The following are highlights of Shelton Benjamin’s interview with Sean “X-Pac” Waltman on his X-PAC 1-2-360 podcast. The highlight were supplied by the show producers…
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•On two times he’s been nervous:
Benjamin: The first time I wrestled Flair at a pay-per-view. Because, you know I come out first and for the first time ever face Ric Flair. This is the man, who in my opinion has always been the man. Ric Flair has always been my world champion. So, when I finally see him coming down the to ring for the first time, there’s a moment where I am just like… that kid is standing in the ring.
Waltman: “I’m wrestling ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair!” I’ve been there. I know what’s up.
Benjamin: Exactly. So when he’s coming down, you’re watching the whole thing and then you snap out of it and you have the match. The second time that ever happened was years later it was the first time I had a singles match with Taker. That was a huge shot of adrenaline. I go to the ring and I hear, “Gong!” I would always sneak into the arena for Taker’s entrances. If I was on the show, I was going to be in the arena for Taker’s entrance and go back. But this time, I’m in the ring waiting for Taker to come and yeah…
Waltman: And the Taker that comes through the curtain is a different Taker than we’re sitting there talking to in the dressing room, man.
Benjamin: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Definitely.When that gong hit, that little kid was in the ring watching and it wasn’t until Taker had come to the ring, stepped in, and just when he takes his hat off and the lights go up. That’s when I kind of snapped out it and I was like “Okay, you got to wrestle him now.”
•On working with young talent:
Benjamin: It takes a lot to always be the giver, you know? There are a lot of guys who my job is to build stars, not to be a star. Like I said, you already respect them, but you get a new perspective. Especially because I’ve been in that role where it’s like, “No, I’m helping guys.”
•On tagging with Chad Gable:
Benjamin: It’s funny, because obviously Chad and his former partner Jason (Jordan from American Alpha) would get comparisons to me and Charlie (Worlds Greatest Tag-Team) all the time. As a matter of fact, it got to an annoying point as far as my Twitter feed. I’d be seeing people, you know, W.G.T.T 2 and stuff. The first time I actually met them was probably a month before I came back (to WWE) and the first thing I said to them was, “Are you guys as sick of us as we are of you?” (laughs) So when they paired me and Chad, it was like, huh? I really didn’t see that coming, but let’s see where this goes. So we’ve been having fun, making a few waves and, hopefully we can wrestle those titles away from the Usos at some point.
•On being in OVW:
Benjamin: My experience in OVW was like, it couldn’t be any better. Danny was a great trainer, RIP was a great trainer. Cornette, he knows television and things like that. For me, it was an all positive experience.
Waltman: I hear some people have a negative experience with Jimmy (Jim Cornette). Anything like that? Ever go off on you? Yell at you? Things like that, because he’s very passionate.
Benjamin: Maybe one time. He kinda grilled me a little bit because they were trying to promote something on TV and I kinda wandered out of the screenshot. He grilled me. He didn’t yell at me. It wasn’t anything like that, but as soon it was done, it was done. A lot of people have had issues with Cornette, but I’m not one of them.
•On wishing he was better on promos:
Benjamin: I wish I was a better talker, wrestling-wise. I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t tell me anything when it comes to a match. That is the one thing I wish at the time I realized how important that was and develop it more.
•On Money in the Bank:
Benjamin: That was completely accidental. The first year I was the new guy, everyone else was pretty established. When we finally put the match together I didn’t know how anything would go. I was actually late to the meeting because I was doing the video game tournament. So, when the tournament was over I had to go meet with all the guys. By the time I got there, they had all these ideas and it was all back to back. Edge and Chris Jericho would come up to me and say, “Hey Shelton, if I hold a ladder like this could you do this?” I go… yeah. “Like you sure?” Yeah. “Can you show me?” Nailed it, no problem. Edge comes up and says, “Hey Shelton if you do this, can I do this?” It was them going back and forth. They (Edge & Chris Jericho) were thinking of the craziest ideas and I was just going… yeah.
•On finding a gun in his rental car:
Benjamin: I will say Budget has reached out to me, the car company. I spoke with a few of their reps and they have offered me certain compensations. I’m not going to say what, but you know it’s cool.
Waltman: Are you cool with everything? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Benjamin: I am, only because all things considered it could have gone way worse. And all things considered, I’m fine and a weapon is off the street.Obviously, the owner was not responsible so the owner shouldn’t have the gun.
Waltman: We talked about this earlier. Do you think someone may have been trying to ditch it?
Benjamin: I don’t think someone was trying to ditch it because I don’t anyone who would forget, oh I put my loaded pistol in the car.
Waltman: You were telling me you got pulled over like a couple days before you found it.
Benjamin: I rented on a Sunday and I dropped it off Wednesday morning. But Monday night while going to the town we were going to have the TV taping, I got pulled over for speeding. Luckily, I have great cop etiquette. I didn’t look in the glove compartment, he asked me for my information, and I normally keep it on the dashboard , so I just handed it to him. And it was cool. I know how the climate is. The cop was cool. He said, where are you going, the usual questions. Then he was like. “Alright, I’ll let you off with a warning, just make sure you slow down.” And that was the end of it. When I pulled the gun out (afterwards), the first thing I thought was, What if I had thrown the information in the glovebox? That was the scary part to me because there was no way how I can explain away why there is a loaded gun in my glove compartment. No one would believe it. All things considered everyone is fine. But, I could have easily been arrested because I can’t explain the gun. And there is a whole Domino effect. Obviously WWE would not look kindly on that kind of thing.
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