A win is just another day in the neighborhood for AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill, the wrestling company’s resident She-Hulk (she’s got the muscles to prove it), whose incredible undefeated streak currently stands at 61-0.
That perfect record will be tested at the upcoming Double or Nothing pay-per-view, set for this Saturday, May 28 at 8/7c in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cargill, who made history in January as the longest reigning champion of any belt, will defend her title against Taya Valkyrie, a current double champion on the indie circuit. (Valkyrie is the AAA Reina de Reinas Champion as well as the MLW Women’s Featherweight Champion.) Cargill previously defeated Valkyrie in a singles match for AEW: Dynamite on April 26.
Regardless of her winning streak coming to an end or continuing, Cargill refuses to let anything break her confidence. Referencing NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who pointedly told a reporter that the Milwaukee Bucks’ elimination from the playoffs didn’t make them a failure, she notes that one is not defined by a loss.
“I’m in a position that a lot of people wish they could be in,” Cargill tells TVLine. “So, I’m going to do the best I can. I have to keep my head high, and I’m going to keep on pushing.”
What’s more impressive, though, is that Cargill is only two-and-a-half years into her wrestling career. She made her official AEW debut on the November 11, 2020 edition of Dynamite, where she interrupted Cody Rhodes to tease NBA great Shaquille O’Neal’s arrival. She and O’Neal later defeated Rhodes and his tag team partner Red Velvet during her in-ring debut on the March 3, 2021 episode of Dynamite.
Since then, the platinum-haired athlete (who draws heavy inspiration from Marvel superhero Storm) has been an unstoppable force, amassing a mix of naysayers and supporters along the way. And truth be told, she doesn’t shy away from the feedback. “I see the good, I see the bad, I see the indifferent,” Cargill shares. “It doesn’t bother me in the mission that I’m trying to accomplish here in wrestling.”
Read on below for our full interview with Cargill, who opens up about being a Black woman in wrestling, reaching out to Trinity Fatu following her WWE exit, her desire to actually play Storm in a movie, and so much more.
TVLINE | Where does your confidence come from?
JADE CARGILL | I have a very loving grandmother who instills guidance and responsibility and faith in myself. My spouse [former MLB infielder Brandon Phillips] has set a lot of examples for me, playing baseball and being in the spotlight himself. It molded how I want to be and how to act, because not everybody’s going to like you. He was more so a villain in certain cities and I admired how he could keep his head high. At the end of the day, people don’t know who you are. They don’t know really what’s going on with you. So, because people put out things about me, I couldn’t care less about what people think they know about me.
TVLINE | As a Black woman in wrestling, do you feel an added pressure to perform and excel?
The normal wrestling fan isn’t Black. I could say there’s a separation there. But at the end of the day, our fans love wrestling and if you know AEW, you’re more of a hardcore fan. You know your wrestling. But I couldn’t care less. My first match ever was on national TV and I’m still growing. I’m still experimenting with what works and what doesn’t and I’m just going out there, doing the best that I can do and performing under a lot of criticism. I played sports my entire life and I do nothing but shine under pressure. That’s something I’ve always done in the playoffs and in all kinds of sports, and this is no different.
TVLINE | You made your AEW debut in 2020, interrupting Cody Rhodes. Were you nervous? What were you feeling?
I wouldn’t even say I was nervous. I think that before coming into the sport, I was so full of myself and so cocky, that I was just like, “Whatever. I’m going to go out there. They’re going to get what they get.” But I didn’t rehearse. The only thing I did was step on that mat with heels to see if my heel could puncture the mat. I’d never once touched the mic to see how I sound. I was only told one thing, and that was that the cameras would find [me].
This is my first time ever on national TV, but I used to have [post-game] interviews in college, so I thought about stuff like that. I just told myself I was ready. This was also the pandemic, so there were a lot of people in audience, but it wasn’t oversaturated like it is now or even for my debut match. I didn’t really have any guidance for that. I just went out there and did what I was told. Even before I went out, I was told, “Hey, you’re going to enter or exit through this tunnel,” and I found out that I was a bad guy. I was really unprepared, but I did the best that I could do to be placed in a position that I was placed in. And I rolled with the punches like I continue to do.
