« BACK TO TMZ TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Mark Henry -- Color Him WWE Champ

6/30/2008 8:40 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

When does being hit with racial slurs improve your career? For WWE wrestler Mark Henry, it may have happened last night on PPV.

In April, the WWE suspended writer Michael Hayes for 60 days for telling Henry, "I'm more n***** than you are." Last night -- and one week after Hayes was reinstated -- the twelve-year WWE vet and former Olympian finally got his big moment by winning the company's ECW world title.

That's where the controversy starts.

There's buzz around wrestling blogs that the 400 lb. wrestler that calls himself "The World's Strongest Man" would never have been in line for a title if the racial controversy didn't exist.

The company has only had three other African-American world champions in its entire history. Anyone 'memba The Rock?

WWE hasn't returned our call for comment.
For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!
76 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

Kevin    

Race wasn't a factor... There was a draft (reorganization) of the three brands last week and the former ECW Champion was drafted to Raw. Henry was then moved to ECW. Henry had to win to bring the title back to it's original brand. Stop trying to stir up such controversy.

2221 days ago
17.

Rick Roll    

The WWE for the most part, including Vince is not racist. The fact that Mark Henry won the world title was racial at its core. He would have never been in this position if Michael Hayes never opened his bigoted mouth. Plus Benjamin did not quit, so that argument is null and void. Benjamin doesn't have the it factor to be world champ. Mark Henry is a great guy in real life and deserves the the title on the man he actually is, but the wrestler in him doesn't deserve the title, even the cheapened ECW title.

Unfortunately we live in a racist society and those that are black receive the worst part of it, this includes our country, wrestling, other sports and everyday life. Mark Henry was not on the radar till Michael Hayes, now he's benefiting over others racial thoughts. When we should celebrate, these questions are fair and just, especially with this title change. The argument of ECW needing a ECW Champion, well what happened with RAW, the have no world champ, so that argument is out as well.

2221 days ago
18.

CriticXtreme    

Even though the US is slowly turning into Iraq and other countries when it comes to free speech. A person should be able to say what they want. This "PC" ish makes a muther weak. Dude may have been catering to his demographic. But this still goes to show you that when you can't do anything else to support yourself, throw the race card. Racism is alive and well in the US and being an n-word at any level is not good.

2221 days ago
19.

Chris336    

On the hand the Hogan, Flair and Triple H held their championships for a long time and a lot of people didn't get the push they deserved. One the other hand, most of the AWA, WCCW, WWW, NWA, WCW, ECW and WWE has been white. It has been good seeing more African Americans the last couple years with Bobby Lashley, Kristal Marshall, Shelton Benjamin, Cryme Time and Kofi Kingston.

2221 days ago
20.

BrutalNaPinoy    

Mark Henry winning is a logical thing considering the fact that CM Punk just won the World Heavyweight Championship earlier, then again, the race factor may be or not involved, but look now, as of this time, Kofi Kingston (A Ghanian posing as a Jamaican) is black and is currently the Intercontinental Champion... I guess the WWE are planning bigger things for Kane and The Big Show that's why Henry won.

2221 days ago
21.

Rjrice142    

TMZ you are racists for posting this without any proof and you Harvey Levin should know that the WWE can sue your damn asses for ruining their good name and I hope they do so you Mr. Harvey have to payout even more money ruining everyone's name your are worst then any of the people you put on this website and you should be ashamed of yourself

2221 days ago
22.

jj    

if you watch wrestling you know that with the draft shakeup and the big show being hurt earlier this month and not being 100% healthy was the reason Henry got the belt because he was the only on left. Not because of race

2221 days ago
23.

Jay P.    

Wow, jstuddle, you only just figured that out? Thanks for enlightening us with your infinite wisdom. By the way, the year is 2008. Welcome to the new millennium.

2221 days ago
24.

d-nice    

This is sad...I grew up on the FREE BIRDS...for Michael Hayes to say something like that is disturbing.

2221 days ago
25.

Melon Head    

THATS NOT A MAN, IT'S A FREAKIN GRIZZLY BEAR!!

2221 days ago
26.

Woof    

No, race was not a factor and you can tell the 70 some % that voted "Yes" do not watch the WWE product and simply read TMZ's garbage. Henry began his chase for the Championship before the racial comment even occured.

2221 days ago
27.

Please...    

I hope the WWE and Mark Henry sue the ignorance out of you. This is equally racist to what Hayes said. "Color" him WWE Champ? I find it funny you have a story on someone else being racist, yet are racist yourselves in the same article. Not only are you ignorant, you are hypocrites. TMZ goes WAY too far with the BS you post. Whether it's making fun of the dead or making racist headlines/comments. This is not the first time and probably won't be the last. I'm not coming to TMZ again. I'm sick of your BS.

2221 days ago
28.

Chief    

Why does everything have to have an underlying controversy. Just enjoy it for what it is... High energy, over the top entertainment... These athletes both male and female take a real beating every week all in the name of entertaining the fans... Which I have been since I was just a lil Chief

2221 days ago
29.

peter Gilmour    

mark henry has to be the worst wrestler in wwe hsitory. this guy gets hurt almost every yr he has been there. the only reason he got the belt was because michael "IM A RACIST" hayes had to open his mouth and say the N word. i think hayes should be FIRED.

too bad henry's title run will be very short cuz I see him getting hurt again soon

2221 days ago
30.

Mick    

i don't think it had anything to do with the comments Michael Hayes said i think its because Mark Henry is a great athlete and deserves the ECW Title

2221 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web