The WWE Championship: Who Is Randy Orton's Succesor?

Kevin WilliamsCorrespondent IJuly 30, 2009

In today's World Wrestling Entertainment, many of the title holders have to consider themselves lucky if they can hold on to their belts, especially the World Heavyweight Championship, for 50 days.

Both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship belts change hands often enough that people like Triple H, Edge, and John Cena may all surpass Ric Flair's legendary sixteen world championships by the time the books close on their careers.

Current WWE Champion, Randy Orton, is quickly closing in on the first 50 days of his title reign, and though I don't believe that he will lose the belt in the next month or two, I do think that the WWE should start looking at the superstars in the Raw locker room that are best fitted to win the belt from Orton.

Since Summerslam of 2004, the combination of Triple H, Randy Orton, and John Cena have fought each other twenty-five times in a variety of matches. Quite frankly, I speak for most WWE fans when I say that no one wants to see Triple H or John Cena win the belt from Orton.

A rundown of the Raw superstars that I believe are most the most eligible candidates for WWE championship stardom is in order.

Although the possible disdain that many fans would have with John Cena and Triple H winning the belt from Orton was previously mentioned, arguments for them winning the belt will also be mentioned in this article.


1. Triple H

The main advantage that putting the belt back around Triple H's waist has is that a victory over Triple H can put just about any rising mid-carder over. If not for Triple H, Batista would not be the shining star that he is today, and the same could  be said for Randy Orton.

After a lengthy feud with Orton, Triple H could feud with Big Show, and possibly make him into a credible champion once again, or he could put over someone like Jack Swagger in a lengthy feud.

2. John Cena

Call him Superman, criticize his in-ring ability, and boo him as you may, John Cena is the most marketable commodity in the WWE, and has been for a while.

To his credit, Cena hasn't held a belt since April, which may just be a record for him.

Other than marketability, with the right program, I think Cena is also capable of putting other wrestlers over, although not to the extent of Triple H.

The Miz has been on the rise lately, and maybe a continuation in the Cena/Miz feud, with The Miz eventually winning the belt, would catapult him to stardom.

There's also the possibility of Big Show finally beating Cena for the belt, although the WWE has dropped the ball on this one before, and this feud is more tired out than the Orton/Cena/HHH feud.

3. M.V.P.

Earlier in the year M.V.P. was getting pops from the crowd, he was the United States Champion, and everything seemed to be going in his favor. A feud with Orton seemed imminent after their first encounter on Raw.

This feud was not to be, and M.V.P. has hung around the mid-card for the year trying to regain his U.S. Championship.

With smart booking, (although this may be asking too much from the WWE right now) I think that M.V.P. can gain his momentum back and have a successful feud with Randy Orton that eventually leads to his first WWE Title.

An M.V.P. title reign brings a desperately needed fresh face to the WWE belt.

As much as the WWE has hinted a possible M.V.P. title reign, now is the time that they should be pushing him forward. M.V.P. is not as young as other talent, and I can't see him being a multi-time champion.

4. Mark Henry

Mark Henry has only recently turned face, and already he commands bigger pops than the likes of M.V.P. and Shelton Benjamin.

Since his arrival on Raw, Mark Henry has taken out the likes of Randy Orton and Chris Jericho.

I think Henry serves as a better short-term fix than a long-term champion.

With good booking, he could put on a half decent feud with The Big Show, in a "Battle of the Big Men" type rivalry. Then again, as recent trends show, WWE fans tend to favor the smaller wrestlers such as Evan Bourne, so a feud such as this may not be the best idea for WWE right now.

5. Batista

If not for his injury at Extreme Rules, Batista would probably still be the WWE Champion right now.

If the bookers are planning on giving Randy Orton a longer than average run with the belt, then Batista may be the most likely candidate to win the belt from Orton.

Like many of the other feuds on Raw, Batista versus Randy Orton is as over played as Lady Gaga's music. A one or two month feud between Orton and Batista is enough to push Batista back up to championship status. After that, Batista is free to feud with new competition.

6. Shawn Michaels

It is only a matter of time before Shawn Michaels returns to aid Triple H in the fight against Randy Orton and The Legacy.

I, for one, am all for an HBK and Orton feud. It is not over-used like many other WWE feuds, and I think that a lengthy feud between them could draw viewers.

Since Shawn Michaels returned to WWE after his five year hiatus, he has been champion one time. Michaels was the first ever winner of the Elimination Chamber match, and held on to the belt for a month after that.

Shawn Michaels winning the belt opens up a multitude of possible feuds and storylines. Perhaps Triple H could turn heel, and The Game and The Heartbreak Kid could feud all the way to Wrestlemania, in what could just be the retirement angle for Shawn Michaels.

7. Kofi Kingston

I don't even know how serious I am about this one, but I think Kofi is the dark horse of the group.

I see Kofi as being immensely over with the crowd, and he's also an exciting athlete to watch in the ring. One thing that the current U.S. Champion could use some work on is developing more of a personality.

For now, I don't think Kofi is much of a threat to Orton's current reign, but I do believe he will be a champion when Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and the like make it into the main event scene.

Other than Triple H and John Cena, the most realistic choice of all the candidates seems to be Batista, who I believe will be the one to dethrone Randy Orton. I personally would like for it to be Shawn Michaels because I feel that he is most deserving of everybody on this list. He hasn't held the belt in such a long time, and I think many fans would consider him as a different face holding the belt.

As is with all things in life, only time will tell who the next WWE Champion will be.


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