Jade Cargill is the right choice to be the first TBS Champion. It’s true her experience is limited and she hasn’t displayed an ability to have the great matches the AEW audience expects from their champions. While that criticism is valid, in this case, it’s also largely irrelevant. Why? Let’s take a closer look at the current AEW landscape and try to see the forest through the trees.
The decision to add a second women’s singles title was a curious one. Why not add women’s tag titles to bring more variety to women’s matches? The answer likely has to do with the long-term vision for new divisions AEW hopes to establish over the next year. The long-rumored trios titles may be in the plans for 2022, which could better utilize all the talent on the male side of the roster. The AEW website lists 23 female wrestlers on the roster. In comparison, there are over 90 male wrestlers on the roster. The male roster is over four times as large, and thus far better equipped to support an additional tag division. If trios titles will soon become a reality, then adding a women’s tag team championship would create three tag divisions. Simultaneously supporting three tag divisions would likely require too many tag matches for there to be sufficient variety during AEW’s 3 hours of TV each week.
AEW decided that a women’s singles title to mirror the TNT Championship was their best option. So why is Jade the best choice to be the first champion? After all, the TNT Title became prestigious because Cody Rhodes had great matches against a variety of opponents week in and week out.
Why not crown a champion that’s proven they’re capable of having similarly great matches on a consistent basis?
Because a wrestler having long weekly title defenses isn’t what AEW needs from their TBS Champion right now. They already have other talent that fill that role. With real estate on AEW Dynamite and AEW Rampage already at a premium, Jade requires the least amount of TV time to get both herself and the title over. She doesn’t need to have a four-star 20-minute classics to impress. She can display dominance in shorter matches and get over based on her size, strength, look, and charisma. Picture a women’s version of Goldberg, Ryback, Vader, or The Giant. The anticipation to see her defeated will grow with each dominant victory week after week. Whether her reign lasts 12 weeks or 12 months it can build to a meaningful moment that establishes the hero that finally defeats her as a new star.
AEW now has plenty of time to determine if that new star will be someone already on the roster like Tay Conti or Kris Statlander, or if it’s a potential incoming free agent like Toni Storm, Tegan Nox, Mia Yim, or Ember Moon. Jade’s undefeated record will mean more going forward because she’s a dominant champion defending her title. The TBS Title itself will mean more for whoever holds it next because a dominant champion held it first, and AEW as a whole will be stronger for accomplishing both these things without needing to overhaul their show structure. The logic is there for Jade, the TBS Championship, and the entire women’s division to be elevated by the end of her reign.
Now she has to go out and effectively play the role she’s uniquely suited for. We’ll soon find out if she really is “That Bitch.”