When Nichole Matthews came out to face Jade Cargill as Canada’s challenger for the TBS Championship, it all but dashed any dreams that Taya Valkyrie, the former Impact Wrestling star who has wrestled all over the world over the last decade, would be coming to AEW.
Taking care of Matthews in relative short order, running through the hits before taking out the Shimmer star for the 1-2-3, Cargill decided to add insult to injury by attacking her foe after the match, with no clear backup ready to defend the local star… or did she?
As Cargill was unloading on Matthews, some new music hit, and who but Valkyrie ran out onto the entrance ramp, earning an incredible reaction from her home country’s fans, before jogging down to the ring to run off Jade and hit her assistant, Laila Grey, with the Jaded as the TBS Champion watched on angrily. Though Cargill attempted to return to the ring, she was held back by staff, including “Smart” Mark Sterling, signifying that the two could be back in business once more.
After celebrating her moral victory over Cargill, AEW went to commercial, during which time Tony Khan took to Twitter to officially announce that Valkyrie has signed a contract and is officially #AllElite. After bypassing TK’s company for an ill-fated run in NXT, Valkyrie has officially landed in AEW and the rest of the women’s division should be on notice, as the “La Wera Loca” is a grizzled veteran who currently holds four titles and might just be on the look-out for a fifth on to boot.
Welcome to AEW, @thetayavalkyrie!
Great to see a Canadian star arrive TONIGHT on TBS on
Wednesday Night #AEWDynamite in Winnipeg! pic.twitter.com/R9173eHJR6
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) March 16, 2023
Taya Valkyrie swerved everyone on her AEW signing.
With Valkyrie the hottest name heading into Dynamite, Bill Pritchard of WrestleZone asked “La Wera Loca” straight up if she was Cargill’s mystery opponent, and unsurprisingly, she maintained complete deniability.
“I will be in Los Angeles, California I will be here in my house with my dogs,” Valkyrie said via Fightful. “John will be back from Australia, so yeah, I’ll be here.”
When asked about the rumors of the Impact star jumping ship to either WWE or AEW now that her contract with Scott D’Amore is officially finished, Valkyrie let it be known that she’s enjoying the ride and hopes that the fans will too.
“I love gossip. I woke up to a bunch of texts from people and social media blowing up, but it is what it is. It’s gossip, people will talk. Honestly, keep talking,” Valkyrie said. “I’m just gonna sit here and keep doing my thing. Just enjoy the ride, everybody. Enjoy the ride. You’re meant to be entertained. Stop trying to figure it all out. It will all work out in the end. So enjoy it. Watch pro wrestling everywhere. I obviously have dedicated over a decade of my life to this, and I’m going to continue to do that. So, just enjoy the show.”
Valkyrie shared a similar sentiment back in February in an interview with Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful, informing fans that she remains a free agent because she wanted to play the field before committing to a new home long-term.
“I’m still a free agent, and that’s because I’ve just been having a really good time,” Valkyrie said via Fightful. “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.”
Well, it looks like Valkyrie has found that home she’s been looking for all along and might just be the woman who unseats Cargill after what feels like an eternity with the TBS Championship. If that happens, great. If not? Well, Valkyrie is about as good as it gets when it comes to women’s wrestling, so her addition is a boon, regardless. As AEW looks for ways to make secondary storylines outside of the “Outcasts” angle that is currently soaking up time at the top of the card, adding a top-tier performer like Valkyrie, with or without her husband, Johhny Elite, is a surefire way to keep things interesting in the short and long-term, as any fan of Impact Wrestling will surely tell you.
Statement made! An explosive debut for @thetayavalkyrie as she hits @Miss_LeilaGrey with Jaded!
Watch #AEWDynamite LIVE on TBS! pic.twitter.com/ietIdZaqTD
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) March 16, 2023