Weight: 245 lbs
Real Name: Shelton Benjamin
Hometown: Orangeburg, South Carolina
Billed From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Other Names: "Mr. Benjamin"(WWE), "The Gold Standard" Shelton Benjamin(WWE)
Wrestler Since: 2000
Finishing Maneuver: Paydirt, T-Bone Suplex, Shell Shocka, Shell Bomb
Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #71(2011), #76(2010), #31(2009), #62(2008), #91(2007), #37(2006), #9(2005), #16(2004), #30(2003), #132(2002), #153(2001)
Other Related Websites:
History: (Last Updated: 6/09/2006)
The World's Greatest Tag-Team - Rollercoaster Bio
Shelton Benjamin - Cagematch Bio
Shelton Benjamin - Online World of Wrestling Bio
Shelton Net (Fan Site)
Shelton Benjamin - Wikipedia Bio
Weight: 245 lbs
Real Name: Shelton Benjamin
Hometown: Orangeburg, South Carolina
Billed From: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Other Names: "Mr. Benjamin"(WWE), "The Gold Standard" Shelton Benjamin(WWE)
Wrestler Since: 2000
Finishing Maneuver: Paydirt, T-Bone Suplex, Shell Shocka, Shell Bomb
Previous PWI 500 Rankings: #71(2011), #76(2010), #31(2009), #62(2008), #91(2007), #37(2006), #9(2005), #16(2004), #30(2003), #132(2002), #153(2001)
Other Related Websites:
History: (Last Updated: 6/09/2006)
For Shelton Benjamin, wrestling was a fact of life going into high school in Orangeburg, South Carolina. In his high school career, Benjamin went 122-10, twice winning the state championship as a heavyweight (in 1993 and 1994). Benjamin, not surprisingly, was on the radar of many college wrestling programs, and he went to Lassen Community College in Suisunville, California, to continue his amateur career. In 1995, Benjamin became a Junior College national place-winner; he did even better the next year, becoming a Junior College national champion. He was also active in track 'n' field, becoming a 100-meter Junior College National Track champion.
University of Minnesota
In 1997, Benjamin transfered to the University of Minnesota, where he routinely trained with another future star, Brock Lesnar. At the 1997 Big 10 Championship, Benjamin placed 6th. He also won the Northern Open by going 5-0, while placing 2nd at the Bison Open and the UNO Open. In 1998, Benjamin added to his credentials, posting a great 36-6 record with 12 pins. Once Benjamin finished off his college career, many expected him to head into the amateur ranks and attempt to reach the 2000 Sydney Olympics. However, Benjamin had other plans, signing a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling for training and seasoning.
It didn't take Benjamin too long to learn the ropes, although it couldn't have been easy to adjust to the different style of wrestling. Benjamin's well-trained physique helped him, though, to become a star for Ohio Valley Wrestling, especially when he teamed up again with Brock Lesnar, forming the Minnesota Stretching Crew. In February '01, the team won their first OVW Southern Tag-Team Titles, taking down the Disciples of Synn. The Crew defended the belts for over 2 months, before the Disciples of Synn regained the belts. Only a few weeks later, the Minnesota Stretching Crew took the belts back, showing how dominant a team they were. However, an injury to Benjamin forced the Crew to vacate the belts, as Benjmain recuperated.
In October '01, the Minnesota Stretching Crew returned to dominance, beating Rico Constantino & the Prototype (later known as John Cena) to earn the OVW Southern Tag Titles for the third time. This reign, though, only lasted about a week before the Crew lost the titles to the Suicide Blondes. The team then was broken up, as Lesnar was called up to WWE. Benjamin was left on his own for a time, wrestling in singles matches. However, Benjamin was able to form a strong partnership for a time with Redd Dogg Begnaud, creating the Dogg Pound. The duo worked well enough together to defeat Flash Flanagan & Trailor Park Trash to get the OVW Southern Tag Titles, the fourth such reign for Benjamin.
The Dogg Pound kept the tag titles for many months, showcasing their skills inside the squared circle. Problems soon developed, though, between Benjamin & Redd Dogg, as it was announced at OVW Fall Brawl '02 in September that Benjamin was going to be called up to World Wrestling Entertainment. Benjamin was unsure about leaving his tag-team partner, although he was definitely interested in moving up to the big leagues. Redd Dogg later solved the problem, though, attacking Benjamin after a disqualification loss. The two men met up once more in October '02, with Redd Dogg winning over Benjamin to gain control of the tag-team titles. This left Benjamin with no strings to hold him back from going full-force into WWE.
WWE Smackdown: 2003
On December 26, '02, Benjamin made his debut in WWE, joining up with fellow OVW standout Charlie Haas as Team Angle, a group put together to help protect the current WWE Smackdown Heavyweight Champion, Kurt Angle. Team Angle quickly became a major force in the Smackdown Tag-Team ranks, as well as working to make sure that their 'mentor' kept his belt. The group routinely fought against Chris Benoit & Edge throughout January, and at the end of the month, Team Angle won a "#1 Contenders" Match over Benoit & Edge to earn a title shot against Los Guerreros, the current Smackdown Tag Champs. A week later, at the beginning of February '03, Team Angle got the victory over Los Guerreros to place the WWE Smackdown Tag-Team Titles around their waists, a great accomplishment considering they had only been in WWE for a little over a month.
At No Way Out '03, Team Angle & Kurt Angle were scheduled to face Brock Lesnar, Chris Benoit, & Edge. Before the match took place, however, an unknown attacker took out Edge, giving Team Angle & Kurt Angle the handicap advantage. Unfortunately, the advantage wasn't enough to stop the faces, as Lesnar took out Benjamin with an F-5, while Benoit made Haas tap out to the Cripper Crossface. Team Angle moved on from this to concentrate more on the tag-team ranks, facing stiff competition from Los Guerreros and Chris Benoit & Rhyno, among other teams. In a "Triangle" Match at Wrestlemania XIX, Team Angle put the belts on the line against the other two teams, with any of them having the chance to win the gold at any moment. In the end, the intelligence of Team Angle turned out to be the decisive factor, as Benjamin pinned Chavo Guerrero Jr after Rhyno had landed the Gore on him, keeping the tag titles for Team Angle.
The Tag-Team Champs continued to feud with Los Guerreros, creating a unique "clean-cut heels vs. cheating faces" match-up. Team Angle also dedicated their matches to Kurt Angle, who was currently out with a neck injury, by bringing out a display of Angle with them to the ring. The two teams went back and forth going into Backlash '03, where they had another competitive battle. At the end, Chavo Guerrero Jr lifted Haas up for a suplex, only to have Benjamin, from the outside, pull his legs out from under him. As Haas landed on top of Chavo, Benjamin held Chavo's legs from the outside, keeping him from kicking out. As Team Angle celebrated their cheap win outside the ring, Chavo dove over the top ropes and took them both out, then joined Eddie in stealing the tag-team titles and leaving. A furious Team Angle came out and demanded the return of their belts on the following Smackdown, and Los Guerreros complied. Unfortunately, they also stole Kurt Angle's medals from his display at the same time.
Going into May, Team Angle desperately tried to get Angle's gold medals back before Angle returned to Smackdown, continually going after Los Guerreros. They eventually regained the medals, but a match was signed pitting Team Angle against Los Guerreros in a "Ladder" Match at Judgment Day '03. Before the match, though, Chavo Guerrero Jr was injured, and Eddie had him replaced with Tajiri. The two teams went at it at the PPV in a big way, with a lot of high-profile ladder spots in the match. At one point, Eddie Guerrero took Haas off the top of the ladder with a sunset powerbomb, smashing him down. Finally, as Guerrero climbed the ladder, Benjamin tried to stop him, grabbing at his legs. But Tajiri came up the other side of the ladder and spit his Green Mist into Benjamin's face, taking him out and allowing Eddie to get the Tag-Team Titles, winning them away from Team Angle.
For the next few weeks, Team Angle tried desperately to get their tag titles back, with no success. In June '03, Kurt Angle made his return to Smackdown, earning the cheers from the crowds as a face wrestler. Team Angle then came out, wanting to know what Angle was doing. Angle responded by taking away Team Angle's name, firing them from his squad. The feud quickly grew between Benjamin & Haas and Angle, as Benjamin & Haas now had no entry music or name to enter to. Benjamin & Haas began teaming up with the Big Show against Angle, Brock Lesnar, and sometimes Mr. America (Hulk Hogan under a mask). In consecutive weeks, Benjamin, Haas, & the Big Show fought in "3-on-1" Handicap Matches against first Lesnar, whom they defeated, and Angle, who got the win after interference from Zach Gowen.
