Former WWE Superstar Shelton Benjamin was getting ready for his comeback to the WWE when it was found that he had a torn rotator cuff. This was horrible news to hear for the former WWE Intercontinental and United States Champion. He will now undergo surgery and will miss the next 4 to 6 months minimum. Seeing a guy get hurt is never a good thing, but Benjamin had not even made his official comeback. It appears he was working hurt and WWE found out during testing that he had the injury.
Shelton Benjamin had been working a lot on the independent scene, which is obviously where he first got hurt. It was sad to see him go down due to the injury, as it seemed that WWE had some big plans in place for the former two time WWE Tag Team Champion. According to Daily Wrestling News, WWE actually had some plans in place for Benjamin to get a high mid-card push upon his arrival to the WWE SmackDown Live! brand.
Several top people in management, including the people who count in WWE, Chairman Vince McMahon and Triple H, were said to have always been high on Shelton when he was with WWE due to his impressive work and excitement he brought to matches he was part of. There was a lot of buzz in WWE due to his return and the thought was that he would be an excellent addition to the WWE roster.
The high mid-card push likely would have been seeing Shelton Benjamin work toward the WWE Intercontinental Championship yet again. He has held the title three times before and another reign surely would have come for the 41 year old grappler. Most feel that he would be able to fit in so many areas for the WWE that having him was almost like a gift from God due to the needs WWE has with the brand split.
In speaking of need, the tag team scene on WWE RAW seems to be doing well, but SmackDown Live! needed a shot in the arm. American Alpha being added to the brand was the first step to making sure tag team wrestling had some importance on the brand. They added other teams like The Usos and Breezango to the roster as well, but Alpha would have led the tag team division right off. It made sense due to their major popularity in WWE NXT.
There was some discussion of possibly bringing back Charlie Haas and having he and Benjamin team back up to recreate The World’s Greatest Tag Team. WWE wanted to have them take on American Alpha in a major program that fans would have drooled over. Considering it has been a dream match since the rise of American Alpha, WWE surely would have made some money on the rivalry.
The WGTT would mostly be there to help with depth, but Shelton Benjamin would also work singles material for WWE as well. Again, the holes he would fill as a great veteran are almost endless. This is why the injury to Shelton was so significant for WWE. Most feel that WWE can easily go back to many of the plans they had before Shelton had to undergo surgery, which may possibly work out for the best anyway.
Shelton will have to miss at least four to six months with the recovery from the torn rotator cuff injury. That puts his comeback very close to The Royal Rumble. He very well could return as a surprise Rumble entrant and have a nice return before being thrown out. Benjamin could then bring Charlie Haas back soon after to be part of the tag team division with him on SmackDown Live! He and Charlie could then challenge American Alpha to a match at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando, Florida.
This would allow for the dream match to occur on a huge stage, which likely would be better for the WWE than for it to happen too early. Plus Shelton Benjamin, regardless of who wins in the rivalry, gets to be put in a highly discussed match. He could of course go into more of a singles role after this, but the tag team scene does need depth and SmackDown Live does need a marquee match to add to the WrestleMania card that will get people talking. This certainly could do that.
[image via WWE]