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Shelton Benjamin (born July 9, 1975) is an American professional wrestler currently signed to WWE on the SmackDown brand. He is also known for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and Pro Wrestling Noah through their working relationship under the ring name Shelton X Benjamin and for American promotion Ring of Honor (ROH) under his real name.[4] Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, he was a two-sport athlete in college. Benjamin won an NJCAA championship in both track and field and collegiate wrestling. After attending junior college, he completed his degree from the University of Minnesota.

Shelton Benjamin
Shelton Benjamin ROH Cropped.jpg
Benjamin in April 2013
Birth nameShelton Benjamin
Born (1975-07-09) July 9, 1975 (age 44)[1]
Orangeburg, South Carolina, U.S.
ResidenceSpring, Texas, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Minnesota
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Shelton Benjamin
Shelton X Benjamin[2]
Billed height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)[3]
Billed weight248 lb (112 kg)[3]
Billed fromMinneapolis, Minnesota
Orangeburg, South Carolina[3]
Debut2000

Benjamin started his professional wrestling career in WWE's developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he held the Southern Tag Team Championship four times (three times with Brock Lesnar, and once with Rodney Mack). WWE then moved him to the main roster in 2002 where he formed an alliance with Kurt Angle and Charlie Haas, known as Team Angle (and later the World's Greatest Tag Team with Haas). During his tenure with the company, he won the Intercontinental Championship three times, the United States Championship once and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice with Haas. Within the World Wrestling Council (WWC), he won the Universal Heavyweight Championship once.

Contents

Amateur wrestlingEdit

Benjamin was born and raised in Orangeburg, South Carolina.[3] He began wrestling his sophomore year at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School.[5] Benjamin recorded a 122–10 overall win-loss record in his high school career and was a two-time South Carolina state high school heavyweight wrestling champion (1993-1994).[3][5][6] Benjamin then attended Lassen Community College in Susanville, California and became a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) track and field champion in the 100 meter as well as a NJCAA collegiate wrestling champion.[5][6] He then transferred to the University of Minnesota on a wrestling scholarship for his junior and senior years of college where he achieved a 36–6 overall win-loss record.[5] After graduation, he served as an assistant wrestling coach at his alma mater and trained with future Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) tag team partner Brock Lesnar.[5][6] Benjamin thought about trying to qualify for the 2000 Summer Olympics but decided instead to pursue a professional wrestling career.[6]

Professional wrestling careerEdit

World Wrestling Federation/World Wrestling EntertainmentEdit

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000–2002)Edit

In 2000, Benjamin signed a contract with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was placed in its developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). There, he formed a tag team with Brock Lesnar, whom he coached at the University of Minnesota.[7] Together, they were known as the "Minnesota Stretching Crew,"[6] and they held the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions.[8] The first two reigns occurred during February and July 2001.[6] They won the title for a third time from Rico Constantino and The Prototype on October 29, 2001.[6] After Lesnar was called up to the main roster in November 2001, Benjamin formed a tag team with Redd Dogg Begnaud called "The Dogg Pound" and once again won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on July 17, 2002.[6] Benjamin then wrestled at several house shows for the main WWE roster and eventually made his WWE television debut on Sunday Night Heat as a heroic character.[6]

The World's Greatest Tag Team (2002–2004)Edit

 
Benjamin with his WWE Tag Team Championship belt and Team Angle hoodie

He joined WWE's SmackDown brand as a heel on December 26, 2002, forming an alliance with Charlie Haas and Olympic gold-medalist Kurt Angle as their mentor known as "Team Angle".[9] Their first televised match together in WWE was on the January 2, 2003 episode of SmackDown against Edge and Chris Benoit.[10]

They continued their feud with Benoit until No Way Out, when Benoit teamed with Brock Lesnar to defeat Team Angle.[11] The duo won the WWE Tag Team Championship just a month after their debut by defeating the champions, Los Guerreros (Eddie and Chavo Guerrero) on February 6, 2003.[12] The two then went on to compete in their first WrestleMania match at WrestleMania XIX, retaining their tag title in a Triple Threat match against Los Guerreros, and Chris Benoit and Rhyno.[6] Team Angle later lost the title to Eddie Guerrero and his new partner Tajiri at Judgment Day in a ladder match.[6] The storyline concluded on the June 12, 2003 episode of SmackDown!, when Angle confronted Benjamin and Haas and fired them from Team Angle.[13] They then began referring to themselves as "The World's Greatest Tag Team" and won the tag titles back on the July 3 episode of Smackdown.[9][14] They lost the titles on September 18, after Benjamin suffered a legitimate knee injury during a match against Los Guerreros.[9] Benjamin was sidelined for approximately one month,[6] but the pair competed together again, taking part in a Fatal Four-Way match at WrestleMania XX.[15]