TVLINE | You relish playing the bad guy. In a previous interview, you said the boos are your cheers.
I’m cool. I’m an attractive female. I never disturbed anybody. If anything, the only person I have disturbed is Cody. Other than that, everybody knocks on my door and I’m the bad guy. Now, the boos are getting bigger than ever because people hate greatness. If you look at LeBron [James] or Peyton Manning, you’re going to read a lot of filth about them and how people don’t like them and how they’re overrated. Even LeBron, they still compare him to Michael Jordan. That’s the only person they can compare him to, but they tried to demote his greatness because they tried to compare him to somebody that didn’t even play in the same generation that he played. I say that people hate on greatness, and the boos are getting louder and I love it. At first, I was getting cheered. That’s not what I’m here for. I’m here to make people hate me and dislike me. And now, regardless of what kind of way they feel, I’m getting that, and I feel so accomplished. It feels so good.
TVLINE | Trinity Fatu said you were the first one to reach out to her after she left WWE. Did you have a relationship with her before that?
I had not. We followed each other on social media. I hear a lot of locker room chatter about everybody, as much as everybody probably has heard stuff about me. I haven’t heard one negative thing about Trinity. She is such a good person. She has such a clean heart, and this industry can turn your heart into something black. She has sacrificed a lot in this industry, and she deserves nothing but flowers. She deserves all the gold. I believe that she has big things coming and I’m excited for her.
TVLINE | Who would you like to face in Double or Nothing? [Note: This interview took place before her match with Taya Valkyrie was announced.]
At this point, it doesn’t even [matter]. Realistically, who can even stand next to me and steal my shine? Nobody. I think they’re all great. Whoever wants to test it, they can. I feel like at this point, I’m just going to donate this belt to somebody who needs it and figure out another way… Everybody says, “Oh, she hasn’t beat this person,” but I’ve beat the likes of Nyla Rose, Athena, Taya. I’ve beat people who have names, but every time I beat people with names, now they don’t have names anymore. And that’s not my fault if I’m out here dominating stuff and killing it and everybody’s mad. I tell your favorites to step up and then when they do, they lose. I think that I might just put this belt down and focus on other things and then go for [the AEW Women’s World Championship] belt. I don’t know what I’m going to do, so let’s see what [AEW CEO Tony Khan] has in mind.
TVLINE | I heard you are taking acting classes. Are you looking to break into movies or TV?
Movies. I think action is so easy for us, so I’ve been doing action monologues and things of that sort. And comedy, because to be a pretty woman who can fight, you really don’t get those layers. I’ve been doing a little bit of stunt doubling as well, because you can never pass an opportunity when it’s coming.
But I love action movies, I love romance, I love thrillers. I think I will be a natural at thriller and horror movies. I welcome the roles. I do a lot of castings, but I don’t submit anything. My teacher has me doing these roles to see how I would act in them and I’m doing really well so I’m excited.
TVLINE | Is there a franchise that you really want to join?
I want to really join Marvel and DC. I know they’re two separate things, but if I can be Storm, that will be huge. I know a lot of people are gunning for Storm. I’ve always been a fan. The majority of my character is literally based off of her. She’s a strong Black woman. I’m a strong Black woman. Like, I got it. I can do it. But whoever gets the role, I hope she plays a phenomenal part in it. But that’s one of the roles that I would love to play.
TVLINE | Is there something about your job, or just the industry in general, that you wish more people knew? Or do you want them to know less?
No, that’s why I chose to not do [AEW All Access]. I feel like I give so much of my time to my job. We all sacrifice a lot of time to our job. And I’m one for privacy. I post, like, little things. I don’t really post my life because I don’t want anybody to think they know me… I’m just myself. I picked up wrestling two years ago, and I think for what I’m doing, I’m doing a damn good job. I have the company on my back. They believe in me. I’m just happy. I’m happy for my success. I’m happy for my storyline. I’m happy for this year, and I’m excited for things to come.