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Shelton Benjamin returning to WWE

The recent WWE brand-extension promises to usher in a new era, but it will also bring the return of at least one superstar from a previous one.

On tonight’s edition of SmackDown, it was announced that Shelton Benjamin would be making his return to WWE as a member of the newly revamped brand's roster. A vignette aired touting Benjamin's amatuer wrestling experience and promised that he would be returning soon.

Benjamin initially joined the SmackDown roster in 2003, teaming with Charlie Haas as part of Team Angle. He would go on to have a lengthy run as both a tag team and singles competitor before being released in 2010.

In his post-WWE career, Benjamin again teamed with Haas, and the two won the Ring of Honor tag team championship twice. Benjamin then went on to compete in New Japan Pro Wrestling before transitioning to Pro Wrestling NOAH as part of the Suzuki-gun stable.

Our Dave Meltzer previously noted that superstars from previous eras were being called to help fill rosters on both brands, and it seems likely that Benjamin is only the first to return to WWE.