Orange Cassidy is having a great year and isn’t slowing down as he continues to prove he is one of the best workers in the business.
Orange Cassidy is one of the most controversial wrestlers in pro wrestling today, but what makes him so? Is it his laidback attitude? the fact that he wrestles in jeans? or that he carries his International Championship title in a backpack?
Cassidy is often a topic of conversation, or so his gimmick is. His laidback and lackadaisical style of wrestling is a hit with many but is loathed by others. Often referred to as the “The King of Strong Style”, Cassidy has a unique wrestling style, which includes the very impressive wrestling with his hands in his pockets bit, but can show out when he needs to.
Some would criticize his gimmick saying that it makes a mockery of pro wrestling but what they do not understand is that it’s supposed to be a mockery. His gimmick is a middle finger to pro wrestling and all of the people who don’t want it to evolve. In a 2020 interview with ESPN, Cassidy explained his gimmick:
"“If I have to wrestle, I’ll wrestle. It’s not my fault that I’m good at wrestling. It’s like one of those things, you have a job, you’re good at it, but you know, do you really wanna?”"
Since signing with All Elite Wrestling in 2019, Cassidy has become of the company’s most popular and hard-working talents. His debut AEW singles match came at the 2020 Revolution PPV against the always serious, always brutal PAC. In the build-up to the match, fans battle cried “He’s gonna try” for Cassidy, a chant that made sense for his character. Cassidy and PAC could not be more different, in their looks, attitudes, and wrestling styles, and yet they make for great wrestling together. Cassidy’s performance was praised by critics and fans. A 2-minute-45-second YouTube clip from the match has 40 million views, making it AEW’s second most-watched video.
Cassidy, often referred to as a comedy wrestler, which he is, has also proven time and time again that he should be taken seriously. At the 2021 Double or Nothing PPV, he was given an opportunity to challenge for the AEW World Championship, alongside PAC against the Champion, Kenny Omega. Cassidy would lose but being given the title opportunity was an indication that he was being taken seriously by AEW, and also by the fans.
Orange Cassidy is a workhorse.
2022 was a standout year for Cassidy. Despite suffering an injury early in the year, the second half was his to take, and he took it and ran with it. In his first singles match since his injury, Cassidy challenged Will Ospreay at the AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door PPV in June for the NJPW United States Championship, in what was arguably the match of the night, and one of the best matches of the entire year. Despite his loss, Cassidy impressed many people including his opponent, Ospreay, who praised him after their match:
"“He’s everything I can’t stand like he’s lethargic, he’s lazy, and I’m so extra, I mean, look at the jacket I wear. Orange is phenomenal. He understands everything about himself and he knows how to play mind games in his matches. It’s just if you’re not giving him the credit where credit is due, I don’t think you understand what wrestling is anymore.”"
Cassidy unsuccessfully challenged PAC for the All-Atlantic Championship at Dynamite: Grand Slam in September however not even a month later Cassidy would receive another shot. On AEW’s Canada debut, Cassidy defeated PAC to win the All-Atlantic Championship (now known as the AEW International Championship), his first title in AEW, and thus beginning one of the best reigns in AEW history. It is fair to say that Cassidy has been the workhouse of AEW since winning the International Championship. He is a highlight of AEW television as he appears on Dynamite and Rampage almost weekly. He has also defended his Championship 21 times thus far, while also appearing in several non-title matches. This year alone Cassidy has had 24 matches with 22 wins, the most in AEW. Cassidy is set for more upcoming defenses including against 20 other men in the Blackjack Battle Royal at the Double or Nothing PPV on May 28th.
Not only is Orange Cassidy one of the top wrestlers in AEW in terms of in-ring work but he is also one of the most popular stars in the company. He is a hit with many fans, especially younger ones. His signature double-denim and sunglasses look is one that can easily be replicated by anyone, and fans can often be seen wearing the get-up to shows. Orange Cassidy is a draw with AEW fans, he is a constant top merch seller, and AEW’s two most popular YouTube videos, feature him or at least a version of him. The most popular one is of a young fan dressed as Cassidy having an impromptu post-show “match” against former AEW star, Cody Rhodes and it currently has 44 million views.
Orange Cassidy has proved week after week that is one of the best workers in the business today and while some will fail to give him credit, he deserves all the praise the world has to offer. He won fans over by being entertaining. He won critics over by trying. He is on the run of his career and it seems like he is not slowing down anytime soon.