Thursday, February 13, 2020

The 2019 TWB 100 Slow Release: Number Four

Photo Credit: Grenwail
4. Orange Cassidy
Points: 1910
Ballots: 23
Highest Vote: 1st Place (Blu Ray Mysterio, Nicholas Reed, Bobby Godfrey)
Last Year's Ranking: 42nd Place

TH: I don't know when professional wrestling went from shoot to work. One could gather that it's always been a work, given its origin in the carnivals of the post-Civil War landscape. When were the fans in on the gag? The question is at the center of wrestling debate, one that I honestly don't give a shit what the right answer is. Did people think that Georg Hackenschmidt and Frank Gotch were really fighting? I don't know, but I do know that everyone in attendance for Johnny Gargano and Adam Cole or Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito know it's a work. Fans today don't want to be tricked into thinking guys are really fighting; they want to be entertained. Much in the same vein that you can believe the MCU is real for the two hours you're in the theater watching Spider-Man: Far From Home and come back to reality after the final post-credits scene, people want to be drawn in and think it's "real" from the start of the show through the finish of the main event and go back to normal after.

What's the point of this diatribe? Orange Cassidy is one of the best wrestlers on the planet. It's mostly on fans of his for allowing Jim Cornette to draw them, well, to be honest, us since I'm in this group, into debates on what's valid or not in wrestling. The point isn't whether what Cassidy does is believable. It's that it's entertaining and also involves skill to pull off. How many people can do a hands-in-pockets plancha the way Cassidy does every time he's in the ring? But that's besides the point anyway. Wrestling is the closest thing to an action movie come to life, to be honest, so why can't the comic relief be over because they're the best at what they're doing?

Adam Blount: I love Orange Cassidy. I’ve yet to see a match or video of his that hasn’t made me smile. Like him or not, he knows how to make everything he does mean something in his matches. And I fucking love him. Over is over, and OC is over.

Nicholas Reed: I mean, he's ok I guess. Pretty good. I don't really pay much attention, got this uh... bag of sunflower seeds here.

David Kincannon: Is Orange Cassidy’s gimmick for everyone? Probably not, but even the most ardent haters have to admit that he’s an extremely talented wrestler. For me personally, there is a special place in my heart for wrestlers who wrestle as a character. I don’t just mean wrestlers that have a character, but wrestlers who carry the character into their in ring work. In 2019, the king of that was Orange Cassidy. Whether he’s giving the nonchalant thumbs up, or rolling all the way from one side of the ring to the other, or having Bryce Remsburg put his sunglasses back on for him, or any number of things he does in matches, he’s always Orange Cassidy.

Jeffrey Paternostro: The best match I saw last year might have been Invisible Stan vs. Invisible Man at Spring Break Night One, John Cage with table spots. As the wrestling fandom condenses further and further into a black hole of hardcores, wrestling can get stripped to its bare essence. It's a commoditized TV product that has primarily left behind it's roots in live performance. But it's still theater, and I'm surprised it's taken this long for wrestling to have gotten its own Bertol Brecht. Nothing is real, everything is real, and if all that matters is how "over" you are, Orange Cassidy is the best wrestler in the world.

Scott Raychel: Orange Cassidy is the greatest wrestler alive today.