WWE Hall of Famer Booker T has weighed in on WWE parting ways with veteran performers Shelton Benjamin and Dolph Ziggler this week.
Speaking on a recent edition of his “Hall of Fame” podcast, Booker T addressed WWE’s latest round of cuts.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On WWE releasing Shelton Benjamin: “We just celebrated Shelton Benjamin’s 20th anniversary what, a couple of months ago? Maybe 3 or 4 months ago yeah, I think it was something like that. And that’s one thing about Shelton getting 20 years out of the business. A lot of guys don’t get afforded that opportunity. So Shelton got 20 years out of it. And I think just because he may be released as a talent doesn’t mean that he can’t find his way back as a producer, trainer, coach, whatnot. So, I think Shelton has a whole lot of options.
“I think one thing about Shelton, he was definitely highly valued in the company. He was very highly respected for what he accomplished — not just in the WWE, but what he did in college before he got there. Because he was one of those Minnesota boys that came in highly touted, real wrestler that could tie you up like a pretzel along with Brock Lesnar. So yeah, I think Shelton is going to be okay. That’s just my opinion on that, but Shelton may know one door may close, but I think another one is going to open up relatively quickly for him.
“It’d be a nice pickup as well, as he always can go back to Japan and do that gig over there three months out of the year and come home, that type of deal. I think Shelton’s options are open just because he’s kept himself in shape. Shelton’s not one of those guys you’ve ever heard in the press or in the news as far as some kind of scandal going on or anything like that. Shelton’s always been squeaky, squeaky clean, man. So yeah like I said, I think one door may close for Shelton, but I think another door is going to open up for him. Boom. Just like that.”
On Dolph Ziggler’s WWE release: “It seems like he’s been on cruise control for like the last ten years. It seems like he got to a point where he just said, ‘I’m just going to ride, pretty much ride the thing as long as I can.’ Dolph is one of those guys that really never changed. You know, his look, he always was the same guy all the time. And for me, I always had if you don’t change with the times, the times will pass you by. You have to know how to really be able to keep up with what’s going on out there in the music world, entertainment world, and whatnot. And I think Dolph Ziggler just stayed that one character throughout his whole time now.
“Was he a guy who could go out and perform at a very, very high level in the middle of that squared circle? Oh yes. Dolph was a guy who could go out and work with anybody, but then Dolph became that guy that if you needed to get somebody over, you would call it off. And I say that because sometimes you can put you can literally find yourself putting yourself in that position when you do not know how to change with the times. But there again, I think Dolph Ziggler is a guy who will be okay too. I think Dolph, he’s smart. He’s a smart dude. He’s a college-educated dude as well. He’s not just a wrestler. So I see Dolph being okay in life, period.
“He’s a guy that you could call, and you could trust Dolph Ziggler to go out there and make sure the job was done properly. And one thing about this business, you need guys like that. That’s why Dolph stayed around for more than 20 years. You got to be smart to stick around for more than 20 years in this business as well as people got to like you people, people like Dolph Ziggler. He was a guy just like Shelton. You’re not going to hear Dolph in the news. You haven’t heard any scandals along his career.
“He’s been a guy that like me, puts his hard hat on, his boots, comes to work, gets the job done, and goes home. But I tried to change with the times at the same time. These shows, anyway, the whole show you weren’t getting anything. And when I say nothing, I mean nothing. like, I forgot everything. I mean, this was taking bumps, going to house shows, but TV would give him a little bit of something. But the house shows it always, I would go to the guy that I was working with and we got to agree on one thing tonight.”