A Peek into the Future: Who Will Hold Every Raw and SmackDown Title in 1 Year?
A lot can happen in a year.
Or so history tells us.
Superstars will rise, some will experience the bite of the injury bug, records will fall and the face of the company could change in an instant.
But who will be the champions by this time next year?
Who will be the men and women who enter the Road to WrestleMania 37 with gold around their waists, poised to defend their titles as they arrive to WWE's grandest stage, ready to etch their names into the history books?
Which new faces will earn gold, and which established stars will add to their already sparkling resumes?
Let's take a look.
WWE Championship: Randy Orton
If the past two weeks of WWE programming have taught us anything, it is that Randy Orton is an exceptional villain. He is as good, if not better than every other heel on the roster, and much of that can be attributed to his devotion to the little things.
The Viper masterfully manipulated the WWE Universe on Monday's episode of Raw, getting them to react exactly how he wanted merely by utilizing facial expressions and body language. He was brilliant and gave fans a small taste of what they can expect from his latest run as a WWE baddie.
He is such a phenomenal heel that by this time next year, he will be the WWE champion leading into WrestleMania 37.
Almost improbably so.
Not all that long ago, Orton looked like an aging veteran coasting along for the paycheck. Revitalized and rededicated to his craft, look for the third-generation Superstar to enjoy one of his finest and most successful years to date, barring any sort of injury.
If he can stay healthy, Orton will win championship No. 14 and roll into next WrestleMania season the detestable heel the WWE Universe cannot wait to see toppled.
Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns
A leukemia diagnosis cut short Roman Reigns' most recent run with the Universal Championship, but barring any sort of setback, do not expect that to be the case when The Big Dog finally gets his hands on SmackDown's premier title.
Reigns will defeat "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, either at WrestleMania or one of the proceeding pay-per-views, and stand atop the blue brand as its champion.
That is not to say his run will go uninterrupted over the course of an entire year—not with King Corbin, Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman and Wyatt all sure to be gunning for the gold. Whether he holds on to it for the duration or drops it and regains it in between, Reigns will be the universal champion at this time next year, awaiting the next challenger to step up to the plate and challenge him on wrestling's grandest stage.
Intercontinental Championship: John Morrison
John Morrison did not come back to WWE in late 2019 just to be The Miz's sidekick and tag team partner.
Are they incredibly entertaining as a package? Absolutely. But Morrison has unfinished business that includes climbing to the top of WWE, something that eluded him during his first run with the company.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to foresee a scenario that gets him there over the next 12 months, but that does not mean The Shaman of Sexy will not collect some singles gold.
Morrison is a former intercontinental champion, and his run with the title in 2009 produced some of SmackDown's best matches that year. As he continues to reintegrate himself in WWE and remind fans of just how damn good he was at his peak, look for Morrison to regain the IC title and go on a run of singles matches that elevates both himself and the championship.
SmackDown's midcard, arguably its weakest division, will benefit exponentially as a result.
United States Championship: Aleister Black
Zelina Vega can watch from ringside as Humberto Carrillo and Andrade have their feud over the United States title for now because by this time next year, it will be her real-life husband, Aleister Black, who reigns as champion.
Black has been an unstoppable force in recent months, tearing through the competition as Raw executive director Paul Heyman and WWE Creative prepare him for the significant singles run he should have enjoyed a long time ago.
The former NXT champion has an aura about him that makes him one of the more compelling performers on the roster. Throw in a devastating finisher he can deliver from out of nowhere, Black Mass, and you have a guy primed for the top of the card.
And he very well could be in that position a year from now.
Still, it feels more likely that he captures the midcard title and goes on a run that sees him vanquish the likes of AJ Styles, Ricochet, Buddy Murphy and even Seth Rollins as he continues his steady march to the WWE Championship.
Raw Women's Championship: Shayna Baszler
Shayna Baszler will win the Raw Women's Championship from Becky Lynch at WrestleMania, ending The Man's yearlong dominance of the red brand. From there, The Queen of Spades will embark on her own 365-day reign of terror, oppressing her fellow Superstars similar to her run in NXT.
No one will be safe from tapping out to her rear-naked choke.
Baszler will be an unflinching, unbeatable champion similar to Brock Lesnar. She will dominate, she will decimate and she will infuriate fans who demand change. They will not get it.
By this time next year, Baszler will be preparing to enter WrestleMania 37 as the top star in the Raw women's division.
SmackDown Women's Championship: Sasha Banks
It has been a long time since Sasha Banks has worn singles gold in WWE.
She has not held a title since dropping the Women's Tag Team Championships to The IIconics at WrestleMania 35.
Look for that to change within the next year as she captures the SmackDown Women's Championship and goes on the proper heel run she should have enjoyed by now.
The Legit Boss' recent disappearance from television is worrisome, but she will hopefully be back on television by the time WWE takes over Tampa, Florida, for this year's Showcase of the Immortals.
Expect her to build momentum over the spring, possibly enter the title picture by summer and regain the gold by the time fall rolls around. Then The Boss will roll into WrestleMania champion, ready to shine on a stage bigger, brighter and made for a star of her caliber.
Raw Tag Team Championships: AOP
If AOP are not the dominant Raw tag team champions a year from now, the creative team should probably pack it in.
Akam and Rezar are the most intimidating and imposing tandem on the roster. They are a punishing force of nature and the only team that can realistically combat The Viking Raiders. They were made to dominate a tag division, as we witnessed during their excellent run in NXT, and can only be toppled via the most nefarious means.
As the heavies for Seth Rollins, they have enjoyed the most significant push in their main-roster careers. They have realized their potential and look like the team we remember from NXT, not the inexplicable afterthoughts they became upon their arrival to Raw in the spring of 2018.
Finally on the right track, look for Akam and Rezar to cruise through the competition and capture the Raw titles by the time WrestleMania season arrives in 2021.
Even if that means bulldozing Rollins and Murphy to do so.
SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Usos or The New Day
Let's face it: The SmackDown tag team titles are going to belong to either The New Day or The Usos.
There is nothing about WWE's creative patterns that suggest another team besides them will hold the gold at this time next year. Yes, there have been breaks in their reigns, most recently with The Revival and, before them, The Bludgeon Brothers. Still, New Day and The Usos have been at the top of the tag division on either Raw or SmackDown for the past handful of years, and that is unlikely to stop.
In fact, over the next 12 months, do not be surprised to see the teams engage in another lengthy rivalry over the titles.
Sure, there are the teams of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Heavy Machinery and the aforementioned Revival to take into consideration, but as is the case rather frequently, WWE Creative has a tendency to go back to the well with the same faces when WrestleMania rolls around.
That bodes well for one of the two Hall of Fame-worthy tag teams holding gold again this time next year.
WWE 24/7 Championship: R-Truth
The 24/7 Championship feels as though it was created specifically for R-Truth's comedic hijinks.
Yeah, guys like Elias and Mojo Rawley have interrupted Truth's runs, but when all is said and done, the veteran competitor typically steals it back. Already a 34-time champion (!), the next year should provide him plenty of opportunities to make it 50.
Or, if WWE Creative is looking for a challenge, 100.