Don't screw it up WWE: Women's championship matches need to main event WrestleMania 40

It took 35 WrestleManias for WWE’s flagship event to have a women’s main event match, and since then, there’s been some top match-worthy battles that could have had the special designation.

But for WrestleMania 40, WWE has its best title slate for the women’s division yet, with two championship matches that are more than deserving of being in the main event – each for different reasons.

At Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia will be 2024 Royal Rumble winner Bayley against Iyo Sky for the WWE Women’s Championship, and after Elimination Chamber on Saturday, it’ll be Becky Lynch challenging Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Championship.

Obviously, the main event of the two-night event will be the rematch of Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, but either women’s championship match could – and should – main event at least night one of WrestleMania, and it’ll be a major disappointment if neither ends up in the coveted spot.

WWE star Becky Lynch during an episode of "Monday Night Raw."
WWE star Becky Lynch during an episode of "Monday Night Raw."

Why Bayley vs. Iyo Sky should main event WrestleMania 40

Story wise, the matchup between Sky and Bayley has been pure cinema.

This goes all the way back to the pandemic days. With only a virtual crowd in the WWE Thunderdome in 2020-21, Bayley was arguably the best performer out of the entire roster, delivering week after week despite never getting the crowd recognition she deserved. By the time WrestleMania 37 came around, the first event in the pandemic-era to have a crowd, Bayley wasn’t in the picture and she had questionable booking ever since.

After suffering her ACL injury, Bayley returned at SummerSlam 2022 with Sky and Dakota Kai to form Damage CTRL. It was a slow burn, but the faction really took off in 2023 when Sky won the Money in the Bank match and became the WWE Women’s Champions, as well as when Kairi Sane and Asuka joined the squad. The momentum carried into 2024 with Bayley winning the Royal Rumble.

The chemistry between the faction was so good, but it was fate for Bayley to get turned against by the group at some point. When it happened, it was one of the best segments of the early year.

This match is nearly four years in the making. Bayley never got her flowers for being the workhorse of the pandemic era, nor ever really got put in any position to succeed. That's why so many fans were pleased to see her win the Royal Rumble. Plus, the story building with Damage CTRL from the very beginning has been a prime example of how good the build up for a match could be with long-term storytelling. The fans are already bought into it, and it’s clear they want to see this match between two great in-ring talents get the spot it deserves.

Why Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley should main event WrestleMania 40

Look at the names. Is there anything else that needs to be said?

This heavyweight matchup has been teased sporadically for more than a year, ever since Lynch and Ripley had a staredown in December 2022. Lynch even teased it to USA TODAY Sports. There was also the face-to-face moment that happened at the WrestleMania 40 kickoff, when Lynch delivered the epic line of “Mami is gonna learn what it's like to be a bottom.”

This match is almost like a face-off between two eras given their status within the company. Lynch helped elevate the women’s division to levels it hadn’t seen before, becoming the face of the company in 2018 when she developed “The Man” gimmick, resulting in her being the one to win that historic WrestleMania main event match in 2019. Since then, Lynch has maintained her A-list status as one of the biggest names in the company.

Ripley has paved her own path to stardom. “The Eradicator” has emerged as a dominant force in the women’s division while showing how well she can pull a crowd with her status in The Judgment Day. She is one of the rare stars who can be a heel yet have everyone pulling for her. She is clearly the future of WWE, and she’s already giving people a taste of the legacy she can leave by making her recognizable to people that don’t even watch wrestling.

Both Ripley and Lynch have their own aura that is tough to look away. What makes this matchup even more promising is they’ve each put on masterclasses in recent WrestleManias, so the high expectations for a fantastic match can pretty much be guaranteed.

In the past two years, cases could be made for women’s championship nights to main event WrestleMania, especially since the event became a two-day spectacle starting in 2020. This year, it would take something like The Rock competing in the ring to take the main event of night one away from the women, and even then, there’s still an argument for the women to keep their spot.

The first two premium live events of the year, Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber, began with women's matches, and they wound up being the best matches of each night. WWE, time to give the women their respect by giving them the proper spotlight.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: WWE WrestleMania 40 needs women's championship matches as main events