orange cassidy
Photo Credit: All Elite Wrestling

Orange Cassidy Didn’t Set Out To Defend His Title Each Week, It’s Just What Happened

While Orange Cassidy didn’t set out to defend the AEW International Championship every week, he discusses the impact it has had on shaping an identity for the title.

Last year, All Elite Wrestling introduced a new singles title to their brand — the All-Atlantic Championship. To crown its first titleholder, AEW laid out a tournament filled with competitors from all across the globe. In the end, PAC would claim the right as the first champion. At AEW Forbidden, he defeated Miro, Malakai Black, and Clark Connors in the tournament finals. PAC’s reign as All-Atlantic Champion ended in October when Orange Cassidy defeated him on an episode of AEW Dynamite.

The title later received a name change in March 2023. Going forward, the title became known as the International Championship. Since winning the championship in October, Orange Cassidy has successfully defended the title 24 times thus far. With Cassidy’s impressive number of title defenses, the International Championship finally appears to be carving out an identity.

Speaking with Jack Farmer of Wrestling Inc, Orange Cassidy admitted that he didn’t intentionally set out for frequent title defenses. Now, he recognizes that those defenses have helped elevate the title. With that in mind, Cassidy hopes to continue sharpening the International Championship as a tool to showcase a wide variety of AEW talent.

“I’ll tell you what, wasn’t my idea to get beat up every single week and defend this thing. When I got the All-Atlantic Championship in October, the idea was just really to beat Pac, and just finally get that win over him,” Cassidy said. “And along with it came the All-Atlantic Championship and I didn’t really know what this title meant. I didn’t know what it was for. I didn’t really understand… It didn’t have an identity really, but it did have a lineage already of Pac who is obviously one of the best wrestlers in the world.”

“To live up to that, I ain’t got nothing to prove to anybody. I’m going to do what I’m going to do. It’s going to be what I want to do. But when I had the Independent Wrestling Championship early in my career on the Indies, I had this philosophy of, if you want a shot, I’ll give it to you. And I think I wanted to use this as a tool to get people on television that you normally wouldn’t see on television. Maybe somebody that works really, really hard that deserves a title shot.”

“I decided to make this title the belt that everybody else who wasn’t ranked number one could go after and show different styles, show different wrestling, show the wide variety of fantastic talent that AEW has. It’s just unfortunate that I’ll have to punch them all in the face to win this back. It was something I stumbled upon. I didn’t really set out to do that, it’s just what happened.”

Orange Cassidy successfully defended his title against Swerve Strickland on the June 7 episode of AEW Dynamite. Check out the full results from this week’s show here.

RELATED: Orange Cassidy Reflects On Facing Katsuyori Shibata, Says It Was An Honor

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