8 Ups And 6 Downs From Last Night's WWE Raw (Jan 29)

Asuka and Sasha Banks light it up, Brock's Mania match takes shape.

john cena finn balor

So here we are, on the other side of the Royal Rumble and officially on the Road to WrestleMania. There are still a couple big stops along the way, along with the weekly check-ins that are Monday Night Raw episodes.

But Monday was the first stop along that path, and it delivered a relatively strong program, giving us two first-time matches (which can be wonderful and/or a negative, depending on your perspective), including a killer women’s match between Asuka and Sasha Banks that had fans cheering and cringing at the same time.

We also found out exactly how GM Kurt Angle is going to determine a #1 contender for Brock Lesnar’s WWE Universal Championship, with six qualifying matches, with the winners advancing to an Elimination Chamber match in February. That’s a pretty diplomatic way to do it, giving a dozen wrestlers a shot at earning a title match at the biggest PPV of the year. We learned the first three men who will face off in the chamber on Monday.

We also got two title matches, with the Intercontinental and Tag Team Championships up for grabs. One was pretty decently received. The other featured very loud crickets.

With that said, let’s find out what started its march to Mania and what stumbled out of the blocks. Let’s get to it…


Scott is a former journalist and longtime wrestling fan who was smart enough to abandon WCW during the Monday Night Wars the same time as the Radicalz. He fortunately became a fan in time for WrestleMania III and came back as a fan after a long high school hiatus before WM XIV. Monday nights in the Carlson household are reserved for viewing Raw -- for better or worse.