In a surprising turn of events on this week's edition of AEW Dynamite, Orange Cassidy secured a monumental victory, becoming the first-ever two-time AEW International Champion. The night was marked not only by this historic win but also by a shift in Dynamite's airing schedule due to programming changes on TBS.
This rescheduled episode pitted AEW against WWE NXT, adding an extra layer of significance to the proceedings. Originally, fans anticipated a championship rematch between AEW International Champion Rey Fenix and Jon Moxley, but early in the show, it was revealed that Moxley had yet to receive medical clearance for competition.
This unexpected twist led to Fenix defending his title against the former champion, Orange Cassidy. The contest began with Cassidy adhering to his trademark laid-back style, but it took a dramatic turn when Fenix seemingly injured his back during the match.
Seizing the opportunity, Cassidy targeted Fenix's vulnerable spine with a series of punishing strikes.
Fenix's Painful Struggle
Despite Fenix's valiant attempts to rally with power moves and superkicks, each effort was marred by visible pain as he clutched his aching back.
These moments of vulnerability allowed Orange Cassidy to strike decisively, delivering his signature "Orange Punch" and a modified cradle to secure the pinfall victory. This victory not only handed Orange Cassidy the AEW International Championship for the second time but also reinstated the title's prestige to its position prior to the controversial events that transpired at All Out 2023.
At that time, the International Title had been embroiled in a contentious match between Jon Moxley and Rey Fenix during the Grand Slam edition of AEW Dynamite on September 20th. During that encounter, Moxley sustained a legitimate injury following a botched topé executed by Fenix early in the scheduled title bout.
The ensuing chaos led to a now-infamous botched ending, marked by referee Rick Knox's mishandling of a three-count. This incident garnered substantial criticism directed at the match participants, the official, and the promotion itself.
In summary, the unexpected schedule change for AEW Dynamite led to a historic victory for Orange Cassidy, as he clinched his second AEW International Championship. This triumph marked a significant moment in AEW's history and revived the title's prestige, putting it back in the spotlight.
The night served as a memorable chapter in the ongoing AEW-WWE rivalry, underscoring the unpredictable nature of professional wrestling.