Intercontinental Champion (2004–2006)Edit

On March 22, 2004, Benjamin was drafted to the Raw brand as part of the 2004 WWE draft.[16] After arriving, Benjamin quickly became a face when he scored an upset victory over Triple H.[17] Benjamin then feuded with Triple H, beating him three times in total: once by pinfall, once by countout and once by disqualification.[18] As part of the storyline, Benjamin then feuded with the other members of Triple H's stable Evolution. Benjamin defeated Ric Flair at Backlash and lost to Randy Orton in an Intercontinental Championship match at Bad Blood.[19][20]

During a match with Garrison Cade on Heat, Benjamin punched Cade's knee brace, breaking his hand in the process and briefly taking him out of action.[6] Benjamin returned in the fall of 2004 helping Randy Orton fight off Evolution and was later chosen by the fans to compete for the Intercontinental Championship in a match against then-champion Chris Jericho at Taboo Tuesday. Benjamin won the match,[21] giving him his first singles title in the company. During his reign as Intercontinental Champion, Benjamin retained the title against challengers such as Christian at Survivor Series,[22] Maven at New Year's Revolution,[23] and Chris Jericho at Backlash.[24] Benjamin lost the title to Carlito when he debuted on Raw (Carlito used the ropes during the pinfall.) during the June 20, 2005 episode, ending the longest Intercontinental Championship reign of the decade at 244 days.[25]

 
Benjamin at a house show in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Benjamin was then depicted as having a "losing streak" over the next several weeks, which led to Benjamin's "Momma" (played by comedian/actress Thea Vidale) coming to Raw to confront Benjamin. Momma slapped and yelled at Benjamin every time he lost a match.[26] Before long, she assisted Benjamin in his matches, often interfering on his behalf.[27] This led to Benjamin turning heel for the second time in his career.[26] In 2006, Benjamin then began a rivalry with then-Intercontinental Champion Ric Flair. On the February 20 episode of Raw, Benjamin defeated Flair to regain the Intercontinental Championship after Momma faked a heart problem, causing enough of a distraction to allow Benjamin to cheat and win the title.[28] Benjamin continued to feud with Flair, but Momma no longer accompanied him to ringside. Benjamin explained her absence by stating that she was undergoing heart surgery in the hospital. She actually left due to being sexually harassed by someone in WWE.[26]

Benjamin competed in the second Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania 22.[29] Benjamin then began a rivalry with Rob Van Dam, the winner of that MITB match, in an attempt to take Van Dam's Money in the Bank contract. During this time, Benjamin emphasized his new heel persona by now wearing shades, jewelry, and occasional colored shirts while entering the ring.[30] At one point, Benjamin was defeated by his former tag team partner, the returning Charlie Haas, during an episode of Raw. A stipulation added to the match meant that due to this loss, Benjamin had to defend the Intercontinental Title in the same match as his shot at Van Dam's contract, meaning at Backlash it would be a "Winner Takes All" match.[31] Rob Van Dam won at Backlash and became Intercontinental Champion.[32][33] Benjamin regained the title from Rob Van Dam in a Tornado Tag Team match, pitting Benjamin, Triple H and Chris Masters against Van Dam and WWE Champion John Cena;[6] both the WWE Championship and WWE Intercontinental Championship could be won by whoever pinned the appropriate champion. Benjamin pinned Van Dam, picking up his third Intercontinental Championship.[34] Subsequently, Benjamin feuded with Carlito and others for his Intercontinental Championship before losing the title to Johnny Nitro in a Triple Threat match also involving Carlito at Vengeance.[35]

