POST NEWS UPDATE: Shelton Benjamin states that his NJPW run rejuvenated his love for wrestling

Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Shelton Benjamin states that his NJPW run rejuvenated his love for wrestling

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** The latest guest to join The Kurt Angle Show was Shelton Benjamin. He looked back on his time with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and said it rejuvenated his love for the sport. He said Minoru Suzuki took him under his wing while in Suzuki-gun. Benjamin said NJPW treated him as if he was doing them a favor by being there. He is not sure if he would’ve returned to WWE if NJPW had those same resources available.

I end up going to New Japan and that’s where, I’ll be quite honest, New Japan really (rejuvenated) my love for wrestling, and the wrestling culture, because I went there, New Japan made me feel like I was doing them a favor by even working for them. From a character standpoint, they actually protected me. They made me — I just started calling myself ‘Shelton X Benjamin’ when they put me in Suzuki-gun, and Minoru Suzuki, he was awesome. Took me under his wing. It’s a completely different culture but it’s a respect culture… I’ve said it before, if New Japan had the resources that WWE had, I don’t know if I would have ever came back. I love that company. I love that company, I fell in love with Japan… I got nothing but love for New Japan and Pro Wrestling NOAH because they did an exchange thing where the Suzuki-gun faction which I was a part of, we were sent to NOAH, raising hell. For me, didn’t matter. I was having the time of my life. I got to learn so much about Japan and its culture. I love that country now and I never even considered working there before M.V.P. called me.

Earlier in the conversation, Benjamin spoke about his run in Ohio Valley Wrestling. He remembers Bobby Eaton being brought to developmental to teach him how do the ‘Alabama Jam’ leg drop.

I know at one point, they (OVW) were trying to get me to do the leg drop that Bobby Eaton was doing. They actually brought Bobby Eaton to teach it to me. But I didn’t really enjoy landing on my butt like that.

** Aubrey Edwards and Will Washington welcomed Anthony Ogogo onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Ogogo shared that there was a lawsuit revolving around the handling of his eye injury from his boxing career. He could not share too many details as a result of the suit. Ogogo sued for 13-million-pound sterling ($16 million USD) and said he did not win because the system ‘f*cked’ him.

I kind of didn’t say it. I was in a big legal thing because this person did the wrong thing to my eye and I didn’t win the legal thing. Why? Because the whole system f*cked me and I can’t even go into this… People don’t even know the true extent of the injury because I can’t talk about it and it’s not like they said to me, here’s 10 million pounds which I was suing ‘em for 13 million dollars… You can’t say anything. I’ll be quite content if I got 10 million pounds and I couldn’t say anything. I lost the case, and I still can’t talk about it. I can’t implicate the people that messed my career up.

** Guest appearing on FOX 13 Tampa Bay to promote the Royal Rumble was Natalya. She commented on the deal between WWE and Netflix to air WWE Raw exclusively on the streaming platform beginning January 2025. Natalya expressed how excited she is about it.

It’s so exciting (WWE Raw coming to Netflix in 2025) … It definitely is taking WWE to a whole new level and of course, WWE partnering with Netflix and Netflix being a part of the WWE family, it’s just huge. For me, as a Raw superstar, when I heard the news, I was so excited. It’s just a reminder of all the great things that WWE is doing right now and how big our company is right now. It’s huge. We’re taking over.

** There’s a profile piece on ESPN about L.A. Knight. He remembers prior to his WWE return in 2021, he would do motion capture for the 2K video games and Knight questioned how some talents were signed to the company and he wasn’t.

There were so many times where I was motion capturing for guys where I’m like — and no disrespect to them — how the f— is this guy there, and I’m not? Somebody should be mo-capping me. I would be almost miserable at that job. It was very frustrating because it’s like, I should be in this. I shouldn’t be motioning this; I should be f—ing in it. And that always drove me kind of nuts.

** Ariel Helwani welcomed Bianca Belair and Montez Ford onto The MMA Hour. Ford threw out the idea of him and Belair being something akin to King Booker and Queen Sharmell on WWE TV. He feels they both could be champions under the presentation.

We (Ford & Bianca Belair) wanna do something along the scale of Booker T and Sharmell. He was King Booker and he was the World Heavyweight Champion and she was just this figure that made sure their kingdom was intact. She was just as much as important to that reign as he was so, something along those lines and you know, upping the ante a little bit, he had the World Title, I can have the World Title. She can have the World Title at the same time.

