After watching FTR cut one heck of a promo in support of the crowd but against The A** Boys The Gunns on Dynamite, Canada’s own Renee Paquette caught up with TBS Champion Jade Cargill to ask her if she’s feeling challenged in AEW. But, strangely enough, the undefeated champion ended up being the one who did the challenging.

“Challenged? What’s a challenge?” Cargill asked. “Exactly, I am 53-0, I mean, I have run through every woman here at All Elite Wrestling in the united states if you ask me, so, seeing as how we’re going to Canada next week… why don’t we bring out the best opponent Canada has? Being that Jade Cargill is so big on charity, why won’t one of you wack-a** Canadians step up and get stepped on?”

Naturally, this declaration got fans talking and, more importantly, flipping through Wikipedia pages attempting to find out which of their favorite female wrestlers are from the Great White North, with one name rising above the rest as the people’s choice for Cargill’s next opponent: Taya Valkyrie.

A 12-year vet born in Victoria, British Columbia but became internationally renowned for her work in Mexico, Valkyrie has worked for over two dozen promotions over the last two years, with notable runs in Impact, NWA, and MLW alongside her husband John Hennigan, who AEW fans know as Johnny Elite. Though she’s yet to work a match in AEW, Valkyrie is a former Impact Knockouts Champion and a multi-time Lucha Libre AAA Reina de Reinas Champion, with more than 500 matches on her resume, according to Cagematch.

With her dates in Impact reportedly up and the expectation being that she will either jump to AEW or WWE, where she spent a very tumultuous run in NXT under the moniker Franky Monet, maybe 2023 will be the year where Valkyrie finally flies to Jacksonville to sign on the dotted line with Tony Khan and company.

Jade Cargill’s potential challenger kept her options open after NXT.

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

After being released from NXT, Valkyrie returned to Impact Wrestling but crucially didn’t do so on a long-term deal, instead working as a freelancer in order to keep her options open. Taking part in an interview with Fightful back in February, Valkyrie noted that this was by design, as she didn’t want to lock herself down to one company just yet.

“I’m still a free agent and that’s because I’ve just been having a really good time,” Valkyrie said. “I’m going everywhere, like you said, and working consistently with all these companies. I have mentioned this before; one of my goals for this year is really finding where I want to be for a long period of time. So when the time comes, when it’s the right fit, that’s definitely something I’m going to be looking into. But for now I’m having a really good time working everywhere and meeting all these different people and working with different producers and working with different wrestlers and exploring the world of professional wrestling again.”

As things presently stand, Valkyrie is the proud holder of four different championship titles for four different companies, including a run as the Impact Knockouts Tag Team Champion with Jessicka, the HOW Women’s Champion, the Lucha Libre AAA Reina de Reinas Champion – in her fourth reign – and the MLW Women’s World Featherweight Championship, of which she is the first-ever champion. After signing with WWE, moving to Orlando, and expecting to change her life forever only to be released less than a year into her contract, it’s safe to say, Valkyrie is looking to keep her options open.

“I don’t know because it wasn’t like that when I went to work for NXT,” Valkarie said. “I don’t know if it was because everyone was coming back from being shut down and people were like, ‘We just need to get to work.’ I think that had something to do with it. I feel like people were gunning to get to work and do stuff and be in front of crowds. A lot of people during those two / three years of COVID had contracts run out and different things probably happened that led there to being these spots open and the opportunity for people to work together.”

Does Valkyrie make sense in AEW? In a word, yes; she’s a fantastic wrestler with extensive experience, can work as either babyface or as a heel, and may even bring Johnny Elite back to the promotion, which, considering how his first three matches went in the promotion, would be an underrated asset. If AEW wants to put Cargill in the ring versus a legitimately talented in-ring performer capable of pushing a long-term storyline along and ultimately worthy of winning the strap off of the 400-plus day champion, there are few options better than Valkyrie.