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WWE Raw results, recap, reactions (May 9, 2016): Speak softly and carry a Big Cass

The Club is for real and so is Big Cass. It was an entertaining night for the New Era.

WWE returned to the USA network for RAW on Monday night (May 9, 2016) from Omaha with all the latest build to the upcoming Extreme Rules pay-per-view (PPV) in two weeks. Stephanie and Shane McMahon are still co-running RAW and AJ Styles and Roman Reigns still have plenty of issues heading into their Extreme Rules rematch.

Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.


Big Cass' big moment

The main event of the evening was to feature Big Cass taking on Chris Jericho, but things didn't quite work out that way.

Jericho began the evening with the Highlight Reel and was interrupted by Big Cass, who sufficiently threatened Y2J and called him SAWFT, then laid him out with a swank big boot. Jericho then tried to play Stephanie against Shane, but Stephanie didn't appreciate that, making the main event match of Jericho vs. Cass.

Cass' reaction from the Omaha crowd during the Highlight Reel was phenomenal and the guy already looked like a (bona fide) star. He has an undeniably cool and impressive look, is great on the mic and is currently one of the most sympathetic babyfaces in the world while he's fighting in honor of his injured friend.

Later in the evening, Cass got a backstage interview with Renee Young, where he talked about how this main event is the biggest match of his career and he's dedicating it to Enzo. He also charmed the hell out of Renee and everyone else in the world when he leaned in to ask how she was doin'.

The main event ended up not happening. After Cass made his entrance, Jericho got jumped during his and his jacket was stolen. The assailant was revealed to be Dean Ambrose, who then destroyed Jericho's "$15,000" light-up jacket while Jericho screamed in horror. Just like Proverbs says, it was a jacket for a plant. Cass was able to assist Ambrose, blocking Jericho from fleeing and getting fired up when Y2J slapped him, tossing Jericho into the barricade and then into the ring for Ambrose to hit him with a Dirty Deeds and finish destroying the jacket.

Yes, it's a bit sad that Cass vs. Jericho in the main event didn't happen, but I don't think anyone would have expected Cass to win that match this early into his main roster run. This actually keeps all of the momentum behind Cass and allowed him to look like a fired-up babyface monster when Jericho slapped him while trying to duck out not just on their would-be match, but on any comeuppance whatsoever.

Further, by putting Cass in three different segments throughout the evening -- where he shone in each -- you get to really highlight the guy without having to take any of the shine off him. He and Jericho will meet up at some point, but Jericho and Ambrose's feud has to run its course first.

In the meantime, we can just be happy for WWE spotlighting a worthwhile new character that they clearly see a lot of value in.


The Club is officially back together again

AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows faced Roman Reigns and the Usos in a six-man elimination tag team match. Early in the evening, Styles and his friends had a backstage interview together where Styles stated -- in no uncertain terms -- that "The Club" is officially back together again. Complete with three-way Too Sweet!

The match ended up being solid and thankfully didn't come down to a 3-on-1 with Reigns running through the others, or anything like that. When the Club saw their leader was in danger of being put through another table, Anderson wasted no time blasting Reigns with a chair to take the DQ loss.

The post-match stuff continued the tremendous storytelling that has been the hallmark of this feud. After the Usos and the Club brawled and Reigns managed to dispatch the others for the time being, Styles jumped him and attempted to deliver a Styles Clash onto a chair. Reigns dumped him over the top rope onto the apron and the two of them stared at the chair. Reigns picked the chair up and dropped it at Styles' feet, but Styles kicked the chair back to Reigns. When Reigns bent to pick it up, Styles springboarded over him and took a powder to the ramp. The two men jawed at each other before Reigns posed with his championship.

Styles is firmly positioned alongside the Club and is good and pissed off at Reigns after last week's events. He isn't outright a heel, but he's making sure Reigns doesn't want none heading into their Extreme Rules match. This feud is getting suitably bitter and by introducing the table last week and the chair this week, we're building wonderfully to a balls-out Extreme Rules match in just two weeks.

I, for one, am excited.


And the rest!

Good night, sweet Mitch: The dear, departed Mitch's remains were on display as Chris Jericho opened RAW with an installment of the Highlight Reel. Jericho mocked the fans for caring about a plant and just served to make us care about that dumb plant even more. Kudos to all involved in this plant-based feud, even though it continues to be weak against fire Pokémon.

