Matt Hardy discusses why Shelton Benjamin hasn't gotten a bigger push in WWE.
Benjamin was an All-American wrestler during his time with the University of Minnesota. He signed a developmental deal with WWE in 2000 and later arrived on the main roster in 2002. Benjamin was featured as a member of Team Angle alongside Kurt Angle and Charlie Haas. He and Haas later branched off and became the World's Greatest Tag Team. Benjamin then had a multiple runs as a singles competitor, along with a reunion with Haas, and before he left the company in 2010. Benjamin went on to compete for ROH and NJPW, among other promotions, before he returned to WWE in 2016.
Throughout his time with WWE, Benjamin has won the Intercontinental Championship three times, and he is a three-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He has also won the United States Championship and the WWE 24/7 Championship, but he has never had a world title run.
During the newest episode of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin came up in the conversation, and Matt was asked to share his thoughts as to why Benjamin didn't get a bigger push. Hardy noted that Benjamin is a great athlete, and he would likely have a more prominent spot if he came along today. However, Hardy described how, in the earlier years of his time with WWE, Benjamin didn't have the larger-than-life personality the higher-ups in the company were looking for.
“I don’t know. I think if you had a young Shelton Benjamin come along today, it would change a lot. Back then, they were looking for larger-than-life personalities, people that really bonded with the crowd, and I feel like they didn’t see that as much in Shelton as they would have liked to. They knew, from an athletic perspective, he was just unbelievable. He was unreal. But I feel like in this day and age, if you have someone who’s an amazing athlete and produces these great quality matches, day in and day out and does every single time they hit the ring, then they get over in a different way because the fan base is kind of changed for their respect of the in-ring content as well. So I think if Shelton came along today, I think it would be changed, and he would definitely be programmed a lot higher than he was back then," Hardy said.
Hardy also stated that Benjamin is a "good dude" and a "very funny guy."
On the same podcast, Hardy discussed his bond with Private Party (Isiah Kassidy & Marq Quen). Check out his comments here.
In a recent interview, Hardy stated that he still wants to have a great run with Jeff Hardy in AEW. Click here to see what he had to say.
Benjamin previously had a prominent run as a member of the Hurt Business, and Bobby Lashley previously vowed to make sure the group gets back together. More information is available here.
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