At the beginning of July '03, Benjamin & Haas got another crack at the Smackdown Tag-Team Titles, and came through, getting the victory over Eddie Guerrero & Tajiri and becoming two-time WWE Smackdown Tag Champs. Benjamin & Haas then concentrated the rest of the month on defending their titles, even taking on the name of the World's Greatest Tag-Team. At Vengeance '03, the World's Greatest Tag-Team had a tough challenge in Billy Kidman & Rey Mysterio Jr. During the match, with Benjamin & Haas on the floor outside the ring, Kidman his his finisher, the Shooting Star Press, off the turnbuckle, taking out both men. Despite the agility of the two men, though, Benjamin & Haas wouldn't be denied, and won the match when Haas held Mysterio up in a powerbomb position, and Benjamin came off the top rope to land a clothesline/powerbomb combination for the victory.
For the next few months, the World's Greatest Tag-Team continued to defend the Smackdown Tag Titles against all comers, but surprisingly didn't defend the belts at Summerslam '03. In September, on a Smackdown show, the World's Greatest Tag-Team took on the recently-reformed Los Guerreros. Not only did the World's Greatest Tag-Team lose the match and the belts to the cheating Guerreros, but Benjamin's knee was injured, partially in revenge for Chavo's time on the bench. This put the World's Greatest Tag-Team on the sidelines for a while, although they did have the honor of being named PWI's 2003 Tag-Team of the Year.
When the World's Greatest Tag-Team returned at the end of October '03, they immediately went back to work trying to regain their titles from Los Guerreros. After one loss to the tag champs, Benjamin & Haas went after Chavo's leg, trying to once again injure it. They also tried to utilize growing friction between Chavo & Eddie Guerrero to their advantage. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the World's Greatest Tag-Team just couldn't get the belts back. Benjamin & Haas did get to go to Iraq at the end of '03, as Smackdown performed a special show for the American troops there. It wasn't a winning trip, though, as they were beaten down by the APA in convincing fashion.
The World's Greatest Tag-Team concerned itself at the start of 2004 with earning two of the spots for the '04 Royal Rumble. They succeeded in their goal, defeating the Basham Brothers in a tag-team match to enter the 30-man competition. But neither man could capitalize on their entry, as Chris Benoit was the last man standing in the Rumble match. The World's Greatest Tag-Team then entered into a feud with another top team, the APA. At one point, Benjamin got in some good shots on Bradshaw's arm, injuring it. The two teams faced off at No Mercy '04, with a lot of back-and-forth action. Near the end, the APA seemed to have things under control, especially after Bradshaw nailed Haas with the Clothesline From Hell. But the impact to his arm so hurt Bradshaw that he was temporarily defenseless, allowing Benjamin to catch him by surprise with a sidekick and get the victory.
After their victory, the World's Greatest Tag-Team continued to cross paths with the APA, including a memorable impersonation done of Bradshaw & Faarooq. Benjamin & Haas also became involved once more in the Tag-Team Title chase, challenging the new champions, Scotty Too Hotty & Rikishi. After various tag-team brawls, a "Four-Way Tag-Team Title" Match was signed for Wrestlemania XX, between the World's Greatest Tag-Team, the APA, the Basham Brothers, & Scotty & Rikishi(c). All eight men gave their all on the grandest stage of World Wrestling Entertainment, with several close 2 counts taking place. But in the end, the champs were too much, as Rikishi dropped his weighty rear end onto one of the Bashams to get the pinfall victory, retaining the titles. Only a few weeks later, during the WWE Draft Lottery, Benjamin was picked out by Eric Bischoff, sending him to Raw and breaking up the World's Greatest Tag-Team.
WWE Raw: 2004
At the end of March '04, Benjamin made his debut on Raw, intent on making an impact. There is no doubt that he succeeded. Benjamin was placed in a main-event match against one of the biggest names in the sport, Hunter Hearst Helmsley. In a match that shocked almost everyone watching, Benjamin pulled out the upset, getting the pinfall victory on Triple H! The next week, Helmsley wanted revenge, and the two once again fought, with a similar result, as Benjamin won via countout, continuing the massive momentum of his push. Benjamin then sided with the other faces of Raw, including Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, & Mick Foley, to oppose the threat of Triple H's Evolution. At Backlash '04, Benjamin faced off against Evolution member Ric Flair in a classic "youngster vs. veteran" battle. Flair's experience helped him in this match, and Benjamin nearly gave up to Flair's Figure Four. But in the end, Flair's reliance on cheating proved his downfall, as, after Flair went for some brass knuckles, Benjamin took him out with a stinger splash and a clothesline off the top for the major victory.
Throughout May '04, Benjamin continued to be one of the top faces on Raw, and battled against every member of Evolution. But Benjamin's attention soon locked on a particular Evolution member, Intercontinental Champion Randy Orton. Benjamin made his goal well-known, threatening to take the belt away from Orton. On the final May Raw, Benjamin even got a non-title victory over Orton, making him a serious contender for the gold. At Bad Blood '04, Orton came out early on, bragging on the mic about his ending Mick Foley's career, as well as talking about Benjamin, who promptly came out and told Orton that they weren't going to wait until later in the night to start the match. A referee then came out and counted as Benjamin very nearly got a quick roll-up. The two fought both in and out of the ring, with Benjamin looking strong. However, Ric Flair's appearance at ringside did not bode well for the young star. Flair soon interfered, putting Orton's foot on the ropes during one pinfall attempt, so Benjamin went after Flair as well, fighting both men at one point inside the ring and putting Flair into the Figure Four. Benjamin later went to hit a cross-body splash off the top rope on Orton, but the champ rolled through and held Benjamin's tights, surviving the match and retaining the title.
On the very next night, while taping a match against Garrison Cade for Sunday Night Heat, Benjamin fractured his hand after one of his punches connected with Cade's metal knee brace. The injury took Benjamin out of action just as he was at his hottest in the world of professional wrestling, and was definitely a blow to his momentum due to such a surprising injury.
In September '04, vignettes were aired on Raw announcing the return of Shelton "They Call Me Mr. Benjamin". He talked about returning and continuing where he had left off. On the September 13th Raw, Randy Orton was put into a handicap match against all of his former group, Evolution (Triple H, Batista, & Ric Flair). During the match, all 3 wrestlers attacked Orton, prompting the DQ. After the match, Evolution continued to attack, but Benjamin ran out of the back to help out Orton. Chris Benoit followed, and the three men cleared the ring of all but Batista, with Benjamin, Benoit, & Orton all landing their finishers on the big man. It was obvious that Benjamin was fired up about being back in action.
On the next Raw, Benjamin had his official return match, teaming with Benoit & Orton against Evolution in a six-man tag-team match. During the bout, Orton was seemingly knocked unconscious by a huge clothesline from Batista. Benjamin checked on his partner, helping to get him to the back, but this made it a 2-on-3 handicap match, putting the odds against Benjamin & Benoit. The two men continued to fight against the odds, but were losing ground, when Orton suddenly returned from the backstage area. He tagged himself in, cleared the ring, and took out Ric Flair with the RKO to get his team the victory.
It was announced during September by Vince McMahon that a pay-per-view, Taboo Tuesday, would be held, with the fans deciding on the matches that would take place. Benjamin's name was placed into the Intercontinental Title race, along with many other wrestlers in WWE. On one Raw, Benjamin joined several other wrestlers to campaign to Mr. McMahon that he deserved the shot more. Mr. McMahon, though, was fed up, and called for a Six-Man Elimination Match between the wrestlers. The Hurricane, Tajiri, Coach, and Rhyno were all eliminated, leaving Benjamin and Christian. Christian was in control, but got distracted while bragging to Mr. McMahon. Benjamin capitalized, getting his T-Bone Suplex to eliminate Christian, thus winning Mr. McMahon's endorsement.
At Taboo Tuesday, Chris Jericho came out for the Intercontinental Title match, and the Coach announced that Benjamin had won the fan's vote with 37%. Benjamin quickly came out and went at it with Jericho in a very competitive match from the two fan favorites. As the match progressed, both men tried their signature moves, but usually missed, as the other wrestler had them well-scouted. But Jericho finally got things going his way by flooring Benjamin, then hitting his Lionsault. But Benjamin kicked out of two pin attempts, frustrating Jericho, who then tried to set Benjamin up for the finish. Benjamin countered with the Exploder Suplex and pinned Jericho to win his first WWE singles gold, the Intercontinental Title. Afterwards, Jericho placed the title on Benjamin's shoulder, showing the respect between the two competitors.
A week later, Benjamin opted to give Jericho a rematch for the Intercontinental Title. In a back-and-forth affair, the two fan-favorites again put on a good match, with the same result, as Benjamin reversed a Walls of Jericho attempt into a roll-up for the victory. After the match, Jericho shook Benjamin's hand and left, only to have Christian come into the ring and attack Benjamin from behind, then posing with the IC Title. Later in the show, after Ric Flair won a match over Randy Orton after Triple H's interference, Benjamin joined in with the rest of the faces in surrounding the ring and taking out the members of Evolution in a violent beatdown, showing that they're now unified against Evolution's power-hungry organization.
On the next Raw, it was announced by Eric Bischoff that Benjamin would be defending his Intercontinental Title against Christian at the Survivor Series. After Christian won a match over the Hurricane, Benjamin came out for some revenge for the ambush from last week. But Christian ran from the ring, then told Benjamin that, for one night, he had a new problem solver (since Tyson Tomko was injured). The 500-pound Viscera then came out of nowhere and beat Benjamin down, leaving him in the ring. Benjamin faced Viscera in a match later in the night, with Viscera dominating until Benjamin knocked him cold with a massive kick, getting the win. Christian went for another attack after the match, but Benjamin caught him and nailed the T-Bone Suplex to continue his momentum into the next Raw, where he defeated the returning Tyson Tomko despite Christian's interference.
At the '04 Survivor Series, Benjamin put his belt on the line against Christian, with Tomko at ringside. The two seemed evenly matched, with Tomko's presence at ringside possibly being the deciding factor, as he turned the tide of the match by tripping Benjamin up at one point, allowing Christian to take him down. Tomko later beat on Benjamin on the outside while Christian kept the referee distracted. Benjamin started to make a comeback, nailing several clotheslines, but a Christian reversal into a DDT led to a very close 2 count. A frustrated Christian opted for dirty tactics, as Tomko slid the IC Title into the ring, then distracted the referee. But Benjamin was able to kick the belt back into Christian's face, keeping him from using the weapon. Tomko interfered once more with the ref out of the way, but it still wasn't enough, as Benjamin took Tomko out, then reversed the Unprettier into the Exploder Suplex for the victory, staying the Intercontinental Champion.
On the next Raw, Maven was in charge for the week, due to his team winning at Survivor Series. As the GM, Maven made a match pitting Benjamin & Chris Benoit against Edge & Christian, reuniting a tag-team that didn't want to be reunited. The arguing between Edge & Christian made things easier for Benjamin & Benoit, who worked well as a unit. Tyson Tomko was also at ringside, though, again becoming a factor in the match. In the end, Edge went for the Spear on Benoit, but got Tomko instead, taking him out of action. Benoit then took Edge out, even as Benjamin beat down Christian. Benjamin got a splash on Christian, followed by a Benoit flying headbutt and the Crippler Crossface, forcing Christian to tap out.
Benjamin participated in the opening segment for the next Raw, participating in a spoof of the controversial NFL Monday Night Football intro. In the segment, Benjamin was confronted by Trish Stratus wearing nothing but a towel. She tried to seduce Benjamin, while he said that William Regal & Eugene needed him for a six-man match that night. The spoof was interrupted by Vince McMahon, who talked about how the skit could "bring the downfall of civilization as we know it". Benjamin, barely containing his laughter, left the scene, as Stratus jumped into McMahon's arms, sans the towel. Benjamin, Regal, & Eugene then went on to win their Six-Man Match against Christian & La Resistance, with Eugene hitting a Stunner on Conway, followed by Benjamin's T-Bone Suplex for the victory.
A week later, Benjamin joined with 19 other Raw superstars in a "#1 Contender Battle Royal" for the World Title. Benjamin was proficient in the match, joining with the other contestants to eliminate the huge Viscera. Benjamin later dumped out Tyson Tomko, and joined with Chris Jericho to throw out Stevie Richards. Benjamin couldn't handle Edge, though, as Edge backdropped him to the apron. Although Benjmain hung on, Edge took him off to the ground with a Spear, ending Benjamin's shot at the title. Edge and Chris Benoit later eliminated each other, so that both were given the title shot. A week later, with Chris Jericho in charge for the night, Christian was given an IC Title shot against Benjamin, as long as he wore the mask of "Captain Charisma". Despite interference from Tyson Tomko, Benjamin was able to come back and retain the title, catching Christian when he was blinded by the mask and landing the T-Bone Suplex.
On the next Raw, Benjamin joined up with William Regal & Eugene to take on Tomko, Christian, & Maven. In a surprising ending, after Benjamin kicked out Tomko, he was rolled up from behind by Maven and pinned. A few weeks later, on the last Raw of 2004, the six wrestlers who had been chosen to wrestle for the vacated Raw Heavyweight Title fought six different opponents, with the best time earning the final entry into the Elimination Chamber. Triple H came out last, trying to beat Batista's time, but his chosen opponent, in a non-title match, was Benjamin. The two men fought back and forth, with Helmsley's eyes regularly on the stopclock. He tried to put Benjamin to sleep as the time run out, but as the referee lifted Benjamin's hand for the third time, Benjamin's foot got on the ropes, keeping the match going and keeping Helmsley from getting the entry he wanted! As Helmsley complained to the ref, Benjamin surprised him with a Stinger Splash followed by a roll-up for a very close 2. Benjamin later got the T-Bone Suplex, but Ric Flair distracted the ref, keeping the count from going down. When Benjamin got up to go after Flair, Helmsley woke up and took advantage, getting the distracted Benjamin with the Pedigree to win the match.
Going into 2005, Benjamin worked to regain some momentum, winning a non-title match over Sylvain Grenier. During the match, Maven came out, talking about how, since he had pinned Benjamin a few weeks back, he deserved an Intercontinental Title shot. Benjamin granted it to Maven at New Year's Revolution. The match took a while to get started, as, after a few quick lock-ups, Maven went to the outside, got a mic, and started bashing both Benjamin and the Puerto Rican fans. Maven talked about how he would beat Benjamin in the US, and started to leave, only to turn around and run back in, swinging at Benjamin. But the champ was ready, rolling Maven up and getting a stunning 3 count! As Benjamin started to leave, Maven told him that the pin didn't count, and that Benjamin was another "Women's Champion". Benjamin promptly reentered the ring, hit the T-Bone Suplex, and pinned Maven again, humiliating him twice in one night.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Benjamin and Maven went at it a third time, this time with a Royal Rumble Qualifying spot on the line. This match went slightly longer than the others, and even saw some offense from the challenger. But Benjamin soon came back and got the T-Bone Suplex for the victory, going 3-for-3 over Maven in a short span of time. Benjamin's feud with Maven carried on into a 6-man tag on Raw, with Benjamin teamming with Rosey & the Hurricane while Maven was with the new tag-team champs, La Resistance. The end came with Benjamin on the outside, distracted with beating on Maven, while Rosey was put through the Au Revoir and pinned by La Resistance. Benjamin later competed in the '05 Royal Rumble Match, coming in at #9. He joined with the rest of the in-ring wrestlers to eliminate Muhammad Hassan, and had a great moment where he and Charlie Haas teamed up together to use their old finisher on Rene Dupree. Soon after, though, Benjamin was sent out by Edge. Batista went on to win the Rumble.
In the weeks following the Rumble, Benjamin was surprisingly rarely around. When Raw went to Japan, Benjamin defended the IC Title against Val Venis on Heat instead. Possibly because of the lack of attention, Benjamin announced an open contract on a February Raw, saying that anyone could face him for the IC Title. Gene Snitsky took him up on the offer, with the monster dominating the champ for part of the match. When Benjamin began to come back, though, Snitsky opted to use a foreign object on Benjamin, right in front of the ref. While Snitsky was upset by the DQ, and eventually stormed off, Benjamin was out cold and needing medical attention. A week later, Benjamin faced off against Snitsky again in a rematch, again with the title on the line. This time, Benjamin took matters into his own hands, showing that he still had a temper. When he went to the outside at one point, Benjamin grabbed a chair and got his own huge head shot in, knocking Snitsky out for a brief time and causing another DQ, while getting some revenge.
Benjamin and Snitsky set up to finish their three-match feud a week later on Raw, as it was announced that the match was given "Zero Tolerance" by GM Eric Bischoff. If Benjamin was disqualified or counted out, Snitsky would win the Intercontinental Title. This led to a more competitive match between the two, although a chair still nearly came into play near the end, as Snitsky, for some reason, opted to go for the steel. But Benjamin dodged the swing, then took Snitsky down with a sick-looking tornado DDT. Benjamin followed that up with a stinger splash, followed by his T-Bone Suplex, to win the match cleanly, retaining the Intercontinental Title against a major foe.
On the next Raw, it was announced by GM Bischoff that, per Chris Jericho's suggestion, there would be a 6-Man Ladder Match at Wrestlemania, between Benjamin, Jericho, Chris Benoit, Kane, Edge, and Christian. It would be a "Money In The Bank" Match, since the winner would get a World Title shot to use within the next year. That night, Benjamin faced off in a "Non-Title" Match against one of the competitors, Chris Benoit, but was forced to tap out to the Crippler Crossface. A week later, Benjamin got a match against another foe in Edge. Edge took the early advantage by attacking Benjamin on the rampway, and later almost won with the Spear. But since the referee was down, there was no count. When Edge went for a ladder, Jericho suddenly ran in and used the ladder to take out Edge, allowing Benjamin to recover and get the T-Bone Suplex for the victory.
Benjamin & Jericho faced Edge & Christian in a tag-team bout the next week, with Christian getting the cheap win by knocking out Benjamin with the IC Title. After the match, Edge & Christian beat down the two faces, while Benoit tried to make the save, only to be taken out himself by Tyson Tomko (Benoit got some revenge later on in the show). On the final Raw before the PPV, Benjamin and Benoit came out on Jericho's Highlight Reel show and talked about who was the hungriest for the World Title shot. They were quickly interrupted by first Christian & Tomko, and then Edge, leading to a brawl that set up a 6-man Tag-Team Match. Both teams had some communications problems, as the various wrestlers were all preparing for the PPV. In the end, Benjamin's team won, after he scored the T-Bone on Tomko, allowing Jericho to apply the Walls of Jericho to make Tomko submit. After the match, Kane came down and took out everyone, showcasing his power.
The "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match at Wrestlemania 21 really was an incredible sight, as all six men put their bodies on the line for a chance to win the WWE World Title shot. Kane definitely had the psychological edge going in, as he lit the ladders on the stage on fire during his entrance. The match saw way too many incredible spots to list here, with Benjamin being a key player in many of them. Two of Benjamin's biggest spots were giving Edge a T-Bone Suplex off of the top of the ladder, and racing up a propped-up ladder to clothesline Jericho off of another one, a feat that needs to be seen to be believed. Near the end, though, Benjamin was taken out from a Chokeslam from Kane on the outside, and after several different wrestlers made the attempt, Edge walked away with the guaranteed contract after climbing the ladder.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Benjamin, bruises and all, defended his Intercontinental Title in a "Triple Threat" Match against Jericho and Christian. All three men were heavily taped up, but that didn't stop them from having a great match, featuring several close pins. The match finished up with Jericho putting Christian in the Walls of Jericho, but Benjamin used the top rope to Springboard high in the air and get a huge bulldog maneuver, pinning Jericho and retaining the title. On the next Raw, Jericho, during the Highlight Reel, talked about his recent losing streak, and traced it back to when he lost the IC Title to Benjamin. He then brought Benjamin out as his guest. The two exchanged several veiled insults to each other before tempers flared, leading to a brawl between the two that had to be broken up by security.
The next week, Benjamin had an IC Title defense against Simon Dean. Before the match started, Jericho came out with the lead guitarist from his band, Fozzy, and played his "new song", entitled Shelton Benjamin Is A Little Bitch. Dean used the distraction to his advantage, attacking Benjamin from behind, but Benjamin later came back with the T-Bone for another win, with Jericho applauding from the ramp. On the final Raw before the PPV, Jericho, after winning a match over Sylvain Grenier, was being double-teamed by La Resistance. Benjamin surprisingly came down to make the save, but afterwards, Jericho shoved Benjamin and again claimed that he'd be taking the title. Benjamin responded with the T-Bone Suplex, knocking Jericho out.
At Backlash '05, Benjamin and Jericho went at it, with the Intercontinental Title on the line. The fans seemed to be more on Jericho's side, chanting "Y2J", while Benjamin almost seemed to have heel heat. The reaction of the fans, though, would change throughout the match. This didn't stop both men from having a great match, with many different near-falls and reversals. Benjamin continued to use his agility to his advantage, including his ability to jump to the top rope in one spring. Near the end, Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Benjamin was able to escape and get the T-Bone. But since Jericho was in the ropes, there couldn't be a pin. By the time Benjamin got Jericho away from the ropes, Y2J recovered enough to kick out. When Benjmain tried for the T-Bone again, Jericho got the Walls locked on, with Benjamin only barely able to fight his way to the ropes. The two men exchanged a few more maneuvers, with Jericho then attempting the Lionsault. Benjamin got his knees up, but Jericho landed upright and went for the Walls again. The two both fought into different roll-ups, but Benjamin won the exchange, getting the pinfall and staying the IC Champion.
On the following night's Raw, it was announced that a "Gold Rush" Tournament would be held to decide who would be the #1 Contender to Batista's Raw World Title. Benjamin was announced as one of the competitors in the tournament. While being interviewed by Maria before the match, Benjamin was interrupted by Jericho, who said that he respected what Benjamin had done the night before. The two wished each other luck in the tournament. Benjamin then came out to the ring, with no idea who his opponent would be. It turned out to be "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, a multi-time champion. The two fought hard, with Benjamin winning the early exchanges and frustrating HBK. The match soon turned into a technial marvel, with both wrestlers pulling out all the stops for a chance at the big belt. At one point, both wrestlers were down. Michaels nipped to his feet at the count of 8, but Benjamin quickly followed, shocking HBK. At the end, Benjamin tried a springboard off the ropes, but Michaels caught him sickeningly in mid-air with some Sweet Chin Music, knocking Benjamin cold and giving Michaels the victory in the tournament brackets.
A week later, after Jericho defeated Daivari in a match, he was attacked by both Muhammad Hassan & Daivari. Benjamin made the save, clearing the ring. Later that night, Benjamin defeated Rob Conway in a "Non-Title" Match with a springboard bulldog, but was then ambushed on the way back down the aisle by Hassan & Daivari, with Hassan choking him out with the Camel Clutch. Benjamin & Jericho sought revenge on the next Raw, facing Hassan & Daivari in a tag-team match. But although Benjamin & Jericho appeared to have the upper hand throughout the match, Hassan got the win by taking out Jericho with an STO maneuver. After the match, a frustrated Jericho stormed to the back. When Benjamin confronted him back there to see how he was doing, Jericho acted nonchalant, saying that he was doing so much regarding his music career and all, that one single wrestling match isn't that big a deal. A puzzled Benjamin watched as Jericho left the locker room.
A rematch between the two teams was set up a week later, but Jericho no-showed the match, causing Benjamin to have to fight both men. It was too much for the IC Champ, as Hassan attacked Benjamin from behind while Daivari distracted the ref, allowing Daivari to get the pin. Jericho later came into Raw, saying that he'd been busy with his band, Fozzy. He defeated Sylvan Grenier in a match, but Benjamin came out afterwards, angry at his partner. Jericho backed away, saying that he'd explain himself more later on. Benjamin had other concerns the next week, though, as he had to defend the IC Title against two men on Raw: Rob Conway and Sylvan Grenier. Luckily for Benjamin, both members of La Resistance wanted the title, making the match a true "Triple Threat". This allowed Benjamin to get the win, retaining the title.
Benjamin's problems continued with Hassan & Daivari a week later, as GM Bischoff, to keep Hassan from suing WWE (due to an assault from Batista), gave Hassan & Daivari a "Handicap IC Title" Match against Benjamin. Near the end of the match, Hassan took out Benjamin and pinned him, with the ref making the count. However, right afterwards, the ref noticed that Benjamin's foot was on the ropes, so he disallowed the pinfall, restarting the match. This allowed Benjamin to come back on the distracted Hassan, taking him out, then getting the T-Bone Suplex on Daivari for the win. Hassan again complained to Bischoff, then had an 'in-ring' meeting with WWE representative "Stone Cold" Steve Austin a week later. Austin agreed that it looked like Hassan had been wronged by the system, thus giving Hassan another match against Benjamin for the IC Title. Hassan tried to use Daivari to cheat for him, then got a low blow on Benjamin before applying the Camel Clutch. However, Austin then entered the ring and hit the Stunner on Hassan, then declared Hassan the winner via DQ! Benjamin, despite the loss, celebrated keeping his title with Austin afterwards with a beer bash.
Benjamin's happiness only lasted a week, however. On the next Raw, late in June '05, Benjamin was brought out by GM Bischoff, who praised Benjamin's long IC Title reign. He also had a surprise for Benjamin, as he made the champ face off against the newest draftee to come to Raw, Carlito Carribean Cool! After a wild match, Carlito used some dirty tactics, winning away the IC Title from Benjamin after over 8 months as champ. Benjamin got a rematch at Vengeance '05, trying to regain the belt from Carlito. It was a back-and-forth match, with both men pulling out all the stops. Near the end, though, Carlito's tactics proved to be the deciding factor, as he removed a top turnbuckle pad. When Benjamin later tried to get his Splash in the corner on Carlito, he hit the exposed turnbuckle instead, allowing Carlito to grab him and roll him up, winning with a handful of tights. Once again, Benjamin fell to Carlito.
For the next few weeks, Benjamin continued to feud with Carlito, getting several wins over the IC Champion. However, they were all Count-Out and DQ wins, keeping Benjamin from regaining the title. Benjamin also feuded in August '05 with "The Masterpiece" Chris Masters & Gene Snitsky, teaming occassionally with the Big Show against the twosome. But Benjamin seemed to be losing some steam, not even appearing at Summerslam '05. At the beginning of September '05, Benjamin had a match against Rob Conway, with Kerwin White (Chavo Guerrero Jr) driving to the ring in his golf cart to root for Conway. Kerwin had started using his catchphrase, "White is Right", which meant that he was biased against Benjamin. In fact, White was a major factor in the match, as he tripped up Benjamin with his golf club, helping Conway get the victory. Benjamin fought White in a match the next week on Raw, with White getting DQ'ed by using his golf club in the match, leaving Benjamin laid out.
At Unforgiven '05, Benjamin got a chance to get some revenge on Kerwin, going after him right at the beginning of the match. The two fought hard, with White opting to try and use his golf club again late in the match. But Benjamin dodged it, then landed the Exploder Suplex, getting a much-needed PPV victory. Even with the win, though, Benjamin soon faded away from Raw, appearing regularly on the Internet version of Heat, instead, continuing his feud with White (and his new caddy, Nick Nemeth). At Taboo Tuesday '05, Benjamin didn't even make the live broadcast, instead teaming with Val Venis beforehand to take on White & Matt Striker, with Striker getting the win by pinning Benjamin.
Going into November '05, Benjamin reemerged on Raw, facing Carlito in a "Raw Survivor Series Team Qualifying" Match. Unfortunately for Benjamin, Carlito used his cheating ways again, putting his feet on the ropes to get the pin, keeping Benjamin from joining the Raw team against Smackdown. A week later, Benjamin joined the WWE locker room in honoring Eddie Guerrero, who had passed away over the weekend. He faced Kurt Angle in a memorable match on Raw, with Angle getting the victory, making Benjamin tap out. A week later, the two faced off again, this time with Angle having his personal referee, Daivari, to work the match. Daivari was a major influence, as he reversed a roll-up and made a quick count to cost Benjamin the match. The losses continued the next week, as Benjamin was pinned by Trevor Murdoch (who also used the ropes to win).
This got the attention of Shawn Michaels, who talked to Benjamin on the next Raw, trying to motivate him. The two teamed against Kurt Angle & Carlito later on, with Benjamin showing how much Michaels had motivated him, blind-tagging himself in when it seemed that HBK was about to get the win. Benjamin then missed a Crossbody on Carlito, allowing him to roll Benjamin up for the pin, as Michaels opted not to make the save. Afterwards, Michaels tried to help Benjamin up, but an angry Benjamin shoved him away, blaming HBK for the loss, despite Benjamin's actions. For the rest of the year, Benjamin's losing streak continued, as he fell to men like Gene Snitsky (at the Christmas in Afghanistan show). The year ended with Benjamin facing WWE Champion John Cena in an "Elimination Chamber Beat The Clock" Match. Although Benjamin kept Cena from setting the best time, he still lost, submitting to the STFU. Afterwards, Benjamin received a call from his Mama, letting him know that she'd be at the next show.
On the first Raw of '06, Benjamin took on Chris Masters, where he was forced to submit to the Masterlock. In the locker room after the match, Mama Benjamin (Theo Vidale) made her first appearance, berating Benjamin for going 'soft'. Mama accompanied Shelton to New Year's Revolution '06, and had a confrontation with Viscera, who came onto Mama. This led to Mama putting Shelton in a match against Viscera at the PPV, much to Shelton's unhappiness. However, although Shelton was outmatched in size and weight by Viscera, his Mama proved to be a valuable asset, as she hit Viscera with her purse, stunning him long enough for Shelton to get the pin, finally getting a big win. It was all thanks to Shelton's Mama, as the two celebrated afterwards.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Shelton & Mama Benjamin were in the back, celebrating their win, when Mama spotted Val Venis. Hilariously, Mama thought she recognized Venis from a movie (Venis had mostly been in porn). When Mama found out what Venis did, she changed her mind, denying seeing any of the movies. Benjamin and Venis fought in a "Rumble Qualifying" Match later that night, with Mama again helping Benjamin get the victory, continuing his new 'winning' streak. A week later, Mama Benjamin came to see Vince (who was slightly undressed, having been expecting Candice Michelle) to ask why Shelton wasn't competing. This led to Vince putting Shelton in a match against the Big Show, with Mama, for once, being too intimidated to be much of a factor in the match, instead telling Shelton just to do his best. Shelton was dominated in the bout, but still got the victory, thanks to the Big Show brawling with Triple H on the outside and getting counted out.
Benjamin was called a "Mama's Boy" by Shawn Michaels on the next Raw, causing him to, ironically, complain to his Mama. He faced Michaels in a match that night, with Vince McMahon (who was feuding with HBK at the time) putting Michaels' Rumble shot on the line in the match. It was another great match, with Mama Benjamin trying to help her son as much as possible. However, the winning streak finally ended, as, while the ref was distracted by Mama, Michaels reversed a roll-up and used the tights to hold Shelton down, getting the pin. Shelton went into the '06 Royal Rumble looking for revenge against Michaels, promising Mr. McMahon that he would be the one to eliminate him. He entered at #28, a great position for him, and immediately went after Michaels. But Michaels turned the tables on Benjamin, eliminating him instead. Rey Mysterio went on to win the Rumble.
Twenty-four hours later on Raw, Shelton left his Mama to take care of some business, which allowed Goldust to freak Mama out with his strange antics. Not surprisingly, Shelton got a match against Goldust that night, with Mama, in a wheelchair, helping at ringside. Shelton got the win, taking Goldust out with the T-Bone Suplex, building up his confidence to its old levels. Benjamin approached the Intercontinental Champion, Ric Flair, in the back later on, saying that he was coming back for his gold. Flair quickly replied that a Mama's Boy shouldn't be challenging the Nature Boy, causing Benjamin to, once again, go find his Mama. A week later, Shelton again left Mama alone in order to find a phone, causing Mama to get accosted by Eugene, who thought she was Martin Lawrence from Big Mama's House 2! Later that night, Shelton competed in the Road To Wrestlemania tournament, taking on the Big Show in the first round. During the match, Mama yelled at the Big Show, who quickly yelled back at her, telling her not to touch him. Mama collapsed, even as the Big Show finished off Shelton with a Chokeslam to win the match. Afterwards, a stunned Shelton recovered to find EMT's helping out her Mama, as they carted her to the back.
