January 6, 2005
SLAM! Speaks: Forecasting championship reign
By SLAM! Wrestling
Now that we are into the new year, we can start looking forward to ... next year? Ahh heck, why not.
Let's face it - very few of us care who is the champion of various brands and feds right now. The big attraction has always been the chase for the title, not necessarily who is wearing the gold.
With that in mind, let's take a look at who we think will have chased their way to gold by the end of the year.
I'm not blessed with any sort of second sight, but I can see Monty Brown as TNA champion at the end of 2005. It would make sense for them to prolong the chase (and stay in business!)... As for Raw, I'll go out on a limb and say Triple H will be champion at the end of 2005, but he'll have given someone else a chance to hold the belt for a while (Orton probably). It always bodes well for a heel champ to be in place heading into the Rumble and WrestleMania. On the Smackdown side, who knows. There is a distinct lack to top-tier talent. I'll say Samoa Joe just to say somebody other than JBL.
For the WWE world title, I see Randy Orton having it at the end of 2005, with HHH keeping it for a long while then dropping it to Edge for a short while, only to end up around Orton's waist. Concerning the WWE championship on Smackdown, I think it will be either Guerrerro or a newcomer with the belt around his waist by the end of 2005. Samoa Joe maybe?
Finally, the NWA heavyweight championship on TNA, I see Jeff Jarrett still holding on after letting three or four others wear it at different times throughout the year.
I don't think there will be major changes on neither RAW nor Smackdown, although some changes would be refreshing, especially on Raw.
I definitely think Ring Of Honor will continue growing and might even be knocking at TNA's door by the end of 2005.
While the amalgamation of Raw and Smackdown wouldn't surprise me, I'm keeping the shows separate for now.
Smackdown's champion is likely the most up-in-the-air. Eddy Guererro could wear the strap again, but I doubt it. I think you're more likely to see a Raw superstar jump to the other side and dominate, building into an intriguing feud where Eric Bischoff could say, "my guy is beating every one of your guys." Most likely scenario is Randy Orton, mainly to have the epic "futures" battle with John Cena.
Raw's champ is, was, and always will be Triple H. While he might not have the strap around his waist come December 31, he will dominate the year. The way Batista is getting over, I expect him to have the now traditional mid-summer trial run, following in the footsteps of Brock Lesnar and the aforementioned Orton, but unless Triple H switches shows (which is always a possibility), Batista won't stay on top of Raw for long.
Who do you think will be the champs of the wrestling world on December 31, 2005? E-mail us with your thoughts.
-- compiled by Jon Waldman