Shelton Benjamin's ECW Push, Maryse/Playboy, Hillary Skit, & More News

Credit: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

Before leaving the WWE creative team for developmental, Dusty Rhodes asked that Shelton Benjamin move to ECW, and groomed him to become a champion. Of course, once Rhodes left, Benjamin was buried.

WWE diva Maryse is featured in the new special edition of Playboy called the Sexy 100.

As previously noted, independent diva Lexi Fyfe played the in ring Senator Hillary Clinton on Raw a few weeks back. She was contacted by the office to do the skit. Simon Dean (Nova) put in a good word for her, which was seconded by Tommy Dreamer. Jamie Noble and a couple of writers worked on the skit and match. After it was over, Vince McMahon himself seemed pleased with the way it played out.

WWE issued the following press release today: STAMFORD, Conn., May 19, 2008- World Wrestling Entertainment® has been awarded the first-ever Corporate Patriot Award at the annual GI Film Festival in Washington, D.C. WWE was given the award in recognition of its ongoing support and appreciation of the U.S. military and their families, particularly its annual holiday Tribute to the Troops tour to entertain troops in war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. WWE Hall of Famer and Legend Ric Flair®, who has performed in Iraq with WWE, accepted the award on behalf of the company. Celebrities attending the award ceremony on Friday evening included Robert Duvall, Gary Sinise, Stephen Baldwin, John Ratzenberger, Karri Turner and Leeann Tweeden, Gil Gerard, James McEachin, Captain Dale Dye, Bill Chatfield, and Army Chief of Staff General George Casey. During the past five years, WWE Superstars have visited more than 200 military installations, forward operating bases, military hospitals, aircraft carriers, submarines, and the Pentagon. Since 2003, WWE has worked with Armed Forces Entertainment to produce WWE's annual Tribute to the Troops program that features WWE Superstars performing before troops in Iraq and Afghanistan for the holidays. WWE and AFE celebrated the fifth anniversary of Tribute to the Troops in 2007, touring 20 forward operating bases, culminating in a live performance at Camp Speicher that was shown as a special Monday Night RAW on USA Network. In 2004, the USO of Metropolitan Washington presented WWE with the first ever "Legacy of Hope" award for our extensive support of our troops and the USO's Operation Care Package program. In 2005, The Army Air Force Exchange Service awarded WWE the first-ever Three Commander Coin Award for WWE's support of its partnership with AAFES to improve the quality of life for our troops by supporting service members and their families worldwide. In 2006, WWE and Vince McMahon each received the Secretary of Defense Exceptional Public Service Award for exceptional public service in support of deployed service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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