Mark Henry Reveals How He Created John Cena's Thuganomics Gimmick

Long-time WWE superstar Mark Henry will be remembered for many things during his illustrious wrestling career. For starters, 'The World's Strongest Man' will ensure that fans recall his long-time dominance in the ring.

Henry was also a one-time World Heavyweight Champion held the WWF European title once as well. He had a handful of memorable feuds - ranging from Batista to The Undertaker to another giant in Big Show.

The World's Strongest Man was rumored to have retired, but denied it to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated and said "there is still a lot" he can do. On top of that, Henry revealed that he was the one who came up with John Cena's "Thuganomics" gimmick that lasted a brief time in the Ruthless Aggression Era.

“John and I have known each other a long time. Originally, nobody knew John Cena rapped. It was just something he did in the car. I told Bruce Prichard, and that’s how the whole 'Thuganomics’ run began," Henry said.

After years as a mid-card wrestler, Cena adopted the "Doctor of Thugonomics" gimmick - wearing his hats backwards while donning sports jerseys and chain necklaces. Cena then rapped his own "Basic Thuganomics," theme song -- the one he used before "The Time Is Now."


Cena slowly started to drift away from the Thuganomics gimmick when he became the face of wrestling by defeating JBL for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 21. He then transitioned towards the humorous trash-talker who also appealed to the kid audience by using his catchphrases such as "never give Up," "Hustle, loyalty and respect."

Henry and Cena weren't seen on television programming much, but the former did say that the two became close friends after the Thuganomics gimmick started.

Whether or not The World's Strongest Man wrestles another match remains to be seen. There have been reports of him retiring since 2017, but we should take Henry by his word that he's not finished yet.


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Mark Henry Reveals How He Created John Cena's Thuganomics Gimmick