Tony Khan, AEW’s President and CEO, was a guest on the AEW Unrestricted podcast recently where he talked about the challenges of building a new type of superstar in Orange Cassidy.
Cassidy is set to participate in one of the biggest matches in his career with AEW, facing off against Chris Jericho during the second night of the Fyter Fest pay-per-view.
According to Khan, building Cassidy into a credible wrestling star has been fun and surprisingly easy as Khan claims they have never seen a wrestler get so popular so quickly as Cassidy has.
“He’s an enigma and he had such a great presentation coming in. Nobody really believed in it, I felt, like outside of a core group of people,” Khan said about Cassidy.
“It’s been really, really fun building something from the ground up with Orange Cassidy because, outside of the really hardcore wrestling fan base, there probably weren’t a lot of people, every week, that were tuning in to watch him at first,” he added.
Khan noted that Cassidy himself, despite his gimmick of “not caring”, is actually very invested in his character and in-ring work.
“People don’t know that inside of this guy’s gimmick is an amazing wrestler,” said Khan.
“If they only knew that his ideas in terms of execution, presentation, and putting together a wrestling match,” added Khan. “He’s such a great technician in terms of bell-to-bell wrestling, but also just in terms of the little details he puts into his character.”
Before signing with AEW, Cassidy started building and refining his laid-back character in the indie scene. He was originally known as a masked “luchador” called Fire Ant in the promotion Chikara.