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With Double Or Nothing on the horizon, Orange Cassidy remains cool and collected

The AEW International champion speaks about his title defense run, where his fighting spirit came from, and the upcoming Blackjack Battle Royal at Double or Nothing.


“You know I should have won that, right?”

During a late Thursday afternoon call speaking to Orange Cassidy, he told me this after I brought up his 2021 Double Or Nothing All Elite Wrestling heavyweight championship triple-threat match with Kenny Omega and PAC. Many people believe this was his standout match, where Cassidy made his mark as one of the premiere wrestlers in AEW. He’s the cool, calm, and collected standout of the Best Friends – decked out in his trademark shades and denim ensemble, Cassidy excludes a carefree attitude earmarked by his “hands in pockets” taunt.

It's all business when he gets in the ring (excluding some light kicks to the shin). Cassidy is on a workhorse title run of 22 straight defenses as AEW International champion. He’s beaten the likes of Bandido, Jeff Jarrett, Katsuyori Shibata, Daniel Garcia, and most recently, Kyle Fletcher of Aussie Open. So, how do you up the ante regarding a 23rd-title defense? A 21-man Blackjack Battle Royal on Sunday night, that’s how. Cassidy acknowledged that he’s tired (that’s what all these title defenses will do to you), but his focus is squarely on one challenge at a time.

“This is going to sound like a cop-out answer, but it’s the truth,” Cassidy notes. “I really don’t think about it. If I think too much about it, I’ll overthink it. I take the defenses as they come.”

You’ll notice a constant theme throughout AEW Dynamite as of late. Cassidy took the opportunity to start many of the shows with the AEW International title defense – all comers have been welcomed and beaten. Much of Cassidy's fighting champion spirit originated during his days in the Indies and has benefited the AEW faithful.

Much to his credit, it doesn't matter to him if he has to show it week in and week out. Some naysayers might not like his style, but it’s hard to disagree with the energy he puts out with every show and pay-per-view. It’s the reason why fans cling to him.

“I’ve been a champion before is on the Indies as the independent wrestling champion,” Cassidy notes. I just took that philosophy when I had that independent championship with this championship. I want to wrestle as many people as possible and show as many different styles of wrestling as possible. I want to show people that I want to wrestle against people that wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to wrestle for a championship that I know, which is that they deserve one.”

But every wrestler needs a foil. With Stone Cold Steve Austin, it was The Rock. For Kenny Omega, it might be Jon Moxley in AEW terms. For Cassidy, that’s PAC. PAC beat Cassidy at AEW Grand Slam in September of 2022 when it was first named the All-Atlantic title. It was a Dynamite show a month later where Cassidy finally bested what he considers to be his greatest challenge yet.

“When I got the title in October, my goal was to be PAC,” Cassidy says. “I always felt like he was my greatest rival, and he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world. Have you ever wanted to achieve this one thing because it’s driving you nuts? That was PAC with me.”

Maybe the rivalry isn’t over. Cassidy acknowledged that he would love to get in the ring with PAC again, as perhaps they are destined to do this forever. For now, 20 men stand in the way in his way of a successful title defense 23. A challenge that he doesn’t take lightly, but instead takes in stride with a relaxed demeanor – ready to work.