Just the mention of the name Orange Cassidy can send many a “wrestling fan” into a fit of rage. From the old timers still living in the 80’s and 90’s to the young fans that still think WWE is where it’s at. It seems like this guy is detested by the majority of people that like pro wrestling/sports entertainment “the way it was.” However its not like comedy hasn’t been used in wrestling before, Honky Tonk Man, Adrian Street, Toru Yano, Santino Marella and Doink the Clown all spring to mind for playing the fool in their matches, so why now in 2022 is it all of a sudden bad that AEW is pushing a wrestler like Cassidy? Considering OC ( and I ain’t talking about the “Original Club”) has proven that he is one of the best athletes in wrestling, the level of hatred for this guy is completely unjustified.
Born James Cipperly in May 1984, Cipperly made his pro debut in 2004 for GWP under the name JC Ryder. He wrestled as Ryder for 2 years but was smart enough to know that due to his smaller frame he needed to do something different to stand out from the pack, and so he joined Chikara pro wrestling, a promotion that focused on the “light-hearted” side of wrestling and so the character of Fire Ant was born. As the leader of the stable called The Colony, he was flanked by a number of……well, Ants. (Worker, Green and Soldier just to name a few.) The group became very popular amongst the fans due to their entertaining and innovative matches, resulting in Cipperly competing more frequently in singles matches.
THE BIRTH OF THE JUICY ONE.
In 2012 Cipperly debuted his new wrestling persona of “Freshly Squeezed” Orange Cassidy,(greatest gimmick name EVER.) He has stated in interviews that his inspiration for the character comes from Ryan Gosling’s character in the film “Drive” and from Paul Rudd’s character in the film “Wet hot American summer,” this is also where his iconic ring entrance music “Jane” comes from, stating his characters motivations are “if I have to wrestle I will, its like you know, you have a job, your good at it, but you know, do you really wanna?” We can ALL relate to that. Obviously this type of slacker character could work on the Indy scene as it has a very niche audience, but the question was could an act like this transfer to a major American promotion?
Orange Cassidy made his AEW debut on the 25th May 2019 at Double or Nothing competing in a battle royal. It was clear that said “niche” audience found their way to AEW as 11,000 strong blew the roof off the arena when he attacked Tommy Dreamer’s shins with…..errr…….aggression? His dreaded sloth style kicks of doom found their mark on Dreamer to cheers from the boisterous crowd. AEW quickly signed Cipperly to a contract that same year. At Revolution 2020 Orange Cassidy had his breakout performance against PAC. With his hands in his pockets and his sunglasses on, OC was able to counter PAC’s offense, perform dives through the ropes, commando roles over the top of PAC and more, something that I dare say no other wrestler could do. He just came up short however, finally submitting to PAC’s brutaliser finisher after interference from the Lucha Bros.
SIMPLICITY AT IT’S BEST
The genius of the Orange Cassidy character is simple by design. His entrance video: white background with the words “freshly squeezed” across it, the lack of details in Justin Roberts ring intro of him, limp wristed fist bumps and casual rolls under the ring ropes. OC (no not the club) is a true showman with minimal effort. His matches are never dull no matter who he is against and more often than not are the highlight of whatever show he is on. There is just so much to love about the guy, his lack of enthusiasm is somehow infectious and has you constantly wondering what kind of lazy arsed tactics he will use next?
In October 2022 the “freshly squeezed” one captured his first piece of AEW gold by finally getting a win against “The Bastard” PAC in the main event of Dynamite winning the All-Atlantic championship, showing a different, more determined side to his character than we have ever seen before. Orange confetti fell from the sky as the Best friends Stable of Trent, Chuck and Danhausen hugged OC in the Centre of the ring to close the show, after all, YOU GOTTA GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT! (Excalibur TM) Now with rucksack and title belt inside, said rucksack slung over his shoulder, (a nice call back to his promise of what he would do if he won the world title at Double or Nothing 2021) AEW have another homegrown talent as champion.
Orange Cassidy has captured the imagination of fans all around the world and If you don’t like it then you simply just don’t like fun, smile it’s only pro wrestling after all. So when it’s all said and done the haters can keep drinking their haterade because I’ll take my Orange Juice “Freshly Squeezed” thanks.