WWE News: Shelton Benjamin Returning To WWE, Coming to ‘SmackDown’ Live Very Soon
The WWE Universe knows that the company has been looking for former WWE superstars to return and help with roster depth on Raw and SmackDown for the brand extension. Recently, it was revealed that Curt Hawkins and Rhyno would be returning to SmackDown to help the younger WWE superstars get over on Tuesday nights.
Tonight on the first live edition of SmackDown since the WWE Draft, Rhyno returned to WWE, caught Heath Slater ranting, and gored him out of his shoes. The former ECW Champion was the first of many returns coming soon to WWE, but another former WWE superstar was officially announced to return on the WWE website with the following video package that aired during SmackDown:
Ain't no stoppin' him! Shelton Benjamin is COMING SOON to @WWE SmackDown Live! @Sheltyb803 #SDLive https://t.co/u73DFWsuw1
— WWE (@WWE) July 27, 2016
A few days ago, Teddy Long appeared on the Gerwick Report podcast to discuss WWE, and the former general manager of SmackDown let it slip that both MVP and Shelton Benjamin were bound for returns to WWE programming. Both men have been rumored to return to WWE in the past, but it didn’t come from a reputable a source as Long.
Although MVP denied the rumor created by Teddy Long, tonight’s SmackDown confirmed that Benjamin will be returning to WWE in the near future. His return will most likely be held off until after WWE SummerSlam, but the decision could lead to him being involved in a match during that event in a little over three weeks.
The last time Shelton Benjamin appeared on WWE programming was back in April 2010. Despite being one of the best pure wrestlers WWE has ever had, his role on the WWE roster at the time had diminished into the midcard. In the years since then, “The Gold Standard” has been recognized as one of the most underutilized and underrated wrestlers in WWE history.
During his tenure in WWE, Shelton Benjamin was a two-time WWE Tag Team Champion along with Charlie Haas, who formed the “World’s Greatest Tag Team” together. Benjamin was also a United States Champion, a three-time Intercontinental Champion, and Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s most underrated wrestler for three straight years between 2005 and 2007.
Many WWE fans scolded the powers that be for wasting his potential to become a major player in the main event scene back in the mid-2000s. However, his return to WWE in 2016 will give him a second chance to potentially reach the echelon of WWE that he was denied during his first run with the company.
Shelton Benjamin will be taking his talents to SmackDown, which will give him a golden opportunity to achieve his goals. WWE has made it clear that SmackDown is going to be a brand without glass ceilings and it will be the show where WWE superstars can elevate their game to utilize their full potential. That’s a perfect place for someone like Benjamin to succeed.
The great thing about Benjamin’s return to SmackDown will be his ability to fill any role with the brand. On paper, WWE officials are bringing him in to help get younger stars over with the WWE Universe to build their characters. There are several chances for him to have great matches with young talent, especially if he gets involved with American Alpha. He’s likely to lose a lot of those matches, but it’s possible that his role could become bigger as he gets over with the WWE Universe himself.
Upon returning, he could immediately challenge The Miz and get involved with the IC title hunt. Given his experience and the reception the WWE Universe could have for him, it may not be out of the question for Benjamin to be launched into the WWE Championship title scene and even face Dean Ambrose at WWE Backlash in September. The possibilities are endless with Shelton Benjamin back in WWE. With even more experience under his belt, there may truly be no stopping him this time.
[Image via WWE]