Mark Henry walked out of Hell in a Cell still as the World Heavyweight Champion. So in back to back PPV’s, he was able to defeat Randy Orton. Heading into this PPV, I couldn’t see any other outcome other than Henry walking out with the belt, or at least an outcome that was more beneficial and logical. Mark Henry has established himself not only as the World Heavyweight Champion, but also as the new top heel on Smackdown…..and it’s working.
Look, it goes without saying that Smackdown at the time didn’t have a top heel to match up with Randy Orton. They tried to make Christian into that and it didn’t work, mostly because people got sick to death of that rivalry fast. Cody Rhodes wasn’t ready to be the top heel and neither was Wade Barrett. So, that left Mark Henry as the only viable option. With the momentum he had going for himself, turning heel and taking out the biggest guys on the Smackdown roster, there was little reason to not push him up.
Given, they’ve tried it before with him and even put him in the lowly WW/ECW which wasn’t that successful (Then again, there were few things in WWE’s equivalent of ECW that did work out). Mark Henry had decent showings on his way to the world title by taking out Big Show and Kane and having a pretty decent couple of matches with Sheamus. By the time that the WWE decided to give him a shot at the belt, it was at a time where the crowd was sick of seeing Christian v. Orton and were demanding to see something new.
Having Mark Henry win the belt at Night of Champions was a critical move, mostly because if you had Orton win the match, all the work that had been put into Mark Henry’s character would’ve been wasted and his character would’ve been damaged. The only way to make his character viable would be to have Mark Henry be seen as an unstoppable juggernaut for at least a while before you finally have somebody step up to take him down. Besides, having Randy Orton as the champion is good, but you can’t have him as the champion all the time.
Then you look at Hell in a Cell tonight. If you had Mark Henry lose the belt two weeks after he first won the belt, that would do worse damage than if he lost the match at NOC. Plus, you had him kick out of the RKO and stop the punt kick from Randy Orton, making him look like a powerful force that even The Viper himself can’t overcome. Plus the post-match brawling between the two after the match only helps to intensify the feud and leave it open for more between the two while still keeping it fresh.
In short, it took Smackdown a while since the WWE Draft took place, but they finally got themselves a main event heel in Mark Henry. I for one am looking forward to seeing what else follows with it and how long this can go on for with Mark Henry. His character is bringing an intensity and viciousness that I’ve never seen him do in his past runs as a heel. He brings a dominating presence that many have not seen in him and it delivers. He tears through whoever he’s fighting no matter how big they are and is leaving a majority of people scared to fight him. Plus, the longer you keep him as the champion, it builds more time to build up somebody else to take the belt from him and not just Randy Orton.
So, here’s hoping that this move pays off with Mark Henry. The guy has finally gotten a push that took 15 years in the making to earn and I’m sure that there are a lot of wrestling fans that are hoping that both Mark Henry and the WWE make this one count.