The LONEWORLF gets his win back: After getting beaten by Dolph Ziggler at Payback, Baron Corbin got an emphatic win over the former two-time world champ by hitting a massive Deep Six and End of Days. Hopefully we can consider this feud over and move on to the next thing for both of these men.

Shane and Stephanie totally love each other: The McMahons continue to be (somewhat surprisingly and perhaps a bit too insistently on Stephanie's end) on the same page. There's some endgame coming here, but for now it's nice to see authority figures on the same page (and also nice to see the cracks in Stephanie's "nice-person" façade). They laughed together at Jericho's misfortune at the end of the show and talked about how nice it is to be working in harmony. Shane left the room to take a call and Stephanie looked at the framed photo of Vince and Shane. She smiled, but her thoughts were sufficiently inscrutable.

R-Truth vs. Fandango: This was actually a teaser match for Gorgeous Truth taking on Goldango on Thursday's episode of SmackDown. This feud has had more twists than Chubby Checker, but it has finally congealed into two thoroughly entertaining teams. R-Truth got the win this time, but the winners and losers in this storyline don't matter a whole lot.

Charlotte vs. Paige: Hey, Paige is back on television! This match was essentially a backdrop to Charlotte's upcoming rematch against Natalya at Extreme Rules. Natalya sat in on commentary for the match and Ric Flair was banned from ringside, just like he will be at Extreme Rules. Paige hasn't lost a step as the two had a great television match before Flair came down to ringside and got into it with Natalya. Shane appeared with some refs and escorted Ric away, allowing Paige to roll up Charlotte for the win. This was pretty perfect, as it established that Charlotte is beatable without her dad there to help her cheat and could potentially set up a future challenger in Paige.

Sami Zayn vs. The Miz: Zayn did what he does best in this match: played the ultimate underdog. He and Miz work so well together and Miz and Maryse are just on another level as a heel act at the moment. What's even better is that with the win, Zayn secured his spot in a Fatal 4-Way for the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules, so we're going to get an even better match involving these two in a couple of weeks. I'm certainly excited about it.

Dana debuts: With her soulmate on the main roster, it just makes sense for Dana Brooke to follow Emma up from NXT. I'm excited as hell about some main roster head-pats. Watch your coiffure, Renee Young.

The Shining Stars arrive next week: We got a sort of "greatest hits" vignette for Epico and Primo and the promise that they will debut next week. This is the weirdest fireworks factory ever.

The New Day loves Pizza: The New Day, Up Up Down Down and Dolph Ziggler appeared in a new commercial for Pizza Hut, which was made entertaining by The New Day, of course. Kofi's lustful glances at the pizza are a big step up from Tyson Kidd wanting to leave Nattie for some Burger King Chicken Fries.

Zack Ryder wants a new chance in the New Era: Zack Ryder was pleading his case to Shane backstage when they were interrupted by Kevin Owens, whom Shane compared to a fungus. Shane said that if Ryder could defeat Owens, he would replace Owens in the Fatal 4-Way match at Extreme Rules. Alas, Ryder ran into a pop-up powerbomb in his match and got pinned by Owens. No Extreme Rules for Ryder.

Sin Cara vs. Rusev: Rusev and Lana are back together as a regular act, which is still wonderful and always welcome. Sin Cara got an upset win here when Kalisto kicked Rusev in the head behind the referee's back. I imagine this will only make Rusev angrier when Extreme Rules rolls around.

New Day vs. Dudley Boyz: The Vaudevillains got a sweet black-and-white "box" interview during New Day's entrance and continues to impress with their promos. I'm really loving them clarifying that they're not time-displaced weirdos, merely holier-than-thou throwback hipsters. This was a solid match, if lacking in drama considering how many times we've seen this matchup. Actually, this might have been one of the better matches between these two teams. And surprisingly, the Vaudevillains showed up to jump Xavier Woods at ringside, bringing Big E to the rescue and leaving Kofi to eat a big lariat from D-Von and get pinned in an upset. The Vaudevillains gloated appropriately and this was another rare example of a distraction finish furthering a storyline and getting some important heat on the bad guys.

All in all, a completely solid evening of wrestling. Still too long at three hours, but that is always going to be the case. And it was truly the only complaint to be had here.

Grade: A-

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