Bayley and Iyo Sky should main event at WWE WrestleMania 40

During the Road to WrestleMania last year for WrestleMania 39, some fans expected Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley to be the main event for night one. To their dismay, it was not the main event for night one or night two, rather the tag team title match between The Usos and Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens was. Was the tag team title match bad? Absolutely not! The tag title match was one of the best matches of the weekend and arguably one of the best WWE tag team matches of all time. “So that means WWE made the right call because Charlotte versus Rhea must have been bad.” Wrong again, Charlotte versus Rhea at WrestleMania 39 is considered the “match of” the year” in 2023 for a lot of fans. Not just the match of the night, or match of the weekend, but the match of the year. 


So why didn’t Charlotte and Rhea wrestle in the main event? Rhea Ripley won the Royal Rumble to earn a title match against a champion of her choosing at WrestleMania, doesn’t that mean she gets to be in the main event? Paul “Triple H” Levesque addressed this during the WrestleMania 39 press conference by saying there was more “emotion” in the Usos versus Sami and Kevin match. The tag match was more “story-driven” than the Charlotte and Rhea match and it felt more like a main event for that reason. Many fans were okay with this statement because it was true, Charlotte and Rhea did not have as much emotion and story built up as the tag match that year. But what about this year?

One of the main storylines in the WWE is the formation and transformation of Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Bayley, Iyo Sky, Asuka, and Kairi Sane). This is not a story that has been told in just a few weeks leading into WrestleMania, but it is a story that has been told since the debut of the faction at SummerSlam in 2022. Even though the break-up of Damage CTRL did not happen until the Smackdown after the Royal Rumble, it is a story that has been building since the debut of the faction. This break-up storyline takes heavily from when Batista broke away from Evolution by choosing to challenge Triple H at WrestleMania 21 instead of choosing JBL. So the story is there for Bayley and Iyo Sky to be in the main event of WrestleMania 40, right? RIGHT?

Royal Rumble Winner

Ever since the 1993 Royal Rumble, the prize for winning the Royal Rumble match has been a title match at WrestleMania, and starting in 2004, the Royal Rumble match winners could choose which title they wanted to challenge for. Occasionally, a championship was defended in the rumble match itself, but usually when the winner selects the champion they wish to challenge, that match becomes the main event of WrestleMania. In 2018, WWE established there would be a Royal Rumble match for the men’s roster and the women’s roster.


There have been two matches (three if Charlotte versus Ronda Rousey is counted) that have been the main event of WrestleMania that has included the Women’s Royal Rumble winner. History was made in 2019 by having women in the main event for the first time at WrestleMania 35 when Becky Lynch beat Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey for both women’s championships. The next time the women’s Royal Rumble winner was in the main event of WrestleMania was at WrestleMania 37 when Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks made history by being the first Black Women to be in the main event at WrestleMania. 

In 2022, Ronda Rousey challenged Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 38 and they were the main event of night one. Or they were until Kevin Owens and Stone Cold Steven Austin had an impromptu match to end night one of WrestleMania 38. Technically speaking, the last time women were in the main event of WrestleMania was in 2021 at WrestleMania 37. Over the past couple of years, when doing the introduction for the women’s Royal Rumble, the ring announcer would simply say, “The winner receives a title opportunity of their choosing at WrestleMania.”


Even though fans wanted women in the main event of WrestleMania, it wasn’t as big of an upset because it was not established they would receive a main event match. That changed at this year’s Royal Rumble when Samantha Irvin, during the introduction, announced the winner of the Royal Rumble would not only choose which champion to face but would also be in the main event of WrestleMania 40. So once again, that means Bayley and Iyo Sky will be in the main event of one night of WrestleMania 40, right? 

Road So Far

The winners of the Royal Rumble this year were Bayley and Cody Rhodes. Both winners decided to announce who they were going to challenge during the same episode of Smackdown. Bayley, along with Damage CTRL (except for Dakota Kai), came to the ring for Bayley to make her announcement. The segment was great! Bayley chose Iyo and stated she was not dumb and knew the rest of Damage CTRL had been making fun of her for a while. Damage CTRL then tried to beat down Bayley after her announcement but Bayley turned the tide by grabbing a weapon and defending herself. A fantastic wrinkle to an already stellar story.

