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   Wed, April 20, 2005



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SLAM! Speaks - Readers react to new champs
By SLAM! Wrestling Readers


Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist


A couple weeks back, the SLAM! staff offered their opinions on who will be the next champions in WWE and who, John Cena or Batista, will drop their belt first. Now, SLAM!'s readers get their say.

Alan Laycock
I see both title reigns lasting about the same amount of time. I see Cena losing the title back to JBL in about two to three months. JBL is the only wrestler on Smackdown who actually needs the title to make him interesting. Over on RAW, I do like the idea of Edge sneaking a victory over Batista after a hard-fought match, but I think the safe money is on Triple H winning the title back. Plus, Triple H has wanted to wrestle Edge for a while, so I could see Edge and Triple H having a title-feud in the near future.

Mike Cross
Lord, it doesn't matter who beats Cena, as long as someone does quickly. He's as untalented as Hogan. Honestly, so what if he's over with the little girls and rapper boys? His gimmick stinks and it makes him unwatchable.

Negene
My name is Negene and I just want to say right off the bat that I think you guys to a great job at SLAM. I find your articles insightful and very informative. As for whom I would like to see as the next WWE Champ it would have to Rey Mysterio Jr. I think that he is one of the most underrated and under-utilised characters on the roster next to RVD. Right now, WWE is in a slump because it continues to rehash the obvious thinking fans won?t notice. I have watched wrestling since the days of Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts and Demolition. I would really like to see Rey get the credit he deserves and not just get a world title shot but actually win, then he could place an open challenge to all comers. Could you imagine, Ray goes on this incredible winning streak taking on the biggest guys in the WWE from both Raw and Smackdown and beating them all fair and square in the centre of the ring, no count-outs or DQ?s but straight wins like the way he beat Eddie Guerrero at Wrestlemania this year? They could string this along for months, having Rey squeak by everyone until he finally takes on someone twice his size in a classic David vs. Goliath type match. Someone like Big Show or Undertaker and loses in a heart-breaking defeat, kinda like the way Jeff Hardy lost to Undertaker in that ladder match a few years ago.

Tyler Lowe
I believe Batista will hold his title longer then Cena will his. The reason is because Edge is now the number one contender (kinda), and Triple H will not like that, so Trip will try to foil every plan that Edge will come up with to win the title engaging a long feud in between the two. I think Edge will win that feud, then move on to win the title from Batista at Summerslam. Next, Cena is very injury prone will probably get hurt in the next month or two and WWE will have to find someone to carry the show; my guess will be Eddie as a heel. Once Orton returns he will win the belt (if he does indeed go to Smackdown) there will be a nice feud between Orton, Eddie and Cena.

Lawrence Sherrod
Of the two new champions, I believe John Cena will hold the world title longer than Batista. Cena got a few moments to celebrate his win with the fans and finished Smackdown! by making the save for Eddie and Rey Rey a couple weeks ago. As such, he got to look strong in the immediate aftermath of his win. Plus, the show started off with the brand's top players stating their case for a title shot, thus generating interest in who Cena will face next.
Raw, on the other hand, began and ended with HHH in the spotlight (as usual). Batista didn't get the opportunity to talk about his win or establish any connection with the fans. He just showed up, wrestled and left. Raw should have been booked around the World Champion, but it wasn't, thus telling the fans that the world title isn't important unless HHH is wearing it.
As for who will beat the champs - I think Angle will (and should) get one more run with the title by going over Cena, mainly because, unless Eddie Guererro turns heel, Angle is the only Smackdown! heel that can get a great match out of Cena. I don't think there's any doubt who will dethrone Batista, but I'd at least like to see Edge get a shot at the gold.

Daniel Ruiz
On the RAW side of things, I see Batista dropping the belt to Edge after a Hell in the Cell match with Kane (hey, a guy can dream). On the SD side, I see Latino Heat turning heel and taking out Rey Rey for his full heel turn, then beating John Cena for the strap a little bit before the movie release.

Cailen Pygott
I think Batista will lose before Cena, only because I think Backlash happens before Smackdown's mini-King of the ring is over. At Backlash, Batista will drop it to Triple H, who will lose it to Edge immediately after. So we'll have the obvious future title reign of Edge (that ladder match was like a Royal Rumble, if you win the writers will probably give you the title) and an eleventh reign for Triple H. On Smackdown, Cena wil lose to JBL, mainly because the only reason he took it was so JBL wouldn't break what I understand to be the 10-month record title reign by a current hall of famer whose name I forget. The only reason I hope for JBL is because his gimmick is less stupid.

Mandy Latham
I think that Batista will lose the title first and to Edge, even though I despise him. I think Jericho should have a one-on-one shot. He hasn't had a proper shot for years.

Goran
I believe John Cena will drop it to Eddie Guerrero, while, when Batista loses it, it probably will be to Triple H who is ruining wrestling by winning it all the time. I think Batista will have it longer as his crowd reaction is really strong. It would be stupid for them to have him lose it too soon.

-- compiled by Jon Waldman