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THE POWER OF THE PIN - April 16, 2023: A Refreshing Change of Pace

For some fans, Orange Cassidy may be an acquired taste. But the AEW International Champion is proving to fans and critics that the juice is worth the squeeze

By Ryan K Boman - 04.16.2023

Every week, fans of All Elite Wrestling can count on a blast of Vitamin C when they hear the first few chords of Jefferson Starship's 'Jane' flow through the air. They know Orange Cassidy is about to arrive and energize the arena.

The AEW International Heavyweight Champion has been on one of the hottest streaks in professional wrestling lately, racking up numerous title defenses on both Dynamite and Rampage. He's become a workhorse on the promotion - one who can be counted on for excitement, both from the audience and in the ring. His presence alone can often set the tone for that week's program.

Since capturing the now re-christened crown (it was originally dubbed the 'All-Atlantic Championship'), he's been a highlight for the promotion. Not only do the faithful dig his eccentric style and unique character, but they also love his never-say-die work ethic in the ring. While he will never have the most potent offense in the game, there may be no other star today that has as much resiliency.

Resiliency. That's a word that has endeared many a performer to the fans over the years. Guys who show an ability to overcome the odds during hard-fought matches also somehow seem to coincide with the guys who have had to be tough just to survive in the industry. Mick Foley, Sami Zayn, and Eddie Edwards are examples of wrestlers who have a devotion to the business that's obvious - both as a shoot and a work.

What most of the old-school haters and new-school naysayers fail to realize is that Cassidy is one of those dedicated guys, too.

Behind the facade of a guy who doesn't give a shit? Lies an athlete who is willing to do just about anything to entertain. He's just found a really special and unique way of presenting himself.

Orange Cassidy is everything you don't expect a professional wrestling star to be. He's five-foot-something and a hundred-nothin'. He doesn't have an overly impressive physique, he's a bit on the pale side, and he's got reddish hair. The way he dresses makes him look more like the guy who would clean septic tanks instead of executing suplexes.

And let's be honest: He doesn't exactly have the toughest-sounding name, either. I mean when you think of some of the real ass-kickers in wrestling they're called stuff like MAGNUM. VADER. HUNTER... Orange?

But people don't tune into AEW television for him to be like anyone else They like the flavor that Orange is bringing, even if it does leave a bad taste in some traditionalists' mouths.

Basically, Orange Cassidy represents the modern era of wrestling, and it's been surprisingly pleasing to the palette of younger fans. To them? He's a huge star, despite the fact that he will never 'rassle the Sheik in the Garden'.

Quite frankly. The kids today don't care about tradition or grainy, black-and-white footage. Some might consider that unfortunate, but it's the reality of modern times. Like any era of youth, they're all about having fun right now. And a far-out figure like Orange provides them with that kind of joy, one pocketful at a time.

So while critics may tell you that this new formula will never be as good as the classic one, he's been a refreshing part of the All Elite Wrestling roster. He's one of those guys who 'gets it' and has molded his character to fit his strengths.

Rather than try to be something he isn't, Cassidy just sticks to what works for him in a way that no one else ever thought of before. So comparing the International Champion to any of his predecessors would be like - well, apples and oranges.

While he didn't set out to shake anyone's tree, Cassidy has been an almost polarizing figure. For many of his most ardent followers, just seeing him is enough to add some flavor to the show. For those who can't stomach him, his act is rotten.

Despite anyone's opinions, what he has harvested has been a bountiful run through the ranks of AEW. A relative unknown when the company was launched, Orange has blossomed into one of the prime-time players on the roster.

With Spring now in full bloom and warm weather months on the horizon, you can almost feel it in the air. The way things have been going? We just might be headed for The Summer of Citrus.

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