MR. TITO: Why Iyo Sky vs. Bayley Should NOT Headline Night #1 of WWE’s Wrestlemania 40

Many online wrestling fans are getting off on the idea that they helped changed the Wrestlemania 40 main event back to Roman Reigns(c) vs. Cody Rhodes after the WWE tried to make it the Rock vs. Roman Reigns instead. They feel empowered and now some of the online wrestling mob members are trying to force Iyo Sky vs. Bayley to be the Main Event of Night #1 at Wrestlemania 40. Not to lump fellow columnist Roy Coston into that same online mob, but he argues the same thing in his recent column which you may check out. I want to STRONGLY emphasize that this is NOT a response column to Roy, as I’ve been seeing this chatter long before Roy published his column earlier today. He’s a good guy, check out his columns please. This column is for most of the online critics hammering WWE via Social Media and other forums.

Look, if you think highly of Iyo Sky or Bayley, good for you…

If you’re going to headline either night of Wrestlemania, you either must earn it or there must be some kind of special attraction factor for your match-up.

With due respect to Iyo Sky and Bayley, I’m not feeling it at all. In fact, I’d rather see anyone who faces Rhea Ripley at Wrestlemania 40 headline instead of Sky vs. Bayley. Rhea is a bigger star than Iyo, by a mile (not even debatable), and it’s likely that her opponent (I’m guessing Becky and/or Bianca Belair) could be argued as a bigger star than Bayley (especially Becky, by a mile). So, if Iyo vs. Bayley isn’t the biggest box office female match on the card, why should it main event?

I’ll do you one further… Could anyone show me how Iyo and Bayley’s combined year has mattered more than Gunther as Intercontinental Champion? He’s one of the best IC Champions we’ve ever had and he’s poised for a Main Event push in the near future. Would you like to compare Iyo and Bayley to his resume of work for the past 2 years?

Speaking of drawing power, does Iyo Sky or Bayley bring more outside eyeballs to the WWE screens compared to United States champion Logan Paul? While I don’t believe Paul has the full experience to pull off a significant 30 minute Main Event match, he’d have the heat and with the right opponent, it would draw more interest on any given day than Iyo or Bayley.

Last year, Wrestlemania 39 Night #1 was headlined by Usos vs. Zayn/Owens, and we had the SAME ARGUMENT happening about Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley. I would 100% argue that Charlotte vs. Ripley is a MUCH BIGGER and RELEVANT match than Iyo Sky vs. Bayley, yet they didn’t get to main event over a Tag Team Title match. However, both ladies didn’t let that get to them and Charlotte and Rhea put on one of the BEST women’s matches ever.

The real issue, to me, is suggesting that Seth Rollins shouldn’t get the Main Event spot of Night #1. That’s a REAL slap in the face and complete disrespect for a man who carried the RAW brand on his back and made the World Heavyweight Championship title, which was created out of thin air last year, matter. Seth Rollins has worked hard in the past year, busted his arse, and has helped the RAW brand be reasonably successful both on camera and off it. While Rollins was supposed to wrestle CM Punk in this slot, the reason why Rollins was being fed to CM Punk in this spot because Rollins is THAT DAMN GOOD.

So here’s what we need to do, folks… WWE needs to present all of its analytics on Bayley/Iyo Sky combined and measure them against Seth Rollins:

(1) # of Tickets Sold
(2) Total Viewership of each of their segments (Cable/Satellite, YouTube, Social Media)
(3) Merchandise Sold
(4) Personal appearance money made
(5) Success of a show when main eventing

Would you care to debate who won all 5 categories without me having WWE’s data? I guarantee Seth Rollins won it by a margin.

Folks, I know that many of you like Bayley and Iyo Sky. That’s fine… But for them to truly headline Wrestlemania 40, they need facts on their side or the match-up has to be special. While Bayley and Iyo have had a long-term storyline, it’s not a storyline that has overdrawn many men’s wrestling storylines on shows. It just hasn’t, and again, if it did, WWE’s analytics would have already scheduled it to Main Event Night #1. But it hasn’t drawn relative to whatever Seth Rollins, or others, have done from 2023-2024.

See, when you use FACTS or LOGIC, things become clearer and they offset your personal emotion.

In my other columns, I suggested that too many fans were “putting Wrestlemania on a pedestal”, as if that’s the only event that truly matters. And then I offered up how many greats had their best match at SummerSlam or Royal Rumble, while other Pay Per Views have seen incredible match-ups. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker at Hell in a Cell was at a random In Your House in 1997 called “Badd Blood” (such a stupid name!). Hardy Boys and Edge/Christian reignited the Ladder Match at No Mercy 1999. CM Punk’s biggest match ever occurred at Money in the Bank 2011. If you held a gun to my head, I would struggle to name other matches held at MITB events but I always remember the year of that specific match.