A weakened Mama showed up with Shelton on the next Raw, having to use an oxygen tank and a wheelchair to move around. She begged to Vince for an IC Title shot for her son, causing Vince, for once sympathetic (or maybe just wanting her out of there), to set up Shelton vs. Eugene in a #1 Contenders Match. Eugene tried to apologize to Mama before the match with a half-eaten box of chocolates, but Shelton attacked him, focused on business. Shelton eventually got the victory over Eugene, earning the title shot against Flair. The match took place on the next Raw, with Benjamin having problems getting past the current IC Champion. However, when Mama Benjamin seemed to be having health issues, the ref was distracted, allowing Shelton to use his Mama's oxygen tank to hit Flair repeatedly in the ribs. Shelton then gave Flair the T-Bone Suplex and won the match, taking away the IC Title. Afterwards, Mama proved that she was ok, doing an excited dance to celebrate with her son.
Benjamin got another opporunity on the next Raw, as he was put into a "Money In The Bank Qualifying" Match against Chavo Guerrero. The two had a competitive match, but Benjamin soon got an assist from one of Guerrero's rivals, Smackdown wrestler Randy Orton, who hit the RKO on Orton. The ref, meanwhile, was on the outside, once again checking on Mama. In the ring, Shelton, who didn't even seem to know about Orton's interference, made the cover to earn the spot in the Wrestlemania match. Two of Benjamin's rivals were decided later that night, as Flair and Rob Van Dam both won slots as well. A week later, Benjamin had to face Flair in a rematch for the IC Title. During the match, Shelton got stunned by Flair, falling into the corner. The ref pushed Flair back, then reached down to check on Benjamin, who blindly jabbed upwards, giving the ref a thumb to the eyes! Flair took advantage of Benjamin's miscue, grabbing Benjamin's legs and wrapping him into the Figure Four, making him tap out! However, as the bell rang, the ref announced that he had DQ'ed Benjamin, meaning that he had lost the match, but not the Intercontinental Title! A frustrated Flair went ballistic after the match, using Mama's oxygen tank to smash Benjamin twice in the ribs, leaving him laid out.
On the next Raw, Benjamin was set to defend the IC Title again, this time against Rob Van Dam. For the first time in a while, Benjamin came out without Mama, announcing that she was having heart surgery, in part due to what had happened last week. Benjamin blamed Flair for his Mama not being there, and told his Mama that he loved her. The match itself was very fast-paced, with both doing what they could to win. However, when Benjamin went for the belt, probably to hit RVD with it (and escape with the DQ to stay the champ), Flair, who had been at the announce table, interceded. Unfortunately, when RVD charged the two men, he only hit Flair, allowing Benjamin to roll him up for the pin, keeping the title. RVD and Flair had words after the match, with each blaming the other for what went down.
Benjamin, Flair, and Van Dam had a "Three-Way" Match on the next Raw, with Benjamin's IC Title again on the line. It was a violent match, with Van Dam and Flair bumping heads during an RVD suicide dive, busting both men open. In the end, Van Dam tried for the Five Star Frog Splash on Flair, but missed, allowing Flair to lock on the Figure Four Leglock. As Van Dam struggled against it, however, Benjamin snuck in and quickly pinned the trapped Flair, retaining the IC Title once again. The next week, Flair came out, with a ladder, to talk about his destiny of regaining the World Title. Benjamin interrupted him, though, talking down to the Nature Boy. The two men fought, with Benjamin getting the upper hand after a vicious Samoan Drop. But Van Dam then came out and took out Benjamin with a Rolling Thunder on top of a ladder. Van Dam also talked some smack, but he got caught by Flair, who eye-poked him, then nailed him with a ladder, before leaving the ring.
At Wrestlemania 22, Benjamin, Flair, and Van Dam, representing Raw, went into the "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match to compete both against each other and the Smackdown representatives, Matt Hardy, Bobby Lashley, and Finlay. It was an wild affair, with lots of great moves, including Benjamin running across a ladder at one point to deliver a Senton to the outside. Later on, as Van Dam was going for the belt, Benjamin leaped onto the ladder, fighting with him. In the end, Benjamin and Hardy were both fighting on one ladder, but Van Dam took both out by knocking down the ladder. This left Van Dam free to make the climb, grabbing the briefcase for the victory to earn a WWE Title Shot in the next 12 months.
Benjamin didn't let himself get down, as he defended the Intercontinental Title the next night against Chavo Guerrero. Guerrero had dedicated the match to his late uncle Eddie, putting the crowd firmly against Benjamin. But the champ managed to dodge Guerrero's Frog Splash, then got the T-Bone Suplex/Exploder for the victory, retaining the title. Benjamin came out on the next Raw to the announce table during Van Dam's match with Rob Conway. Benjamin had one thing on his mind: challenging RVD for his Money In The Bank title shot. However, after RVD won his match, he told Benjamin that it wasn't going to happen. Van Dam did say, though, that Benjamin ought to think about putting his Intercontinental Title on the line. Benjamin didn't like that idea, though, as he wanted it to just be for the MITB contract, and not his gold.
The matter was decided on the next Raw, when Benjamin was put into a match against an unknown opponent, with the stipulations being that if Benjamin won, the Money In The Bank Contract would be on the line. If he lost, the IC Title would be up instead. Van Dam had a surprise for Benjamin, though, as he brought out Benjamin's old tag-team partner, Charlie Haas! The two had a strong match, but when Benjamin got cocky, trying to use RVD's own moves and mimicking him, Haas got the roll-up, upsetting the IC Champ to put the belt on the line. However, Benjamin was able to manipulate Vince McMahon's ego later on in the night, talking about becoming a follower of "McMahonism". Mr. McMahon showed Benjamin a "blessing", as he pitted Van Dam against all five members of the Spirit Squad! RVD fought hard, but the odds were way too much for him, as he was pinned, making sure that both the Money In The Bank Contract and the IC Title would be up for grabs in their match. The week before the PPV, Benjamin teamed up with Chris Masters, & Matt Striker against Van Dam, Haas, & Carlito. It was a fast-paced match, but in the end, Van Dam took flight, landing the Five Star Frogsplash on Benjamin for the win, gaining some momentum on the IC Champ going into the PPV.
At Backlash '06, Benjamin and Van Dam met with both the IC Title and the MITB contract on the line. It was a highly competitive match, with Benjamin pulling out all the stops. At one point, Benjamin leapt onto the turnbuckle, meeting RVD, then coming back off with a Superplex! Late in the match, Benjamin opted to try and cheat, grabbing the MITB briefcase. When the ref went down, Benjamin tried to use his weapon, but he missed, allowing Van Dam to instead get the Van Daminator kick! With Benjamin down, RVD then climbed and hit the Five Star Frog Splash for the win, taking away Benjamin's IC Title and also keeping Benjamin from getting the World Title shot. Van Dam appeared the next night on Raw to celebrate, as well as to participate in Chris Masters' Masterlock Challenge. It was all a set-up, though, as Benjamin attacked RVD as soon as he was locked in the hold. Carlito came out for the 'save' (possibly to just attack Masters), setting up a tag-team match between the two. Thanks in part to interference from Charlie Haas, who stopped Benjamin from using a chair, Carlito rolled up Benjamin, pinning him to cause the loss.
A week later, Benjamin got a shot at reclaiming his gold, going against RVD, Masters, & Haas in a "Fatal Fourway IC Title" Match. Early on in the bout, Benjamin worked with Masters against their rivals, RVD & Haas. However, when Benjamin opted to go for a pinfall on Haas at one point, the teamwork was broken up, as it became everyone for himself. Late in the match, Masters tossed Benjamin out of the ring, then applied the Masterlock to Haas. Before Haas could tap, however, Van Dam came flying in out of nowhere (actually leaping off the top turnbuckle) for a sunset flip on Masters, getting the 1-2-3 to retain the title. Benjamin could only watch from the outside as another opportunity passed him by.