Reunion with Charlie Haas (2006–2007)Edit

 
Benjamin and Haas in 2007

On the December 4 episode of Raw, Benjamin's former tag team partner Charlie Haas came out to celebrate with Benjamin after he defeated Super Crazy.[36] On the following week's Raw, Benjamin announced The World's Greatest Tag Team was officially back in a segment with Cryme Tyme.[37][38] They defeated The Highlanders in a match later that same night.[38] They then started a feud with Cryme Tyme, but were largely unsuccessful in defeating them, including a tag team turmoil match at New Year's Revolution on January 7, 2007, where they were eliminated by Cryme Tyme.[39][40][41] They finally managed a win over Cryme Tyme, ending their undefeated streak, on the January 29 episode of Raw.[42] Benjamin entered the Royal Rumble match at the namesake pay-per-view, but was eliminated by Shawn Michaels.[43]

On the April 2 episode of Raw, The World's Greatest Tag Team was unsuccessful in defeating the team of Ric Flair and Carlito, but defeated them in a rematch the following week when Haas distracted Carlito, allowing Benjamin to gain the pin over Flair.[44][45] They won again two weeks later when Carlito turned on Flair, attacking him and allowing The World's Greatest Tag Team to win via countout.[46] They then challenged the Hardy Boyz for the World Tag Team Championship at One Night Stand in a ladder match, but were unsuccessful.[47]

Following this, The World's Greatest Tag Team began a rivalry with Paul London and Brian Kendrick after losing to the duo in their debut match on Raw.[48] A few weeks later, London defeated Benjamin in a singles match, however, on the July 23 episode of Raw, The World's Greatest Tag Team got a tag team win over London and Kendrick to end the rivalry.[49][50][51]

Benjamin and Haas then routinely competed against the teams of Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes and Super Crazy and Jim Duggan until November, when the team was disbanded due to Benjamin joining the ECW roster.[52][53][54]

The Gold Standard (2007–2010)Edit

On the November 20, 2007 airing of ECW, Elijah Burke introduced Benjamin as the newest ECW superstar. Benjamin, who had dyed his hair blond before leaving Raw, began wearing gold wrestling attire and referring to himself as "The Gold Standard". On ECW, Benjamin began once again receiving more airtime and higher profile matches, defeating Tommy Dreamer in his debut.[55] Benjamin then qualified for the Royal Rumble match and won an over the top rope preview. Benjamin appeared in the Rumble match, entering at number 17, but was eliminated by Shawn Michaels.[56] He suffered his first loss since coming to ECW to Kane by count-out, on the January 29, 2008 episode of ECW on Sci Fi. On the February 22 episode of SmackDown!, Benjamin defeated Jimmy Wang Yang in a qualifying match for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXIV,[57] which was won by CM Punk. After WrestleMania, Benjamin briefly feuded with Punk, before he began an on-screen rivalry with Kofi Kingston, who defeated Benjamin on the April 22 episode of ECW. On ECW's 100th episode, however, Benjamin defeated Kingston, thus ending the latter's undefeated streak. To end the feud, Kingston then defeated Benjamin in an ECW Extreme Rules match.

As part of the 2008 supplemental draft, Benjamin was drafted to the SmackDown! brand.[58] On the July 11, 2008 airing of SmackDown!, Benjamin defeated United States Champion Matt Hardy in a non-title match, earning himself a future title shot. At The Great American Bash, Benjamin once again defeated Hardy to win the United States Championship.[59][60] Throughout his reign as champion, he retained the title several times against competitors such as R-Truth and Hurricane Helms. On the 500th episode of SmackDown!, on March 20, 2009 Benjamin lost his United States Championship to Montel Vontavious Porter, ending Benjamin's reign at 240 days.[61] Benjamin then participated in the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXV, but failed to win as CM Punk won the match for the second year in a row.[62] On June 29, 2009, Benjamin was traded back to the ECW brand.[63] The following night, Benjamin returned to the brand in a losing effort to the debuting Yoshi Tatsu.[64] He defeated Tatsu in a rematch the following week on ECW.[65] After a tag team match, Benjamin abandoned his partner Zack Ryder during a tag team match, turning Benjamin face. He would soon feud with Ryder and Sheamus over the following weeks. Benjamin and Sheamus began feuding with and traded wins against each other on ECW and Superstars and the feud lasted until Sheamus was moved to the Raw brand on October 26. The next night on ECW, Benjamin lost to Sheamus in Sheamus' final match on the brand.[66]

