After the initial brand extension in 2016, WWE decided to introduce two new championship titles to Monday Night Raw - the Universal Championship and the Raw Women’s Championship.
The Universal Championship has been marred in controversy, with many calling it a “curse,” due to many wrestlers getting into bad situations after their run with it. Brock Lesnar’s unparalleled dominance with it has taken away much value from the title, which WWE will surely try to fix in 2019. When it comes to the Raw Women’s Championship, it’s been a more prestigious title and has elevated many up and coming Superstars.
Right now, the Universal and Raw Women’s Championship are in the helm of two Superstars, both who seem unstoppable. Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey have been so dominant, that it’s hard to see anyone dethroning them to become the champion any time soon.
However, it’s inevitable that WWE changes the holders of both titles soon, in order to retain the audience’s attention. With Raw’s ratings dropping each passing month, WWE needs to spark this “new era” by making fresh faces champions and new main event Superstars. For that to happen, they’ll need to make the two biggest titles on Raw change hands more often, in order to give deserving candidates their due. In 2019, both the Universal Championship and Raw Women’s Championship need to change hands more frequently than they did in 2018.
Going by how certain Superstars are being booked in both divisions, it seems like they are set for runs with the two titles in the near future. Here, we take a look and project who will be the next 20 Universal and Raw Women’s Champions.
20 Raw Women’s Champion: Ember Moon
For Ember Moon, life has been quite exciting ever since she made the climb from NXT to Monday Night Raw. While she’s still not ready for a main event push, the Shenom of WWE has been kept in bright light.
Moon’s athleticism and unique style in the ring has impressed many, with her “eclipse” finisher becoming an ultimate highlight reel. Now in 2019, Moon might finally get her shot at the Raw Women’s Championship. As proved in NXT, she can definitely hang with the very best and succeed with the title around her waist. If WWE goes with a similar underdog storyline on the red brand, Moon can get really over as the Raw Women’s Champion somewhere down the line.
19 Universal Champion: Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman’s quest for the Universal Champion has been a long road filled with pit stops. However, the Monster Among Men seems to be over enough to the point where he may finally get these hands on the championship - which has eluded him throughout all of 2018.
Stroman has his shot against Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view. It remains to be seen whether or not he’ll win defeat Lesnar, but Strowman certainly has a future Championship reign ahead of him. The Monster Among Men is more than over as a main event babyface, to the point where he needs to have a reign with the title. Somewhere in the middle of 2019, Strowman will win the Universal Championship and have a lengthy reign with it.
18 Raw Women’s Champion: Ruby Riott
The Raw Women’s Division received a unique factor with the introduction of The Riott Squad earlier in 2018. Stable leader Ruby Riott has been the ultimate breakout star, having proved herself as a true heel while feuding with Natalya and company.
If Riott continues to grow at this rate, she probably has a championship reign in line down the road. While she can’t really dethrone Ronda Rousey, Riott can probably get the title off someone else with the help of her partners. Knowing Riott’s brilliant work rate and ability in the ring, she can do great things with the title, should WWE give her a run with the championship sometime this year.
17 Universal Champion: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose’s heel turn has done plenty of wonders, and it’s simply refreshing to see him portray a more snobby character at this stage. The Moral Compass of WWE is currently the Intercontinental Champion and likely won’t be letting it go any time before WrestleMania.
But when The Lunatic is done as Intercontinental Champion, he will definitely have his eyes on the bigger prize. Ambrose’s development as a heel is succeeding big time. If he sustains the heat, Ambrose will be an excellent main event heel. He can win the Universal Championship in the late months of 2019, and if Seth Rollins is also vying for it, we might see this rivalry spark up even more.
16 Raw Women’s Champion: Natalya
While she may be“veteran” in the Women’s Division now, Natalya is still going strong in her quest to be ashining star of this new era for WWE. She is still one of the most technically adept wrestlers around and can produce a great match with just about anyone.
One of the more hard-working individuals for WWE, Natalya has been increasing her stock with some great performances in recent months. 2019 could be the year where she gets her rewards and wins the Raw Women’s Championship that has eluded her for so long. Natalya deserves a run at the title and if her popularity keeps on rising, she’ll probably win it at some point later this year.
15 Universal Champion: Bray Wyatt
It’s been quite a while since Bray Wyatt was even last seen on WWE television on a regular basis, as the company seems to be giving the former WWE Champion a break to reinvent himself.