** While guest appearing on Busted Open Radio, WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix recounted entering the 2010 Royal Rumble match and eliminating The Great Khali. She shared that prior to the match, members of the talent roster encouraged Khali to eat cloves of garlic for him and Phoenix’s kiss-elimination spot.

Apparently, during the day (of 2010 WWE Royal Rumble), as a way to rib me, all the boys were encouraging (The Great) Khali to go eat these cloves of garlic. So that when we went in for the kiss that it would be something I never forget and so, when we go to do the kiss, like I said, he smashed me in the face and he rolls out of the ring. He’s spitting and wiping his mouth and I’m like, buddy, it wasn’t that great for me either. He’s like, ‘Oh! Yuck! Yuck!’ I’m like, ‘Dude?’

** Joining Busted Open Radio was TNA Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace. She shared that prior to TNA Hard To Kill, she was planning on being in a fitness competition but scrapped it once she found out she’d be working with Trinity. Grace wanted to preserve her energy so she could have the match she wanted to have. She added that at IMPACT Hard To Kill 2023, she was early into her fitness competition training and that’s why it did not hinder her bout with Mickie James.

So actually I was planning on competing for another event at the beginning of this year but then I found out that I’d be wrestling Trinity in January and I had to just scrap that because I knew that I would be in no condition to have the kind of match that I wanted and needed to have at that show.

Here’s the thing, I was two weeks into a 16-week prep at that time (IMPACT Hard To Kill 2023), which is like the very beginning. So I wasn’t completely drained at that point. If I had started to train when I wanted to for this other competition I had in mind, I would have been like eight weeks into the process by the time I wrestled Trinity. So at that point, you just start to slowly disintegrate essentially.

** As Shelton Benjamin was doing a virtual signing with K & S WrestleFest, he said he believes he and Charlie Haas would have tore the house down with the duo formerly known as American Alpha (Jason Jordan & Chad Gable) prior to Jordan’s injury.

I would say yes (there was a possibility of myself & Charlie Haas facing Jason Jordan & Chad Gable prior to Jordan’s injury). Of course, that really depends on, you know, Charlie being in the company also but, yeah, we would love to work those guys. They’re awesome. Obviously, I was partners with Gable so… we would have stole the show if we would’ve worked with those guys.

** Bushiroad Group donated a total of five million yen to the Ishikawa prefecture to support those who were affected by the 2024 Noto Peninsula earthquake. Bushiroad Corporation donated 1.5 million yen, Bushiroad Creative Inc. donated 1 million, NJPW sent 1 million, Bushiroad Fight sent 500,000 and there was an additional million from Bushiroad founder Takaaki Kidani.

** That Hashtag Show pushed out their interview with Chris Jericho. He stated that he’s interested in doing a documentary about the career and journey of Luther. Luther is currently paired with ‘Timeless’ Toni Storm on AEW TV.

I still think there’s a Black Friday documentary that I wanna make. There’s another documentary on Luther, who was a career journeyman pro wrestler who signed his first national deal at the age of 50. That’s interesting to me. 30 years, you’re in the job, you know what I mean?

** TNA Wrestling’s Dani Luna joined Tommy Dreamer on Busted Open Radio. She named Bianca Belair as one of her dream opponents. Luna said Belair is maybe the best example of athlete-to-wrestler that she’s ever seen. She thinks they would have a great match.

Right now, I think Bianca Belair (is my dream opponent). I think she’s such a — maybe the best example of athlete-to-pro wrestler I’ve ever seen. Just took it up perfectly. Seems to be so natural to her and just this glaring, obvious superstar, and I think that-that would be a really fun match.

** As confirmed on The MMA Hour With Ariel Helwani, Bianca Belair and Montez Ford are scheduled to be at UFC 298 on February 17th in Anaheim, California.

** NJPW’s 2024 Wrestling Dontaku tour begins on April 20th and concludes on May 4th.

** ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Colten Gunn guest appeared on the Dynamite Download podcast.

** January 25th birthdays: Michelle McCool, Jay Briscoe & Zoey Stark.

** Jimmy Noonan, former WWE Security Director, appeared on Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling.

** To promote WWE Elimination Chamber, L.A. Knight was interviewed by The West Sport.

** There’s an interview with Shotzi on Jim Varsallone’s YouTube channel.

** The Going Ringside Podcast has interviews with Low Ki and Bobby Fish.

** A.J. Styles made the media rounds and he appeared for FOX 12 Oregon and YoJoshMartinez.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.