Benjamin wrestled Christian at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs for the ECW Championship in a Ladder Match, but came up on the losing end. At the Royal Rumble on January 31, 2010, Benjamin entered the namesake match at entry number 20, but was eliminated by John Cena in under a minute. On the final episode of ECW, Benjamin formed an alliance with Vladimir Kozlov. Together, they defeated three members of the ECW roster: Vance Archer, Caylen Croft and Trent Barreta. On the February 26 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin once again qualified for the Money in the Bank ladder match at WrestleMania XXVI, beating CM Punk. However, Benjamin failed to win the match.[67] He defeated the returning Joey Mercury in his last match at the SmackDown tapings on April 20 in a dark match.[68] On April 22, Benjamin was released from his WWE contract.[69]

Independent circuit (2010–2017)Edit

Benjamin made his independent circuit return on July 24, 2010, in San Diego, California against Scorpio Sky. On July 31, 2010, during the World Wrestling Council's "La Revolución" show in Puerto Rico, Benjamin defeated Ray González to win the WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship.[70] At Crossfire on November 27, Benjamin lost the Universal Heavyweight Championship to Carlito.[71]

In November 2010, Benjamin competed for American Wrestling Rampage. He made his debut on November 10 with Haas facing La Résistance. During his tour with AWR he defeated Shawn Daivari in a steel cage match. He also had tag team matches with Haas taking on Booker T and Scott Steiner. On March 8, 2011, Benjamin wrestled in a dark match prior to the SmackDown tapings in Houston, Texas, defeating Curt Hawkins.[72] On March 9, 2011, Benjamin won the MWF Heavyweight Championship and lost it on June 4.

At JAPW 18th Anniversary Show, Haas, Benjamin and Angle reunited for the first time in 11 years. In the main event, Benjamin and Haas defeated Chris Sabin and Teddy Hart.[73]

On May 15, 2015, Global Force Wrestling (GFW) announced Benjamin as part of their roster.[74] He made his debut for the promotion on June 20, defeating Chris Mordetzky in a main event singles match.[75] Benjamin participated in Global Force Wrestling's inaugural tournament to crown their very first GFW Global Champion, which served as the company's world heavyweight championship. After gaining a victory in the quarter-finals, he forfeited his next match-up to Bobby Roode due to a storyline concussion.

Ring of Honor (2010–2013)Edit

 
Benjamin as one-half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions

On September 11, 2010, at Glory By Honor IX, Benjamin and Charlie Haas made their Ring of Honor debuts in a match, where they were defeated by The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli).[76]

Benjamin and Haas returned to ROH at the Ring of Honor Wrestling television tapings on December 9, where they defeated the Bravado Brothers (Harlem and Lance).[77] The following day, at the second set of television tapings, they defeated the All-Night Express of Kenny King and Rhett Titus, and participated in an eight-man tag team match, teaming with the Briscoe Brothers against the Kings of Wrestling and the All-Night Xpress, which ended in a no contest.[78] On December 18 at the Final Battle 2010 pay-per-view Benjamin and Haas announced that in 2011 they would be wrestling regularly for Ring of Honor.[79] At the following pay-per-view, 9th Anniversary Show, on February 26, 2011, Benjamin and Haas defeated the Briscoe Brothers in the main event of the evening to earn another shot at the Kings of Wrestling and the ROH World Tag Team Championship.[80][81] On April 1 at Honor Takes Center Stage, Benjamin and Haas defeated the Kings of Wrestling for the ROH World Tag Team Championship.[4] On June 26 at Best in the World 2011, Benjamin and Haas successfully defended the ROH World Tag Team Championship in a four-way match against the Briscoe Brothers, the Kings of Wrestling and the All Night Express.[82] The following day ROH announced that both Benjamin and Haas had signed contracts with the promotion.[83] On December 23, at Final Battle 2011, Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship to the Briscoe Brothers.[84] On May 12, 2012, at Border Wars, Benjamin and Haas regained the ROH World Tag Team Championship from the Briscoe Brothers.[85] On June 24 at Best in the World 2012, Benjamin and Haas lost the title to Kenny King and Rhett Titus.[86]

