Predicting the WWE World Title Reigns over the Next 5 Years

Ross Bentley@@imrossbentleySenior Analyst IDecember 23, 2012

Predicting the WWE World Title Reigns over the Next 5 Years

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    As the WWE moves into 2013, a quick look around at the talent on the roster seems to be moving the company in the right direction.

    WWE still relies too heavily on superstars like John Cena, Big Show, and Randy Orton to carry main-event storylines, but there is lots of new fresh talent on the horizon ready to break out and get to that level.

    Still, the ultimate way of making it in the WWE is to become world champion. Becoming either the WWE or World Heavyweight Champion can make a career worthwhile and means you have reached as high as you can get in the WWE.

    As WWE prepares to enter a new year, let's now take a look at how many title reigns each superstar will get over the next five years. 

Formula and Background Information

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    As some more background for how this list was conducted, we must first look at how the title reigns have shaped up since Jan. 1, 2007.

    Over the last five years, the WWE has had 67 world champions crowned. There have been 37 World Heavyweight Championship reigns, and 30 WWE Championship reigns.

    The average length for a World Heavyweight Championship reign has been 49.32 days, with an average of 7.4 different world champions per year. At 210 days, Sheamus's most recent title reign was the longest over the last five years.

    Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, and Jeff Hardy all held the title for less than one complete day, for the shortest reigns.

    The average length for a WWE Championship reign has been 60.83 days with an average of six different champions per year.

    CM Punk's current well publicized reign of 398 days, has now passed the 380-day reign of John Cena from 2006 into 2007 for the longest reign of the past five years, and is also the longest of the past 25 years.

    John Cena, Randy Orton, Triple H, and Rey Mysterio have all had reigns that have lasted less than one full day over the last five years.

    For the purposes of this list, I will award 67 total championship reigns to match the number of the last five years. Obviously, that number will likely differ but it is the best way to estimate the amount of reigns for both world titles over the course of the next five years.

    I will not specify how many reigns for each individual will be World Heavyweight Championship reigns, and how many will be WWE Championship reigns. Although some may argue one is more prestigious than the other, they are still both considered world championships. 

    Also for the purposes of this article, I will only be including wrestlers who are currently employed by the WWE. It is entirely possible that someone can come along that is currently employed by a different promotion and become champion, but that is too difficult to predict at this point in time.

    Without further ado, here are predictions for the amount of title reigns for each superstar over the next five years.

Alberto Del Rio

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    Title Reigns: 4

    Alberto Del Rio has been a main-event player for almost his entire run in the WWE, including winning the WWE Championship on two separate occasions. 

    Del Rio can straight bring it in the ring, and at age 35, he still has some great years left in him if he stays with the company.

    Del Rio has been on a losing streak in PPV matches, but the WWE continues to bill him as a threat to the world championship and he doesn't show signs of falling to the mid-card moving forward.

    With Del Rio's recent apparent face turn, we will see if he is able to get over with the fans after being heel for his entire career previously.

    Even if it flops,he still should get a few more opportunities as champion because of how well he is in the ring and his ability to draw heat in feuds if given the right opponent. 

Antonio Cesaro

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    Title Reigns: 3

    Antonio Cesaro has already shown tremendous potential in his short time on the WWE's main roster.

    Cesaro may need work still on the mic, and a tweak in his character, but in the ring he is an absolute powerhouse.

    Cesaro has already won his fair share of gold in the indies as well as a current run with the United States Championship, and in the next five years, he should make his impact in the WWE by having multiple world championship reigns.

    Cesaro has the strength and move-set that gives him the unique ability to look like a dominant in-ring competitor like Big Show and Mark Henry, but to not look slow and awkward in his approach. 

    The uppercut and Neutralizer he uses can become two of the biggest signature moves in the company if they are utilized correctly.

    Once Cesaro gets the appropriate touch-ups, he will no doubt be a consistent main eventer in the WWE.

Big Show

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    Title Reigns: 2*

    Big Show is working right now as a heel, but as we have seen throughout his career, he will probably go back and forth a few more times by the time he hangs it up.

    When he is built as a dominant heel, however, like he is right now, he can be an effective world champion despite his lack of great in-ring work at his age.

    Show is certainly on the decline and it is debatable whether he will even last an entire five more years in the WWE. Still if he does, Show will likely be given at least one more championship reign, to go along with his current one as World Heavyweight Champion before he retires.

