Given that AEW is a young promotion, every move they make is analyzed and discussed heavily – which means the more polarizing moves warrant even more debate.
The company offers a mix of everything. There’s fast-paced technical wrestling, high-flying, spot-filled throwdowns, hardcore brawls, and even a bit of comedy. The latter is thanks, in large part, to the signing of “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy.
Cassidy has a distinct look and style. Cool as a cucumber with slicked hair, faded jeans, and sunglasses, the quiet Cassidy can captivate a crowd while rarely ever taking his hands out of his pockets.
Seriously – even when kipping up or diving through the ropes to take out a group of opponents, he rarely ever must take his hands out of his pockets. It’s hilarious to some, but ridiculous to others. Who is right?
The truth is that wrestling’s charm lies in its versatility. There’s something for everyone, and thus far, AEW has done a great job offering a proverbial smorgasbord of talent. Yet, the signing of Cassidy remains a divisive choice. What is it exactly about him that divides the fandom so much?
Maybe it’s the fact that AEW is positioned as a sports-centric wrestling promotion, where a lack of scripted promos and a focus on in-ring action makes it feel a little more serious. Cassidy, in that case, is a massive contrast. He stands out even more than he would in any other wrestling promotion where comedy is a little more prevalent.
This isn’t to say AEW doesn’t know how to make the audience laugh. The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega are known for their meme-style humor behind the scenes, while the Librarian gimmicks have tried (and arguably failed) to bring laughs just like Cassidy.
For what it’s worth, Cassidy is extremely athletic. He isn’t just funny, but he’s a good worker. Worker, in this case, is defined as someone who can look good in the ring and work well with his opponents. He always gets a reaction from the crowd, and he’s got the uncanny timing that works perfectly between the ropes.
He seems to have aligned himself with the Best Friends, a tag team whose tongue-in-cheek antics match his. It’s hard to see Cassidy ever becoming a main event talent, but that may not be his intent. His character is clearly positioned for a spot on the card near the middle, with the upside being that no one on the roster can emulate his unique comedic offerings.
Wrestling has long relied on comedy to connect with the audience. The current AEW World Champion, Chris Jericho, originally found his character by becoming a comical and snarky heel in WCW – he once mocked Dean Malenko’s moniker of being the “Man of 1,000 Holds.” Jericho claimed he was the man of 1,004 holds and tried to read them off during a commercial break.
Even WWE has had comedy characters before, such as Santino Marella. Cassidy could have potential to be a star – with or without a title, he’s an attraction.