negotiate your deal, put insurance in, tell them you need insurance. You got family issues.’ We have to help educate everybody. Dave (LeGreca) and I do that because it’s the right thing to do. Going back to the point, everybody doesn’t work together.”


Shane “Swerve” Strickland chimed in, talking about the WWE system and how it’s designed for the current product:

“Isn’t that the system set up to…they take care of the top name people, the number one, the draw. They keep them in there because if those guys start making those same complaints to try and help the others out, the whole system starts changing, and I don’t think the system wants to change itself. I think they want to make sure these guys are separate from everybody else so we don’t get that and these guys don’t talk to them about these things and these other guys don’t get this special privilege because they are getting taken care of. If they reach out and try to help these others, they are sacrificing their benefits. If they keep them up there, away from everybody, like certain people are getting certain treatment because they wouldn’t help the others.”

You can check out some additional highlights from the podcast below:

Henry on how names on the card used to be the draw for fans: “We’re the big draw, we’re the reason everybody comes. They put our name at the top and we automatically get 5,000 people paid, just by having our name on it. We talked about that with Hogan. They have shows at The Garden and they would sell 4,000 tickets but if Hogan’s name was on the card [they would sell out].”

Henry on how promotions don’t want a star to be bigger than the brand anymore: “The companies don’t want that. They don’t want one person to have that…’ it ain’t no reason for one man to have all that power.’ They don’t want a guy to be that. The Rock, to where they can call their shots. ‘I don’t necessarily want to do that.’ ‘What do you mean you don’t want to do it?’ ‘I don’t want to do that.’ End of it. You are the owner of the company you don’t want that power. You don’t want one dude to have that power. People like Steve Austin, Undertaker, can just say no. Okay, moving right along, what’s next. You don’t even argue with them. It’s all about the brand. The point at that WrestleMania sign is more important than your career. It’s more important than the main event and anyone that is on it. They can put anybody they want on the show, they want [WrestleMania] to be the prominent thing. Not just WWE, but AEW, New Japan, every company. They want the company to flourish, and they should. It’s their company. I’m not mad, I’m just saying, spread the wealth and don’t lie about it or put the wool over nobody’s eyes. Let it be known. I’d rather you tell me, ‘Mark, I just don’t want to do that.’ ‘If we do that with you, we have to do that with other people. We can’t afford, as a company, to do that.’ ‘Okay, well what about this contract and this contract, we can’t focus on that?’ ‘That’s not for you to decide Mark.’ ‘Okay,’ because I’m going to push the envelope, I always did”

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