Batista, going with the then-obvious thinking that Triple H would waltz in and take the belt away very quickly. Others saw John Cena as being an easy target on the Smackdown side." />

 

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COMMENT





SLAM! Speaks: The next WWE champs




Around this time last year, the SLAM! Wrestling staff made their predictions as to who would be the first heavyweight champ to drop their title.

Some of us picked Batista, going with the then-obvious thinking that Triple H would waltz in and take the belt away very quickly. Others saw John Cena as being an easy target on the Smackdown side.

Well, we didn't take two things into account -- that the champs would trade shows via the Draft Lottery and that Batista's title reign would end via an injury rather than a pinfall.

This year, perhaps against our better judgements, we have made bold predictions as to who will be the first to drop their coveted title -- Rey Mysterio or John Cena. Time will tell who ends up being right, but for now, sit back and enjoy our 2006 title predictions.

GREG OLIVER: My first instinct was to say that Rey Mysterio would drop the belt to Randy Orton real soon, but with a suspension for Randy, I don't think so. But Rey will lose to Orton, who will battle Batista when he returns. So will Cena drop the belt to Triple H before Rey loses to Orton? Yes.

CHRIS SOKOL: With a new champion in Rey Mysterio and a fading champion in John Cena, it is evident that Cena will drop the title first to number one contender Triple H. Mysterio will hold onto the belt into the summer, eventually losing it to a returning Randy Orton, who will go into a program with Batista, ultimately ending with Batista recapturing the title.

BRIAN ELLIOTT: Having held the WWE title for over a year now, and with the audience clamouring for anyone to take the title from him, I find it difficult to dispute the idea that it will be John Cena who is the first champion to lose his title, post-Wrestlemania.

Whilst it could also be claimed that Rey Mysterio is destined to be a transitional champion, only there because of his association with Eddie Guerrero, the Smackdown waters have been muddied by the suspension of Randy Orton. Had Orton been available to take the title at the next Smackdown pay-per-view, I might have re-considered my decision. But since he is not, and since the name of the next challenger for the title is uncertain, I have to stick with Mysterio's RAW counterpart.

The question is then, who will defeat Cena for the WWE title? Backlash is the next pay-per-view defence for the champion, who will face Triple H and Edge in a Triple Threat match. Although it hardly takes a clairvoyant to predict that Triple H will end up with the title at some point in the future, I find it difficult to see why they would put it on him in a Triple Threat match, rather than a singles match. Therefore, I expect Cena to surprise (almost) everyone by retaining at Backlash -- but he will lose the title to Triple H between then and SummerSlam.

JON WALDMAN: At first, I was going to write Rey Mysterio's name in this space, but Randy Orton's suspension looks to have thrown a monkey wrench into those plans. Cena seems like the obvious choice as well, given that if he doesn't lose to either Triple H or Edge at Backlash, he has Rob Van Dam waiting in the wings at ECW One Night Stand. My prediction is for RVD to take the title from Cena at the Hammerstein Ballroom, after which time Mysterio will drop his belt to Edge, who comes over during the Draft Lottery.

Now it's your turn -- who will drop their title first? Who will be the next World and WWE Heavyweight Champions? Send your thoughts to Jon Waldman. Results will be posted in the near future.

RELATED LINKS

  • April 7, 2005: SLAM! Speaks - Who's next?
  • April 20, 2005: SLAM! Speaks - Readers react to new champs


    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


  • Pre-order WWE WrestleMania 22 DVD