But I’ll go further… Many wrestling fans are “putting the MAIN EVENT spot of Wrestlemania on a pedestal”. Sure, it’s an achievement, but as I argued before, was Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley worse off by not main eventing? No, it was terrific and those boys in the Tag Title match (Usos & Zayn/Owens) had to work extra hard to topple that. Rock vs. Hulk Hogan didn’t Main Event Wrestlemania 18, but we all remember it. Believe it or not, Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels didn’t main event Wrestlemania 25, but they blew the roof off that arena and made it difficult for Triple H vs. Randy Orton to follow. Those TLC matches never headlined Wrestlemania, but we all remember those and go back often to those shows to see the amazing chaos of those matches. I don’t remember a damn thing about Wrestlemania 33 other than the fun match that Brock Lesnar vs. Bill Goldberg had. Getting back to Wrestlemania 39, how about that Sheamus vs. Gunther vs. Drew McIntyre match?!?

And of course, many wrestling fans LOVED Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat from Wrestlemania 3. Not the Main Event by a stretch, as Hogan vs. Andre headlined that show… But that Macho/Steamboat match revolutionized how matches were prepared and worked.

Folks, I have like 39 Wrestlemania shows to use to prove my point.

Just existing on the WWE Wrestlemania show is a privilege. Any of those match slots should matter. If you main event, then fine… But I can show you MANY main events that SUCKED, too. And that includes the first time that females headlined Wrestlemania at WM 35 between Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair. Despite the hype and the pomp & circumstance of their entrances, the match just fell flat. Big reason was that Charlotte and Ronda were supposed to go one-on-one and Becky’s rising star power changed the plans, and I don’t think either were enthused about that idea (especially with Becky winning as well). Dave Meltzer gave it 3 stars, but to counter that, Scott Keith gave it 3.5 stars on a 5 scale range. I actually was digging in my archives and found that my Wrestlemania 35 column gave the match 3.5 stars as well, agreeing with Scott Keith.

I can show you many other Wrestlemania Main Event letdowns… Hogan vs Slaughter, Hogan vs. Sid, Hart/Hogan vs. Yokozuna… You’ll call me crazy, but I’m not that big of a fan of the Wrestlemania 12 Main Event Ironman match between Shawn and Bret. I appreciate the spectacle and the athleticism, but it’s just them going back and forth for an hour with nothing accomplished. Sid vs. Undertaker was meh, the Fatal 4 Way with McMahons in every corner at Wrestlemania 16 SUCKED HARD. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho was a letdown, thanks to its poor build of HHH vs. Stephanie fighting over Lucy the dog. Lesnar vs. Angle should have been great for WM 19, but Lesnar botched his Shooting Star Press. And as mentioned, Orton vs. Triple H being unable to overcome Undertaker vs. Shawn before it, but we’ve seen Orton vs. HHH suck many times before that.

Miz seriously main evented a Wrestlemania and against John Cena. Of course, the Rock was the special ring enforcer and it was mainly to promote the next Wrestlemania. Gonna be honest, I didn’t think Rock vs. Cena #1 or #2 were any good. Same problem you’ll have for 2023-2024 with ring rust and conditioning happened to Rock during 2012-2013. Good luck with that… And then, pretty much all of the Roman Reigns babyface Wrestlemania matches during the 2010s were boring and him looking like a lost puppy dog, hoping his opponent would carry the match for him.

Since 2020 when Wrestlemania has split into 2 halves, the Main Events of both nights have mostly delivered. I honestly have zero complaints about any of those nightly headliners, WHICH INCLUDES Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair on Night #1 for Wrestlemania 37. In my opinion, if you compare Sasha vs. Bianca to the rest of the Wrestlmania 37 card that year, their match was a legitimate one to main event that year. THEY EARNED IT. Sasha Banks was a legit drawing star, Bianca was an emerging star, and they did have something special to it with both being black and female headlining a show together. BUT I WANT TO STRESS they just weren’t given this match-up due to skin color or gender, THEY EARNED IT. I’d argue it was the strongest match-up on the card before the show, as it was a weaker line-up for Wrestlemania in comparison.

Bayley vs. Iyo Sky, unfortunately, has STRONGER COMPETITION to contend against to earn Night #1’s main event spot.

(1) Seth Rollins worked hard and deserves it, stronger draw than both of them combined.
(2) Rhea Ripley is the biggest female star and deserves it, stronger draw than both. If she faces Becky, there is zero doubt which match features bigger stars.
(3) IC and US Title holders are bigger draws than Iyo Sky as women’s champion. Just a fact.

I have NOTHING AGAINST Bayley or Iyo Sky. I have almost a full decade of columns praising Bayley, if you need to look back and review them.

But facts are facts… Their match and their drawing ability as individual wrestlers, especially when comparing them equally to men, just does not merit a Main Event slot on Wrestlemania.

