JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of the biggest names in the sport travels to Jacksonville to compete in a professional wrestling match on Wednesday.
Shaquille O’Neal is expected to compete in a match for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) at Daily’s Place, where the wrestling promotion is recording Dynamite, its weekly wrestling show which airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on TNT on TNT.
O’Neal will play in a so-called mixed tag team match or a match with a man and a woman on each team.
The basketball star’s partner is Jade Cargill, a former basketball star at Jacksonville University. Cargill, who was named to the Atlantic Sun Preseason First Team for the 2012-2013 season during her senior year at JU, joined AEW in November. Almost immediately, she was brought into the spotlight by working with O’Neal. The duo will play against Cody Rhodes, an AEW manager, and Red Velvet.
Jim Ross, AEW’s main commentator, said the organization expected media from across the country to appear on Daily’s Place on Wednesday to watch Shaq wrestle.
“Shaq is part of our family on TNT, of course in NBA basketball,” Ross told News4Jax. “You find out Shaq is a wrestling fan, then you find out Shaq is kind of looking after Jade Cargill.”
Ross said Shaq’s mentoring from Cargill will move her wrestling career very quickly.
“She had an interest in using her athleticism and skills to do something else,” said Ross. “What are you going to do? Well, you’re not going to go to the WNBA, she’s been through basketball. But she’s a wrestling fan, which is great.”
And O’Neal isn’t the only high-profile celebrity who drew AEW to Jacksonville in the past few months. For the past few months, rap legend Snoop Dogg and boxing icon Mike Tyson have appeared at Daily’s Place for AEW recordings. The famous film director Kevin Smith has also appeared. Ross attributed all of this stellar power to Tony Khan, son of Jaguar owner Shad Khan.
“It’s just his vision. He’s young, intelligent, and very creative, ”said Ross. “He’s a true entrepreneur.”
AEW Dynamite airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on TNT. At the last check, tickets are still available, but limited due to COVID-19 guidelines.
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