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  #1  
Old 01-23-2016, 11:05 AM
J.J. J.J. is offline
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Default Fandango: Where did it go wrong?

Fandango is one of many wrestlers that had a hyped debut, refused to compete due to the mispronouncing of his name and was inserted in a program with Chris Jericho. His career looked well on it's way to becoming something creative would get over, that was until the next night on Raw. The Raw following Wrestlemania put Fandango on the map, but not for his gimmick or his ring work but because of his theme song, the fans in attendance even created a dance for it.

Of course in WWE fashion they took it upon themselves to make it out as something they created by dubbing it; "Fandango-ing". They kept him heel for whatever reason and later on booked him to win the Intercontinental title. Unfortunately for him he suffered a concussion and Curtis Axel was granted the shot and win.

After that he was no longer pushed, went on a losing streak and seemingly found himself being eliminated from the Royal Rumble that following year to El Torito. Involvement with Layla and Summer Rae did him no good, change of theme song to represent a salsa dancer speaks for itself.

To cap it off, they finally give him back his original ballroom gimmick, theme song and turn him face to feud with Adam Rose and even have him embrace the dance the fans created. I would argue the face change was two years too late and the concussion is what has made him an afterthought. Was it true he didn't report his concussion right away?

So my question is, where do you think it went wrong?
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2016, 11:23 AM
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Bernkastel Bernkastel is offline
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I think it went awry somewhere in between Fandango debuting as a man with a dancing gimmick and... Fandango debuting as a guy with a dancing gimmick. Johnny Curtis has talent, but there's only so far that he could take a character like that. Fandango never had any real depth to him, and WWE always sold us on some variation of his dancing gimmick. The mid card would have been as far as the character would have gone. BUT having an entire Wrestlemania crowd humming his theme song, even after the show was already over and everyone was pouring into the parking lots, was definitely a nice moment for the character. Probably the ultimate moment for the character.

WWE has obviously kept him around because the character has proven to be a nice mid card novelty for the audience, which realistically speaking would have been the highest a character like Fandango would have gone. And honestly I think the character still has plenty to offer.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2016, 11:39 AM
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He had limited scope. He's in the position that character was always going to end up in. His push was derailed slightly quicker than planned when he got concussed and didn't compete for an I.C. Title he probably would've won. But not by much.

His main run was 3 years ago so I honestly can't remember if he'd be worth repackaging. Curtis is good looking and has a solid body, but I suspect the ship has sailed on his WWE career.
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Old 01-23-2016, 11:42 AM
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Jack-Hammer Jack-Hammer is offline
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I think it went about as "right" as it possibly could. I had low expectations for Fandango the moment I saw the first vignette because I knew the potential for the gimmick was limited.

The character was someone who was a "professional dancer" and being a professional wrestler means you have to be a "tough guy" right? Well, the terms "tough guy" and "professional dancer" just don't go together in the minds of many people. While societal attitudes towards assigning certain traits to someone just because of their look, clothing or whatever have changed and continue to change, it's still sorta black & white in the eyes of pro wrestling fans.

