One would assume so, but I don't think it's ever been definitively stated or anything. But didn't HHH end up with the belt later in the year? So it seems likely.
Along those lines, Wrestlemania 24 featured a fairly contrived Triple Threat with Cena vs. HHH vs. Orton. Was that the plan all along, or was it just kind of thrown together (like a lot of the more recent three-way main events felt)?
God, all this stuff just runs together for me because I wasn't watching really closely during that period. I THINK it was supposed to be Rumble winner Cena against WWE champion Orton and it got changed to HHH being in there somehow, but given we got HHH/Cena, HHH/Cena/Orton and then Orton/HHH, you can see how this stuff gets confusing after a while. I'd have to check and see if the WONs from that time are archived on the site to tell you for sure.