The man known as Freshly Squeezed had been a constant on the American independent scene for over a decade, and was considered a great wrestler by his peers.
Cassidy wrestled primarily under a mask in the Chikara promotion, wrestling as one of the members of the hit faction The Colony.
In Chikara, he portrayed Fire Ant, who was just one of many masked men who wrestled regularly for the promotion. It was a good character, but not one that helped him stand out.
He did not debut as Orange Cassidy until 2009, and flipped between the two characters across various promotions. Eventually, Chikara folded, and he went his own way as the character we now know and love.
He had some buzz on the indie scene going into the first AEW show, but nobody could have expected the immense support he would garner over the years.
Orange Cassidy and Tommy Dreamer
The AEW fans had not heard of Orange Cassidy when he first rolled into the ring to confront Tommy Dreamer at Double or Nothing 2019.
Both men were surprise entrances in the Casino Battle Royal at AEW Double or Nothing 2019.
The match was used to showcase the new talents signed by AEW, with stars like MJF, Adam Page and Jimmy Havoc showcased heavily in the 21-man Battle Royal.
Orange Cassidy drew the “spade” card and was part of the last group to enter before the Joker. He entered alongside Tommy Dreamer, Sonny Kiss, Marko Stunt and Luchasaurus, and made an immediate impact.
Firstly, he entered late, as he lazily moseyed his way to the ring. Once he finally got into the ring, he was confronted by ECW legend Tommy Dreamer, who was used to dangerous and hardcore wrestling styles.
He could not expect what was about to happen.
Orange Cassidy began to kick Tommy Dreamer in the shins, but with little power. It showed his incredible laziness, and introduced the gimmick to the crowd perfectly.
He was knocked down by Dreamer, but put his hands in his pockets and did an armless kip up to the amazement of the fans.
Cassidy was thrown out of the ring soon after, but the interaction made him in that one moment. He quickly began selling huge amounts of T-shirts, and was signed to a long-term deal with AEW soon after.
This all began with the Orange Cassidy and Tommy Dreamer interaction. Dreamer has to be given credit, as many legends of the ring have said they would refuse to work with him, and derided his hugely successful gimmick
The origins of the Orange Cassidy gimmick came from a decade prior to this event, and the man himself has explained the thinking behind his incredible character.
Speaking in the documentary “The Comedy In Wrestling“, he called the Orange Cassidy gimmick “a middle finger to professional wrestling”.
“If I have to wrestle, I’ll wrestle. […] It’s like one of those things, you have a job, you’re good at it, but you know, do you really wanna?”Orange Cassidy on his “King of Sloth Style” gimmick.
Tommy Dreamer Is “The Biggest Orange Cassidy Fan”
Since then, Cassidy has gone from strength to strength. He feuded with top stars like Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay, and has held AEW International Championship gold.
Tommy Dreamer has been following Orange Cassidy’s career since their interaction, and has christened himself “the biggest Orange Cassidy fan”.
Speaking on the latest edition of the Busted Open podcast, Dreamer admitted to being a fan of Cassidy, and stated that he had proved his critics wrong with his in-ring work over the years.
“You said it the best, this was a great weekend for Orange Cassidy. I’m the biggest Orange Cassidy fan because he showed he could do what everyone criticized and said he couldn’t do and that was wrestle. Literally had an amazing match with one of the greatest wrestlers, current wrestlers, Will Ospreay, and got over. And last night did it even more and Ethan Page was a great opponent for him,”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.