Tony Khan On Orange Cassidy: There’s Really Something To This Guy
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling
All Elite Wrestling President Tony Khan sat down with Mike Johnson of PWInsider this week to discuss the second anniversary of AEW Dynamite and so much more. When asked if there was someone in the company that got over quicker than expected, Khan shared a great story about Orange Cassidy:
“If you want to go back to the very beginning of AEW, a really good example of that is Orange Cassidy,” Tony Khan said. “I had seen him on the independents and go back and watch an Orange Cassidy match from before AEW. They’re very different and, he clearly had a lot of fans, but he was doing a lot of things that I didn’t consider wrestling and that I wouldn’t do on AEW TV. It wouldn’t have happened on Dynamite. And he had a great reaction, and Matt Jackson mentioned to me, he’s really, really good. And he would be excellent, maybe as a manager for the Best Friends and occasional trios partner, and I thought that was interesting. But I told Matt some of the stuff I’ve seen him doing, I would never do on our show, and we haven’t ever done that stuff on a show, but he’s clearly really talented, and he’s got a lot of fans, I’ll talk to him. I did.
“I sat down with him and ended up forming a connection that I think has served us both very well and talked to him about the character and some of the stuff that I thought was great about it and some of the stuff that I didn’t understand, and he really opened my eyes and helped me understand it. You know, the kicks, a lot of people talk about those kicks. And over two years ago, before the first Dynamite, he talked me through it and said, those aren’t something anybody’s ever supposed to sell.
“Those are a taunt like it’s like getting in the head of the opponent, essentially. Not in so many words, he doesn’t talk in so many words, but effectively, that’s not what it is. And in fact, he told me only one person of who I’ll let remain nameless. He told me that only one person had ever sold the kicks. And he told me who it was, and it made me laugh on an independent show. And that’s not what they’re for. And then that made sense to me. Okay. That’s like a taunt, right. That makes sense.
“The more I talk to him about the spots and different things that we could do, the more I realized there’s really something to this guy, and to be honest, since this is an insider interview, I think now it’s been a couple of years, a lot of people have figured out, he used to wrestle as Fire Ant and he told me that, and I was much more familiar with Fire Ant than I was with Orange Cassidy. Fire Ant’s a great wrestler. And so I knew what he could do. And then we sat there. From when I first saw him, I didn’t know what he was going to be, but by the end of this first conversation, I thought he could be something so special.
“I was really grateful that The Young Bucks told me to talk to him, and they thought he had something, and they were right. And then I started working with him really closely, and now, Orange and I, it’s no secret to people that have seen all the videos and stuff I’ve done with him. I am very close to him, and I work with him really closely, and he is a huge part of AEW. And when I first saw Orange Cassidy, I wouldn’t have expected that, but then when I first sat down and talked to him and learned what he’s all about and who the person is and how intelligent he really is.
“He promised me some of the stuff I’d seen him do on the independents that I just didn’t want to see on our show, he’s never done any of it, and I really think a lot of him and from when I first saw him on tape to now in the two anniversary, and he’s one of the top stars in AEW, a top contender to the World Title and in this huge Casino Ladder Match with a great opportunity to get another chance to become World Champion. I think he’s a great example of someone who’s come really far in AEW and somebody who the first time I’d ever seen them. I hugely underestimated.”
Are you a fan of Orange Cassidy? If so, Is he someone who grew on you? Or did you enjoy his gimmick immediately? Let us know your thoughts by sounding off in the comments section below.