So, I actually think Orange Cassidy is fantastic and frankly a bit of a genius. He has managed to get himself a contract with arguably the second biggest wrestling promotion on earth by barely wrestling.
His first match in AEW came at Double or Nothing in 2019, when he appeared as part of the 21-man Casino Battle Royale, and has since had 21 matches on either AEW Dark, Dynamite or on PPV.
Arguably the most memorable of these was his match with PAC at AEW Revolution, which would arguably have been match of the night had it not been for the truly sensational tag match between Kenny Omega, Hangman Page and the Young Bucks.
The build to this match, the initial lack of effort in the match, and the way he managed to make fans think he might actually win after snapping out of his usual lazy style, made it a real standout in 2020, which has been a year of exceptional in-ring action.
I mentioned previously that Cassidy has now had 22 matches in AEW since his debut, and therein lies the problem, at least in my mind.
While he is undoubtedly a draw, and you want to have him on shows because he brings something truly unique, having him wrestle several times a month takes away a massive part of what makes him so marketable.
We had weeks and weeks of build for his match with PAC, in which Cassidy barely showed any level of physicality. The first truly physical thing he did was in the match itself, and that’s what made it so surprising and watchable.
Since then, he has become a very frequent in-ring performer, and the issue with that is his matches no longer feel like a special event, because we kind of know what’s going to happen. He’s not going to try, and then at some point after being beaten down on, he will turn and start having a really great match.
It feels weird to complain about watching good matches, but I really think the magic of Cassidy is that we don’t see him wrestle very often, and therefore his style of match is all the more exciting to see.
He wrestled six times in the space of two months from the end of July to the end of September, and was involved in a memorable feud with Chris Jericho in which he frequently came out on top, but for me, and seemingly a lot of people if you look at social media, I’d rather he was a character on TV, who occasionally had a great match on a special episode of Dynamite or a PPV show.
The most obvious sign that people are getting a bit tired of seeing him is that on this past week’s Dynamite, Cassidy was revealed to be Cody’s first opponent following his gruelling title win over Brodie Lee, and there was genuine disappointment on social media.
He’s only just had a match for the TNT title against Brodie Lee, and he lost it, so what makes him eligible for another match?
I feel like Jim Cornette here, but surely the point of a gimmick like Cassidy’s is that it’s something you can utilise to make a special show seem even more unique.
I absolutely think he should be having feuds with some of AEW’s top stars, but he doesn’t need to be having matches every week to build him. He is literally the exact opposite of what you would normally expect from a wrestler, and therefore his pushes should be dealt with in a very different way.
I understand that he probably wants to wrestle a lot, but AEW has a weekly episode of Dark which he can wrestle on as much as he likes.
If I was booking AEW, Cassidy would have 5 or 6 matches a year, almost entirely on PPV, with the vast majority of his build being upsetting wrestlers at ringside or backstage. You want him to feel special.
It feels weird to compare him to someone like the Fiend or Demon Finn Balor, but when you have such a unique gimmick, you need to save it for special occasions, or it won’t feel unique anymore.
So there. That’s what’s gone wrong with Orange Cassidy in AEW.
Think I’m a moron? Let me know in the comments!