Pro Wrestler Jade Cargill On Changing The Face of Black Women In Wrestling

Pro Wrestler Jade Cargill On Changing The Face of Black Women In Wrestling

Pro Wrestler Jade Cargill On Changing The Face of Black Women In Wrestling

Posted on September 24th, 2023

Texas Smoke co-founder and pro-wrestler Jade Cargill is a dangerous woman, not only because she reigned undefeated for 508 days as the longest-running champion in AEW history but also because she knows her worth. Standing at 5'10", every inch of her svelte body mass is muscle and strength. Cargill would step into the wrestling ring as a villainous “heel,” strategically overpowering her opponents with her unique holds, strong throws, and take-downs.

Cargill was named “Rookie of the Year” by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 2021. The following year, the organization would also rank her as No. 5 of the top 150 female wrestlers in the PWI Women’s 150 (2022). As the world grew to know and love Cargill as a “baddie,” the bad girl embraced every part of her role, on and off the wrestling ring, as she led the way through fashion, fighting, and being fierce on shows like “Dynamite,” "Collision,” and “Rampage."

“On TV, I’m a bad guy, a “heel.” My job is to talk crazy and get people to hate me. The more they hate me, the more I'm doing my job. So, on screen, my job is to get people to really hate me and for me to really get under their skin. This career did nothing but thicken my skin. I learned that I’m a strong human being; I learned that I can do anything that I can put my mind to; and I learned to be easy with myself. I learned to just take my time, that everything started from a seed, and to be gentle with myself,” Cargill tells Sheen.

Fashion statement after fashion statement, Cargill stood out amongst her competitors with tailor-made customer designs. Everything about her, from her lustrous blond hair to the diamonds and crystals that embellished her wardrobe, inspires women of all shapes and sizes to be sexy no matter what ring they find themselves in, whether it’s fighting or being fashionable.

“When it comes to fashion, my job and everybody else can attest to this: I want to bring fashion to wrestling, and I want to bring wrestling to fashion. I’m that person. I didn't come from wrestling; I came from a basketball bubble; I came from a fashion bubble, and I like implementing that on TV because I feel like I’m larger than life and I’m not a t-shirt and Jordan’s type of girl. I like wearing heels; I can be versatile wearing shoes here and there, but I’m a size 42, so shoes on me look like something crazy,” Cargill shares with laughter and a contagious sense of humor.

This past week, Cargill spoke with Sheen about her historic reign as a 2-year, undefeated AEW champion, her love for wrestling, how her career “thickened” her skin, and much more!

You reigned for two years as an undefeated black female wrestling champion in what was previously considered a white-male-dominated genre of sports. Talk to us about your love for wrestling, your love for sports, and why this is important for the culture.

I mean, growing up, I didn't have that many examples. I mean, we had Jazz; we had some phenomenal wrestlers, but maybe one or two of them were champions, and that’s astonishing to me. I grew up watching Chyna, and if you know anything about Chyna, she was a strong, phenomenal woman. We had similar body types, and growing up, I was very insecure because my body looked different than everybody else. So I looked at her for inspiration. Jazz was a phenomenal woman, and I wish I would have gone deeper into wrestling at that time, because now I’m like, Geez, I missed out on an incredible woman. But now, with the education that I have about wrestling, I’m making sure that the next generation has a better understanding of the game. I think it’s a very pivotal point for little black boys and little black girls to see us up there to be champions and to be up there not taking anything from anyone so they can grow up and be these strong and empowered individuals.

Actually, wrestling found me! I played collegiate basketball. I went overseas and played basketball, and Mark Henry, who is in the WWE Hall of Fame, contacted me and asked if I would ever be interested. At the time, I’m like, “Wrestling, who watches wrestling?” I haven't watched wrestling since I was 13 years old. I went to a tryout, and it went phenomenal, and it just lit a fire under my buttocks that I could not let go of. It was something new; it was something astonishing to me. I had become a child psychologist by then, and I just didn't want to sit around. I was like, I still can use my body; I don't want to do desk jobs just yet. Let's see what I can do. Every day that I go to work, it’s a challenge, and it’s just something that I don't want to put down.

