by Brian Phelps
Back in 2008, it was being reported by prowrestling.net's Jason Powell that former Fabulous Freebird and Head Creative Writer of Smackdown at the time Michael Hayes allegedly told Mark Henry "I'm more of a n***** than you are."
This reportedly happened at a party during Wrestlemania XXIV weekend at the end of March 2008. Wrestlemania XXIV took place on March 30, 2008. Michael Hayes was allegedly suspended for the racial slur for 60 days.
Mark Henry was moved from Smackdown to the ECW brand in June of 2008, and the month of June he won the ECW World Championship and held it for three months. Now, what's interesting is that if Michael Hayes was suspended for 60 days at the end of March, then he would have been returning to Smackdown in June which is the exact same time that they moved Mark Henry to ECW. Upon Michael Hayes return to Smackdown, Mark Henry wins the ECW World Title.
This makes you wonder if Mark Henry's ECW title run was a pity reign given to Mark by the WWE as an apology for Michael Hayes actions. Or could it have been WWE's way of protecting themselves from a possible lawsuit? Mark Henry could have filed a discrimination lawsuit against WWE, but by moving Henry to ECW and giving him the ECW World Title there is no way that Henry could have won a discrimination suit anymore. WWE played their cards right on this one. By suspending Michael Hayes and moving Henry to ECW upon Hayes return to Smackdown from his suspension, Mark Henry couldn't say that WWE neglected to do anything when the incident was reported. Then by giving Mark Henry the ECW World Title, Mark Henry can't claim that Michael Hayes discrimination resulted in Mark Henry being held down because he became a World Champion. It was very smart by WWE. That way, everyone wins. The bad guy gets punished, the victim gets compensated, and the company's image and finances weren't damaged by a lawsuit.