Analysis: Five potential WWE world champions for 2019
By Abel Morton
Last Updated: 04/01/19 4:45pm
With Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar ending 2018 as WWE and Universal champion respectively, all roads turn to what promises to be yet another competitive free-for-all for the two main titles in WWE.
There were an incredible 44 title changes throughout the course of 2018 and so it is virtually guaranteed that there will be a long line of superstars who believe they are world champion calibre in 2019.
We take a look at five potential superstars who could win the most prestigious prize in the industry this year.
Braun Strowman will have his chance to finally capture the Universal title when he faces Brock Lesnar at this month's Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The Universal title has eluded one of the most destructive forces the company has seen in recent times. In his last attempt to win the belt, Strowman came up short thanks to Baron Corbin's involvement, which allowed Lesnar to pick up the pieces and claim the vacant title at Crown Jewel in November.
Over the course of 2018, Strowman had periods of unbelievable momentum to the point were you thought it was just a matter of time before the big red strap would be around his massive shoulder.
January 27 in Phoenix could be the moment that Strowman sits atop the food chain.
The leader of the 'Balor Club' had an up and down 2018 by his own very high standards. It was a year that saw the man from Bray, Ireland embroiled in a feud with Baron Corbin that ultimately didn't catapult him to where he wanted to be.
Balor's 'Demon' alter ego still remains one of the most protected characters in WWE. If Balor is able to tap into that dark side of his character a little more in 2019, great things could present themselves.
Towards the end of 2018, Balor gained much-needed wins over Drew McIntrye and Dolph Ziggler. And with rumblings of major developments in store for him in 2019, Balor could soon be calling himself a two-time Universal champion.
When Drew McIntyre made the announcement last week on Raw that he was entering this year's Royal Rumble, it must have sent shock waves not only through the Raw locker room but also among those in SmackDown as well.
McIntyre has already got his New Rear's resolution mapped out - enter the Royal Rumble, win it, main event WrestleMania and win either the WWE or Universal title.
It would take a brave soul to bet against McIntyre's prophecy from happening. After all, this is a man who has dominated Raw since returning to WWE in 2018. His Claymore Kick finisher has become of the most devastating finishing manoeuvres and his mic work is first class - it has the viewer clinging onto every word that comes out of his mouth.
Many believe McIntrye is a champion in waiting and it may be just a case of waiting until WrestleMania for that to happen.
If The Miz was to win the world title this year, it would be in very safe hands - as Becky Lynch would tell you: "It's not the title that makes the man, but it's the man who made that title".
And during his most recent runs as Intercontinental champion, this was certainly the case with The Miz.
From his ability to elevate feuds to the next level with his sensational promo ability, to him becoming one of the standout performers in the ring over the past 18 months, you could make the argument that at one point the Intercontinental title became the number one title in the industry.
The Miz is a performer who can adapt to any situation, play countless different roles and take you on a ride that very few performers can, which is an exceptional skill.
He is more than ready for his second world title run and it would almost be inconceivable if that wasn't the case for WWE's 'A-Lister' come the end of the 2019.
Seth Rollins had a phenomenal 2018, so much so that he was many people's picks for wrestler of the year. From countless show-stealing matches, to becoming one of the most beloved babyfaces in the company, Rollins hit all the right notes.
With Roman Reigns battling illness, there is no better superstar to fill his void and cement himself as the 'Face of WWE'. His offense when he is in full throttle is one of the best around, and his Curb Stomp finisher is a thing of devastating beauty.
Despite being currently engaged in a bitter feud with his former Shield brethren Dean Ambrose over the Intercontinental title, you sense Rollins will eventually seek the opportunity at the world title some point this year.