Shelton Benjamin has long been a fan favorite among wrestling fans who continue to push for him to get that main event moment.
Shelton Benjamin is one of those professional wrestlers that fans either love or respect. His early run with WWE was special, mainly because many believe he had all the requirements to be WWE Champion. That never occurred, but Benjamin is still a legend in the industry. His time with WWE is over after a round of roster cuts, but if he popped up in All Elite Wrestling, the company could do something special for both him and the fans who have followed his career for decades.
Imaging Benjamin in AEW creates immediate excitement. There are so many ways he could be leveraged that would please fans and remind the community that he is still a valuable part of the industry. Of course, no one is expecting him to be immediately slotted into the main event picture to battle MJF for the AEW World Championship. But imagine if Benjamin was leveraged for more of the “midcard.” Shelton Benjamin versus Samoa Joe for the Ring of Honor World Television Championship? What about Benjamin versus Eddie Kingston for the ROH World Championship? These are just some ideas right off the cuff.
If AEW really wanted to create a spark, slot Benjamin in with the best faction in professional wrestling today, The Blackpool Combat Club. Putting him with Jon Moxley, Bryan Danielson, Yuta Wheeler, and Claudio Castagnoli would be a shot in what has already been an amazing career. Letting him perform as a “shooter” of sorts would be the perfect introduction.
AEW has shown itself capable of taking someone not known for much of their character work and letting them thrive. Roderick Strong is putting on an amazing performance as the third man in the MJF – Adam Cole angle. No one has ever questioned Benjmain’s wrestling skills, but the character work has long been a detraction. Maybe a new location and new creative team can shake things up enough to give fans a view of something different from him.
Benjamin spent nearly six years outside the WWE after his first release back in 2011. That time saw him compete in other major organizations like IMPACT and New Japan where he had some stellar matches. Still, he never hit main event status during that time. It would be interesting to see if a run with AEW would finally put him in a position that fans have long pushed for him to achieve.
Fans and colleagues showed support for the performers released from their contracts. It is an unfortunate move that WWE takes, even as the company continues to rake in record revenue. Seeing Shelton Benjamin’s run with them come to an end was a surprising moment, but perhaps it is the moment where he’s given another opportunity to do great work in another company.