Wyatt is poised to make his comeback very soon and will probably be receiving a substantial push in the near future. In order to rebuild him as this supernatural terror of Monday Night Raw, WWE will push Wyatt’s character high this year. If he can continue to impress them, a Universal Championship reign isn’t out of the question.
Wyatt has the persona and ability to pull off a Universal Championship reign. Going by his reputation as a main event star, Wyatt could win the title towards the end of 2019.
14 Raw Women’s Champion: Kairi Sane
Kairi Sane has sparked up the NXT Women’s Division with her bright presence and terrific wrestling ability, leading to a a widely successful rivalry with Shayna Baszler.
Sane looks more than ready for the main roster, and she may be one of the NXT talents to make her way to Raw in the next “Superstar Shakeup.” Sane has the gimmick fans can get behind and excels in the ring, which could mean she receives a big push upon arrival.
If Sane makes a a big impact on Raw, she can even be booked to win the Raw Women’s Championship sometime in 2019. The Pirate Princess can be an extremely enticing champion and bring something new and fresh to the Women’s Division.
13 Universal Champion: Bobby Lashley
The “Almighty” gimmick has done no good to Bobby Lashley, who’s being made to look a fool with this bad character. Lashley has the ability to be a strong heel, but his snobby mannerisms are not working right now.
But knowing his potential, WWE won’t bury Lashley anytime soon. They know he has the main event potential, and they should plan to ttest that soon. With WWE promising “new things” in 2019, giving Lashley a Universal Championship reign could be a starting point.
He could get a renowned push, after dumping Lio Rush from his side. Knowing his ability to dominate, WWE should start pushing Lashley as a powerful heel - and have him plow his way to the Universal Championship. Perhaps some time after SummerSlam makes the most sense.
12 Raw Women’s Champion: Nia Jax
After losing to Ronda Rousey at WWE TLC, Nia Jax was sent to the back of the line in the Raw Women’s Championship contenders. But given her status as an extremely dominant force in the division, Jax should rise back up the ladder relatively soon.
While she’ll be kept out of the title scene for the foreseeable future, Jax might get back in it later in the year. Jax has impressed creative with her work in the past, and will continue doing so if she continues to improve in the immediate future. Jax could win back the Raw Women’s Championship after Survivor Series, after which she’d probably have to drop it and put over someone else.
11 Universal Champion: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens is set to return to Monday Night Raw soon after being sidelined with a knee injury. Going by the hype up his pending comeback, one could predict something special is being planned for the former Universal Champion.
Owens has been a major success for WWE, and knowing his ability as a heel, KO is set to stay in the spotlight for the long run. Owens should be pushed into the Universal Championship picture, if he keeps on impressing creative and improves his physique.
He could even win the Money in the Bank briefcase and cash it towards the end of 2019 to become Universal Champion. Given his previous and successful run as Universal Champion two years ago, WWE should give Owens another shot with the title.
10 Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
2018 was simply a share of nightmares for Bayley on Monday Night Raw. She was part of some bad storylines, and the fans rejected continued to reject The Hugger and former NXT babyface.
That’s now a thing of the past, and Bayley is slowly but surely winning back the fan support. Bayley is set to remain a tag team partner to Sasha Banks for the time being. But if Bayley regains her brilliant babyface demeanor, she could be in line for another big push.
Bayley could win the Raw Women’s Championship after SummerSlam, should she retain her her popularity among fans.
9 Universal Champion: Aleister Black
Aleister Black’s main roster call is just around the corner, as the former NXT Champion should debut on Raw after WrestleMania 35. Black has received a strong push in NXT, and considering how much he’s impressed WWE officials, one can expect him to receive a similar run on Raw.
Like Finn Balor back in 2016, Black could also be inserted directly into the Universal Championship scene once he debuts. He has the presence about him to be a perfect main eventer ,and Black displays the all-around wrestling skills to succeed. It’s not crazy to think that Black could even win the title at SummerSlam. WWE should look to instantly book Black as a top guy, knowing his ability to dazzle fans with the strong skill set.
8 Raw Women’s Champion: Sasha Banks
While she might not be favorable in the Raw Women’s Championship nowadays, Sasha Banks has plenty of time on her side. The Legit Boss is currently eyeing to become an inaugural Women’s Tag Team Champion with Bayley.
Once that’s done with, the former Raw Women’s Champion will be hunting for the big prize once again. Banks’ natural ability lets her succeed as a brilliant babyface, but also as a heel. If she turns bad again, Banks will likely receive another big push.