    *Includes current title reign 

Chris Jericho

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    Title Reigns: 1

    Surprisingly, Chris Jericho never did manage to capture the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship in 2012, despite his much anticipated return to the company.

    Jericho has a well-publicized other career outside of wrestling, which is why he is so sporadic in his appearances. Still, I don't believe Jericho is completely done with the WWE, and could be back as early as next year.

    If so, don't be surprised if the 42-year-old Jericho is given one final swan song as world champion before his career is done.


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    Title Reigns: 1

    It is very much up in the air whether Christian will be getting another run as world champion in the WWE.

    Captain Charisma got his first two chances at being champion in 2011, but both reigns were short and unmemorable.

    Despite his age, Christian still can put on a show between the ropes, however, and even if it is nothing more than a lifetime achievement award, having Christian as champion one more time would be fun to see for all of his devoted fans.

    As a personal preference, heel Christian works more for me than face Christian, but either way, his character is still detailed enough to warrant a championship run.

CM Punk

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    Title Reigns: 7*

    CM Punk has the potential to go down as the greatest superstar of this decade if he continues on the path he is going.

    Never in a million years did I expect the WWE to allow Punk to be champion for 400+ days, but it just shows how much they believe in him as the second biggest name (after John Cena) in the business today.

    Punk has all the intangibles as a heel or a face on the mic and in the ring to make any feud entertaining, and there is still so many more places they can go with him over the next five years.

    I expect Punk to take a Cena-HHH type of turn in his main event status, and hardly ever be away from the world championship over the next five years.

    If that is the case, it will be up to Punk (and hopefully Paul Heyman if he sticks around) to ensure that the WWE universe doesn't grow tired of him being around the belt. 

    However, Punk shows no sign of slowing down moving into the future, so I expect him to have more championship reigns over the next five years than any other WWE superstar.

    *Includes current title reign 

Cody Rhodes

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    Title Reigns: 3

    Although it feels as though Cody Rhodes has been in the WWE forever, he still is only 27 and has a bright future ahead of him in the company.

    Rhodes has been a Tag Team Champion as well as Intercontinental Champion twice, but it seems as though he is ready to make that next step into the main event any time now.

    Rhodes was a favorite to win the Money in the Bank contract last year, put that prize went instead to Dolph Ziggler delaying his first title reign for now.

    However, when he gets done tagging with Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes should be in the title picture and should remain there for the entirety of the next five years. 

Damien Sandow

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    Title Reigns: 2

    Damien Sandow has been taking off as a character since debuting earlier this year in the WWE.

    Sandow's "intellectual savior" gimmick sounds silly on paper, but it has been a huge hit with the crowd and creative alike.

    Sandow is a brilliant promo artist and can also go in the ring, so if his character keeps up his momentum, he easily could be a world champion sooner rather than later.

    It is best for the WWE to slowly build him up as an Intercontinental or United States Champion for a while before moving him into the main event, but once he gets there, don't be surprised to see Sandow with a world title around his waist before 2018.

Daniel Bryan

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    Title Reigns: 5

    No superstar has taken off in the last year and a half more than Daniel Bryan.

    Bryan went from being a great in-ring wrestler who was a hit in the independent scene but a questionable future in the WWE, to a bona-fide mega star.

    Bryan was incredibly over for most of this year, and already has one run as World Heavyweight Champion under his belt.

    Expect Bryan to continue to grow with the company over the next five years and become one of their most trusted superstars.

    We all know just how great of a performer he is, but he also has shown he can be funny, entertaining, and even draw some great heat on the microphone.

    Bryan is in the tag division now with Kane serving as champions, but expect him to be right back in the title picture soon and get plenty of shots at world championships in the coming years.

Dean Ambrose

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    Title Reigns: 2

    Some may say it is jumping the gun to proclaim that Dean Ambrose will be a world champion in the WWE, but he has all of the makings of a future star.

    WWE putting him in a main-event storyline right into his debut just shows how much they believe in Ambrose (who is clearly the leader of The Shield) and he has the background as Jon Moxley in the indy scene to show he is capable.

    Ambrose can talk like no other, and he has mastered the psychotic kind of character that the WWE loves to push.

    Ambrose can and will be an effective heel with world title capability if utilized correctly by the WWE in the next five years.

    Don't be surprised if towards the end of that time, Ambrose has won at least a couple world championships.

