Jade Cargill has been positioned as one of AEW's rising stars ever since she first confronted Cody Rhodes on an episode of Dynamite last November and wound up in a tag team match with Shaquille O'Neal. The 28-year-old quickly stood out from the pack as a powerhouse of the division, and confirmed in a recent interview on Scorpio Sky's Wrestling With The Week that she almost wound up working for WWE. Prior to training under AR Fox, Heath Miller, Dustin Rhodes and QT Marshall, Cargill tried out at the WWE Performance Center in April 2019. She was eventually invited back, but turned the company down.
"I was just as tough as the guys. I was bigger, stronger," Cargill said (h/t Fightful). "Watching Chyna really put a lot of confidence in myself. When she walked on stage she had a presence about herself that was so sure. She was very muscular and very fit. She looked damn good. Her talent and look was undeniable. That's what drew me in. I came in around the Attitude Era. The opportunity came up with Mark Henry, he set me up with a [WWE] tryout. It went well, I was asked to come, turned it down, and here I am at AEW and I'm enjoying it."
Rhodes explained in an interview back in February how his mixed tag match with Cargill and Shaq came about.
"What happened is really what fans saw. He tweeted about me (in August 2020) and didn't, I don't think, particularly know me. He just knew he had a show on TNT and we had seen each other at the upfronts and 'Dynamite' was kicking ass and I think he chose an in-house professional wrestler to pick on," Rhodes told the New York Post. "And I didn't think much of it other than, you know, us wrestlers, we love when we see the blue (Twitter) checks, we love when we see people talking about our world.
"Then the next you know, QT (Marshall) calls me like half a year ago, so this is a while ago. He called me and said, 'Hey, I just want to make you aware of something.' When that's how he frames it, I know it's going to be something about the Nightmare Factory. He said, 'I just want to make you aware of it that Shaq came in and started training.' I said, 'Well send me a video, I've got to see it.' He's done a good amount of training with QT with a couple bodies there that he can throw around and things of that nature," he continued. "Right at that moment, I knew we were into an area where this could really, seriously happen. We really jumped on it in the best way we could. QT is really technically responsible for that. He and (AEW president) Tony Khan because he and Tony have a great relationship as well. It kind of willed itself into existence like so many other things in AEW.