In early August, ROH, in storyline, suspended Benjamin for attacking Titus and several ROH officials with a steel chair. The suspension was used to explain Benjamin's absence from ROH, while he was working in Japan.[87] Benjamin returned on September 15 at Death Before Dishonor X: State of Emergency, accompanying Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus during their tag team championship tournament matches.[88] On December 16 at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, Benjamin and Haas defeated Titus and B.J. Whitmer in a Street Fight.[89] The following day it was reported that Benjamin had requested and received a release from his ROH contract.[90] Benjamin made one more appearance for ROH on February 2, 2013, when Haas turned on him during an ROH World Tag Team Championship match against the Briscoe Brothers.[91] Benjamin was scheduled to face Haas on April 5 at Supercard of Honor VII, but after Haas had parted ways with the promotion, he was replaced by Mike Bennett, who went on to defeat Benjamin.[92]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2012–2015)Edit

On December 9, 2011, New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced that Benjamin would be joining MVP for a tag match against Masato Tanaka and Yujiro Takahashi at Wrestle Kingdom VI in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2012.[93] Benjamin and MVP were victorious in the match, after MVP submitted Takahashi.[94] Benjamin returned to New Japan on June 16 at Dominion 6.16, where he and MVP defeated Karl Anderson and Tama Tonga in a tag team match, with Benjamin pinning Tonga for the win.[95] On July 8, New Japan announced Benjamin as a participant in the 2012 G1 Climax tournament.[96][97] Benjamin returned to the promotion on July 29 at Last Rebellion, where he, Karl Anderson, MVP and Rush defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, Taichi and Taka Michinoku) in an eight-man tag team match, with Benjamin pinning Taichi for the win.[98] In the following month's G1 Climax tournament, Benjamin ended up winning four out of his eight matches, failing to advance to the finals.[99][100] On November 11, New Japan announced that Benjamin would return to take part in the 2012 World Tag League, where he would be teaming with MVP under the tag team name "Black Dynamite".[101] Benjamin and MVP finished their tournament on December 1 with a record of three wins, one over the reigning IWGP Tag Team Champions K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. and Lance Archer),[102] and three losses, failing to advance from their block.[103] On December 2, the final day of the tournament, Benjamin got into a brawl with Masato Tanaka,[104] which led to New Japan the naming him the number one contender to Tanaka's NEVER Openweight Championship the following day.[105] On January 4, 2013, at Wrestle Kingdom 7 in Tokyo Dome, Benjamin unsuccessfully challenged Tanaka for his title.[106][107]

 
Benjamin in New Japan Pro- Wrestling in September 2013

Benjamin returned to New Japan on April 20, now working as a member of the villainous Suzuki-gun, teaming with the stable's leader Minoru Suzuki in a main event tag team match, where they defeated Kazuchika Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura.[108] On the following tour, Benjamin worked under the ring name "Shelton X Benjamin", playing off the fact that prior to him being revealed as the newest member of Suzuki-gun, Suzuki's partner had been billed simply as "X".[2] On May 3 at Wrestling Dontaku 2013, Benjamin unsuccessfully challenged Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.[109][110] Benjamin returned to New Japan on June 22 at Dominion 6.22, where he and Minoru Suzuki defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii in a tag team match, with Benjamin pinning Nakamura for the win.[111][112] From August 1 to 11, Benjamin took part in the 2013 G1 Climax,[113] where he finished with a record of five wins and four losses, narrowly missing advancement from his block.[114][115] On September 29 at Destruction, Benjamin received another shot at the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, but was again defeated by Shinsuke Nakamura.[116][117] From November 24 to December 7, Benjamin and Suzuki took part in the 2013 World Tag League, where they finished with a record of three wins and three losses, with a loss against Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano on the final day costing them a spot in the semifinals.[118][119] Benjamin returned to New Japan on January 4, 2014, at Wrestle Kingdom 8 in Tokyo Dome, where he and Suzuki were defeated by The Great Muta and Toru Yano in a tag team match.[120][121] On March 15, Benjamin entered the 2014 New Japan Cup, defeating Yujiro Takahashi in his first round match.[122] On March 22, Benjamin defeated Katsuyori Shibata to advance to the semifinals of the tournament.[123] The following day, Benjamin was eliminated from the tournament in the semifinals by Bad Luck Fale.[124] From July 21 to August 8, Benjamin took part in the 2014 G1 Climax, where he finished fifth in his block with a record of five wins and five losses.[125][126]

Benjamin returned to New Japan on January 4, 2015, at Wrestle Kingdom 9 in Tokyo Dome, where he, Davey Boy Smith, Jr., Lance Archer and Takashi Iizuka were defeated by Naomichi Marufuji, Toru Yano and TMDK (Mikey Nicholls and Shane Haste) in an eight-man tag team match.[127] Benjamin's profile has since been removed from NJPW's website.

