WWE Champions: Predicting How Long Each Title Holder's Reign Will Last
photo courtesy of wwe.com
WWE's current title holders will do everything they can to keep their championships, but some may not last past Royal Rumble 2013.
Every dynasty ends. Every champion must become a former champion.
CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Team Hell No, Kaitlyn, Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro all have challengers banging at the door, wanting to rob them of their titles.
Looking at each championship's recent history, current storylines and some educated guessing provides a glimpse into the future, to just how long every champion's reign will last.
Divas Championship: Kaitlyn
photo from wwe.com
Though the company has talented women like Natalya and Tamina on the roster, the Divas division has felt like a two-woman race lately.
Three out of the last five Divas champs held the title for more than 100 days.
Should Kaitlyn follow that pattern, she should be able to keep the title until May. With Eve gone from WWE, there aren't a ton of challengers to take the title from her, but eventually WWE will get antsy
AJ Lee should be long done with her John Cena/Dolph Ziggler storyline by then. That would free her up for a rivalry with her old friend, Kaitlyn.
Pass the butterfly belt, it's the crazy chick's time to carry it.
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro
photo from wwe.com
If Santino Marella can hold the United States Championship for 167 days, then it stands to reason that Antonio Cesaro can either match or surpass that mark.
Cesaro's reign is nearing that length now.
The question becomes how much longer can he last beyond that? Since WWE purchased WCW and brought the US title into the fold, no champ has lasted longer than MVP's reign of 343 days.
The US title offers a chance for trigger-happy bookers to create the excitement of a title change when they feel the major titles should stay where they are.
Expect Cesaro to lose the title before SummerSlam 2013 and be free of it before Money in the Bank so he can enter the MITB ladder match at least looking like WWE is serious about letting him win the briefcase.
That gives the uppercutting Swiss until Extreme Rules or the June pay-per-view to savor his championship position.
Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett
Gallo Images/Getty Images
The Intercontinental Championship seems to be WWE's way of putting Wade Barrett in the spotlight while the WWE and World Heavyweight title picture remains crowded.
Barrett may spend most of 2013 with the gold hoisted over his tattooed shoulder.
Not since Cody Rhodes lost the IC title to Big Show at WrestleMania 28 has someone held the belt more than three months.
Someone is due for a longer Intercontinental Championship reign, and who better than Barrett to serve that role?
WWE has booked the Englishman to look quite strong in recent weeks.
Besides winning the IC title on New Year's Eve, Barrett beat Kofi Kingston in a rematch on the first Main Event of 2013 and came second in a battle royal on an episode of Main Event on Dec. 26.
He then beat Randy Orton cleanly on the 20th Anniversary of Raw.
His roll looks to be just getting started.
The roster doesn't appear to have a stockpile of worthy challengers. Men like Sheamus and Big Show are too high on the card right now to be involved with the IC title picture. Current mid-carders Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio, Tyson Kidd and Christian are all inactive.
Barrett should retain his championship until as late as Night of Champions.
Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No
photo from wwe.com
Daniel Bryan and Kane's momentum had to cool eventually. The once highly dysfunctional team seems to be getting along as of late.
Unless WWE inserts a narrative curveball into their storyline, the next likely step is for Team Hell No to lose, disband and pursue their respective individual goals.
It will likely be The Rhodes Scholars that send the team into disarray.
WWE may pull the trigger before then, but milking this four-man feud until April affords them a fantastic opportunity. Having Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow win the belts at WrestleMania 29 gives the event another big moment among many.
Bryan won't like having an 0-2 record at WrestleMania, but should enjoy being freed for a run at one of the major titles.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio
Gallo Images/Getty Images
Alberto Del Rio defeated Big Show in a Last Man Standing Match on the Jan. 11 edition of SmackDown. He doesn't have much of a chance of lasting as champ until WrestleMania.
Money in the Bank's cash-in history rarely has a man wait as long as Dolph Ziggler to reap the rewards of their earned briefcase.
Jack Swagger waited just five days. Kane didn't wait for even a single day to pass. The most notable exceptions have been The Miz, who waited four months to cash in; and Edge, who waited nine.
Ziggler won his guaranteed championship opportunity in July and will likely make use of it soon.
That means Del Rio is looking like a transitional champion. Perhaps WWE didn't want former champ, Big Show to suffer two MITB cash-ins to end his reign. Perhaps Del Rio makes a better storyline target for Ziggler, being far smaller and weaker than Big Show.
WWE may move soon on Ziggler taking the title from Del Rio as soon as the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. That way, the Royal Rumble winner and The Show Off can begin their WrestleMania feud.
WWE Championship: CM Punk
photo by Steve Wright Jr.
CM Punk's shockingly long title run appears to be coming to an end.
The self-proclaimed Best in the World is set to face The Rock on Jan. 27 at the Royal Rumble. All signs point to The Rock snatching the gold from Punk and heading into WrestleMania as champion.
According to F4WOnline (via Wrestling.inc.com) "The Rock has been under the impression for some time that he would be the one to end Punk's reign at the Royal Rumble."
That might have been one of Vince McMahon's selling points to convince Rock to come back. It likely took more than just sacks of money to have Rock leave his actor trailer for the bumps and bruises that come with wrestling.
Unless WWE's writers have another big surprise in store for fans, Punk has until Jan. 27 to savor his championship status.