Watch slow-motion footage from SmackDown LIVE and see why WWE Champion Jinder Mahal has to keep his head on a swivel at all times.06/22/2017 - 11:15
After defeating Chad Gable in his New Face of America Open Challenge, Kevin Owens claims no one will take his United States Title.06/20/2017 - 23:45
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal battles Luke Harper while keeping an eye out for Mr. Money in the Bank, Baron Corbin, and a furious Randy Orton.06/20/2017 - 23:00
After much deliberation, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan reveals his decision on how to solve the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match controversy.06/20/2017 - 22:30
SmackDown LIVE's newest couple want the world to bear witness to their incredible love.06/20/2017 - 22:15
Kevin Owens issues a New Face of America Open Challenge, which is answered by one-half of American Alpha.06/20/2017 - 22:00
The King of Strong Style and The Showoff continue their rivalry in a thrilling contest on the blue brand.06/20/2017 - 21:45
As Daniel Bryan mulls what to do about the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match, Becky Lynch urges SmackDown LIVE's General Manager to make the right choice.06/20/2017 - 21:15
Two days after the SmackDown Tag Team Title Match ended with The Usos retreating, The New Day's Big E and Jimmy Uso square off in a hard-hitting singles competition.06/20/2017 - 21:00
Daniel Bryan is confronted by Natalya and Tamina, who want answers regarding the Women's Money in the Bank controversy.06/20/2017 - 20:45
The Princess of Staten Island and James Ellsworth show no remorse for their actions during the historic Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match.06/20/2017 - 20:45
The Queen makes her case to Daniel Bryan about why the women of SmackDown LIVE deserve better than the outcome of the Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match.06/20/2017 - 20:45
See how The Viper stunned WWE Champion Jinder Mahal with a surprise RKO on SmackDown LIVE in this slow-motion video.06/14/2017 - 18:00
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.