AEW announced the signing of Orange Cassidy this week and it was bigger news then some might have first thought. Because adding his style of storytelling to the mix could change some things for their brand according to Dave Meltzer.
He discussed AEW signing Orange Cassidy during Wrestling Observer Radio. Although this is a great thing for some fans, AEW’s goal is to establish their global audience and Cassidy’s style might add an interesting element to conflict what they want to present.
“I’m not sure if that’s what the promotion should be at first. I think silly and ironic at certain points are good, but I really think for the first ten weeks of the company or whatever it is they just need to establish a base and roots and things like that.”
“I’m not sure Orange Cassidy is the guy right away. Even if when he goes out there he’ll get a huge reaction, for sure from the audience, but the live audience is in the arena and the audience watching on TV doesn’t know who he is and many of them will be entertaining a lot by him at first, but I also know there will be many that will — I also think there might be people at first, but I also know there will be many that will [dislike him].”
“You know they just signed him, but if he’s on week 1, 2, or 3 and there are people who are like ‘Let’s sample this new wrestling. I know who Chris Jericho is and I know who the Young Bucks are, but I don’t know who Orange Cassidy is and I wanna see if this wrestling is going to be fun because I didn’t like the other wrestling or maybe I wanna see more wrestling’ or whatever the reason you’re watching it and some of them will see Orange Cassidy and like it and some of them won’t and I just know if right away week 1, 2, or 3 that is not what I would want on the show.”
“Sparingly, I think he has some real potential on television. Once the company’s over if it is. If the company’s already over then you can bring a guy like that in for cameos and it’ll work because the company’s already over, but when you’ve got an audience where they haven’t decided whether they like you or not he could be, I don’t wanna say a deal breaker, but he could be a deal breaker with some people.”
Orange Cassidy can wrestle, but he just doesn’t want to. That gimmick might go over huge with AEW’s niche audience, but they’re going for a global audience now. This method of bringing fans to a fever-pitch with half-hearted chops might not be the best look for AEW right off the bat. That was the point Meltzer was trying to make.
The fact is that Orange Cassidy sought out to be a different kind of wrestler and stand out from the pack. He discovered that wrestling with his hands in his pockets worked and fame on the indies soon followed.
He might have his detractors, however, Cassidy is still very popular and there is a certain likability to how little effort he puts forth in his matches. You never know, Tony Khan might have included Cassidy’s footage in a focus group and he killed it because his matches are very entertaining. One thing’s for sure Jim Cornette is going to love it.
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