Pro Wrestling Noah (2015–2016)Edit

On January 10, 2015, Benjamin, along with the rest of Suzuki-gun, took part in a major storyline, where the stable invaded a Pro Wrestling Noah show, attacking Marufuji and TMDK.[128][129] Benjamin made his in-ring debut for Noah on January 12, when he, Suzuki, Taichi and Michinoku defeated Marufuji, Atsushi Kotoge, Muhammad Yone and Taiji Ishimori in an eight-man tag team match.[130] Over the next few weeks, Benjamin worked all Noah events,[131] while starting a feud with Takashi Sugiura due to him also having a background in amateur wrestling.[132] Benjamin and Sugiura finally met in a grudge match on July 18, where Sugiura was victorious.[133] In November, Benjamin made it to the finals of Noah's premier singles tournament, the Global League, but was defeated there by Naomichi Marufuji.[134] On June 12, 2016, Benjamin unsuccessfully challenged Go Shiozaki for Noah's top title, the GHC Heavyweight Championship.[135]

Return to WWEEdit

Teaming with Chad Gable (2017–2018)Edit

On the July 26, 2016, episode of SmackDown, a vignette aired promoting Benjamin's WWE return.[136][137] However, on August 7, Benjamin announced that his return was on hiatus due to a torn rotator cuff, which required surgery.[138] On March 30, 2017, Benjamin announced on Twitter that he was once again medically cleared to compete.[139] However, he also confirmed that he never signed with WWE prior to his injury and was for the time being a free agent.[140]

On August 17, 2017, it was reported that Benjamin had officially re-signed with WWE.[141] On the August 22 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin returned to WWE in a backstage segment, where general manager Daniel Bryan made Benjamin the new tag team partner for Chad Gable. The following week on SmackDown, Benjamin and Gable would defeat The Ascension in their first match as a team. On the September 12 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin and Gable would defeat The Hype Bros and again in a rematch at Hell in a Cell, marking Benjamin's first appearance at a WWE pay-per-view since 2010. On the October 10 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin and Gable would defeat The Hype Bros, The Ascension and Breezango (Fandango and Tyler Breeze) in a fatal four-way match to become the number one contenders for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship. On the November 7 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin and Gable would receive their championship opportunity against The Usos, where they would win the match by countout, however, the Usos would retain the titles. Both Benjamin and Gable have quietly turned heel at this point for the first time since 2009. At Clash of Champions, Benjamin and Gable would challenge for the titles again in a fatal four-way tag team match against Rusev and Aiden English, The New Day and The Usos, in which they were unsuccessful. Two days later on SmackDown, Benjamin and Gable beat the Usos in a non-title match, then defeated The New Day and Rusev and English in a triple threat match the following week to earn another shot at the SmackDown Tag Team titles.

On the January 2, 2018 episode of SmackDown Live, Benjamin and Gable defeated the Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team championship but the decision was reversed by the referee when he realized they unknowingly pinned the wrong twin. One week later, when the duo called out the referee and called general manager Daniel Bryan biased, the latter announced they will be getting a rematch at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in a 2 out of 3 falls match.[142] At the Royal Rumble, Benjamin and Gable lost to the Usos in two consecutive falls.[143] At WrestleMania 34 on April 8, Benjamin competed alongside Gable in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but neither won.[144] On April 16, Gable would be traded to Raw during the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-up, thus disbanding the team.[145]

