NoDQ.com > Columns > Dave Scott - One That Got Away: Shelton Benjamin
Posted by Dave Scott on 02/27/2012 at 07:37 PM

The One That Got Away: Shelton Benjamin

I'm going to take a little sideways step from what I usually write, which is usually just random crap thrown onto a page to make little things called sentences about wrestling. So I thought that I needed some structure and consistency to what I'm writing. That brings us to my new column “The One That Got Away”. I'm going to make it monthly thing and write about wrestlers who were good enough to make it to the main event, but for whatever reason never did.

This brings me to one of my favourite wrestlers of all time.

Shelton Benjamin.

I'm going to run through a bit of history of the man himself, point out where things went wrong and right in his career, go over some things that I think could have been changed and adjusted throughout his time that could have pushed him into the main event.

Most of you will be familiar with the guy so I'm not going to bore you with all the ins and outs of his career. Just give a general overview. Shelton started in WWE's at the time development camp OVW, where he held the tag titles four times before being called up to the main roster. When he hit the roster he was part of “The World's Greatest Tag Team” and to be honest, they were that damn good! Aligning themselves with Kurt Angle, they made a huge impact on Smackdown. Even managing to hold the WWE World Tag Team Titles on two occasions.

Like every team they were inevitably split up when Shelton was drafted over to Raw. This is when Shelton was looking like he was going to be making it huge. With three victories over Triple H, he was looking like he was on the path to greatness as at that time it was rare that Triple H would lose once to someone. Which was great and shortly after led onto an Intercontinental title run, which for any rising star is always a good thing. After a couple of months though he then lost the title to Carlito and shortly after was then put in a typical WWE stupid angle which was funny at the time, but definitely made him look a serious contender. They put him on a losing streak and brought in a character who played his “Momma”.

“Momma” was just reeking of racial stereotypes and though there was the occasional chuckle from the angle, it wasn't how I think anyone wanted to see Shelton end up. Luckily to end this angle he did come out with the Intercontinental title, but his momentum was definitely dented heavily. Then after that his WWE career just landed him in a midcard position which he could not seem to get out of.

The few big matches that he was in up to the end of his tenure through the WWE he did usually manage to steal the show or get people talking with some kind of high flying manoeuvre. He did actually become what I believe the real “Mr Money In The Bank” because every single one of those matches he was in he stole the show! But shortly after competing in the Wrestlemania 26 Money In The Bank match, Shelton was release from his WWE contract.

Now I'm not saying Shelton had a bad career with WWE, but he definitely could have been used more effectively. When he one his first Intercontinental title, he was voted into the match by the fans during a Taboo Tuesday PPV. So obviously the fans were behind him! It just seemed that as soon as the fans got behind him WWE didn't like the idea of it and just tried the bury him!

He had some amazing matches with Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle, so full scale feuds could have really made his career rocket, but for whatever reason they chose not to go with it. I think if he had got a long feud with either of those two guys he could have had enough momentum to hold his on in the main event.

Failing that when they realised that they weren't going to do anything with him they could have put him and Charlie Haas in a full time tag team again to try and rebuild the tag team division. Even now if they were to bring those guys in they would be an amazing team to help give the tag team division the boost that it needs.

I never understood why the WWE just didn't pull the trigger with him. I think he was definitely one of the most athletic guys on the roster in the last ten years. Though his mic skills were lacking slightly, that could have easily been helped with a manager. Someone like Elijah Burke as a mouthpiece for him would have been ideal (another guy who WWE could have made huge!).

I'm not going to lie. I don't think Shelton's WWE career is completely over, I think he has the talent to be able to come back, but I don't think he'll ever get passed the midcard. Which is a shame for someone as talented as him. Suppose Ring Of Honour is a better place with him and Charlie Haas in it, so good on them!

Well that's me for this week I'll be back next week with whatever my mind comes up with... Hopefully something sexy!


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