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Mark Henry On Being ‘Banished’ To Canada And Learning From Stu Hart, Jim Cornette’s Major Influence On His Career

Mark Henry was the latest guest for Steve Austin on his podcast and “The World’s Strongest Man” joined the “Texas Rattlesnake” in person for an extensive conversation. Henry and Austin cover several topics of Mark’s early career, particularly how he was brought in a “baptism by fire” style in the wrestling business and how he truly cut his teeth up in Canada with Harts and down in Louisville with Jim Cornette. Quotes are below:

On learning how to wrestle properly after getting banished up to Canada after “threatening” Shawn Michaels:

“It took me getting banished to Canada because I threatened to kill Shawn Michaels. Like they hid my crutches when I broke my ankle and I just was like, ‘Okay this is it. It’s over. I don’t want to do this.’ I was like, ‘Man, you a 180 pounds, man. I’d kill you man. It’d be unfair for me to whip you.’ And he was like ‘You threatening me?’ I was like, ‘I don’t think it’s really a threat. I’m just like telling you like it is – y’all need to leave me alone and he told Vince and Vince said, ‘Hey man, you can’t threaten our top guys. What’s wrong with you?’ And I was like, ‘Look man, I just ain’t used to nobody trying me. Like if they wanna try me they gotta be able to accept the consequences,’ [He says] ‘No, damnit! You can’t just be beating people up—it’s not going to fix it. They’re trying to bring you in, but you’re pushing them back.’

“So he said, ‘You know what, I talked to Bret Hart and Bret he’s training some guys up at his house and I want you to go up to Canada and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, shit I’d go up to Canada for two or three weeks and come back and maybe I’ll be alright.’ I was up there for nine and a half months, training every day. Every morning, in the ring, four hours a day. And then I got Owen to introduce me to his dad, to Stu Hart. I would leave Bret’s house, where the gym was and then I’d drive over to the Hart House and go wrestle down in the basement, in The Dungeon. Then he started teaching me wrist locks and hand holds and Stu was a master of hand holds and wrist locks and people don’t realize, people like Judo Gene LeBell and Stu Hart, like they were real shooters and he was like, ‘With your strength, you could do things to somebody that would be illegal.’  He’s like, ‘Learn how to wrestle like that. I want you to put holds on people that look like that you’re going to pop them.’ And a light switch came on and I started to work like that.

And I felt like after about nine months that I learned what it was like to be a wrestler now. They should have did that to me first before putting me in the locker room with seasoned wrestlers…

On the major influence of Jim Cornette:

“There’s nobody that’s crazier in this world than Jim Cornette, but there’s nobody in this world that I feel like I’ve met that understood the psychology of wrestling or could teach the psychology of wrestling better than Jim Cornette. Special, but crazy as hell. Super special, I love him to death because if it wasn’t for him, there would be no me in wrestling. Like that’s how serious it was. He knew that I was a reader because he would see me and I’d be reading a book and he’d be like, ‘You know you need to put that football magazine and you need to grab one of these wrestling books. Here you go.’ He handed me a stack of books and ‘The Hooker’ was the best book I’ve read for wrestling. Learned about Danny Hodge and all these guys and he said, ‘These guys, if they were your size, they’d be put in jail.’ He’s like, ‘You need to be Danny Hodge.’

“He gave me a vehicle that strength had it’s place in wrestling. That was it. I was done.”

RELATED: Mark Henry On Why Losing To AJ Styles Was Good For Ricochet

Listen to “WWE Hall of Famer "World's Strongest Man" Mark Henry” on Spreaker.

On a related note, Davey Boy Smith Jr spoke with the media following his appearance at Starrcast for the ‘Remembering Owen’ panel. Smith talks about having Henry on the panel, shares rib stories about his father and Owen and more: