Mark Henry Reacts To AJ Styles’ WWE Retirement Tease

AJ Styles WWE Mark Henry

The WWE SmackDown angle involving AJ Styles reminded fans about Mark Henry, which led to an interesting response from the Hall of Famer.

AJ Styles challenged Cody Rhodes for the WWE Championship at WWE Backlash France. While the match was incredible, Styles fell short of beating Rhodes, who retained his title with the Cross Rhodes.

In the weeks that followed, Styles asked Smackdown GM Nick Aldis for another title shot. Aldis responded by telling Styles he couldn’t give it to him and had to earn another title shot.

On WWE Smackdown in Albany, Styles was given promo time in the main event as the show built around his potential retirement. Styles turns 47 years old on June 2nd and has been wrestling for over 25 years, so the end of his career is coming soon. Since this is pro wrestling and Styles was wearing a light blue colored suit, the alarm bells may have been ringing for some fans.

While Styles was emotional talking about his career and his family (he’s married with four children), he also brought out Cody Rhodes. That led to an emotional exchange. It also saw Cody raise Styles’ hands to the crowd, which led to a lot of cheering…and then Styles nailed Cody with a clothesline.

The attack continued as Styles’ friends Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson prevented people from helping Cody. This led to Styles giving Cody a Styles Clash off the steel steps and on the floor. While nothing is official yet, there will likely be a Rhodes-Styles rematch that could take place at WWE Clash at the Castle on June 15th.

Mark Henry Praises AJ Styles

That angle involving Styles and Cody reminded fans immediately of the legendary Mark Henry promo on the June 17, 2013 edition of Raw. Henry had been in WWE for 17 years at that point, he had been a World Champion and was near the end of his run.

During a promo on Raw, Henry appeared in a salmon-colored jacket talking about his family at home. The WWE Champion John Cena was also at ringside and raised Henry’s hand for the crowd. As Cena approached, Henry responded with a World’s Strongest Slam to drop the WWE Champion.

Henry’s attack on Cena led to a match at WWE Money in the Bank 2013, which Cena won.

As for his thoughts on the AJ Styles angle on Smackdown, Henry praised it while also plugging the Busted Open Radio show where he is one of the co-hosts.

The Styles/Rhodes angle really got people talking on Twitter/X, so much so that Henry was trending because of it. Henry commented on that too.

Nice to trend without wrestling!

After his fake retirement speech, Mark Henry would go on to wrestle another three years regularly and he competed in his last match in 2018. Henry signed with AEW in 2021, but his deal has expired and he is moving on without being a part of the company.