On Friday night, the TBS Champion Jade Cargill is faced with the thirtieth match of her professional wrestling career. Generally speaking, in the career of a wrestler that number may not mean a great deal. It’s not the first match, it’s not the last, it is often just some random match forgotten in the annals of a career. But in the case of Jade Cargill, this thirtieth bout is likely to be one not lost to the sands of time when her career reaches its end.
Now why is this going to be a fight hard to forget in Jade’s career? For one, it’s her sixth defense of the TBS Title after having defeated Anna Jay, Julia Hart, A.Q.A, The Bunny, and Tay Conti in previous title bouts. For another, Jade enters into this match undefeated in her wrestling career after twenty-nine previous contests. For a third, this is a bout both Jade and “Smart” Mark Sterling have been hyping for weeks, first as a question of just who would step up to be lucky number thirty and then for Jade to deride Marina Shafir as competition.
Although Jade already sits in the record books with the longest undefeated singles streak in AEW history across divisions, as well as the longest overall in the Women’s, she is on the precipice of holding that feat across the board. It’s a record currently held by Colten Gunn with thirty-five victories overall, so the TBS Champion is not far behind, and thus this Friday night title fight is crucial on that front. It is also crucial because it is a championship bout, because it is the main event of this Friday night’s Rampage, and an opportunity for Jade to further prove she is the best woman in pro wrestling today.
Unfortunately for Jade, the woman standing across the ring from her on Friday night is a certified problem, “The Problem” Marina Shafir. Although her professional wrestling career is still relatively young, having begun in August 2018, Shafir’s fighting career has been a part of her life for decades. She started Judo training when she was six years old, and was competing at a very high level by her early teens, but unfortunately a combination of a injury and expense brought Marina’s Judo career to an end in her later teens.
Still, once that drive for competition is inside you, it never goes away, and Marina found her way to Jiu-Jitsu. Her two year amateur career led to five submission victories in five fights, and the three fight pro career that followed resulted in a 1-2 record. Her transition into professional wrestling began in 2018, and would bring Shafir to All Elite Wrestling during the Christmas Eve edition of AEW Dark. Her debut match ended in defeat at the hands of Kris Statlander, but the six matches since have all ended with Marina’s hand raised in victory. Those six wins mark Shafir as having one of the longest on-going winning streaks in the division, and a kind of competitor Jade Cargill has not really faced. Tay Conti had her own Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo background, but she never fought professionally like Shafir.
And yet Cargill seems to be approaching this fight as she has every one of the other twenty-nine: with little concern for the skills of her foe. In fact, Jade seems more concerned with her Baddies Section then she does with “The Problem”, and that will absolutely present a problem for the defending champion. Jade has every reason to be confident, she’s undefeated, she has set records in All Elite Wrestling, she’s beaten the likes of Thunder Rosa, Ruby Soho, Leyla Hirsch, and Red Velvet, but has apparently learned nothing about respecting her foes in the process.
Will this overconfidence be the undoing of Jade Cargill this Friday night on Rampage? Or will the TBS Champion actually live up to her self-proclaimed title of being “The Problem Solver”? Tune into TNT starting at 10pm EST to see which woman moves forward in their career as the Face of TBS!