Shelton BenjaminBio

There are few stories in WWE history quite like that of Shelton Benjamin. Growing up on the dangerous streets of urban Orangeburg, S.C., he lived in an area known for drug trafficking and weapons use, but rather than ending up on the wrong side of the tracks, he was accepted to the University of Minnesota, continuing his career as a stand-out amateur wrestler and eventually becoming a WWE Superstar.

And what a Superstar he became. At two different points in his WWE career, Benjamin enjoyed notoriety as one-half of the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Tag Team” with Charlie Haas. Their tandem initially started off as disciples of Kurt Angle, but eventually splintered off from the gold medalist and made a sizable impact in the tag team division. In 2004, Benjamin cemented himself as a premier singles Superstar when he engaged in a highly competitive rivalry with none other than Triple H himself, defeating The King of Kings on numerous occasions. He was eventually chosen by the WWE Universe to challenge Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Title at Taboo Tuesday, a match which Benjamin ultimately won. He captured the prestigious championship a second time in 2006, by defeating Ric Flair.

In November 2007, Benjamin ventured to the Land of Extreme when he became an ECW Superstar. He tagged himself the "Gold Standard" of ECW, in his efforts to become the next ECW Champion, But his quest took a sudden turn courtesy when the 2008 Supplemental Draft brought him into the SmackDown mix. Undeterred, Benjamin captured gold again when he defeated Matt Hardy for the United States Championship at The Great American Bash 2008. Benjamin held the championship for the better part of a year before losing it to MVP on March 20, 2009.

In the hunt for gold again, Benjamin saw tag action with his old partner, Charlie Haas. Then, as a part of Donald Trump's blockbuster trade, Benjamin returned to ECW. But when The Land of the Extreme made way for WWE NXT, the talented Superstar returned to SmackDown, winning a WrestleMania Money in the Bank Qualifying Match on this first night back. Benjamin failed to capture the elusive briefcase at The Show of Shows, and would part ways with WWE soon after, but his reputation as one of the game’s purest athletes carries on.