Shelton Benjamin Comments On The Mama Benjamin WWE Storyline
Some thought the storyline could be a career killer
WWE star Shelton Benjamin has commented on a controversial storyline he was put into in early 2006.
Benjamin, who had been experiencing a losing streak, was paired up with his 'Mama' on screen. She subsequently helped helped him turn his fortunes around and eventually recapture the Intercontinental Title.
Speaking to the Out of Character with Ryan Satin podcast, Shelton spoke about the brief storyline and why he (despite some thinking it harmed his career) enjoyed it.
"The Mama Benjamin stuff gets such a bad rap and what people don't realise, I was having the time of my life. We were doing these funny skits every week, we were working with Vince McMahon all the time. I remember the one skit where she walked in on him with his pants down. It was hard to contain laughter just thinking back to those times because it was so much fun and so silly. I played a mama's boy and my mom did a tremendous job of playing my mom, she was a scene-stealer.
"For me, it was a lot of fun. (It lasted), start to finish, eight weeks. I don't remember exactly what happened, she had a few legitimate health issues that were a concern. There was other stuff that I heard that, at the time, I was completely unaware of, but we won't get into that. She did a tremendous job and it really, at the time, I needed something. For people to say, 'oh, he never recovered', are you crazy? I had so much fun with that and it's memorable.
"When you're a pro wrestler, you want to do things that are memorable. I don't want to just be on the roster and, 'he had a nice love career,' I don't care. Good, bad, negative, if people are talking about you in our world, as long as people remember it, all I remember is having a good time with it. Playing that character was pretty easy thanks to Thea (Vidale). I knew exactly who she was when she came in. When it came down to deciding who would be Mama Benjamin, it was me, Mr. McMahon, and one of our producers named Kathama. We did a couple of skits with another woman and Thea.
"When it was all said and done, my mind was made up as soon as I realised it was Thea. When she came in and blew everyone out of the park. At the time, I'm thinking of all these technical reasons, 'she did this better, did that better', trying to sound all professional. I had no idea what I was talking about. Mr. McMahon just goes, 'I just think she's better'. Plain and simple. The first time you saw her was the day we picked her. She came in and blew it out of the water.
"If it wasn't some people's taste, oh well, I enjoyed it."
Many years after leaving WWE, Vidale alleged that she suffered constant sexual harassment while working for the company.