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Pro wrestling news, opinions, interviews, lists and more from former WWE creative team member Kevin Eck

ROH to Introduce New Championship

For the first time in six years, ROH is introducing a new championship.

The inaugural ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions will be crowned in an eight-team tournament that begins at the end of September.

Teams expected to compete in the tournament include: Bullet Club, The Cabinet (Rhett Titus, Kenny King and Caprice Coleman) and the current World Tag Team Champions The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) and Kamaitachi.

For more details, click here.

Follow me on Twitter at @KevinEck_WWE.

Check out my pro wrestling columns onPressBoxOnline.com. A new column is posted every Wednesday.

© 2016 SportsBlog.com. All rights reserved. Interactive One Millennial
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WWE Raw Review: Welcome to the Kevin Owens Show, Brought to You by Triple H

The top story: Kevin Owens won the WWE Universal Title in a Fatal 4-Way Match over Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Big Cass, thanks to a big assist from returning WWE COO Triple H. After Triple H helped Rollins eliminate Reigns, he Pedigreed Rollins, which allowed Owens to make the cover and win the match. Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon appeared to be shocked by her husband's actions.

Also newsworthy: Paul Heyman paid Brock Lesnar's $500 fine (in ($1 bills) and apologized to Stephanie. ... Sheamus defeated Cesaro to take a 2-0 lead in their Best-of-Seven Series.

Here's a segment-by-segment look at the show:

Segment One: Roman Reigns - Big Cass - Seth Rollins - Kevin Owens Promo

The gist: Rollins said that if it wasn't for him injuring Balor, they wouldn't have an opportunity to win the WWE Universal Title tonight. He said he's the favorite to win, so he'll donate his speaking time to someone who needs it, like Owens. Owens sarcastically said that it's exciting to be in the match. He said with Sami Zayn out of the picture, he can focus on what matters: the title. He said he's at his best when the stakes are high, and tonight's as high as it gets. He said Rollins talks big, but he delivers big. He said Reigns fights hard, but he fights smart. He said Cass is just really tall and is Enzo Amore's puppet. Cass asked if Chris Jericho wrote that line for him. Cass said he's never been a champion in WWE and has only been here a few months, but that means he has nothing to lose. He said he's not an underdog, he's the biggest dog in the fight (that line was directed at Reigns). Cass told Rollins that size does matter despite what he's been telling himself. Rollins said it will come down to him and Reigns, and everyone knows that he always beats Reigns. Corey Graves asked Reigns what he's going to do to defeat Rollins. Reigns punched Owens. Rollins and Cass started fighting with each other. The four-way brawl continued, and Reigns was the last man standing. Reigns eyed the title belt.

Analysis: A decent opening segment to set the stage for the big match. It was probably a smart move to not have Reigns speak. The crowd would have just booed him and given him the "What?" treatment.

Segments Two and Three: Chris Jericho Backstage Interview // Neville vs. Chris Jericho // Backstage Vignette w/Bayley, New Day and Dana Brooke

The gist: Jericho was asked by Tom Phillips about helping Kevin Owens beat Neville last week. Jericho said he was just giving Owens moral support. He said everyone knew Owens would defeat Neville, just like everyone knows Owens is going to win the title tonight. Jericho said Neville was going to get (pause). Phillips said, "It." Jericho called Phillips a stupid idiot and said that didn't make any sense. He said he was going to give the gift of Jericho.

Result: Jericho over via submission

The gist: Bayley walked down the hall and saw New Day. They all sang and danced. Brooke walked up and said that Bayley doesn't belong in WWE. New Day said Bayley looked good against Brooke last week. Brooke said she's been talking to Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. New Day proposed a six-person tag match. Brooke said to bring it on. Bayley said it's already been brought.

Analysis: A good match. Interestingly, Jericho won with The Liontamer rather than the Walls of Jericho. ... The interaction between Bayley and New Day was fun.

Segment Four: Hyan Backstage Interview // Hyan vs. Nia Jax // Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Dana Brooke Backstage Promo

The gist: Hyan said she was from Houston and all things are bigger in Texas, including her heart.

Result: Jax over via pinfall

The gist: Gallows and Anderson said they used to be doctors but now they're in the retirement business, or as they called it, "Octogenarian Leisure Destination For Aging Rehabilitation Treatment" (OLD FART). They said some superstars need encouragement to retire, like The Dudley Boyz last week. They said New Day should be preparing for retirement -- as tag champs, at least. They said they had some treatment for New Day. Brooke came in dressed as a nurse. She put on a latex glove.