Talk to me about this fuel because, with it, you’ve been able to change how the sports industry sees black women in wrestling. Talk to me about what goes on behind the scenes. What kind of changes do you want to make?


The fuel that drives me is the desire to change how the sports industry sees black women in wrestling. Behind the scenes, I'm pushing for more opportunities; right now, we only get one women's match per show. My goal is to expand that to two, three, maybe even an entire women's show. I'm here to grow women's sports overall and empower the next generation. I want to help create more jobs, more money-making opportunities, and an economy where women athletes can thrive. Co-owning the Texas Smoke softball team allows me to inspire other black women to pursue sports investments. My success can motivate young girls to know they can own teams, disrupt industries, and break barriers like I have.

I want my daughter and all girls to look at leaders like me and know that their ceiling is even higher. My accomplishments are just the foundation. The next generation of black women will reach new heights. In wrestling and beyond, I strive to fuel systemic changes that provide more access and visibility for us. There's so much more progress to make, and I'll keep fighting until black women have abundant chances to shine in every arena.

Here at Sheen, we’re all about leading as the ultimate source of beauty for black culture throughout the diaspora here in the U.S. and globally. As a trendsetter and an athlete regarded as being undefeated in sports and in fashion, talk to us about your sense of fashion and how you were able to find your “look."

At Sheen, you empower beauty and trendsetters across the diaspora. As an athlete undefeated in sports and fashion, my sense of style reflects breaking barriers.

My gear often features shattered glass, symbolizing how I'm here to break ceilings and exceed expectations. I want to show what I can achieve when nobody else defines my limits.

Fashion lets me express that mission. I love incorporating bold, custom looks into the ring and for promotions. The details—whether heels, crystals, or dollar bills—tell my story as I continue to shatter conventions.

My seamstress, Sandra, is phenomenal. We spend time formulating head-turning ideas to get the right message across. While it takes work, the final look always empowers me to keep breaking new ground for women.

My style is about owning my confidence and power as I dominate in male spaces. It's me saying: I'm here not just to compete, but to redefine expectations. I'll keep ascending while inspiring other women to find that fearless sense of fashion.

I want to talk to you about mental health because oftentimes we see the glamor and the success, but we don't see what goes on behind the scenes. How do you protect your peace in such a volatile industry?


Protecting my peace in this volatile industry is so important. Thankfully, I have a profession in children's psychology that has helped me tackle the toxicity and negativity in parts of the wrestling fanbase. But there's also a great side: people cheering me on and wanting me to succeed. My background helps me handle the ups and downs.

My fiance anchors me in finding life outside wrestling. As he says, "Hey listen, put your phone down; that's all you have to do. I'm not a wrestler, so we don't have to talk about wrestling all the time. Just breathe, and let's go out and get some fresh air and have a picnic, or let's go to Rome if you want to. Let's just get your mind off this for now. It's not helping you; it's regressing you. Let's just focus on something else."

I have an amazing support system that puts things in perspective. My close friends know who I really am. I've lived proudly as Jade for 31 years; newcomers won't rewrite my story.

Faith guides me. Prayer centers me. Fitness empowers me. And I can always just step away from social media for a reset. At the end of the day, I know my worth. No one can take that inner light away. By leading with genuine self-love, I can weather any storm. That's how I continue to thrive authentically, protecting my spirit from darkness.

My mission is to shine so brightly that it inspires others to find their inner glow too. Focusing on uplifting my community gives me purpose beyond any fleeting public pressures.

Cargill didn't leave the interview without telling fans, “Keep watching. I’m going to go out here, and I’m going to be the best version of myself that I can be. We have a lot of things coming, so you guys should check me out. At the end of the day, you can hate me or love me, but you’re still going to talk about me.”

For more information, Follow Jade Cargill on IG @jadecargill. 

Source: Sheen Magazine

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