After weeks of speculation, the WWE announced overnight that they had signed free agent Jade Cargill to a multi-year contract. Cargill made a name for herself with WWE’s current rival, All Elite Wrestling, becoming one of their longest reigning champions - but her contract expired on September 15 2023, leading her singing with the iconic wrestling/sport entertainment promotion.
Such has been the excitement of the signing that, rather than have Cargill randomly appear on an episode of WWE television, the company issued a press release regarding her signing almost akin to a football player being transferred to another team. The WWE’s website stated that “WWE today announced it has signed Jade Cargill to a multi-year contract.”
“The news was first reported by ESPN. Cargill, a standout performer who has earned accolades as an industry-renowned talent, will begin training today at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.”
This news was quickly followed by the WWE’s social media accounts following Cargill as she made her first public appearance at the WWE’s Performance Centre (their hybrid wrestling school/gym where a number of NXT talents train), videoing her entering the building, sharing a selection of photos of her during her first training session and even asking the WWE Universe who they would like to see her face off again.
But to casual wrestling fans, you might be wondering why such fanfare? Well, it’s not just because another AEW talent has crossed the divide to join the competition, following on from Cody Rhodes’ move in 2022. Have a read about what has made Jade Cargill such a coveted name in wrestling.
Who is Jade Cargill?
Born on June 3, 1992, in Gifford, Florida, Jade Cargill has a background in basketball, playing for schools like Sebastian River High School and Vero Beach High School. She later graduated from Jacksonville University with a social science degree and even holds a certified master's in child psychology.
Cargill's journey into professional wrestling began when she attended a WWE tryout at the WWE Performance Center in April 2019. She underwent training at several wrestling schools, including AR Fox's WWA4 Academy, Heath Miller and Richard Borger's Face 2 Face Wrestling School, and Nightmare Factory under Q. T. Marshall and Dustin Rhodes.
Notably, she received coaching from wrestling veterans like Sonjay Dutt and Bryan Danielson when they joined AEW in 2021.
Her professional wrestling career took off when she made her AEW debut on the November 11, 2020, episode of Dynamite, where she interrupted Cody Rhodes and teased the arrival of Shaquille O'Neal. Following this, Cargill signed a multi-year contract with AEW.
Cargill's AEW journey featured various storylines and achievements, including a tag team match with Shaq against Cody and Red Velvet, her first singles match victory, and forming her own stable called The Baddies. She also became the inaugural AEW TBS Champion in January 2022 and held the title for an impressive 508 days, marking the longest reign for any AEW championship.
What have AEW talent said about Jade Cargill’s move from AEW to WWE?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive with many congratulating Cargill on signing a deal with TKO/WWE. Dustin Rhodes, one of her trainers, took to his X account to remind the wrestlers of everything that she learned in her journey to the biggest wrestling/sports entertainment name in town.
Meanwhile, during a media call for this weekend’s AEW WrestleDream event, AEW owner Tony Khan was asked about his thoughts on Jade Cargill’s move to the rival company.
“I have only positive things to say about Jade, she’s always welcome here. She had a great run with us and has a great career in front of her. Wishing her nothing but the best for the future,” he responded
Will Jade Cargill go straight to the main roster or start in WWE’s NXT show?
That is the million-dollar question for a lot of wrestling fans now; though she was dominant in AEW, the WWE ‘style’ is a little different from what perhaps she is used to. There would be no shame in having Jade Cargill season herself to the WWE style of wrestling by being a part of the NXT show - but given how big an acquisition she has been (the first under the new TKO enterprise), there might be a chance she ends up on RAW or Smackdown?
Given that Becky Lynch is the current NXT Women’s Champion and how big of a name she is in modern wrestling, could we see her retain this weekend at WWE No Mercy and immediately go into a program with Jade Cargill? I don’t think there is anyone better to learn the WWE way of doing things than one of their flagship superstars.