WWE announced on SmackDown Live last week that fan favourite Shelton Benjamin was returning to WWE programming and had signed with the blue band. The news didn’t come as a complete shock as news of WWE courting former superstars has been heard through the grapevine in the last few weeks.
Shelton Benjamin is the biggest star amongst the names that had been swirling around in the rumour mill and will help bolster SmackDown Live’s thin roster. Benjamin will slot nicely into the upper midcard of SmackDown and fans will remember him as one of the most exciting wrestlers of the Ruthless Aggression Era.
For those of us who watched back then, Benjamin returning is much more exciting that other returnees like Jinder Mahal and Rhyno. With the WWE Universe abuzz, let’s take a closer look at a few lesser known facts about Shelton Benjamin.
5: Standout amateur athlete
Shelton Benjamin is one of the best pure athletes in the history of the WWE. He was a high school heavyweight wrestling champion two years in a row in 1993 and 1994. He later became a two-time All American at the University of Minnesota. An interesting fact some fans might not know is that while Benjamin was in college, his entrance music for big matches was the Undertaker’s theme music.
Benjamin also excelled at track and field and is a former National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) track and field champion in the 100m sprint category.
4: Mr. Money In The Bank
Amongst the many things that Shelton Benjamin is remembered for, are his amazing feats in the Money In The Bank ladder matches he participated in. Benjamin was a part of 5 of the first 6 Money In The Bank ladder matches and his amazing athletic feats during the matches should earn him the title of the true “Mr. Money In The Bank”, even though he’s never won the match itself.
Could we see Shelton Benjamin recreate such moments in the future now that he’s resigned with WWE? Quite possibly, and it’s something that this writer is eagerly hoping to see.
3: Huge fan of video games
Now that Shelton Benjamin has resigned with WWE, he’ll give Xavier Woods a run for his money as the number one gamer on the WWE roster. He won the first four WWE THQ Superstar Challenge’s, a video game tournament organized at Wrestlemania weekend with members of the WWE roster competing, a feat that he holds a Guiness World Record.
Benjamin is also interested in art and comic books and at one point considered a career in comic book art.
2: His connection to Brock Lesnar
Shelton Benjamin attended the University of Minnesota at the same time as Brock Lesnar. In fact, the pair had met earlier at a wrestling tournament in 1997 before running into each other again at university in the wrestling team. Shelton Benjamin was the teams assistant coach when Brock Lesnar won the NCAA Division 1 heavyweight Championship.
The duo were later roommates while they were both down in WWE developmental at Ohio Valley Wrestling. And the duo even won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championships.
Shelton Benjamin had a very successful career in the WWE before leaving in 2010. He’s a 3-time Intercontinental Champion, a 2-time Tag-Team Champion along with Charlie Haas and a former United States Champion. Benjamin is also the only person to compete in 5 of the first 6 MITB ladder matches.
On the independent circuit he’s also a 2-time ROH World Tag-Team Champion and a former World Wrestling Council Heavyweight Champion. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas are also the only wrestlers to hold the WWE and ROH tag-team titles with the same partner.