Analysis: I hope Hyan was actually instructed to do a horrible job delivering her lines, because if she's really that bad, she has no future in the business. ... Congratulations to Gallows and Anderson for graduating from ball jokes to ass jokes. As I've said in the past, I appreciate that WWE is trying to get some personality out of Gallows and Anderson, but they're just not very charismatic. It doesn't help that the material they're being given isn't funny. Correction: It's funny to one person. I'm sure Vince McMahon fell out of chair laughing at the "OLD FART" and latex glove bits. By the way, wouldn't it have made more sense to put "Nurse" Brooke with Gallows and Anderson when they were "doctors?"

Segment Five: Seth Rollins Highlights Package // Sami Zayn vs. Jinder Mahal

The gist: This was the first of four highlights packages on the competitors in the title match.

Result: Zayn over via pinfall

Analysis: A basic enhancement win for Zayn, who really need a program.

Segments Six and Seven: From Raw Pre-show: Sasha Banks Interview // New Day's Big E and Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) and Bayley vs. Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson and Dana Brooke (Charlotte on Commentary) // Cesaro Backstage Interview

The gist: Banks said she knew Charlotte was a coward but she didn't think she would try to injure her. Banks said she is more focused than ever and will be better than ever when she returns.

Result: New Day and Bayley over via pinfall (Bayley pinned Brooke)

The gist: Cesaro said he still plans on getting the championship opportunity Mick Foley promised to the winner of the Best-of-Seven Series. He said Sheamus is a bully who likes to throw his weight around. Cesaro said tonight he will throws Sheamus' weight around, and around, and around, and ....

Analysis: I'm glad WWE showed the clip of Banks from the pre-show rather than keeping her off TV until she comes back. ... The six-person tag match was entertaining. Bayley scoring the pinfall was the right call. I think Brooke should remain with Gallows and Anderson. She will do more to enhance their act than she will Charlotte's. ... Did I miss the part where Foley said the Best-of-Seven winner will get some sort of title match?

Segments Eight and Nine: Big Cass Highlights Package // Sheamus In-Ring Interview // Cesaro vs. Sheamus > Best-of-Seven Series Match 2 // Mr Fuji Tribute Video

The gist: Sheamus said Cesaro is desperate because the ring is all he has. He said Cesaro isn't charming, witty or handsome like him. He said Cesaro has spent his entire life trying to be a WWE champion, so how's it going to feel when he finds out Sheamus is better.

Result: Sheamus over via submission

Analysis: Another good match in the series, but as far as being a hot program, this isn't exactly Magnum T.A. vs. Nikita Koloff for the NWA U.S. Title. It's standard that the babyface falls behind in these series, but even if Cesaro comes back and wins it (which I think he will), I don't see how losing multiple times to a stale character like Sheamus helps him. I'd have rather WWE thought outside the box and had Cesaro sweep the series. I don't think that's been done, and it would've really put Cesaro over. It also could've been the beginning of a reboot for Sheamus. ... The tribute to Mr. Fuji was touching and well done. 

Segment Ten: Kevin Owens Highlights Package // Americo In-Ring Interview // Americo vs. Braun Strowman

The gist: Americo was speechless when he saw Strowman walking down the aisle.

Result: Strowman over via pinfall

Aftermath: Strowman ripped off Americo's mask.

Analysis: Perhaps Bob Backlund came make Americo great again.

Segment Eleven: Stephanie McMahon - Paul Heyman Promo

The gist: Stephanie said that Brock Lesnar crossed the line at SummerSlam when he F-5'd her brother, Shane. She said nobody messes with her family. Heyman came out. Stephanie demanded that he apologize. Heyman said that Lesnar winning at SummerSlam was a big win for Raw as a brand, but he understands that Lesnar crossed the line, and he's here to pay Lesnar's $500 fine. Heyman pulled out a huge stack of $1 bills and began counting as he dropped them one-by-one on the mat. Stephanie said that Lesnar does have value, but Heyman doesn't. She said she will avenge her brother. Heyman apologized for putting Stephanie in a difficult position. He begged her to accept this as a lesson learned and an apology sincerely delivered. Stephanie tersely accepted the apology and left the ring. Heyman flashed a devious smile. 

