A British Point of View – Why Shelton? Why?

Martyn Nolan

As Wrestlemania has come and gone, then so does the career of several WWE superstars. This is something that has become a bit of an annual clearout within the company.

Various Superstars including Mickie James, Shelton Benjamin, Kung Fu Naki, Jimmy Wang Yang, Mike Knox and Katie have all been shown the door. My question is… Why Shelton!? I know Mickie James seems to have had some backstage politics go on so I could understand the release, but Shelton’s amazes me!
It really bothers me that the biggest wrestling company in the world can find no use for its apparent ‘most naturally gifted athlete.’
Shelton has been with WWE now for the best part of a decade and what does he have to show for it? A Wrestlemania highlight reel which shows him falling of ladders every year and some Intercontinental title runs! (I could be really evil and point out ‘Shelton’s Mummy!’ storyline but I didn’t want to be too hard on the guy!)
Now, we all know that wrestlers who are not good on the mic normally struggle to have really good careers. Point in case – Shelton was never great on the mic. However… Was he really that bad? I’ve sure as hell seen worse.
All that was lacking with Shelton was confidence… This was something that seemed to be coming through slightly over the years but WWE decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle.
It’s no use throwing the guy on TV every 3 months to cut a promo and expecting him every time to have improved upon last. Public speaking is something that needs to be tackled on a regular basis (the same as anything relating to confidence) and if WWE had given him 3 months on the mic in a regular role then I think they would have found a better product in the guy.
WWE missed a massive opportunity with Shelton in my eyes when they did not include him on NXT. Why not? He’s been there longer than half of the “pro’s” and it would have been a good basis to try and get him to talk more on TV. Instead we have to watch Carlito and Christian being misused.
WWE needs to be careful on how they deal with this situation because it’s starting to get under my skin that wrestlers who cannot wrestle but can speak take the main spotlight. Wrestlers such as John Cena are a perfect example. I’m not denying that John Cena should be in the spotlight because he can cut some great promo’s but when it comes to WRESTLING, the guy can’t lace some of the others boots. Now before I get the hate mail about John Cena I never said that he couldn’t wrestle… I just said that he cannot have classic wrestling matches like some of the other underated superstars. If John Cena was released from WWE tomorrow the world would stand in awe if their reason was that his wrestling skills need brushing up. However when I wrestler doesn’t speak well on the mic but can wrestle half the roster off the mat nobody bats an eyelid when they release him. It’s a bad mentality to have and when one considers that there are people on regular WWE programming such as Hornswoggle and Santino (funny as he can be AT TIMES) who never seem to get questioned.
I class Shelton Benjamin the same as Bret Hart and Chris Benoit. Neither of these guys in the prime of their careers were able to cut brilliant promo’s but were able to put on a wrestling match like no other and tell a great story within the ropes.
All Shelton needed was a run of decent results with the opportunity to talk regularly. This is where I feel WWE have let him down. Now they have released him, so what’s next?
First thought is always going to be TNA. Will TNA capitalise on a talent that WWE misused? (A perfect example would be Ken Anderson) Or is this all part of WWE’s grand plan? Do they plan to give decent wrestlers to TNA in hopes they develop more there and sign them back to WWE in the near future? (like Christian) or do they simply have the arrogance that it does not matter?
What’s your opinion on this? beansontoastuk@msn.com and I’ll look forward to hearing from you!

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