WWE star Shelton Benjamin recently spoke with Fightful about all things pro-wrestling, including why he no longer does the 450 Splash and his thoughts on his WWE tryout match many years ago. Highlights from the interview are below.
Shares advice Brock Lesnar gave him regarding the 450 splash:
“Real simple. The last time I did it I basically got injured. I banged my elbow and I actually had to have surgery on it. That’s pretty much why I took it out of the repertoire. Then, going further, there’s a lot of stuff I used to do that I just stopped doing. Believe it or not, this is advice that Brock [Lesnar] gave me. It was very good advice. He said, ‘If you can hit it ten out of ten times, do it. If you can do it nine out of ten times, never try to do it on TV.’ So it’s just I don’t want to screw up on TV. It’s just as simple as that. I can still do a lot of stuff. I just choose not to because one—why? Two—the margin for error is greater than I want to risk.”
On his WWE tryout match:
“When I first came to OVW, that was the first time that the light started flickering. Because I would go in and when it came to pro wrestling, if [someone] showed me a move, it was like, ‘Okay.’ I’d do it. It was just that simple. Like I said, my perception of pro wrestling was that these are the best of the best. If one guy can do it, anybody can do this or should be able to do this. I did my WWE tryout with a guy named Andrew Bryniarski. Andrew Bryniarski actually played Lattimer in the movie the Program. I think he was the mayor’s son in one of the Batmans. He was Leatherface in the recent [movie]. So I did my tryout with him. My perception of him was I had seen him in the movie the Program. I think he’s this big tough football player. He can do anything. A great athlete. But then we started working and it was like at the time—and don’t think I’m knocking the guy, because he was a great guy—but he kinda moved around like Frankenstein to me.”
What his experience was in OVW:
“So that was the first time I was like, ‘I didn’t expect that.’ Then I got to OVW and I started seeing it more and more. But it was more that I was seeing it with guys who kept trying, kept trying. ‘How are you not able to do this?’ So that’s when I started realizing, ‘Okay I kinda got something.’ But what really made me go, ‘Okay, so this isn’t normal,’ was first Money in the Bank when I ran up the ladder. Everyone was like, ‘Whoa!’ I was like, ‘Really? I did this as a kid all the time. You mean you guys can’t do this?’ So that was the first I was like, ‘Oh, okay. I got something special here.’”