Mark Henry has shared this ahead of the ‘The Last Dance,’ a Michael Jordan Documentary series that will be airing on ESPN. That time Henry was being pushed as the most popular Olympic lifter in US history, conducting interviews with popular journalists, while also appearing on HBO Inside Sports and The Today Show. Henry was also friends with a few members of the Olympic men’s basketball team. But when Michael spotted him hanging out with them during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he was harsh:
“I went to the hotel with Charles,” Henry explained on Busted Open Radio “As we’re in the lobby, Michael walks up. It’s not, ‘Hey guys, how are you doing?’ It was, ‘Who are you?’ I said, ‘Who the fuck are you?’ And that was the introduction. Charles was like, ‘Ohhhhhh.’
“It didn’t matter (that I knew him). It was the [principle of the matter]. You don’t walk up to Mark Henry and talk to me like I’m some kind of peon. I was somebody in the world. Maybe I didn’t make the money you made, people don’t know my name, I don’t sell a billion dollars in shoes. But I’m Mark Henry. And if I wanted to snuff your lights out, I would do it in a heartbeat. Charles smoothed it over. The [Michael] was like, ‘My bad, I didn’t want to come across like that.’ But he did. Of course, he smoothed it over and said he wasn’t trying to disrespect me.”
Henry further asserted that he could have easily beaten Jordan if the two had come to blows, adding “I looked at him like I was going to snap my fingers and it was gonna be like Thanos and he would disappear. I put him in his place.”
Things got better between Jordan and Henry after that. Both of them got into friendly terms as Jordan invited him to the NBA All-Star Game and his birthday party. Mark Henry would later end up finishing the 1996 Summer Olympics in 14th place in weightlifting due to an injury. But it was Mark’s attitude that caught Vince McMahon’s attention and got him the opportunity to enter WWE. Mark’s initial gimmick was called Sexual Chocolate, it was his talent that quickly his gimmick evolved to the World’s Strongest Man.