Analysis: I always love any segment that Heyman is in, and Stephanie is a great performer as well, but this was a disappointment. Maybe it was just me, but I have no idea what the point of this was or what the characters' motivations were. 

Segment Twelve: Roman Reigns Highlights Package // Darren Young (w/Bob Backlund) vs. Titus O'Neil // Backstage Vignette w/Mick Foley, Stephanie McMahon and Seth Rollins

Result: Young over via pinfall

Aftermath: O'Neil attacked Young and Backlund.

The gist: Foley said he should've had Stephanie's back out there with Paul Heyman. She said she could handle it. Foley said in tonight Fatal 4-Way Match, all friends and tag partners should be banned from ringside. Stephanie agreed. Rollins walked in. Rollins said he will reward Stephanie's faith in him by bringing home the title. She said that's why they made him the No. 1 draft pick. Rollins and Stephanie hugged.

Analysis: That match didn't do much for Young, who sold the entire way before catching an overconfident O'Neil in a crucifix for the win. To make matters worse, it appeared that a guy O'Neil's size could have easily kicked out. I like both of these guys but this program is a channel-changer.

Segments Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen and Sixteen: Enzo Amore and Big Cass Promo // Roman Reigns vs. Big Cass vs. Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens > Fatal 4-Way Match for Vacant WWE Universal Title (Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley at Ringside) (Triple H)

The gist: Cass said tonight he shocks the world and becomes WWE Universal Champion.

Order of elimination: Owens pinned Cass. ... Rollins pinned Reigns (after Triple H Pedigreed Reigns). ... Owens pinned Rollins (after Triple H Pedigreed Rollins).

Analysis: A fantastic main event with the best possible result. I had a pretty good feeling WWE was going to put the title on Owens, not just because he deserves it, but also because there would've been issues with any of the three other guys winning. Cass isn't ready yet for a major singles push; Rollins is stale; and Reigns going over would've led to a collective groan from the WWE Universe. The only way Rollins or Reigns getting the title could've worked is if they turned. But even then, Rollins and Reigns still would come across as the same old, same old. The reason WWE crowned Finn Balor in the first place instead of Rollins was because it signified that it truly is a new era. Owens also represents that. I didn't see the interference of Triple H coming, but I'm interested to hear why he did what he did, and what this means going forward for him and Stephanie. Owens will do a fine job as an opportunist heel champion, but I still think there's money in him as the company's top babyface down the line.

Final thoughts: Thanks to the awesome and newsworthy main event, what had been a good show up to that point became a special one.

Follow me on Twitter at @KevinEck_WWE.

Check out my pro wrestling columns on PressBoxOnline.com. A new column is posted every Wednesday.





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Remembering WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Fuji

WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Fuji, whose career as a wrestler and manager in WWE spanned three decades, died Sunday morning, WWE.com reported.

Fuji, whose real name was Harry Fujiwara, was 82.

Portraying a stereotypical Japanese heel throughout his career, Fuji was actually Hawaiian. He was known for throwing salt into his opponent's eyes and gleefully boasting on interviews that he would torture his opponents and make them suffer.

Fuji initially made his name wrestling on the West Coast before coming to the WWWF in 1972. He held the WWWF/WWF Tag Team Title on five occasions, three times with Prof. Toru Tanaka in the '70's and twice with Mr. Saito in the early '80s.

He transitioned into a heel manager role in 1985. Wearing a black tuxedo and bowler hat like the James Bond villain Oddjob, Fuji managed Magnificent Muraco during Muraco's feud with Ricky Steamboat. 

During that time, Fuji and Muraco shot several entertaining vignettes for WWF's "Tuesday Night Titans" talk show in which the two were attempting to break into acting. The most memorable of those videos was a parody of "Miami Vice" titled "Fuji Vice."

Fuji led Demolition to the WWF Tag Team Title in 1988, and he managed Yokozuna during Yokozuna's two WWF World Title reigns in 1993-94.

His other charges included George "The Animal Steele, Kamala, and The Powers of Pain.

Fuji was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.

My condolences to Fuji's family, friends and fans.

Follow me on Twitter at @KevinEck_WWE.

Check out my pro wrestling columns on PressBoxOnline.com. A new column is posted every Wednesday.

© 2016 SportsBlog.com. All rights reserved. Interactive One Millennial
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