AEW Fyter Fest 2020: Orange Cassidy’s journey to stardom complete


At AEW Fyter Fest 2020, Orange Cassidy had arguably the biggest match of his career.

The second night of AEW Fyter Fest 2020 closed out with a match that few likely saw coming even as recently as a month ago. The main event pitted Chris Jericho against Orange Cassidy, and it was a doozy. Even though Jericho earned the victory with the Judas Effect, one thing was made abundantly clear — Orange Cassidy is a star.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with OC’s pre-AEW work. “Freshly Squeezed” is to wrestling what “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is to film, in a way. After years in the underground building a cult following, both Rocky Horror and Cassidy have exploded into the mainstream and found incredible success.

But why exactly has OC been able to build such a devout following over the years? The main reason is that he’s unique — there isn’t a personality in professional wrestling quite like Cassidy. In a landscape filled with all sorts of badasses, tough guys, and show-offs, Orange Cassidy is more like a cute baby sloth than any kind of “real” fighter.

Incredibly, Orange Cassidy had a different persona in wrestling that, at first glance, seems to be the polar opposite of what he’s known for today. Although masked, it’s kind of an open secret at this point that OC portrayed Fire Ant in CHIKARA — even Excalibur referenced it on commentary earlier this year at Revolution.

As “The Hot Property” Fire Ant, Cassidy was one of the most popular wrestlers in the promotion from 2006-2012. He was a member of The Colony and came to prominence with matches against the likes of the Young Bucks, Meiko Satomura and the Sendai Girls, and Cesaro. The high-energy, fast-paced style Fire Ant wrestled rivaled that of any of the “indie darlings” of the era.

But the Orange Cassidy character eventually usurped the popularity of Fire Ant. OC has competed in many different promotions (occasionally even pulling double duty in CHIKARA as both his personae), but the most notable was Beyond Wrestling. Debuting with Beyond in 2014, Cassidy quickly became a fan favorite by wrestling with his hands in his pockets for the majority of his matches.

Part of what helped Orange Cassidy connect with fans was his involvement in The Gentleman’s Club, along with Chuck Taylor and Drew Gulak (among others). Their internet videos may not have all aged well, but it helped establish Cassidy’s lethargy and apathy as integral pieces of his character.

Despite being perceived as a lazy slacker, OC proved himself capable in the ring when absolutely necessary, eventually capturing the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship on two occasions. But his appearance in the Casino Battle Royale at Double or Nothing 2019 — where his encounter with Tommy Dreamer went viral — would lead to AEW offering a full-time contract.

Since AEW Dynamite began airing, Cassidy has aligned himself with Best Friends, comprised of his old pal Chuck Taylor and Trent?. OC has maximized his television time like few others, becoming one of AEW’s top merch sellers despite only rarely wrestling. He is arguably one of AEW’s most popular wrestlers, but that wouldn’t necessarily make him a star.

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What does make Cassidy a star is his ability to be not only a popular wrestler but one of the company’s best, as well. In his first AEW singles match, Cassidy went toe to toe with Pac at Revolution, losing by submission but only after “actually trying” and being distracted by the Lucha Bros. By showing he could wrestle — hands in pockets or not — OC began to silence some of his critics.

The next major stepping stone for Orange Cassidy was Double or Nothing 2020, where he competed in the Casino Ladder Match. Coming up short again, OC once again impressed in defeat, but the best was still to come.

Cassidy deemed himself the “Baddest Man on the Planet” when Chris Jericho called out Mike Tyson on the June 10 episode of Dynamite. OC’s presence infuriated Le Champion. which led to their main event battle at AEW Fyter Fest 2020 this past week.

And wouldn’t you know it — one more time, Orange Cassidy outperformed all expectations in defeat. On more than one occasion, he looked to be down and out, but kicked out of big move after big move, and escaped submission after submission. Cassidy even weathered the storm after outside interference and dirty tactics by both Jericho and Santana & Ortiz at ringside.

It took a Judas Effect to put OC down — a move no one has kicked out of to date. Besides that, Cassidy looked to be able to pull off a shock victory more than once. It was one of the matches of the night — no small feat on a card that also featured a tremendous 8-man tag team bout.

While Jericho is on his way to being considered an all-time legendary wrestler, much of the quality of this match can be traced to the ability of Orange Cassidy. Between in-ring talent, a unique character, and a strong connection with a majority of the AEW fanbase, OC is poised to become one of the biggest stars in professional wrestling.

Next. AEW Fyter Fest 2020 Takeaways. dark

AEW EVP Cody Rhodes has stated the company’s mission statement is to provide an alternative — he’s likened it to a buffet, where the foods may be different, but there will be something for everyone. Orange Cassidy may be an acquired taste, but he soon may be the most popular dish on the menu.