Fearless Nikki offers a first-look at her custom kicks for The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/22/2017 - 01:00
Things turn volatile between Shane-O-Mac and "The Face That Runs the Place" en route to their clash at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/21/2017 - 23:00
Jimmy and Jey Uso make it clear that they've told everyone they were the best tag team from day one, and against American Alpha, they proved it.03/21/2017 - 22:45
The A-Lister and his bride claim to have unearthed supposed never-before-seen footage of Total Bellas.03/21/2017 - 22:45
With his girlfriend and WrestleMania partner Nikki Bella in his corner, The Leader of The Cenation takes on one half of Breezango.03/21/2017 - 22:45
Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose sticks a fork(lift) into The Lone Wolf's first-ever match against The Viper.03/21/2017 - 22:00
Armed with new power from Sister Abigail, The New Face of Fear and his followers trap The Viper.03/21/2017 - 22:00
Following The Usos' non-title victory one week ago, Chad Gable & Jason Jordan go to war with their longstanding rivals for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.03/21/2017 - 21:30
The A-Lister and his bride claim to have unearthed supposed never-before-seen footage of Total Bellas.03/21/2017 - 21:30
The "Face That Runs the Place" plans to run through Shane McMahon at The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/21/2017 - 21:00
WWE Top 10 takes you back to this week's SmackDown LIVE to revisit the show's most thrilling, physical and controversial moments.03/15/2017 - 13:15
Refusing to give in following AJ Styles' vicious attack, Shane McMahon announces a startling match for The Ultimate Thrill Ride.03/14/2017 - 22:30
Weeks after The Viper burned down the Wyatt Family Compound, The New Fear of Fear returns more powerful than ever.03/14/2017 - 22:15
A new Gold Standard?
Arguably, Michael Phelps will forever be associated as the face of 2008's Summer Olympic Games. Winning an unprecedented eight gold medals, Phelps has broken the record of seven set by swimmer Mark Spitz at the 1972 Olympics, and been anointed globally by media markets as the "New Gold Standard" -- a distinction that has incurred the ire of SmackDown's "Gold Standard," United States Champion Shelton Benjamin.
"I will give Michael Phelps his due as an Olympic swimmer," Benjamin told WWE.com yesterday, five days after Phelps earned his eighth gold medal. "But as a total athlete, a total performer and a total champion, there is only one [Gold Standard]. And make no mistake, that person is Shelton Benjamin.
"Michael Phelps is a paper champion," he added, "because by this time next year, Shelton Benjamin will still be in the news. Michael Phelps will be dust in the wind. Five years from now, people will still remember my name."
Phelps is not alone in the WWE Gold Standard's criticism. Benjamin saved his more disparaging remarks for the media, for bestowing his moniker on the 16-time Olympic medalist (14 gold and two bronze).
"The media should be focusing on me as the Gold Standard," he insisted. "I am the United States Champion. I've been the Intercontinental Champion three times. I've been the WWE Tag Team Champion twice. And how long do you think it's going to be before I am WWE Champion? I'm the story. I'm not some momma's boy like Phelps. Who conducts an interview with their mom, anyway?"
Unlike Mark Spitz, who has been comparing his past accomplishments to Phelps' current victories, Benjamin is certain that he would dominate Phelps both in the pool and within the squared circle.
"In one-on-one competition -- Shelton Benjamin, the true Gold Standard, versus Michael Phelps -- I would win!" the United States Champion vigorously declared. "If we were playing golf, I'd win. If we had a drinking contest, I'd win. Football, basketball, mixed martial arts, Nintendo … you name it, I'd beat him. Why? Because I am the Gold Standard, period."
Benjamin is "preparing to rewrite the standard" tonight on SmackDown, by competing in a WWE Championship Scramble Qualifying Match to earn an opportunity to face Triple H for the WWE Championship at Unforgiven. And as usual, he's not shy when it comes to speaking of his chances of adding more gold to his hefty collection.
"Anything I set my mind to do, I do it. Michael Phelps set his mind to swimming and he beat everybody -- everybody but me! As the true Gold Standard, my chances are astronomical. It's almost a foregone conclusion that without a shadow of doubt, the Gold Standard will hit paydirt. I will go on to Unforgiven after winning the Championship Scramble qualifier, and I will become the WWE Champion. That is guaranteed. There ain't no stopping me, now or ever."
Can Shelton Benjamin re-take the Gold Standard nickname "usurped" by Michael Phelps? Can he dig deep during the Championship Scramble Qualifying Match and strike gold once more at Unforgiven? Watch SmackDown on The CW Network tonight at 8/7 CT.