Superstar Scores: Shelton Benjamin Career Retrospective Ranking | Smark Out Moment

Superstar Scores: Shelton Benjamin Career Retrospective Ranking

Posted by Anthony Mango Wednesday, August 3, 2016
On this nineteenth edition of SUPERSTAR SCORES, we take a look at one of the most recent re-additions to the WWE roster, as Shelton Benjamin will be returning to SmackDown several years removed from his previous employment with World Wrestling Entertainment. He was always dubbed "the best pure athlete in WWE" for the longest time, so what does his that mean in the grand scheme of things?

If you're unfamiliar with how the segment works, here is a quick breakdown: Each edition, a wrestler will be put under the spotlight and rated on a 0-100 scale based on 10 categories that have been broken up into 5 umbrella sections: In the Ring Skills, On the Mic Skills, Appearance, Behavior, and Crowd Reaction. The rating scale is as basic as you can get: 0-1-2-3-4 | 5 | 6-7-8-9-10. It follows the Three-Count Critique method of green being the good, yellow being in the middle, and red being the bad. A perfect 100 is the goal.



Athleticism: Does the person have a good signature moveset and finisher? Can they perform a wide variety of moves on a regular basis and not botch them?

My Rating = 8
I would give Shelton a higher score if he had a more memorable finisher and if his matches allowed him to do more. This is an instance where he had all the tools, yet was almost never positioned to show them off.

Psychology: The wrestler's ability to tell a story in the ring. Do they make you believe it's real or do they forget to sell their injuries properly? Can they make a long match stay interesting and not get boring?

My Rating = 6
While he was reliable as an in-ring performer for the athletic part, his storytelling skills don't match up. He's definitely not bad, but when did he ever really get the chance to do more than a regular match's outline? His feuds were less about personal rivalries and more about just wanting to win matches.


Charisma: If they get a mic, can they cut a promo without stuttering? Are they repetitive or do they keep things fresh?

My Rating = 6
At the end of his career, Shelton improved, but he still was just about average on the mic. Ain't no stoppin' me nooooow is catchy.

Character: Is their gimmick(s) interesting? Can they pull off being both a heel and a face?

My Rating = 6
Shelton never had the most intricate character, but I honestly was a fan of the Gold Standard gimmick. It's weird to stand out among more colorful characters by being a guy who is just a normal guy, but Shelton somehow did that. Still, that's a little bland, and I can't score it much higher.


Physique: Are they in the proper shape for their gimmick or are they out of shape? (note: someone like Mabel isn't supposed to look like John Morrison, but Matt Hardy gaining weight deducts his points).

My Rating = 8
Great physique, clean-cut, and if he were just a little bigger, he'd be blowing people's minds. No complaints.

Entrance: Their music, the pyro if they have any, whatever taunts or actions they do to make it interesting.

My Rating = 5
His music was fine and his pyro was decent, but he really didn't do anything during his entrance.


Backstage Professionalism: Are they a locker room leader or do they cause problems behind the scenes? Are they bogged down in politics? Do they put other people over or screw people over?

My Rating = 8
Outside of him insulting Sheamus for being a rookie (and Sheamus was definitely overrated at that time, so I agree with him in some regards) I don't remember anything else coming out about backstage problems with him. I may end up bumping this score up a bit when we do our podcast. (Update: I did, as this was originally a 6)

Public Relations: Does this wrestler project a bad image onto the company with arrests and such, or are they someone that promotes the company well, does charities, talk shows, etc?

My Rating = 7
The upside is that he's never been arrested or caused any problems to my knowledge, but the downside is that he was never someone who would be the public face of the company doing promotional stuff and really fitting in well with that positive image aspect.


Popularity: How loud are the cheers and boos for them? Do they sell merchandise? Are ratings up or down when they're on screen? How many Twitter and Facebook followers do they have?

My Rating = 6.5
While I was always a fan of him, I can't let that cloud my judgement. Shelton was a career midcarder for the most part, so I can't justify giving him more than a 7 at the absolute most, but even that I think could end up being somewhat of a stretch. A case can be made for it, but I also think a 6.5 would make more sense as he was someone that people talked about, but weren't gushing over on a consistent basis.

Credibility: Is this person someone you would see as a main eventer and a future legend or are they doomed to forever be a jobber?

My Rating = 7
An ECW Championship reign really would have helped him here. Not having ever been a world champion prevents him from scoring an 8 or higher, but he did still win 4 midcard titles and 2 tag team titles during his career. If 5 is average, then the upper range of midcarders would be 6 to 8, and I think a solid 7 makes a lot of sense.

TOTAL SCORE: 67.5/100

FINAL THOUGHTS: There's no shame in ranking a 67.5 out of 100, which is slightly lower than my score for Cody Rhodes, who accomplished more overall in his tenure. Shelton is someone who has a lot of pros and very few cons, but those minimal negatives were big factors in preventing him from getting further in his career to where he'd be closer to a 100. I'm a major fan of his and I'm looking forward to what he brings to the table now that he's back on the WWE roster.


Shelton Benjamin rating scale 1-100 Is Shelton Benjamin the best wrestler ever?

Tony Mango is the head writer, host of Smack Talk, and founder/CEO/director of operations for Smark Out Moment as well as all branches under A Mango Tree including Fanboys Anonymous. He is a writer, creative director/consultant, media manager and entertainer. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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