Shelton Benjamin recalls his first WWE release


Shelton Benjamin is finally back in WWE.

Benjamin had a good run with the sports entertainment company but has been away for several years up until recently. Benjamin started his professional wrestling career in 2000 in WWE's developmental territory at the time, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW), where he held the Southern Tag Team Championship four times with Brock Lesnar (three times) and Rodney Mack (one time).

Then in 2002, WWE moved him to the main roster where he formed an alliance with Kurt Angle and Charlie Haas, known as Team Angle (and later the World's Greatest Tag Team with Haas). During his tenure with the sports entertainment company, he won the Intercontinental Championship three times, the United States Championship once, and the WWE Tag Team Championship twice with Haas.

On April 22, 2010, Benjamin was released from his WWE contract, along with Jimmy Wang Yang, Kung Fu Naki, Slam Master J, Mickie James and Katie Lea Burchill. On the August 22nd, 2017 episode of SmackDown, Benjamin returned to WWE as Chad Gable's new tag team partner. The following week on SmackDown, Benjamin and Gable defeated The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) in their first match as a team.

Benjamin recently appeared on E&C's Pod Of Awesomeness to talk with WWE Hall of Famer Edge and former WWE World Champion Christian. During the podcast, he discussed his release from WWE. Here is what he had to say (h/t Wrestling Inc):

"When the release came, honestly, I felt like I needed it. I had been there for 10 years and I said, 'I had a lot of great moments, but I've never really accomplished what I wanted to, obviously, being WWE champ and there's a whole list of things that every Superstar should aspire to be being the champ, being the WWE Champion is one of them. If you're not there to be champ, then quit the [pro wrestling] business. I had a lot of wonderful experiences, but I had a lot of frustrating experiences too, so by the time my release came, it was almost mutual, like I felt I had been spinning my tires, like, wow. I admit, I was getting complacent."

"When you're in WWE, you really don't focus on the other somewhat large promotions because, 'hey, I'm already with the king of the mountain. Why do I need to pay attention to those?'" Benjamin said, "a lot of people working there [in NJPW], I just didn't know. I didn't really pay attention. I mean, we'd see the magazines that would pop up in the locker rooms here and there, but I just didn't know anybody."

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