However, go ahead and call me “sexist” for pointing this out. Maybe a surprise female columnist will write another entry that brow beats me for stating obvious facts.

If you want the Main Event slot, then earn it when all variables and factors are equal. If Iyo Sky and Bayley drew more than any male wrestler considered to headline Night #1, I’d 100% agree with you. But I don’t see that merchandise around of those two ladies, nor do I see their numbers on YouTube, Social Media, and other metrics available to me proving their case. WWE has a large department of statisticians and marketing folks who are reviewing analytics and those actually help shape WWE’s cards. If Iyo and Bayley had strong drawing power, they’d already be placed in Night #1’s main event slot. But they don’t, and the WWE doesn’t want to risk seeing people heading for the aisles during their Wrestlemania 40 match if it main events.

HERE is the real fact of the matter… I understand that many of you love women’s wrestling. I do too… In fact, I was one of the few praising the Bella Twins when most were bashing the division they headed up. I called for more female in-ring time before it was fashionable and have the column archives to prove it before 2015’s #GiveDivasAChance movement began. I’ve been praising the works of the 4 Horsewomen and have awarded several “Match of the Year” awards to their division, notably Sasha vs. Bayley 2015, Sasha vs. Bianca for 2021, and just recently, Charlotte vs. Rhea for 2023. That’s right, I awarded Charlotte vs. Rhea as my Match of the Year and many of YOU attacked me for it, claiming it wasn’t even the best match of Wrestlemania 39!

BUT – There’s a reason why women’s wrestling has only headlined 2 Wrestlemania nights. There’s a reason why women’s wrestling has only headlined a few Pay Per Views overall. There’s a reason why they’ve pumped the breaks on all-female Pay Per Views, as the WWE Evolution show of 2018 failed to sellout a facility in New York City, the most populous place in the United States. Whenever merchandise lists are leaked, female wrestlers are hardly ever close to the top with Becky Lynch being an exception.

Again, I’m not saying that to be mean… We’re in 2024 and you’re expecting everything to be treated equally. Thus, I’m comparing actual facts between male and women’s wrestlers, and Bayley/Iyo just don’t compare to what Seth Rollins has drawn at this point.

Go ahead, though, you social justice warriors… Attack me for posting simple facts.

But I’ll point the FINGER OF SHAME at you for totally disrespecting Seth Rollins for the year that man has had. He made a fictional World Title matter and consistently has great matches and great feuds. Seth DESERVES the Night #1 spot as a Main Eventer.

If Bayley or Iyo Sky don’t like it, then just blow the doors and roof off the arena with a great match that fans will talk about for years. That’s what Rhea Ripley and Charlotte did, despite the so-called disappointment of not main eventing Night #1. They didn’t cry about it too much and just put in the effort of nailing one of the best women’s matches to ever happen.

Just prove WWE officials wrong, Iyo and Bayley, so that when it comes to future Wrestlemanias, they won’t think twice when considering your talents or other female talents. Build upon the success of Charlotte and Rhea from last year, and go from there.


Quit putting Wrestlemania and its main events on a pedestal.

And take a damn chill pill… You are BLESSED with a GOOD WWE Creative Team after YEARS UPON YEARS of begging for changes away from Vince McMahon‘s philosophy. Have you not enjoyed the WWE since June 2022 when Triple H took over Creative? So why are you trying to boss him around? Let HHH do his job and remember, he’s the guy who made women’s wrestling a commodity in the WWE.

Fine, you got Cody vs. Roman Reigns back onto the Wrestlemania 40 card, but it’s not like Iyo vs. Bayley’s match was disrupted by quick rebooking. We didn’t see something like Trish Stratus coming in and taking Bayley’s spot, despite her winning the Rumble match, did we? NO! Bayley still has her match with Iyo Sky…


Start thinking about why women’s matches aren’t headlining more often… Maybe that is your ticket? Think about it in terms of NBA vs. WNBA. Bigger, stronger, faster, and longer traditions are why NBA athletes are paid more and why NBA draws more fans and has higher TV contracts… However, look at female college basketball right now… It’s starting to draw right now and why? Caitlin Clark is a machine and is exciting to watch. Last year, she faced an LSU team led Angel Reese aka “Bayou Barbie”, and there are other great female players with more character, than usual, on the rise in the NCAA ranks. If the WNBA can figure out how to transfer the excitement of the NCAA women’s games to their league, they’ll start drawing better.

When you have transcendent stars, things will begin to move… With due respect to Iyo Sky and Bayley, I would bet that 90% of the population don’t know who either person is… But I’m sure they’ve heard of Seth Rollins somewhere and while many would definitely know who Logan Paul is.

Again, I’m just speaking facts… Call me what you want, as I don’t give a damn.

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