Everyone remembers Mark Henry’s iconic retirement promo back in 2013.
It was one of the biggest swerves in recent WWE memory and everybody bought it.
Henry, standing in his now-famous salmon jacket, emotionally explained why his career was coming to an end and he had to retire.
The crowd were giving him his dues. The dues a man who had been in WWE for 15 years at this point deserved.
It was so good, that Henry made John Cena cry – for real.
Talking about the iconic moment on the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Henry said the reason it worked so well – and the reason Cena cried – was because it was real.
“It was real that’s why it worked so well because I truly wanted to retire and not wrestle and become more of an executive, and do more coaching, and training and work in support, but they didn’t want me to do that,” Henry revealed.
“They wanted me to keep working as talent, so I was basically going to retire anyway, and Vince [McMahon] just talked me out of it. I knew for about four months, but I still prepared like I was retiring that night, and it was one of the more emotional moments in my life because I mourned the death of my career.
“And that’s the way that I looked at it. That’s why I was so emotional. It was over, and when I put the boots on the steps and I walked through the ring, I said everything that I would have said at a retirement.
And my kids did cry at that time when I left home. It used to hurt me being on the plane going, I’m gonna miss ballet, I’m gonna miss tap dance recitals I’m gonna miss my kids who are in a band.
“It was tough. It was easy to draw the emotion of the moment because it was real.”
Henry was crying as he was talking to the crowd and Cena had joined him at ringside. While that was planned, what followed was not.
“I just knew that, at some point, I’m gonna have to shut the waterworks off and focus on doing business with John Cena, and John Cena was standing at ringside. And it was really impromptu,” Henry noted.
“It wasn’t something that was planned. John tried to give me the title, and I just told him, ‘No, I don’t deserve to hold that. I never won that. I’m not gonna do it,’ and he just started crying because I had emotionally got to him.
“When I looked over there and I saw him crying, I was like, oh, shoot, this is different. I knew it was different. From the time that a lot left in the tank came out of my mouth to walking in the back, when I got in the back, for the first time in my career, and it was the end of my career, all the wrestlers were in the back waiting on me. It was like walking into a concert crowd.
“You walk off the stage and walk into the people. Everybody was there, and everybody was applauding and clapping, kind of coming up and hugging me. I was like, damn, I would’ve retired a long time ago if I knew I would have gotten everyone’s attention. That will always be one moment in my career that I’ll treasure.”
Henry would eventually retire from WWE in April of 2018.