She could win the Raw Women’s Championship again, this time as a heel, perhaps some time later in the year. Banks has all the tools in her arsenal to be Raw Women’s Champion again, and she could rekindle her rivalry with Bayley along the way.
7 Universal Champion: Finn Balor
Finn Balor seems to have a new confidence about him on Monday Night Raw and is standing up to his doubters really well.
The former Universal Champion has impressed many by downing Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley in recent bouts, and is rumored to be in line for another considerable push. Balor seems to have won back the trust of WWE officials, who are looking to make him one of the faces of this era.
Take all of this into account, and another Universal Championship reign seem out of the question for Balor. If he keeps on impressing in-ring work and continues to get over, Balor could win back the title later this year.
6 Raw Women’s Champion: Alexa Bliss
Despite not being able to compete again just yet, Alexa Bliss has done commendable work as an authority figure on Monday Night Raw. However, she will be cleared to compete soon and should be receiving another big push shortly thereafter.
Bliss continues to shine in a non-wrestling role for the time being on Monday Night Raw. Seeing how high WWE is on her, Bliss should be winning the Raw Women’s Championship soon, perhaps some time after WrestleMania.
The Wicked Witch of WWE should regain her championship and have another prolific reign with it. It’s hard to envision Little Miss Bliss not winning championship later this year, as WWE continues to be set on pushing her in the new era.
5 Universal Champion: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre made a spectacular return to Monday Night Raw, where he ruled over for a lengthy period in 2018. Here in 2019, it could be the year where McIntyre takes it a step further.
The Scotsman looks to back up his talent with some championship gold, and McIntyre’s work has won over the confidence of Vince McMahon and co. many times now. They want the big red belt on him, and a Universal Championship reign for McIntyre can come as soon as WrestleMania.
While it likely won’t come that early, McIntyre definitely has a Universal Championship opportunity lined up for him. He could win it some time late in 2019. But either way, McIntyre’s monster push will be rewarded with a Universal Championship reign in the near future.
4 Raw Women’s Champion: Shayna Baszler
After causing a reign of terror in the NXT Women’s Division, Shayna Baszler now looks ready for the big leagues.
Baszler has to be one of the most dangerous female stars in WWE right now, and upon arrival on Monday Night Raw, you can expect her to wreak plenty of havoc. Baszler will receive a mega push after arriving, given how high creative is on her.
Knowing her strong ties to Ronda Rousey, things could get even more interesting for Baszler. She will probably debut some time after WrestleMania, and can turn on Rousey to capture the Raw Women’s Championship. She can feud with Rousey and other top stars, and there should be no doubting that Baszler will be a successful Raw Women’s Champion.
3 Universal Champion: AJ Styles
This might be difficult to comprehend considering that SmackDown Live is the home of AJ Styles, but there have been talks of him moving to Raw soon.
He’s done everything there is to do on the blue brand and simply needs a new challenge, which would happen with a move to Raw. Styles would not only increase their ratings, but giving the Phenomenal One new matches and feuds as Universal Champions would be enticing to see.
Styles can also have a light schedule with the Universal Championship, which isn’t necessarily pivotal to Raw programming. Styles could become the new Universal Champion sometime after SummerSlam, and help restore the title’s prestigious status while making it more popular again.
2 Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch
“The Man” is probably more over than any other Superstar in the whole of WWE right now, and great things seem to be waiting for her this year. Becky Lynch is a favorite to win the Women’s Royal Rumble match, after which she’s rumored to main event WrestleMania 35.
The rumor is that Lynch would face Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. If there’s anyone who can dethrone the unstoppable Rousey, it’s easily Becky Lynch .
She could easily improve the ratings of Raw (like I suggested with Styles), with her work as Raw Women’s Champion. However, with odds looking in her favor, The Irish Lasskicker seems primed to win the title at WrestleMania - and she will surely have a prolific reign with it.
1 Universal Champion: Seth Rollins
Following Roman Reigns’ unfortunate Leukemia diagnosis and lengthy leave of absence, WWE seems to be focusing on finding a new “faceof the company.” If someone has proved themselves worthy of the role, it’s Seth Rollins - who is more than over as a babyface right now.
The former Intercontinental Champion is the perfect man to dethrone Brock Lesnar, and rumors point towards that happening. Rollins is rumored to win the Royal Rumble match, after which he would challenge and defeat Lesnar to become the new Universal Championship at WrestleMania.
It would make for an emphatic underdog story, and considering his popularity, Rollins would make for a perfect Universal Champion - thus bringing the glory days back to Raw.