Here we go again. Chris Jericho vs Orange Cassidy. Part two of one of the most interesting, unusual and compelling feuds in wrestling today (go to https://www.prowrestlingmusings.com/post/aew-fyter-fest-chris-jericho-vs-orange-cassidy for the review of the first encounter).
The story of this match revolved around Cassidy baiting Le Champion into a rematch by deploying the very WWE-like trope of dropping something on his suspiciously well-positioned opponent from the ceiling. In this case it was orange juice, ruining Jericho’s $7,000 jacket, which meant, as tradition dictates, the two had to have a match to effectively decide who would pick up the dry cleaning bill.
Throw in the brilliant debate between the two, presided over by Eric Bischoff of all people, and I don’t think there were too many people who were disappointed to get this rematch and, spoiler alert, it looks like we may get it again in the not too distant future.
The other added wrinkle to this plot was the arrival in AEW of legendary referee Mike Chioda, and before Jericho strode to the ring in his increasingly tango’d suit, he had already had time to tell his ‘old friend’ that he might want to think about helping him out if he wanted to keep his job.
In the first few minutes of the match however it didn’t look like Chioda would have any opportunity to give the leader of the Inner Circle a helping hand. Faking out his illustrious opponent with an apparent ‘hands in pockets’ taunt, Orange Cassidy instead launched into a rapid-fire start to proceedings, belying his previous characterisation as a barely sentient wombat.
Laying in the strikes left, right and centre (just look at those strike statistics!) Cassidy also launched Jericho to the outside, delivered a flying cross-body and bashed his nemesis into the barriers twice before executing a wonderful hands in pockets dive that caused Jericho to crash to the ground. Followed up with a further flying DDT, after three minutes it looked for all the world that OC was going to humble the former AEW Champion.
Jericho isn’t a multi-time, multi-promotion champion for nothing however, and just as Orange seemed to have him on the ropes, he was able to deliver a crushing boot to the face and followed it with a big side slam to fully put the brakes on. A kick to the outside and a further slam on the guard-rail out Jericho in full control, and he demonstrated this with two delayed vertical suplexes, the second of which went on for the majority of the picture and picture break.
Even when Cassidy attempted a mini-comback, Jericho quickly shut it down and more strikes and a patented Lionsault left Orange in a complete heap. But, as the old saying goes, never count out a man-sloth, and whilst initially it looked as if Cassidy was done, pawing at Jericho’s chest like a lazy cat, as he had done in his previous encounter he suddenly exploded with a superkick that left Le Champion dazed and confused.
We were then treated to a different side of Orange Cassidy as he started to work on his opponent’s leg with a number of tortuous looking dragon screws and a vicious looking ankle lock. As we had seen to a lesser extent in Cassidy’s match with PAC, the more personal encounters definitely bring out the wrestler in Orange and this was again on show on Dynamite.
The remainder of the match saw both men trading control, with Cassidy hitting a beautiful reversal-stunner, only for Jericho to respond with a Codebreaker that almost got the job done. It was then time for Jericho to try and play his trump card, as he picked up Floyd the bat, and told Mike Chioda to turn around. The veteran referee briefly looked like he was going to do what he was told, but of course came to his senses and wrestled Floyd out of Jericho’s furious hands.
As is his want, Jericho did not take this too well and whilst getting all up in Chioda’s face, was lucky to be able to kick-out of a roll-up from Cassidy at 2.9. A flurry of offence (not normally a phrase to be used for OC) then followed as Cassidy hit a Falcon Arrow and then fired up for the Orange Punch, which looked as majestic as ever.
This being the Inner Circle however, shenanigans were never far away, and as Santana and Ortiz provided the distraction on the outside whilst battling Best Friends, that slippery snake Jake Hager snuck into the ring and delivered a brutal slam to the Orange one. All over you’d think? But no! Our hero kicked out at 2 and on we rolled.
Unfortunately what we rolled into was a slightly botched finish as Cassidy, feeling the effects of a low blow from Jericho, attempted to roll up his opponent with a Mousetrap. He didn’t really get it right however which made it look a bit like Cassidy was just lying on Jericho’s body, but no matter! The three count was made and Cassidy lived to fight another day without having to fork-out $7,000. I can only imagine that money will now be spent on even more sunglasses, denim and pillows for the increasingly popular star.
In truth the match didn’t reach the heights of their previous encounter, particularly considering the slightly awkward finish. It was a shorter match than they had at Fyter Fest, and you feel like they are leaving something in the tank for the inevitable rubber-match, wherever that may take place.
If they are allowed to go absolutely all out in that one, it should be a sight to behold.