Denying recent rumors about his inclusion in the 30-man Rumble, Benjamin took to Twitter on Wednesday.
im in a good mood so for the next ten minutes i'll take a few questions. n just to get this out the way now, NO I AM NOT IN THE ROYAL RUMBLE— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) January 24, 2013
It's been about three years since The Gold Standard performed for WWE.
The former collegiate wrestler and Minnesota Golden Gopher was always one of WWE's most athletic performers. He won the Intercontinental, United States and tag team titles before being part of a mass release in April, 2010.
Benjamin has since been wrestling in Japan and for Ring of Honor, where he continued his WWE alliance with Charlie Haas. It is because Benjamin had recently ended his ROH contract that made him the subject of Royal Rumble speculation.
F4Wonline (via Wrestlingnewssource.com) wrote that the release came about because Benjamin was negotiating a new contract with WWE. That may indeed be true, but if Benjamin is going to have another WWE run, it won't begin until after the Rumble winner is crowned.
Unless Benjamin's tweet is an act of misdirection, Royal Rumble 2013's surprises will have to come courtesy of entrants other than him.