Orange Cassidy entered AEW with a bit of a stigma behind him. He was that guy with his hands in his pockets who doesn’t like to wrestle. Then fans realized he could wrestle, he just didn’t put forth the effort. This was all part of the plan because Tony Khan told him to hold back.
Cassidy and Chris Jericho are not done with their rivalry. If anything, thins are only gaining steam. The slow build to establish Orange Cassidy with the AEW fan base paid off, and it was all by design.
While speaking with the New York Post Tony Khan recalled a time when he told Freshly Squeezed to hold back in the ring. He pulled off a Stun Dog which is the kind of move Khan wanted Cassidy to save for later when he really mattered.
“There was a six-man tag where he (Cassidy) did a couple of things and when he got through the curtain I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘I did a stunner.’ You did the Stun Dog and I’m like ‘Save all that stuff man’…Once I figured out how capable he was, really tried to put something together for him that would allow him to camouflage his skill until the PAC match and then the PAC match was when we started to unleash all this stuff we had been holding back.”
We don’t know how live fans would react to Orange Cassidy’s recent work, but fans online seem to enjoy the new spotlight he has received in recent months. He was on AEW Dynamite consistently whether he was appearing in a bathroom backstage or wrestling in a match. Now he’s in a featured feud with Chris Jericho.
A lot of people were worried that Orange Cassidy’s gimmick with soft shin kicks and other stunts would be a turn-off for people. It turns out that fans were very ready for a wrestler like him after all.