Dolph Zlggler

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    Title Reigns: 6

    It's safe to say that Dolph Ziggler's time to shine has come in the WWE.

    Ziggler has only had one (very) brief reign as World Heavyweight Champion, but once he hopefully cashes in his briefcase successfully, he will begin his first real, legit reign as champ.

    Ziggler has paid his dues in the WWE, going from the Spirit Squad to character transformations, to leading the mid-card, and now finally main eventing.

    He is the best seller the WWE has seen since Shawn Michaels, and his mic work has been great as of late.

    Ziggler's cocky heel persona doesn't need to be changed and it is enhanced even more with AJ and Big E. Langston by his side. 

    Ziggler, along with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and others are ushering in a new era in the WWE, and his name will be one that gets remembered with this decade in the WWE history books.

John Cena

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    Title Reigns: 5

    The face of the WWE, John Cena has shockingly not been WWE or World Heavyweight Champion since mid-2011, making it nearly a year and a half without him holding a world title belt.

    Still, Cena's 12 reigns (10 WWE, 2 World Heavyweight) are more than any one else in the company that still wrestles regularly and expect him to be in that role easily for the next five more years.

    Cena is 35, so although he is still in great shape, he is moving up on the age list and by the time the next five years expire he will be entering into his 40's.

    WWE has realized that Cena is a big enough star now that they can still use him in top feuds without the WWE championship being involved, which is why it has been so long without him holding the strap.

    Still, don't be surprised to see Cena add to his total several times in the upcoming years.

    As a note, if my prediction is correct and Cena wins five world championships, that would mean he would break Ric Flair's record of 16.


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    Title Reigns: 1

    Although Kane has been involved in several main-event level story lines in 2012, it's clear his in-ring skills are declining and that he only has a few more years left in him to be a full-time wrestler.

    Expect the company to reward Kane's legacy with one more run with the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship before he hangs it up.

    Kane's monster heel persona has been messed with too many times now to be taken seriously, but he could work as a face champion in a transition period between heels.

    Once Big Show and Kane leave, there won't be too many solid big men in the WWE, so his presence and loyalty will be missed when he leaves.

Kassius Ohno

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    Title Reigns: 1

    The only man to appear on this list that is not currently with the WWE's main roster is NXT's Kassius Ohno.

    It can be sometimes hard to predict what NXT superstars will hit it big on the main roster, but Ohno seems like a sure bet.

    As Chris Hero in the indies, he formed one half of one of the most popular tag teams in the country with Claudio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro), and his accomplishments as a trainer and a wrestler are unmatched despite being only 32 years old.

    Ohno has jumped out on NXT as well in his feud with Richie Steamboat and a spot on the main roster seems like it could be happening soon.

    Once he gets there, expect Ohno to rise through the rankings quickly and become a world champion in the WWE by 2018.

Kofi Kingston

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    Title Reigns: 1

    Whether or not Kofi Kingston has what it takes to be a world champion in the WWE, has been a debate that has been ongoing for the last several years.

    Some point to his stale character, lack of mic ability and repetitiveness in the ring as signs that he will be a mid-carder his whole career.

    Other see Kingston's fast-paced, exciting in-ring style and his overness with the WWE fans as reasons that it is only a matter of time before we see Kingston win the world title.

    Chances are if he remains loyal with the company, Vince McMahon will be willing to give Kofi at least one shot at the championship at some point in the next five years.

    After all he has been in the mid-card bouncing back and forth between the tag team division and IC/US title scene for years now, and eventually he will either need to move on to a different promotion, or take the next step.

Mark Henry

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    Title Reigns: 1

    Now that he has been in the WWE for nearly two decades, Mark Henry's time in the business is coming to a close.

    However, that does not mean that the World's Strongest Man does not have a little still left in the tank.

    If and when Henry does return from injury, he should still be involved in the main event picture, especially on the SmackDown brand.

    Henry had one of the more memorable runs as World Heavyweight Champion in 2011, and if he is healthy enough, he should be given another run with that belt before he retires.

The Miz

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    Title Reigns: 2

    Few expected The Miz to rise to where he is in the company today, even a few years ago when he was making a name for himself in the mid-card and tag team division.

    Miz had an impressive run with the WWE Championship in 2010 into 2011, but he has floundered a bit ever since, only having one Intercontinental Championship reign to hang his hat on.

