Welcome, and thanks for joining me! A couple of years ago, the planets looked to be aligning for a fantastic shift in the realm of pro-wrestling. Talk of a smashing new promotion with a television deal and “serious, sport-based wrestling” was on everyone’s lips. Finally, the modern wrestling fan’s life of “eating shit and learning to love the taste” was over. Or was it? Meet me here every Thursday to pick apart the actions of the daft, the dangerous, and the desperate in pro-wrestling… well, in AEW anyway.
It’s time to squeeze out the orange turd of AEW and flush it once and for all. I’ve had bigger fish to fry with regards to AEW pretending to be a wrestling company, and although Orange Cassidy is nowhere near the biggest problem AEW has, he could become much more of one if left unchecked.
Remember: I actually want this company to be successful and give WWE a run for their money. You can’t do that by bringing a parody of their show to town. AEW has had two years to disprove this already, and it’s time to tell some truths and trim some fat.
As always, you’ll find people that will argue both extremes. I’ve seen many online say how appalled they are that Cassidy is even employed, and then there are veterans (within AEW) that praise him as the best thing since sliced bread. There are also a few love-blind AEW fans that will rage until they’re boss-eyed and blue in the face at any form of criticism.
This is another instance of people clinging onto an alternative to WWE and blindly gobbling up whatever gets put on their plate. Mostly, this is just someone else’s brand of Nickelodeon-cross-Saturday Night Live gunging, gaffs, and gags, mostly.
It seems there may be a tiny fragment of self-awareness in AEW somewhere, however. Cassidy isn’t being forced in our faces relentlessly as the future great of the promotion as much as he was when feuding with Chris Jericho. I think it’s safe to say a break from that athletic anesthetic was welcomed on most fronts. Either that or Jericho has taken his influence and gone home, now that he’s gotten all that he can from the “young up and comer.”
It wouldn’t be the first time with Jericho, either. He has a habit of being in the right place at the right time.
I’m usually the last person that gets to judge others on their appearance, but here we are. I’ve obviously nothing against people that don’t break their neck when it comes to their looks. The thing is, when someone does something that contradicts what they’ve said (which has been AEW’s Modus Operandi so far), I’m going to raise my hand and ask them to clean up the steaming heap of bullshit they regurgitated. This is no different when looking at Orange Cassidy and his ultimate sloth/sofa-loafer persona.
His hair is gelled. His “beard” is maintained at the same length all the time. He went through the effort of getting himself printed on a Droste-effect-style t-shirt. He wears those stupid skinny jeans that are neither quick nor easy to get on or off. I’m sorry to report, but he’s a fucking Try-Hard, hipster fraud that I can’t buy into. The only thing that comes off lazy about him is his wrestling.
If he really were “committed to the gimmick,” he’d have no music, whatever hairstyle he rolled out of bed with, either no beard or a full beard, sweat pants or shorts, a plain t-shirt, Velcro shoes, and he’d know how to portray disinterest without looking constipated.
In-ring, he’s nothing special… or average. He does the same checklist as everyone else to get quick pops and cheap laughs, he dives into groups of people waiting to catch him, and he’s always rushing forward to the next spot with little to no consideration for what just transpired.
When he does his stupid shin kicks and people don’t just scoff and headbutt him into a fine paste, they’re really making themselves look bad. When he does finally take his hands out of his pockets and “gets serious,” there’s still very little to write home about; he just comes across as forced, foolish, and fake. One example is that a Superman punch from Roman Reigns looks a certain way, while Orange Cassidy’s looks nowhere near as intimidating or impactful.
His “anyone could do it” style is praised simply for that. When he eventually injures himself from diving off of something with his hands in his pockets, there’ll be an open slot on the roster for another do-naught to step in and take his place, no training (or talent) required. There’s also the option of someone losing their patience with him and his unguarded stance and dropping him with a legit shot.
So, if he’s as much use as tits are to a bull, why is he there? Is he the son of a famous star? Is he a legit shooter that enjoys the pro-wrestling scene and wants to add some legitimacy and make some extra money? Perhaps he’s a sexy lady with all the right bits in all the right places? Actually, as daft as that last one sounded, it’s probably the closest to the truth.
That’s right, he’s another pet of Tony Khan’s, possibly his favorite at the moment! But remember this about prize pets: you’ve only got to piss on the carpet or chew the wrong shoe once and you’ll never be seen in the same light again. It just takes that one discrepancy and it’s the dog house for you.
Tony Khan isn’t as different from Vince McMahon as he’d like us (and himself) to believe. He’s a salesman at heart and knows all the misdirections, deflections, and distractions there are. I’ve mentioned before how he waffles shit endlessly at the post-show media scrums. Khan likes how easy it is for Cassidy to slip into a wrestling role, and Khan hopes to emulate that at some point in the future.
As proven above, kids will imitate what’s in front of them. There’s no denying that young fans of wrestling and AEW pester their parents to buy them Orange Cassidy merchandise as they do for John Cena, Rey Mysterio, and others. I’m sure they sell well, but the numbers will be nowhere near what the WWE juggernaut gets through. Orange Cassidy’s is an easy costume to arrange, and some “adults” have even been caught in the attire. The problem here is that kids only make up a small percentage of fans, even in the family-friendly WWE. No matter how hard a handful of fans love Cassidy, this can and will only go far.
Looking at the bigger picture, the least AEW could have done is get the guy some proper training during the two years of him working for them. He hasn’t gotten any better since that first Casino Battle Royale, and that suggests he probably isn’t going to now. I understand that with some elements, AEW is doing the opposite to WWE for the sake of doing the opposite to WWE. The manufactured cookie-cutter feel given by the NXT training facility/factory is something to avoid; I also agree there. Training, in general, and having standards, are not best avoided, however.
Please, AEW, stop either ripping off WWE entirely or doing the polar opposite. Don’t worry about what they’re doing. You do you and have at all the middle grounds and grey areas you desire. Tony’s swimming pool of money isn’t going to last forever, and if AEW keeps these behaviors up, they’ll soon be seen in a similar light as TNA/Impact, meaning WWE will return to having absolutely no one in their rearview mirror.
That does it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out Putting It Bluntly: AEW Double or Nothing on my YouTube channel. I’ll see you again Monday for #AnotherWeekOfWrestling and next Thursday for more #ThatsNotWrestling!
Background Artwork Designed by Rachael Hope.