Still, things were looking up for Benjamin the next week, as Mr. McMahon surprisingly changed the first match (which was scheduled to be John Cena vs. Triple H for Cena's WWE Title) to make it Cena & Van Dam in a "Handicap Texas Tornado Titles" Match against Triple H, Benjamin, & Masters! With both the WWE and IC Titles on the line, Benjamin had a better chance than ever to get some gold around his waist. At one point during the match, Benjamin took out Cena on the outside, hitting him with a kick that sent him into the crowd. The 3 heels then triple-teamed RVD. However, just like the week before, the heels fought over who would get the win, allowing Van Dam to come back and nearly get the Five Star Frog Splash on Masters, only to have Triple H throw him from the top all the way to the guardrail outside. Near the end, Cena made his comeback and got Benjamin in the STFU, but Masters made the save. Van Dam then tried to steal the win, getting the Five Star on Benjamin, but he then got caught by Triple H's Pedigree! Likewise, Cena was distracted by giving Masters the FU, allowing Triple H to get in another Pedigree. But before Triple H could pin the Heavyweight Champ, a hurting Benjamin rolled over and pinned the unconscious RVD, winning the IC Title for the third time!
Benjamin had to defend the IC Championship against RVD on the next Raw. The two had a back-and-forth match, with Benjamin and Van Dam both nearly picking up the win at points. Near the end, Benjamin nailed Van Dam with a Samoan Drop, only to drop Van Dam on top of the ref's leg! The ref, in pain, scrambled to the side, as Benjamin sensed opportunity. He went and grabbed the IC Title, preparing to strike RVD with it. Van Dam saw it coming, though, and used his Van Daminator to strike it back into Benjamin's face! However, the ref then called for the bell, DQ'ing Van Dam for 'using' the belt! An angry Van Dam gave Benjamin the Five Star Frog Splash and left, leaving the champ down and out.
The next week, Benjamin again put the belt on the line, this time against "The Big Red Machine", Kane! Benjamin fought hard against Kane, but was in deep trouble late in the match, as Kane caught him during a Stinger Splash and Chokeslammed him. But before Kane went for the pin, an old-school "Kane" (complete with mask) came out and attacked the real Kane, Chokeslamming him. The match ended in a No-Contest, as Benjamin barely managed to get out with his gold. On the next Raw, Benjamin faced off against an old foe in Carlito in a "Non-Title" Match. It was a good match, with Benjamin nearly getting the win near the end with a Samoan Drop. But when Benjamin went for the Stinger Splash, Carlito backflipped over him, then got the Backcracker, putting Benjamin down for a surprising loss. A few days later, Benjamin joined the 10-Man WWE team in the "Team Battle Royal" against ECW during the WWE vs. ECW special. Unfortunately for Benjamin, he was tossed out during the match, with the Big Show (who jumped to ECW during the bout) becoming the sole 'survivor'.
Pay-Per-View/Show Summary: (52 - 46)
- OVW Rockin' Rumble (June 23, '00) = Benjamin competed in a "Battle Royal", which was won by Jerome Crony.
- OVW Christmas Chaos (January 31, '01) = The Minnesota Stretching Crew (Benjamin & Brock Lesnar) defeated Johnny Spade & Sky Scraper.
- OVW Muncie Show (January 24, '02) = Benjamin fell to the Damaja.
- OVW Indianapolis Show (March 2, '02) = Benjamin defeated Payne.
- OVW Spring Break-Out '02 (April 5) = The Dogg Pound & Nidia beat Synn & the Disciples of Synn.
- OVW Jeffersonville Show (April 10, '02) = Benjamin took down Bull Buchanan.
- OVW Super Summer Sizzler Series (May 31, '02) = Benjmain defeated Chris Kanyon.
- OVW Super Summer Sizzler Series (June 14, '02) = The Dogg Pound won a "Handicap" Match over Doug Basham, the Damaja, & Victoria.
- OVW Super Summer Sizzler Series (July 12, '02) = The Dogg Pound (Benjamin & Redd Dogg) won, via DQ, over the OVW Tag-Team Champions, Trailor Park Trash & Flash.
- OVW Super Summer Sizzler Series (July 19, '02) = Benjamin took down Sean O'Haire.
- OVW Fall Brawl (September 4, '02) = The Dogg Pound retained the OVW Tag Titles, beating the Lords of the Ring.
- WWE Royal Rumble '03 (January 19) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Brock Lesnar.
- WWE No Way Out '03 (February 23) = Benjamin, Charlie Haas & Kurt Angle lost a "Handicap" Match to Brock Lesnar & Chris Benoit.
- WWE Wrestlemania X-9 (March 30, '03) = Team Angle (Benjamin & Charlie Haas) stayed the WWE Smackdown Tag Champs, winning a "Triple Threat" Match over Los Guerreros and Chris Benoit & Rhyno.
- WWE Backlash '03 (April 27) = Team Angle stayed the WWE Smackdown Tag Champs, beating Los Guerreros.
- WWE Judgment Day '03 (May 18) = Team Angle lost the WWE Smackdown Tag Titles to Eddie Guerrero & Yoshihiro Tajiri in a "Ladder" Match.
- OVW Super Summer Sizzler Series (June 27, '03) = Team Angle defeated Mark Magnus & Johnny Spade.
- WWE Vengeance '03 (July 27) = The World's Greatest Tag-Team (Benjamin & Charlie Haas) retained the WWE Tag-Team Titles, beating Rey Mysterio & Billy Kidman.
- WWE Royal Rumble '04 (January 25) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Chris Benoit.
- WWE No Way Out '04 (February 15) = The World's Greatest Tag-Team defeated the APA.
- WWE Wrestlemania XX (March 14, '04) = The World's Greatest Tag-Team lost a "Fatal Fourway" Match to the WWE Smackdown Tag Champs, Scotty Too Hotty & Rikishi. The APA and the Basham Brothers were the other participants.
- WWE Backlash '04 (April 18) = Benjamin took down Ric Flair.
- WWE Bad Blood '04 (June 13) = Benjamin lost to the WWE Intercontinental Champion, Randy Orton.
- WWE Fall Brawl '04 (September 4) = Benjamin, Seth Skyfire, & Mac Johnson defeated the Jersey Shore Crew.
- WWE Taboo Tuesday (October 19, '04) = Benjamin won the WWE Intercontinental Title from Chris Jericho.
- WWE Survivor Series '04 (November 14, '04) = Benjamin stayed the IC Champ, beating Christian.
- WWE New Year's Revolution (January 9, '05) = Benjamin defeated Maven twice in a row, keeping the Intercontinental Title.
- WWE Royal Rumble '05 (January 30) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Batista.
- WWE Wrestlemania 21 (April 3, '05) = Benjamin lost the "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match to Edge. Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Kane, and Christian were the other participants.
- WWE Backlash '05 (May 1) = Benjamin kept the Intercontinental Title, winning over Chris Jericho.
- WWE Gold Rush Tournament (May '05) = Benjamin lost in the first round to Shawn Michaels. Edge won the tournament.
- WWE Vengeance '05 (June 26) = Benjamin lost to the Intercontinental Champion, Carlito.
- WWE Unforgiven '05 (September 18) = Benjamin defeated Kerwin White.
- WWE New Year's Revolution '06 (January 8) = Benjamin beat Viscera.
- WWE Royal Rumble '06 (January 29) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Rey Mysterio.
- WWE Road To Wrestlemania Tournament (February '06) = Benjamin lost in the first round to the Big Show. Triple H won the tournament.
- WWE Wrestlemania 22 (April 2, '06) = Benjamin lost the "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match to Rob Van Dam. Ric Flair, Matt Hardy, Bobby Lashley, and Finlay were the other participants.
- WWE Backlash '06 (April 30) = Benjamin lost the Intercontinental Title to Rob Van Dam. Van Dam's Money In The Bank Contract was also on the line.
- WWE vs. ECW (June 7, '06) = Benjamin(WWE) competed in a "20-Man ECW/WWE Team Battle Royal", with ECW getting the win due to the Big Show(ECW) being the sole 'survivor'.
- WWE Vengeance '06 (June 25) = Benjamin lost the Intercontinental Title, losing a "Triple Threat" Match to Johnny Nitro. Carlito was the other participant.
- WWE Unforgiven '06 (September 17) = In a dark match, Benjamin was beaten by Super Crazy.
- WWE Raw Family Reunion (October 9, '06) = Benjamin fell to Chris Benoit.
- WWE Survivor Series '06 (November 26) = In a dark match, Benjamin defeated Charlie Haas.
- WWE New Year's Revolution '07 (January 7) = The World's Greatest Tag-Team (Benjamin & Charlie Haas) lost a "Tag-Team Turmoil" Match to Cryme Tyme. The other participants were the Highlanders, Cade & Murdoch, and Jim Duggan & Super Crazy.
