Following a 7-year absence, former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin has returned to WWE.
The former ‘Gold Standard’, and new partner of Chad Gable, returns to WWE following an injury which prevented him from rejoining the company in 2016 following the WWE Draft.
Benjamin has enjoyed a long and storied career in both professional and amateur wrestling, having competed at the high school and collegiate level before making the jump to the WWE.
Without further adieu, let’s have a look at everything you need to know about Shelton Benjamin:
1 He has a 122-10 record at the high school level
Shelton Benjamin grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He wrestled at sophomore level at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School, where he earned a 122-10 record.
Additionally, Shelton became a two-time South Carolina state high school heavyweight champion in 1993 and 1994.
He would go on to attend Lassen Community College in Susanville, California, where he became a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) 100-meter track and field champion as well as a NJCAA collegiate wrestling champion.
Following this, Shelton went to University of Minnesota, where he would record a 36-6 record, with 12 pins.
2 He is a 3-Time OVW Tag Team Champion...with Brock Lesnar
Upon graduating from University of Minnesota, Shelton Benjamin served as an assistant coach in wrestling, often training with a certain Brock Lesnar.
Once he went to WWE's then-developmental system Ohio Valley Wrestling, he teamed with Brock Lesnar, becoming a 3-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion with the Beast Incarnate between February and October 2001.
Their 3rd OVW Tag Title Reign came after they defeated Rico Constantino and The Prototype on October the 29th 2001. While Rico Constantino would go on to achieve mild success as Rico in the WWE, The Prototype would go on to become 16-time world champion: John Cena.
He would win the same tag team titles for the 4th time in July of 2002, beating Flash Flanagan and Trailer Park Trash.
His partner in that match? Redd Dogg, who is better known as Rodney Mack.
3 He won the WWE Tag Team Championship a month after he was called up
On the 26th of December 2002, Shelton Benjamin debuted on Smackdown alongside Charlie Haas as part of Team Angle with Kurt Angle.
On the 6th of February 2003, little over a month after they debuted on WWE television, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas won the Tag Team titles, beating Los Guerreros on an episode of Smackdown. They would go on to defend the titles successfully at WrestleMania 19, before losing the titles to Eddie Guerrero and Tajiri at Judgement Day in May.
The duo would go on to be kicked out of Team Angle by Kurt Angle. From that moment on they would become known as The World's Greatest Tag Team. The two would win the tag titles again in July 2003 before losing the titles in September after Shelton suffered a knee injury.
4 Solo Success
In March of 2004, Shelton Benjamin was drafted to RAW and defeated HHH in an upset on his debut.
He went on to defeat Chris Jericho at Taboo Tuesday. He would hold the title for 244 days before being beaten for the title by Carlito on the 20th of June 2005, the longest reign of the decade.
He would win his second Intercontinental title from Ric Flair in February 2006 during his run which saw him brought to the ring by his 'Momma'. He would lose the title to Rob Van Dam at Backlash before retaining the title in a Tornado Tag Team match on May the 15th before losing the title again, this time to Johnny Nitro in June at Vengeance.
His next title win came in 2008 when he beat Matt Hardy for the United States Championship at The Great American Bash during his 'Gold Standard' gimmick. He would hold the title for 240 days, beating the likes of Hurricane and R-Truth, before he lost the title to MVP on the 20th of March 2009.
He would achieve little of note after winning the title, and he was released in April of 2010.
5 He was part of the first-ever Money in the Bank Ladder Match
At WrestleMania 22, WWE debuted the Money in the Bank ladder match. The competitors in that match were Rob Van Dam, Ric Flair, Finlay, Matt Hardy, Bobby Lashley, and Shelton Benjamin.
The match was won by RVD, who would successfully cash in the contract by beating John Cena for the WWE Title at Extreme Rules in 2005.
Shelton Benjamin would go on to compete in a total of 4 Money in the Bank matches, at WrestleMania 22, 24, 25 and 26. Unfortunately for Shelton, he would never win the match.
6 He is a former ROH Tag Team Champion with Charlie Haas
After leaving the WWE in 2010, Shelton Benjamin spent some time on the independent circuit, including stints at Ring of Honour and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
While at Ring of Honour, Shelton Benjamin teamed with Charlie Haas as The World's Greatest Tag Team. In April of 2011, the team defeated The Kings of Wrestling (Kassius Ohno and Claudio Castognoli) for the ROH Tag Team Titles.
They would lose the titles to the Briscoe Brothers in December before regaining the titles in May of 2012, before losing them in June against Kenny King and Rhett Titus. He would leave the company in February 2013.
7 He was rated #9 in the PWI 500 in 2005
Shelton Benjamin has always been a highly rated talent in between the ropes. He was held in such regard that, as part of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Top 500 wrestlers in the world in 2005, Shelton Benjamin was rated at 9th.
On top of this, he was dubbed the most underrated wrestler by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter from 2005-2007, as well as being awarded tag team of the year with Charlie Haas by PWI in 2005.
Are you excited to see Shelton Benjamin back on SmackDown Live? How do you feel about him teaming with Chad Gable? Let us know in the comments below!
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