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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

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1.

Thomas    

FIRST!

Being big and black definitely played a factor in his ECW championship. Mark Henry is in a business dominated by white people and the WWE has a lot of black fans, this was inevitable. But the ECW championship is pretty much a joke. They'd never give him the WWE or World Heavyweight championship. The ratings would drop!

2271 days ago
2.

Phil    

One thing....who really cares?

2271 days ago
3.

jstuddle    

Uhm...I don't mean to burst your bubble but I think that wrestling is fake. I think that the main factor was that it was in the script.

2271 days ago
4.

teckertime    

id do him

2271 days ago
5.

bryan    

Hey Hey Hey!!!

2271 days ago
6.

Teabagger4444@yahoo.com    

The Junkyard Dog woud have kicked both Mark Henry and The Rock's asses

2271 days ago
7.

Alanna    

The Rock is half Samoan and half African-Canadian, not African American.

2271 days ago
8.

Mike    

Sorry Thomas, and sorry TMZ, but I have to say this is extremely unlikely to be race related. First, anyone can win any title. Mark Henry is known as The World's Strongest Man. Last week on a televised event, he beat the current champion. Also, he has lost a LOT of matches to guys half his size. The point? Those who have followed wrestling, particularly in the past 20 years, know that earning a championship means paying your dues. Mark Henry has been with WWE for I believe over 10 years. I would say that counts as paying your dues. Also, those who watch on a weekly basis, or even moreso every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, know that WWE has just concluded their second annual "draft", where they completely change which program (RAW, ECW, and Smackdown) each wrestler competes on. Everyone knows that RAW is the #1 show to be on, Smackdown #2, and ECW (the only program at 1 hour length) is #3. Mark Henry just got drafted to ECW, and Kane, the former champ, just got drafted to I believe RAW, but definitely off ECW. I haven't looked to see the other results of the PPV yesterday, but Mark Henry being the new champion of the program he just moved to was very, very expected.

I don't think looking into a race card here is going to get anyone anywhere. Besides, I think my Hot Tip regarding AI reject Ace Young making some extra dough on another wrestling program was a much better story. That sh't was straight up hilarious.

2271 days ago
9.

Jables    

You're all making something out of nothing here. He was drafted to ECW, facing two guys who AREN'T on the ECW brand. It's logic, people! An ECW wrestler,winning the ECW title.I definitely did NOT think anything about the incident when I read he won.

2271 days ago
10.

A Noun    

I don't think race was a factor -- but I do think this was part of the settlement.

2271 days ago
11.

carroll cole    


MOE was last seen in the nearby
foothills near devore california...

2271 days ago
12.

HA HA    

Is he still porkin' Mae Young?

2271 days ago
13.

jamestime1    

I have been a wrestling fan for more than 30+years,and I hope what I am hearing is not true .With fans all over the world blacks,whites,puerto rican,mexican and so on.There should be know need for this conversation but it does raise a few eyebrows being a black fans.I sincerely hope that Vince can eventually elaborate on this situation.

2271 days ago
14.

Patty    

Junkyard Dog, Ron Simmons, The Rock, KoKo B Ware, Shelton Benjamin, and several other black guys held titles (not necessarily word titles).You have to look at the ratio of black wrestlers to white to see that white wrestlers dominate so naturally there would be more white champs. Mark Henry winning wasn't racial. It just made sense considering the draft. If you people knew anything about wrestling and WWE, you would know they never make concessions of that nature. Mark Henry wasn't even mad about the stupid thing.

Stop trying to make something out of nothing. They have been trying to push Henry for years but he kept getting injured time after time. The ECW Championship isn't much of a concession. It means nothing these days.

Benjamin was possibly the only black wrestler in WWE who could have been a credible champ and he quit. There have been Samoans, Arabs, Indians (as in India), and many other races as champs of one type or another. Bottom line: If they draw money, they get a belt. Henry doesn't but no one really cares about ECW and it was a logical step. When Rock was on top, he was the most popular champ ever (including Hogan) and he IS black as well as Samoan.

2271 days ago
15.

What?    

TMZ, Mark Henry is not WWE Champion like it says in the title. He is the champion of WWE's ECW brand, which is the 1 of 3 shows they have. ECW is the C show in the company, with Monday Night Raw being the A (#1) show and Friday Night SmackDown being the B (#2) show. The ECW title doesn't mean squat in that company. It's basically the red-headed stepchild of WWE.

2271 days ago
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