AEW has offered fans a true alternative to WWE for the first time since Impact Wrestling’s failed attempt to go to war on Monday nights. The promotion has experienced a lot of growing pains since opening in 2019. That includes some characters, wrestlers, and matches that flopped. Orange Cassidy is far from a flop in AEW.

It also came with many surprises. One of those is the emergence of Orange Cassidy as a major star for the company. Some fans and pundits take issue with his over-the-top slacker gimmick, but the fan reaction to OC is undeniable.

Tony Khan was among those who didn’t “get” Cassidy’s gimmick at first. He recently spoke about his doubts and the character’s success with Busted Open Radio. Khan says regardless of the gimmick, fans recognize that he is a great in-ring performer.

“The first time I ever really talked to him was after a PWG show, I think. I had really not gotten to know him very well. I spent a lot of time with him and talking to him about how I saw the character and how I would want to see Orange Cassidy in AEW.

“One thing I’m really proud of is that if you’re an independent wrestling fan, then you probably would know this. Or maybe looking back, this would make sense to you. The Orange Cassidy in AEW is very different from the independent Orange Cassidy from pre-AEW. What’s really cool is, at first, he was pretty similar…

Really what I thought was great was building this transition that really built up to Revolution 2020. Where I didn’t really want him to do much or do anything. And then he was going to have this match with PAC that would really be where it all would be revealed that he’s actually a great wrestler. And he’s actually going to try here.”

Orange Cassidy has gone from the relative obscurity of portraying a fighting ant in Chikara to multiple main event bouts in AEW. His gimmick isn’t for everyone. The success he’s had at getting over with crowds across the United States indicates that despite the criticism, OC is the real deal.

Do you think Orange Cassidy can continue to be a top star for AEW? Let us know in the comments!

H/T Wrestling Inc.

Tags: Tony Khan
Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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