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WWE News: Shelton Benjamin opens up about his release from WWE and his first impressions about Shinsuke Nakamura

anirudh.b
SENIOR ANALYST
News
11.63K   //    23 Sep 2017, 18:33 IST

Shelton Benjamin has nothing but praise for NJPW
Shelton Benjamin has nothing but praise for NJPW

What's the story?

Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin was recently a guest on E & C's Pod of Awesomeness. During his conversation with Edge and Christian, the South Carolina native revealed that he wanted to leave WWE in 2010, calling his first release from the promotion 'almost mutual.' He also heaped praise on Nakamura for the manner in which the King of Strong Style carried himself in the NJPW locker room.

In case you didn't know...

After his release from WWE in 2010, Shelton Benjamin spent four years on the Japanese professional wrestling circuit with both NJPW and Pro Wrestling Noah, two very reputable promotions.

Although Benjamin didn't win a lot of gold during his time in Japan, he claims that the experience rejuvenated his career.

The heart of the matter

During his appearance on E & C's Pod of Awesomeness, Shelton Benjamin admitted that he became complacent towards the end of his first run with WWE and that he needed to move on from the company.

"When the release came, honestly, I felt like I needed it. I had been there for 10 years and I said, 'I had a lot of great moments, but I've never really accomplished what I wanted to.
I had a lot of wonderful experiences, but I had a lot of frustrating experiences too, so by the time my release came, it was almost mutual like I felt I had been spinning my tires, like, wow. I admit I was getting complacent."

When asked about his time in Japan, Benjamin said that there wasn't a pecking order in the NJPW locker room. As someone who wasn't up to date with the company's product, he said that he only realised Nakamura was a main eventer from the crowd's reaction, implying that the King of Strong Style didn't have the airs of a prima donna. He stated

"[Working for NJPW]'s when I first met Shinsuke [Nakamura]. And again, I had no idea who he was. I just thought he was a Japanese guy who does a lot of Michael Jackson stuff. Like, 'what's going on with this guy?' I couldn't figure him out. And then, you see him perform and you figure out real fast who the top guys are because of the fan reaction. But, at the same time, in the locker room, I couldn't tell. "

What's next?

Shelton Benjamin is currently part of a tag-team with Chad Gable. They are currently establishing themselves on SmackDown Live, but one can surmise that a title chase is on the horizon for the two former amateur wrestlers.

Author's take

Even though he's 42 years of age, Shelton Benjamin is still a tremendous athlete who can add a great deal to the tag team division. However, his primary role in the WWE is to get the ball rolling for Chad Gable, who has the potential to achieve greatness.


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anirudh.b
SENIOR ANALYST
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