    However, now that The Miz has turned face for the first time in his career, expect the WWE to take advantage of his popularity and make him a champion a few more times over the next five years.

    The quality of Miz's new character is up for debate, but the fact is the WWE needs over babyfaces since they are severely lacking in that category. If Miz can continue to get over, expect him to add to his world championship pedigree.

Randy Orton

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    Title Reigns: 6

    Don't expect the Viper to go anywhere any time soon.

    Since 2007, Randy Orton has been involved in the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship scenes pretty much non-stop throughout the last five years, with only a few months away at a time to build up other feuds.

    Orton has been world champion 9 times in WWE, and it would not be a surprise to see him pass Ric Flair's 16 championship reigns by the time it is all said and done.

    Orton has proven that he can be effective as both a babyface and a heel, as he has had world title reigns in both characters. 

The Rock

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    Title Reigns: 1

    The Rock's title reign in the next five years will likely come up soon, next month to be specific as he is set to challenge the WWE Champion at Royal Rumble.

    It would make little sense for the WWE to bring back The Rock to challenge for a championship if he was just going to job in it, so expect The Rock to go over and hold the WWE Championship going into WrestleMania this year.

    Whether it is the right move to bring back Rock to have another reign as WWE Champion is hotly debated, but from a marketing perspective, having Rock headline WrestleMania as WWE champ has to be good for business.

    Hopefully, however, Rocky will drop the title there and then stay away from WWE for a few years so they can focus on building up the company's younger stars.


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    Title Reigns: 4

    Since re-debuting earlier this year, Ryback has always seemed destined to be a world champion in the WWE.

    Ryback has exactly what Vince McMahon loves in a superstar, pure power, the look of a dominant competitor, and the ability to get over with the fans.

    Many compare Ryback to Goldberg, but there's another animal that comes to mind when I think of Ryback, and that is Batista.

    Batista was able to turn his freakish strength into multiple world title reigns in WWE despite his lack of real in-ring ability. Ryback can follow that path and it seems only a matter of time before he becomes a champion in WWE.

    Ryback already has had multiple title shots at CM Punk's WWE Championship, and although he hasn't won the title yet, don't be surprised to see Ryback as champion at some point in 2013, and then many more times for the remainder of his career. 

Seth Rollins

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    Title Reigns: 2

    Much like his current ally, Dean Ambrose, it is a little early to proclaim Seth Rollins as a future world champion in WWE.

    However, if he continues to follow the path in front of him, Rollins should get there before the next five years are up.

    Like Cesaro, Ambrose, and Ohno, Rollins is accomplished in the indy scene. Rollins has won world championships in FCW and ROH and he also already has an NXT championship under his belt, showing that the WWE believes in his potential.

    As much as I like what Ambrose brings to the table, I have to say I have been most impressed with Rollins thus far amongst members of The Shield.

    Rollins obviously had the spot of the match at TLC when he fell off the ladder through a table, but overall his in-ring skills are top notch and he has the look to be a successful champion in WWE.

    Rollins brings up a lot of CM Punk comparisons, and if he is able to reach that level of popularity in WWE, he will assuredly get a few title reigns in the next five years.


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    Title Reigns: 4

    The Celtic Warrior Sheamus may be at his peak in WWE right now.

    Sheamus had the most successful year in his career in 2012, winning the Royal Rumble and being World Heavyweight Champion for most of the calendar year before losing to The Big Show in October.

    Sheamus, at age 34, still has some time left in him, so don't be surprised to see him near the top of the food chain in WWE for at least the next five years.

    Sheamus won three world titles in the last five years, two as a heel and one as a face, showing his versatility. For as silly as he can sound on the mic sometimes, Sheamus can flat bring it in the ring and given the right opponent, we have seen Sheamus be able to pull off some classic matches.

    Expect him to continue this trend as he will continue to grow and be one of the top names in the WWE over the next five years alongside John Cena, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler.

Wade Barrett

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    Title Reigns: 3

    It is actually somewhat shocking that Wade Barrett has not been able to capture a world championship in his career in WWE yet.

    Barrett has been a top heel since debuting with Nexus, and was given multiple WWE championship matches but never captured the gold.

    Barrett seems to be on his way to winning the Intercontinental Championship for the second time, but it can't be long until he wins a world championship in WWE.

    For his size, Barrett has shown great ability in the ring, his gimmick is solid, he always draws top heat, and already has plenty of experience in huge matches.