Later in the night, Roman Reigns cut a promo about Seth Rollins, the World Heavyweight title, and Cody Rhodes. Cody came out to the ring to interrupt Roman and make his decision. Cody cut a passionate promo about his story and how he needs to finish it by tearing Roman down, “But not at WrestleMania.” Then Cody said that he has also been seeking special counsel and brought out Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to the ring. The Rock and Roman had a staredown while Cody vanished back to the backstage area and Smackdown went off the air. That means Cody gave up his spot and now Roman and The Rock will be in the main event of one night and Bayley and Iyo will be in the main event of the other night at WrestleMania, right?  

Change of Plans

After the Smackdown where Cody announced he would not be facing Roman at WrestleMania 40, there was a massive uproar from fans for Cody to be in the match instead of The Rock. Fans went online and said, “Cody needs to finish his story” and “It’s not fair that The Rock can just come in and take Cody’s spot.” As of now, it seems like the “outrage” from the fans may have changed the plan to Cody versus Roman at WrestleMania 40. After the WrestleMania 40 Kickoff event in Las Vegas took place, two matches have been speculated to take place at WrestleMania 40, Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes versus Roman Reigns and The Rock one night and Cody versus Roman the other night. It would appear that fans will be getting exactly what they want but there is still a problem. What happens with Bayley versus Iyo?

Even though I am glad WWE seems to be listening to the fans, it is disheartening to think that once again the winner of the Women’s Royal Rumble match will be overlooked and not receive a main event match at WrestleMania. Especially when it was announced beforehand that the winners of both Royal Rumble matches would be in main event matches at WrestleMania 40. I try not to be a stickler for “kayfabe” reasonings when it comes to wrestling, but this year it just makes even more sense for Bayley and Iyo to be in the main event. Did one of the participants in the match win the Royal Rumble? Yes, there is. Is there a captivating story? Absolutely! On top of that, Bayley is the only member of the Four Horsewomen to not be in the main event of a WrestleMania and she deserves that accomplishment.

What can fans do?

The Cody situation has proven that if enough fans want something bad enough, there is a way to get it done. This is where my criticism is going to come out. Cody Rhodes, the son of Dusty Rhodes and the most popular babyface in all of wrestling, will be fine. There is absolutely no need for fans to make hashtags and have such an outcry for someone who has been pinned all of ONE TIME since re-joining WWE at WrestleMania 38.

Wrestling fans could rally behind the very real-life situation of Janel Grant (Justice for Janel Grant and other victims by the way), the treatment of minorities in wrestling, and the lack of awareness of how women are treated in wrestling. But even if we are to keep it to a “fun and light-hearted” reason to band together, there are better things to come together for than Cody Rhodes needs to main-event WrestleMania AGAIN. 

Talk about it

If wrestling fans were to pay half as much attention to the women’s division as they do a “battle of the Nepo-babies”, then maybe JUST MAYBE there would start to be some actual change in wrestling. No, I am not saying that Bayley and Iyo being in the main event of WrestleMania will completely change the foundation of professional wrestling, but it has to start somewhere. One of the biggest fan support hashtags happened years ago with #GiveDivasAChance.

This led to the women’s division in WWE having a revolution and the women’s roster began to get opportunities to show off what they could do in the ring. Fans have made an effort to place Cody Rhodes in the main event of WrestleMania at any cost, which includes the issuing of death threats to other wrestlers. Even if that includes Cody and Seth facing off against Rock and Roman in the main event night one and Cody and Roman can be in the main event night two. 

Spread the word

Show the same support and outcry for Bayley and Iyo. There is no reason and no excuse why they should not be in a main event match at WrestleMania 40. They are in a high-profile story, Bayley won the Royal Rumble, and if you are wondering about viewership, guess what? Over the past year, the women’s division has had the highest-rated segments and matches on wrestling television. The only “story” The Rock has “ruined” since coming back has been the one of Bayley and Iyo being in the main event at WrestleMania. So wrestling fans that are active on social media, I propose this, do the same thing you did with Cody (minus the trash behavior like death threats). Make your voices heard and spread the word with #BayleyVsIYOmainevent , #MainEventBayley , and help Bayley out by using  #ParamoreForMania .