- WWE Royal Rumble '07 (January 28) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble Match, which was won by the Undertaker.
- WWE No Way Out '07 (February 18) = In a dark match, Benjamin was pinned by Rob Van Dam.
- WWE One Night Stand '07 (June 3) = The World's Greatest Tag-Team lost a "Ladder" Match to the WWE Raw World Tag-Team Champions, the Hardy Boyz.
- OVW Summer Sizzler Series '07 (August 10) = Benjamin defeated Steve Lewington.
- WWE Royal Rumble '08 (January 27) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by John Cena.
- WWE No Way Out '08 (February 17) = In a dark match, Benjamin fell to Kane.
- WWE Wrestlemania 24 (March 30, '08) = Benjamin competed in the "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match, which was won by CM Punk. Carlito, Chris Jericho, Mr. Kennedy, John Morrison, and MVP were the other participants.
- WWE Great American Bash '08 (July 20) = Benjamin won the WWE United States Heavyweight Title, beating Matt Hardy.
- WWE Unforgiven '08 (September 7) = Benjamin lost a "Scramble" Match to the WWE Champion, Triple H. Jeff Hardy, The Brian Kendrick, and MVP were the other participants.
- WWE Cyber Sunday '08 (October 26) = In a dark match, Benjamin retained the WWE United States Heavyweight Title, pinning R-Truth.
- WWE Survivor Series '08 (November 23) = Team Orton (Benjamin, Mark Henry, Randy Orton, William Regal, & Cody Rhodes) won an "Elimination" Match over Team Batista (Batista, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, CM Punk, & R-Truth).
- WWE Royal Rumble '09 (January 25) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Randy Orton.
- WWE Wrestlemania XXV (April 5, '09) = Benjamin competed in the "Money In The Bank Ladder" Match, which was won by CM Punk.
- WWE Judgment Day '09 (May 17) = Benjamin fell to John Morrison.
- WWE The Bash '09 (June 28) = In a dark match, Benjamin was beaten by R-Truth.
- WWE Survivor Series '09 (November 22) = Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Finlay, Matt Hardy, & John Morrison lost an "Elimination" Match to The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Sheamus, & Dolph Ziggler.
- WWE TLC '09 (December 13) = Benjamin lost a "Ladder" Match to the ECW World Heavyweight Champion, Christian.
- WWE Royal Rumble '10 (January 31) = Benjamin competed in the Royal Rumble, which was won by Edge.
- WWE Wrestlemania XXVI (March 28, '10) = Benjamin competed in the "Money In A Bank Ladder" Match, which was won by Jack Swagger.
- RoH Glory By Honor IX (September 11, '10) = The World's Greatest Tag-Team lost a "Non-Title" Match to the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, The Kings of Wrestling.
- WWC Crossfire (November 27th, '10) = Benjamin lost the WWC Universal Title to Carlito Colon.
- RoH SoCal Showdown II (January 28, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team won a "Non-Title" Match over the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, The Kings of Wrestling.
- RoH World's Greatest (February 25, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team & Davey Richards won a "Six-Man Tag-Team Challenge" Match over Roderick Strong & The Kings of Wrestling.
- RoH 9th Anniversary Show (February 26, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team won a "#1 Contenders" Match over The Briscoes.
- RoH Honor Takes Center Stage, Chapter 1 (April 1, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team won the RoH World Tag-Team Titles, beating The Kings of Wrestling.
- RoH Honor Takes Center Stage, Chapter 2 (April 2, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team, as the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, won a "Non-Title Dream" Match over The American Wolves.
- RoH Revolution: USA (May 6, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team, as the RoH World Tag-Team Champs, won a "Non-Title" Match over Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly.
- RoH Revolution: Canada (May 7, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team retained the RoH World Tag-Team Titles, beating The Briscoes.
- RoH Supercard of Honor VI (May 21, '11) = Benjamin took down Claudio Castagnoli.
- RoH Best In The World '11 (June 26) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team stayed the RoH World Tag-Team Champs, winning an "Elimination" Match over The All Night Express, The Briscoes, and The Kings of Wrestling.
- RoH Tag-Team Turmoil '11 (July 8) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team kept the RoH World Tag-Team Titles, defeating Colt Cabana & El Generico.
- RoH No Escape (July 9, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team, as the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, won a "Non-Title" Match over The Bravado Brothers.
- RoH Death Before Dishonor IX (September 17, '11) = Benjamin took down Mike Bennett.
- RoH Gateway To Honor (November 6, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team retained the RoH World Tag-Team Titles, winning over Future Shock.
- RoH Survival of the Fittest '11 (November 18) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team won a "Champion's Challenge" Match over Davey Richards & Jay Lethal.
- RoH Glory By Honor X (November 19, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team stayed the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, beating The All Night Express.
- RoH Southern Defiance (December 3, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team kept the RoH World Tag-Team straps, taking down Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong. Later on, Benjamin competed in the "20-Man Honor Rumble", which was won by Jay Lethal.
- RoH Northern Aggression (December 4, '11) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team, Eddie Edwards, & El Generico won a "$10,000 Elimination Tag-Team" Match over Michael Elgin, Roderick Strong, & The Briscoes.
- RoH Final Battle '11 (December 23) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team lost the RoH World Tag-Team Titles to The Briscoes.
- RoH The Homecoming '12 (January 20) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team took down Future Shock.
- RoH Underground (January 21, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team lost, via DQ, to Team A1.
- RoH 10th Anniversary: Young Wolves Rising (March 4, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team fell to The All Night Express.
- RoH Showdown In The Sun, Night One (March 30, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team defeated The C & C Wrestling Factory.
- RoH Showdown In The Sun, Night Two (March 31, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team lost to the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, The Briscoes.
- RoH Unity (April 28, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team took down Team Ambition (Kyle O'Reilly & Davey Richards).
- RoH Border Wars (May 12, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team won the RoH World Tag-Team Titles, beating The Briscoes.
- RoH Battle of Richmond (May 19, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team, as the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, lost, via DQ, to The Bravado Brothers. Later on, Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team again defended the belts, but lost again, via DQ, to The All Night Express.
- RoH Best In The World '12: Hostage Crisis (June 24) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team lost the RoH World Tag-Team Titles to The All Night Express.
- RoH Caged Hostility (September 8, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team defeated The House of Truth (Michael Elgin & Roderick Strong).
- RoH Killer Instinct (October 6, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team lost an "Elimination" Match to the RoH World Tag-Team Champions, S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs). Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer were the other participants.
- RoH Glory By Honor XI (October 13, '12) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team beat Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer.
- RoH Final Battle '12 (December 16) = Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team won a "NYC Street Fight" over Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer.
- RoH Supercard of Honor VII (April 5, '13) = Benjamin was beaten by Mike Bennett.
- OVW Southern Tag-Team Champion w/ Brock Lesnar (2/13/2001 - 4/22/2001)
- OVW Southern Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Brock Lesnar (5/15/2001 - 7/14/2001)
- OVW Southern Tag-Team Champion(3) w/ Brock Lesnar (10/29/2001 - 11/07/2001)
- OVW Southern Tag-Team Champion(4) w/ Redd Dogg (7/17/2002 - 10/02/2002)
- WWE Smackdown World Tag-Team Champion w/ Charlie Haas (2/04/2003 - 5/18/2003)
- WWE Smackdown World Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Charlie Haas (7/01/2003 - 9/16/2003)
- WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion (10/19/2004 - 6/20/2005)
- WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion(2) (2/20/2006 - 4/30/2006)
- WWE Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion(3) (5/15/2006 - 6/25/2006)
- WWE United States Heavyweight Champion (7/20/2008 - 3/17/2009)
- WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion (7/31/2010 - 11/27/2010)
- RoH World Tag-Team Champion w/ Charlie Haas (4/01/2011 - 12/23/2011)
- RoH World Tag-Team Champion(2) w/ Charlie Haas (5/12/2012 - 6/24/2012)
PWI Achievement Awards: (1 win, 2 1st RUs, 1 2nd RU, 0 3rd RUs)
- 2003 Tag-Team of the Year (The World's Greatest Tag-Team)
- 2003 Most Improved Wrestler, 2nd Runner-Up (w/ Charlie Haas)
- 2004 Most Improved Wrestler, 1st Runner-Up
- 2011 Tag-Team of the Year, 1st Runner-Up (Wrestling's Greatest Tag-Team)