WWE News: Shelton Benjamin returns to SmackDown Live
What's the story?
After months of speculation, former WWE Intercontinental, United States and Tag Team Champion Shelton Benjamin made his return to SmackDown Live last night. Benjamin appeared in a backstage segment alongside Daniel Bryan and Chad Gable, ostensibly to start life as Gable's new tag team partner.
In case you didn't know...
Shelton Benjamin is often described as one of the most underrated performers in WWE history. Shelton came to the main roster alongside Charlie Haas as Team Angle and received a huge initial push when the team split in 2004. Shelton actually defeated Triple H on his first night as a singles star.
Benjamin spent the next six years treading water in midcard purgatory, before being released in April 2010. The WWE Draft in 2016 saw a vignette hyping Shelton's return, but injury put a stop to that. One year after the draft, Shelton Benjamin finally returned to WWE TV.
The heart of the matter
Shelton made his return in a backstage segment last night, receiving a surprisingly good reception in the process. SmackDown Live GM Daniel Bryan was talking to Chad Gable about recent developments, with Gable expressing frustration at how all anyone wanted to talk about was Jason Jordan.
Bryan informed Gable that Jordan wasn't allowed to leave without reason. As per the deal, RAW GM Kurt Angle helped Bryan sign an old friend of the Olympic Hero, Shelton Benjamin. Bryan informed Gable that Benjamin was his new tag team partner.
Gable responded to the news with practical glee, telling Benjamin that he was a huge fan all the way back to his college days. Benjamin expressed less enthusiasm, but the segment ended with Shelton telling Angle that he'll see how it goes.
During the segment, it was confirmed that Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin would make their tag team debut next week. Shelton's reaction to the news suggests the team may not be long for this world, although that is pure conjecture. It remains to be seen who Gable and Shelton will face next week, although the smart money is on The Ascension.
What a joy it is to see Shelton Benjamin back in WWE. The former WWE Intercontinental Champion is an old favourite of mine, and it was always rather frustrating that he never received a shot at the main event.
It is unlikely that that will happen now, but it is good to see Shelton on WWE TV again.
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