Absurdity to certain degrees is to be expected in professional wrestling, I fail to see how it couldn't when you consider it's scripted. Absurdity, however, is something that's generally tolerated and accepted towards the lower end of the card and, at the upper most, in the mid-card range. For instance, while I can accept the Honky Tonk Man as the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in history, albeit grudgingly, I'd have a difficult time accepting a glorified Elvis impersonator as having been WWE Champion. The guy's character, his gimmick itself, really was pretty ridiculous and, as a result, he wasn't taken too seriously as a threat against guys like Warrior, Savage or Hogan. Even though he feuded with Savage, he never came close to achieving a decisive victory in which he was able to retain a lot of credibility as champ. It's sort of the same with Fandango as the whole idea was inspired by Dancing with the Stars. Just as with HTM, Fandango is pretty one dimensional when you get right down to it. Fandango has his little dance moves, HTM had his Elvis mannerisms and jumpsuit. Today, HTM wouldn't even get out of the blocks, he certainly wouldn't make it higher than Fandango, because they're cut from the same cloth as the likes of Fandango, Santino Marella and Zack Ryder. All have their fans and, in retrospect where HTM is concerned, that's all well and good; but they're generally comedy acts that simply aren't viewed as having the goods. I mean...would fans pop if Santino Marella won the WWE Championship? Sure they would, but the complaints would start up almost immediately and said complaints would only gather more steam and support once the euphoria of the moment died down.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:29 PM
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Look the WWE knew that this kid was only going to get so far, he had a ceiling and he'd already hit it. As soon as he was really hot he got hurt and that usually doesn't seem to please the management, and can you blame anyone for that? As far as I'm concerned, in the current incarnation, Fandango is nothing but a jobber to low mid card guy. Maybe he leaves the company and company and reinvents himself, EC3 did it... Bully Ray did it..maybe Fandango is next.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:20 PM
J.J. J.J. is offline
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Look the WWE knew that this kid was only going to get so far, he had a ceiling and he'd already hit it. As soon as he was really hot he got hurt and that usually doesn't seem to please the management, and can you blame anyone for that? As far as I'm concerned, in the current incarnation, Fandango is nothing but a jobber to low mid card guy. Maybe he leaves the company and company and reinvents himself, EC3 did it... Bully Ray did it..maybe Fandango is next.
Did they really think he was going to go so far? They hyped his debut, put him on the grand stage at WM and have him win. With the mindset he was only going so far? I respectfully disagree with that. Anyone WWE brings in I imagine they're hoping for the best because they're a business first. If a guy or gal is over, well that's good for the company, right?

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The character was someone who was a "professional dancer" and being a professional wrestler means you have to be a "tough guy" right?
I was never expecting this guy to be a main eventer but a solid under worker. It seems clear that they had some level of expectations for him if he was supposed to be IC champ. Goldust was a drag, Val Venus was a pornstar, John Cena was pretending to be Jamie Kennedy and IRS was a tax man. None of those gimmicks screamed tough guy, but the exception of Cena they all were pretty solid.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:34 PM
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It went wrong the instant he debuted as the Fandango character, refusing to wrestle because people mispronounced his name. It set up a false expectation that he was worth waiting for, which was completely untrue. Curtis is a sub-par talent and always has been. Once he beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29 (easily one of the top WWE booking mistakes of all time), he was done. It set up an impossible feat to duplicate. If they had Jericho beat him at WrestleMania, his career would have gone much better. 100% guaranteed.
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Old 01-23-2016, 02:44 PM
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@J.J. I totally get what you mean. They did the same thing for Brodus Clay a while back. It was a lot of promise or potential (both Fandago and Clay are mid card to me at most) that were basically wasted by poor follow-up booking.
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Old 01-23-2016, 03:14 PM
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@J.J. I totally get what you mean. They did the same thing for Brodus Clay a while back. It was a lot of promise or potential (both Fandago and Clay are mid card to me at most) that were basically wasted by poor follow-up booking.
Fans were expecting Brodus Clay to be this monster heel and Vince came up with this idea of Funkasaurus. That character was too dated when comparing it to Fandango's. I feel it would've worked better had they allowed him to talk during his matches like he did in his first one.
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Old 01-23-2016, 08:53 PM
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Where did it go wrong? When was it ever right? His gimmick was ballroom dancing. What else do you really need to say about it? Ballroom dancing doesn't translate to "professional wrestler to take seriously." The biggest benefit he ever had was his theme song and the video after Mania that had people doing the Fandango thing with their hands. The things that were popular about him... weren't things he did in or out of the ring. It also didn't help that at Mania, his match sucked. So many little misses in one match made it hard to watch. Especially the botched ending. No matter whose fault it may/may not have been.

Johnny Curtis needs to be repackaged. That's sort of the part that baffles me the most is that they haven't even tried to repackage him. Rid that stupid dancing gimmick and just let him be Johnny Curtis with a bit of an edge. The guy is super talented. But the gimmick belongs in a dumpster. It went about as well as a ballroom dancer gimmick can go in the professional wrestling world.
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