Singles competition (2018–present)Edit

On the April 17 episode of SmackDown, after seemingly wishing Gable good luck on his move to the Raw brand on Twitter, Benjamin would claim his account "got hacked" and began to demoralize Gable, before issuing a challenge to anyone in the locker room. Randy Orton would initially accept the challenge, however, while making his way to the ring, newly drafted United States Champion Jeff Hardy would come out and accept the challenge instead, defeating Benjamin.[146] The following week on SmackDown, Benjamin would issue another open challenge, first answered by Hardy, but Orton would replace him. Benjamin would go onto defeat Orton.[147] Benjamin appeared at the Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, competing in the titular 50-man Royal Rumble match. Benjamin entered the match as entrant number 48 and was eliminated by Chris Jericho.[148] On the May 1 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin teamed with The Miz in a losing effort against Orton and Hardy.[149] Following this, Benjamin would make only make four more televised appearances on SmackDown throughout 2018, losing to Daniel Bryan in June,[150] Jeff Hardy in August[151] and WWE Champion AJ Styles in October.[152] His only win would come over Daniel Bryan on the October 2 episode of SmackDown, after interference from the Miz.[153]

At the Royal Rumble pay-per-view on January 27, 2019, Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble match, but was eliminated by Braun Strowman.[154] Benjamin returned to television on the March 11 episode of Raw attacking Seth Rollins, and later faced Rollins in a losing effort.[155] In the following months, Benjamin would be mostly off WWE programming, only wrestling in two battle royals: the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 35 in April,[156] and the 51-man battle royal at Super ShowDown in June;[157][158] he would win neither match however.

Personal lifeEdit

Benjamin is a fan of video games. He won WWE's THQ Superstar Challenge, a video game tournament that takes place every year during WrestleMania weekend, four years in a row before retiring from the event in 2007.[159][160][160] He has the Guinness World Record for "wrestler who won the most WWE THQ Superstar Challenges".[161] Benjamin is also avidly interested in art. He once wanted a career in the comic book art field. Benjamin is the godfather to Charlie Haas' oldest daughter. Benjamin is close friends with Brock Lesnar, having met him at the University of Minnesota and living with him. Brock stayed in Benjamin's basement when he was out of money. Brock was partially responsible for getting Benjamin a WWE contract by telling the WWE that he would refuse to sign a contract with WWE unless they offered one to Benjamin as well.[162] He is also godfather to Brock Lesnar's daughter. In 2004, Benjamin visited Four Dwellings Primary School in Birmingham, UK, to teach kids about reading week.

Benjamin, along with Candice Michelle, Dave Bautista and Josh Mathews, represented WWE at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in an effort to encourage fans to register to vote in the 2008 Presidential election.[163]

Other mediaEdit

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "WWE Profile - Shelton Benjamin". ESPN.com. 29 July 2016. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b "シェルトン・X・ベンジャミン". New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2013-05-03. Retrieved 2013-05-03.[need quotation to verify]
  3. ^ a b c d e "Shelton Benjamin's WWE Bio". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  4. ^ a b c Caldwell, James; Radican, Sean (2011-04-01). "ROH Internet PPV report 4/1: Caldwell & Radican's "virtual-time" coverage of live ROH PPV from Atlanta". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  5. ^ a b c d e Scales, Jason (February 2002). "It's all about the Benjamin". Wrestling Digest.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Milner, John (2005-04-17). "Shelton Benjamin's Profile". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  7. ^ "Ohio Valley Wrestling Alumni". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  8. ^ "OVW Southern Tag Team Title". wrestling-titles.com. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  9. ^ a b c http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/Bios/benjamin.html
  10. ^ "WWE SmackDown #177 « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Cagematch.net. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  11. ^ "No Way Out 2003 – February 23, 2003". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  12. ^ "WWE Tag Team – Benjamin & Haas". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2005-08-01. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  13. ^ http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2003/06/13/110591.html
  14. ^ http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Wrestling/2003/07/04/127013.html
  15. ^ "WrestleMania XX – March 14, 2004". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  16. ^ "The 2004 WWE Draft Lottery". WWE. 2005-05-20. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  17. ^ Blackjack Brown (2004-04-04). "Benjamin stuns HHH – and WWE". Chicago Sun Times.
  18. ^ "Matches « Shelton Benjamin « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Cagematch.net. Retrieved 2019-02-16.
  19. ^ "Backlash 2004 – April 18, 2004". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  20. ^ "Bad Blood 2004 – June 13, 2004". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  21. ^ "Taboo Tuesday 2004 – October 19, 2004". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  22. ^ "Survivor Series 2004 – November 14, 2004". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  23. ^ "New Year's Revolution – January 9, 2005". Pro Wrestling History. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
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External linksEdit