Welcome to Diamonds In The Rough! In this series, I’ll be analysing and breaking down some matches which are under-appreciated, underrated, or just forgotten. A few days ago, wrestling twitter does what it always does. Gets bored and decides to have a debate over a very simple topic that has already been debated to death. This time, it was the subject of intergender wrestling. I feel that there has been a lot of misinformation around what intergender wrestling is, or perhaps more importantly, what it could be. So let’s see what boundaries Jordynne Grace and Orange Cassidy can break with their match from Beyond.
Breaking the Rules
Firstly, I want to demonstrate what I feel is the main draw of intergender wrestling; unique matches. Quite simply, intergender matches allow promoters and wrestlers to tell stories that they otherwise couldn’t. This match is one of the best possible examples of this.
Jordynne Grace is a woman who is very accustomed to breaking rules. She is not the “typical” women’s wrestler. In fact, as her intro will tell you, she squats 270 pounds and benches 190. Thicc Momma Pump is one of the most physically impressive wrestlers on the planet, and one of the most intimidating to boot. I am always excited to watch a Jordynne Grace match, mainly to see how hard she can drop her opponent on their head.
Orange Cassidy however, needs little to no introduction. A wrestling phenomenon by this point, he is another one of the wrestlers most familiar with breaking the rules. His relaxed yet fiery persona is one of the most unique in recent memory, and I have a feeling he’s only just getting started. Already he’s working an extended program with Chris Jericho, a sure sign of things to come for the one who is Freshly Squeezed.
And so, when you put these two against each other, it seems like a match made in heaven (no, not that one) as these are two wrestlers who could not be more atypical in terms of style, yet they are atypical in completely different ways. These are the sorts of interesting and diverse setups for matches that could not be created if it wasn’t for intergender wrestling.
Moments like Jordynne stealing Cassidy’s glasses or Orange repeatedly kipping up in response to being taken down by Jordynne are wonderfully characterful and really add to the vibrant tone of this match. This leads me to the next aspect of this match which I want to talk about:
Of course any match can be funny, or even hilarious. But the way this match uses comedy is frankly genius in my opinion.
The moment that immediately comes to mind here aside from the ones I’ve mentioned is the powerslam spot. Cassidy is down on the outside, and Jordynne calls out: “I need a volunteer!” Leading to a crew member asking Jordynne what she needs. She then proceeds to powerslam him onto Cassidy. Already this would be a really funny moment that completely fits Jordynne’s character, but what happens next left me hysterical.
Moments later, Orange Cassidy finds himself on the outside with his opponent down, and mumbles “I need a volunteer.” Another crew member (those guys were really putting in a shift) answers his request. After a brief yet awkward verbal exchange, Cassidy nods his head and the crew member slams cassidy into Jordynne. Perfection.
Not only is this a tremendously funny moment in isolation, but the context of the match also makes it so much better. It’s the purest form of both characters and the story that this match is telling. This is what makes comedy in wrestling from being good to great: character.
I also think that because this match is intergender, the wrestlers involved can be more creative and comedic. Since intergender matches are a relatively unexplored space, the tone of this encounter feels lighter and more focussed on entertainment. It’s that kind of focus that enhances this match and makes it something special. But there’s one thing this match accomplishes that is even more simple than that.
It’s Just Good Wrestling
A shocking statement, I’m aware. But I mean it. This isn’t some comedy gimmick-fest, it’s stuffed with genuinely great moments of action.
Most of these moments come from Grace, as you would expect. Her sickening lariats and forearm strikes are wondrous to watch. Especially when she has such a seemingly indestructible foil as Cassidy.
Some genuinely very intense moments come towards the end. Cassidy tries to drink some orange juice to power up, only for Jordan to smack it out of his mouth, leading to a huge crowd pop! Orange soon returns the favour with a great superkick.
Moments later, Jordynne hits what can only be described as an earth-shattering spinning piledriver on Orange for a really convincing near fall. Every time I see this move, I am convinced Jordynne breaks her opponent’s neck, which proves how well it is executed.
The crucial thing this match achieves is really the base thing that any match should achieve; make both talent look good. This match is a sterling introduction to either wrestler, or just more of exactly you want from both of them. Jordynne gets her huge power moves and raw charisma across extremely well, and Orange shows his traditional laziness while firing up towards the end with great spots like the blue thunderbomb.
A lot of the conversation this past week seemed to surround what intergender wrestling can’t be. “It can’t tell unique stories” “It can’t be fun” “You can’t get invested in the match” are all commonly parroted arguments against this form of wrestling. I hope that today, I have proven all of those statements false. Instead of trying to define what intergender wrestling can’t be, let’s push forward, and see what it could be.
This match can be found completely free and legal on Beyond’s youtube channel!