Ohio Valley Wrestling (2000–2002)
Benjamin was offered and accepted a contract from the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and was placed in Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) as one half of a tag team with Brock Lesnar, who was a wrestling teammate at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Together they were known as the "Minnesota Stretching Crew," and they held the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship on three occasions. The first two reigns occurred during February and July 2001. They were scripted to win the title for a third time from Rico Constantino and The Prototype on October 29, 2001. After Lesnar was called up to the main roster in November 2001, Benjamin formed a tag team with Redd Dogg Begnaud called "The Dogg Pound" and once again won the OVW Southern Tag Team Title on July 17, 2002. Throughout the remainder of 2002, Benjamin wrestled at several house shows for the main WWE roster and eventually on Sunday Night Heat as a face character.