There are many dream matches in AEW, but one fans may have forgotten that actually took place was MJF vs Orange Cassidy!
The Dynamite Diamond Ring
The small ring, barely visible and with a large diamond in the centre, was an early idea in AEW that has carried on into 2022 and beyond. The prize was given out to the wrestler who managed to win two particular matches.
The first was the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale, a multi-man match in which the object is to throw their opponent over the top rope and outside the ring to eliminate them from the match. Each competitor starts in the ring together, and eliminate each other one by one until only two men are left.
In usual battle royales, the last man standing wins. However, in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale, the last two remaining wrestlers are considered the winner and go into the match next week to find out who gets to keep the Dynamite Diamond Ring. The winner holds the ring for one year (after being awarded the prize by “Diamond” Dallas Page) and has to put it up in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale the following year.
MJF won the first year, defeating “Hangman” Adam Page in the secondary match to win his first ring. He faced Orange Cassidy in the second year after they both finished in the top two in the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale and Dante Martin fell to him in the third year to win the ring as the top prize.
The following is a list of wrestlers who MJF faced in the final of the Dynamite Diamond Ring tournament;
- “Hangman” Adam Page – 2019
- Orange Cassidy – 2020
- Dante Martin – 2021
While both Page and Martin proved tough contenders for the Salt of the Earth superstar, his toughest challenge came in 2020 when he faced off with one of the most popular men in wrestling and the highest seller of T-Shirts in all of AEW – Freshly Squeezed Orange Cassidy.
MJF vs Orange Cassidy was set and it was sure to be a blockbuster match.
MJF vs Orange Cassidy
On the first ever AEW Dynamite “Winter is Coming” episode, the second ever Dynamite Diamond Ring champion was decided. The menacing MJF took on the laid back Orange Cassidy in a match where one man really wanted to win, whilst the other didn’t really care either way.
The pair told a simple story in the match and played it out to perfection. MJF tried to beat Cassidy quickly, hitting some vicious moves including a suplex that got him a near fall. He also strangled OC with his own shirt, as if you could not hate MJF enough.
Bar from a flurried resurgence from Freshly Squeezed, MJF was in total control of Orange Cassidy in this match. He targeted the fingers, damaging them in any way he could. He stamped on them, bit them, even putting them in OC’s own back pocket before destroying them with a powerbomb.
This took away Cassidy’s biggest weapon (his Orange Punch) but did not take away his spirit. He fought back against MJF, getting some near falls himself before MJF’s ally Chris Jericho (a man who had been feuding with Cassidy earlier in the year) got involved and attacked the lazy star.
The Best Friends then got involved and the match dissolved into a mess. Bodies flew everywhere, countless interferences occured before Orange Cassidy got the best of MJF, hitting him with two Orange Punches (despite the wounded hand) and looked set for the victory.
However, former WWE star Miro then interfered. He was feuding with Orange Cassidy and Chuck Taylor at the time, and wasted no time in taking down Cassidy and helping MJF to victory.
After the attack MJF pinned him for the win and took home his second of three consecutive Dynamite Diamond Ring.
Did You Know? – MJF is the only ever holder of the Dynamite Diamond Ring, winning the coveted prize three times (2019, 2020, 2021)
The match was fun, albeit a little chaotic at the end. Both Orange Cassidy and MJF showed how good they were in the ring and left a lot open for a rematch some time in the future.
The match was rated 6.78 by Cagematch.net, but was not given a star rating by Dave Meltzer.
While both these men have become huge stars in AEW, MJF and Orange Cassidy have only wrestled each other once (beside Battle Royales). Even multi-man matches have kept these two men apart, which is a shock considering Orange Cassidy has been part of the Best Friends since AEW’s inception, whilst MJF has flittered between the Inner Circle and The Pinnacle.
Considering the tumultuous contract situation regarding MJF, there may not be another chance to do an Orange Cassidy vs MJF match. With Freshly Squeezed not the sort of character WWE would utilise well (and with the man himself showing no reason to want to leave AEW), if MJF does run down his deal and sign for WWE then these two may never wrestle again in their careers.
However, if MJF does indeed continue to work with AEW, a feud with the King of Sloth Style seems inevitable in the future. With both now main event stars, a rivalry between the pair ending in a main event would be a huge match to book for Tony Khan, one worthy to close out a big show.
If MJF does return, he looks likely to be the man to take the AEW Championship from CM Punk. He “beat CM Punk twice in Chicago” before losing to him in a dog-collar match at AEW Revolution, so now the feud needs a deciding victory to prove who is better out of MJF and CM Punk.
Once CM Punk loses his AEW title to MJF, his first title defence should be against Orange Cassidy. Cassidy has already main evented a pay per view, as part of the title match at Double or Nothing 2021 and proved he can be a star in that spot when he needs to be.
His match with Will Ospreay, as well as a host of others, proves that he is supreme in-ring worker and one of the world’s greatest as he wrestles in a unique style that nobody but himself would be able to pull off. Watching him frustrate MJF in the ring and try to take away the thing most precious to him and carry the AEW Championship off in his backpack would be the ideal scenario for the AEW Championship picture post-CM Punk.
There is no bigger match, of just AEW “homegrown” talent, than Orange Cassidy vs MJF and they can only improve on their 2020 Dynamite Diamond Ring deciding bout.