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WWE Raw: Triple H wishes Vince McMahon well in his future endeavors

There was a sense of excitement and unpredictability heading into Monday night's episode of Raw, and WWE delivered with a compelling final segment that had a plot twist no one saw coming.

Just as Vince McMahon was about to make good on his threat to fire John Cena, McMahon's son-in-law, Triple H, came out in a suit with a concerned look on his face.

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A somber Triple H broke the news to McMahon that the Board of Directors had decided to relieve the WWE chairman of his duties because of his recent questionable decisions, and he was now in charge.McMahon broke down (and not in a cartoonish way), and the crowd mocked him with a "goodbye" serenade. However, just seconds later, as tears streamed down McMahon's face, the crowd broke into a "Thank you, Vince" chant. I don't think I have ever seen a crowd go from one extreme to the other that quickly. McMahon's reactions throughout the entire segment with Triple H were really good.

This angle is another example of what appears to be a new creative direction for WWE. Not only is there a feeling that anything can happen on a given episode, but hardcore fans are being catered to a bit more.

Just as CM Punk's real-life contract status and feelings of being underappreciated in WWE became the basis for a story line, Triple H succeeding McMahon as head of the company also is an example of art imitating life. While McMahon has not legitimately relinquished power, it's no secret that Triple H is being groomed to take over the day-to-day operations at some point.

It will be very interesting to see what develops with Triple H becoming an on-air authority figure, especially as it relates to Punk, who was not on this show. Even though Triple H would not allow Cena to be fired and he seemed broken-hearted about having to tell McMahon that he was being ousted, I'm guessing that he ends up being a power-hungry heel who won't forget that Punk referred to him as McMahon's "doofus son-in-law."

Other thoughts on Monday's show:

The question of what happens to the WWE title now that Punk has left the company as champion was answered in the opening segment, as McMahon announced that an eight-man tournament would take place on the show to determine a new champion. It came down to The Miz versus Rey Mysterio in the finals, but McMahon postponed the match to next week because the show was running late and he wanted to address the Cena situation. I suppose there's money to be made in crowning a new champion and then having Punk return with his title to set up a unification match, but I don't like the idea of destroying the lineage of the championship. ...

If a new champion is indeed crowned next week, my guess is that it will be The Miz. A feud between Miz and Punk to determine the undisputed WWE champion would undoubtedly be entertaining. Speaking of Miz, he is gradually getting more and more of a babyface reaction, and the way he was booked on this show – as a guy who overcame a painful knee injury to win two tournament matches – certainly made him likeable. ...

I was very surprised that McMahon allowed a veiled reference to TNA/Impact Wrestling to get on the air. Cena said that if McMahon fired him, he would "walk on someone else's television show and keep doing this, brother." ...

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It seemed very out of character for Triple H when he said, "I love you, Pop," to McMahon, but it was supposed to. ...

Miz, who was being dominated by Alex Riley during their first-round match, got a big pop when he managed to pull out a win over his former protégé. ...

Mysterio's win over Dolph Ziggler was the best of the tournament matches. Those two work very well together. Mysterio's victory over R-Truth also was good. ...

The biggest upset of the tournament saw Kofi Kingston defeat Alberto Del Rio in the first round. Del Rio was my pick to win the whole thing. ...

R-Truth worked a babyface style in his win over fellow heel Jack Swagger. The crowd popped when R-Truth scored the pinfall. ...

The Miz-Kingston match was OK. ...

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I loved the Gene Simmons-inspired mask that Mysterio was wearing. Hopefully, Simmons doesn't file a lawsuit for copyright infringement. ...

It was pretty funny when McMahon told Mysterio that he wouldn't deny him the chance to be WWF champion. It was even funnier when Jerry Lawler referred to Rosa Mendes as Melina during the seven-on-seven Divas match. But the funniest statement of all came from Michael Cole. As Triple H came out at the end, Cole said: "Ladies and gentleman, that's Triple H." Gee, thanks for letting us know. I thought for a second that it was Terra Ryzing.

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