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Bryce Remsburg on his backstage duties in AEW, how he became a referee, Orange Cassidy's success

All Elite Wrestling

All Elite Wrestling

Referee Bryce Remsburg is the guest on the lastest "AEW Unrestricted" podcast. Remsburg talked about "Brittsburgh," Excalibur, Eddie Kingston, Orange Cassidy's AEW success, Mr. Brodie Lee, how his connection to The Young Bucks helped to get him in AEW, how he started as a referee, and more.

Here are some highlights:

Bryce Remsburg is not only an AEW referee for AEW, he is also their travel agent along with Paul Turner:

“I started as an assistant, and then I took over the department in December of 2019, which was not a planned part of this job. I just kind of fell into it. Since then, I’ve taken on more responsibility and people. I would say when AEW started Double or Nothing, between talent and crew, we were probably flying or putting up in hotels, maybe 70 or 80 people. When Dynamite started, it became 90, 95, or 100. Nowadays, between staff and the talent, we are in the range of 130, 140 or 150 every week. While I don’t personally book all of them, I do oversee all 140 of those. It’s strange because the talent’s portion of your job might accommodate for a bigger dollar figure. I am happy to have both, and I’m very appreciative of the full package because it allows me benefits as an office employee and all that good stuff. My paternity leave when my son was born was because of my office job. Timewise, we are more in a 90-10 situation on the travel vs referee side. I’ve said this before, but the more hats you wear, the harder it is to get rid of you.”

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Remsburg tells the story of how he became a referee:

“The two guys I liked to follow the most on the indies, Reckless Youth and Mike Quackenbush, opened a wrestling school called the Chikara Wrestle Factory in Allentown, Pa. In 2002, I was a freshman in college. I was not excited about college, so two nights a week I drove up there to learn how to referee. I don’t know if you can tell by my 5’5”, 150 pound frame, but I’m not an imposing physical specimen. I am not an athlete. I was the guy that played little league and hoped the ball would get hit to him so I wouldn’t embarrass my dad in front of his friends. The idea of being an athletic supporter and not an athlete was very attractive to me. The thought of being a referee, getting to travel to all the towns, attend all the events, you don’t have to pay for a ticket anymore, you get to be in the ring and sort of part of the show, that was very attractive to me, and it was half price to train as a referee than it was as a wrestler. I was a very poor college kid, so, sign me up. I learned how to wrestle when I trained. I learned how to take bumps. I learned about the positioning in the ring and all that stuff. I did a couple of practice matches so I had that information back in me. I’m also fragile and small. I very much like the referee role. I get physical when it’s necessary, but not everyday. I also like the concept, obviously things have changed now, but a wrestler’s shelf life when I started training in 2002 was 38, 40, or 42 and you're done. It’s different now, but I’m confident I can be a worthwhile, active referee far into my 40’s hopefully.”

Remsburg was asked what he thinks about the success of Orange Cassidy in AEW:

“I would have never predicted it. Orange Cassidy is the offbeat, Chikara, invisible man flavor of wrestling that I loved on the indies that I didn’t think had a shelf life on a major league, national prime time promotion. We seem to have caught fire. I think that he, and this is a strange analogy, but the way people relate to Steve Austin, the guy who gets to flip off his boss, the guy who gets to beat up his boss and just do whatever he wants, there is a generation Y or a millennial equivalent that Orange Cassidy follows. If you can get by at doing the bare minimum, isn’t that the dream? If you could be popular, have a job, people are buying your T-Shirts, your merch, and everything because you’re just getting by doing the bare minimum, I mean, that’s it. That’s what’s up. Why run when you can walk? Why exert energy when you can wait on the apron? Yes, I have known him for a very long time. Every possible barrier there is to break, like ‘Oh, he’ll be in this Battle Royal, but he won’t get hired. He got hired, but he won’t be on Dynamite. He’ll be on Dynamite, but he won’t wrestle Chris Jericho. He’ll wrestle Chris Jericho, but he’ll never wrestle for the world title in a main event of a PPV.’ Low and behold, everyone of these checks go down the list, and here we are with no signs of stopping. That’s a commitment to his character, the way he believes it, the way he feels that, and the way he protects it. We’ve converted Tony Khan, Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and on and on down the list, all these people who may have never heard of Orange Cassidy years ago, but now have worked with him and given him the seal of approval. It is exciting to see what happens next. My favorite thing in the world on the indies, and still to this day is, is without fail, there is someone who has never seen Orange Cassidy before. His music plays, he comes down the ramp, and you’re like, ‘What is this?’ By the end of the match, they’re applauding, or standing up, or they’ve already gone to buy a T-Shirt, whatever it is. It would happen on the indies all the time. His music would play. People would roll their eyes and not get it. He has a charming way to convert you. Now instead of converting 10 or 20 people at a time, he’s converting 1,000 or 2,000 people at a time.”

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit AEW Unrestricted with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription