Courtesy Mark Henry, a WWE Hall of Famer, missed an event in April on behalf of Fort Wayne Community Schools, but “The World's Strongest Man” will make good on a promise to return as he's set to attend the Heroes and Legends XI Fan Fest on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
Sunday, October 21, 2018 1:00 am
Wrestler keeping his word
WWE star to be in town Saturday to aid FWCS, anti-bullying efforts
Josh Patterson | For The Journal Gazette
If you go
What: Heroes and Legends XI Fan Fest and wrestling show
When: Saturday: noon-6 p.m.
Fan Fest, 7 p.m. for wrestling show
Where: Memorial Coliseum
Attendees: WWE Hall Of Famers Mark Henry, Sgt. Slaughter, Ron Simmons, Barry Windham, JJ Dillon, Teddy Long and Jeff Jarrett; Ultimo Dragon, Sonny Onoo, D'Lo Brown, Jim Cornette, Justin Credible, Francine, Madison Reign, Terry Taylor, Doink and Dink, Dan “The Beast” Severn, The Powers Of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian), Demolition (Ax & Smash), Swoggle, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, Virgil, Brian Pillman Jr.
Card subject to change.
Not just a catchy phrase, or a movie title, those four words hold great meaning in professional wrestling – in particular, for Jayson Maples, a Fort Wayne resident and owner of the Heroes and Legends Wrestling promotion.
Maples had booked Mark Henry, a WWE Hall of Famer, to appear at an event in April on behalf of Fort Wayne Community Schools. But “The World's Strongest Man,” still under contract with WWE, received a call back to the active roster to appear at a show in Saudi Arabia, which prevented him from attending locally.
Henry, who has continued work with his foundation to help disadvantaged youths, will make good on a promise to return, as he's set to attend the Heroes and Legends XI Fan Fest on Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
“When talent is still contracted to WWE, when they get the call they have to go,” Maples said. “He must have apologized a million times. He already let WWE know he owes me on this one. He was so worried about missing the last show, and he said he can't wait to get here.”
One of over 30 wrestlers slated to attend the Fan Fest, Henry plans to donate all proceeds from T-shirt and photo sales directly to FWCS.
“He's so kindhearted, he genuinely just wants to give back,” Maples said. “I can't say enough good things about Mark. He just wants to come here for the show to help kids.”
Henry's initial visit, originally sparked through a mutual friend of him and Maples, will afford Henry the chance to spread the efforts of his foundation. His message? Learn from the mistakes of his youth, one spent acting out against those who bullied him because of his size.
Or at the very least, to help give a voice to those without.
“I travel the country and speak to kids' groups and work with a bunch of different organizations that are geared toward helping kids,” Henry said. “You have to be responsible to everybody, not just yourself, and not let yourself get worked up and built up into making a mistake that's going to hurt your future.”
The Fan Fest runs from noon to 6 p.m., with a wrestling show to follow at 7 p.m. During the Fan Fest, attendees will have the chance to meet wrestlers such as Sgt. Slaughter, Ultimo Dragon, Jeff Jarrett, Barry Windham and Terry Taylor, in addition to Heroes and Legends heavyweight champion Kongo Kong, cruiserweight champion Sugar Dunkerton and mini champion Swoggle.
In all, three past members of the Nation of Domination – Henry, D'Lo Brown and Ron Simmons, the first black world heavyweight champion – will attend the Fan Fest, along with Jim Cornette, who will hold a live one-hour Q&A session starting at 5 p.m.