If you forgot that Shelton Benjamin was part of WWE and the SmackDown brand, don’t feel too bad. It’s been months since he was a regular on television and it seems that since he made his return to WWE, the company hasn’t really known what to do with him.
Recently, the former WWE Intercontinental champion took to Twitter to voice his frustrations.
It certainly seems that he’s itching to get back into the mix but because he directs the message to Paige, the general manager of SmackDown, it can be taken in the context of in-character frustration.
That doesn’t mean he isn’t harboring some real frustration. Who wouldn’t be?
Benjamin initially debuted in WWE way back in 2002 after being a standout performer in the company’s developmental territory at the time, Ohio Valley Wrestling. He quickly made a name for himself and was regarded as the best pure athlete on the roster.
After working his way up the ranks, he was paired with Charlie Haas and together they formed a tag team known as the World’s Greatest Tag Team. Together, they formed a stable with Kurt Angle known as Team Angle.
Haas and Benjamin were outstanding in-ring workers and quickly gained favor with the crowd despite being a heel team. They would go on to win the WWE Tag Team titles on two occasions.
In 2004, Benjamin was moved to the Raw brand via the WWE draft and not long after, defeated Triple H in a singles match in what was considered a huge upset at the time.
As a singles competitor, Benjamin would achieve even more success than he did in the tag team ranks. He won the Intercontinental title on three occasions and would also have one reign as United States champion. But he never could climb to the top rung of the proverbial ladder and most chalked that up to a perceived lack of charisma.
Toward the end of his first run with the company, Benjamin spent time in WWE’ s ECW brand, finding some success and qualifying for multiple Money in the Bank ladder matches. Though he never won one of those ladder matches, he performed some unforgettable spots in each one he was part of.
Benjamin was released from WWE in April 2010 but he decided to continue his career on the independent scene, working for both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
But last summer, he would make his long-awaited return to WWE, forming a team with Chad Gable. Their team was seemingly a mix of The World’s Greatest Tag Team and American Alpha, Gable’s former team.
WWE teased a run with the SmackDown Tag Team titles for the team and though they received multiple shots at those very titles, they never won them. In April of this year, Gable was transferred to the Raw brand via the Superstar Shake-Up and neither man has had much of a direction since.
Benjamin signed his first WWE deal all the way back in 2000 and is now 43 years old. It’s likely that his best days are behind him, but one has to wonder why WWE ever re-signed him in the first place if there weren’t any solid plans for him.
Will Paige take his message seriously and give him a chance to shine on an episode of SmackDown in the not-too-distant future? Time will tell.