Who Is Vince McMahon Kidding? Why Fandango Will Fail

Andy Soucek@Andy_SoucekFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2012

photo from wwe.com
photo from wwe.com

What is Vince McMahon’s obsession with dancing?

Brodus Clay and the Funkadactyles dance for a gimmick, Great Khali dances before and after his matches and Layla dances while she should be fighting.

That’s just to name a few.

Oh, and over the past few years or so, Vince has danced, as well as the legends, Mark Henry, The Usos, Reks and Hawkins, Santino, Daniel Bryan, Zack Ryder, Sin Cara, John Morrison, R-Truth, Lance Storm, The Miz, Eve, Victoria, Alex Riley, Michael Cole, Chris Jericho, John Cena, Rikishi, Too Cool, The Big Show, Jim Ross, Vickie, The Cat, The Dicks, DJ Gabriel…and, well, I’ll stop there.

Two things: 1) it’s not funny (well, The Miz's was mildly amusing) and 2) it gets old fast.

How often do we see Brodus Clay’s ring entrance skipped over entirely now? And that’s the entire point of the act!

Now, we’re about to see a new dancing character—but wait, hold on, this time it’s a ballroom dancer!

Do you know any ballroom dancers? I can’t say I’ve ever met one. Is that even a thing anymore? Apparently so, and I guess we’re supposed to hate them.

Is Vince Russo secretly back in the company? This whole act just reeks of The Maestro.

In this era, cartoon characters just don’t get over like they used to.

Antonio Cesaro would arguably be more over without the played-out “guy who hates American culture” gimmick, Brodus Clay continues to lose whatever popularity he had every week, and even Damien Sandow’s progression has come to a halt.

WWE, Vince McMahon, I’m telling you right now. This Fandango thing isn’t going to work.

I know what a lot of people are thinking, “The gimmick hasn’t even aired yet. How can you judge? Give it a chance!”

That’s a great argument, and I’d like to be open-minded…if we haven’t seen this fail before so many times.

Here’s how it’s going to go:

Fandango is going to debut. He’ll beat guys like Zack Ryder, JTG and Santino for a few weeks. Then the character will be directionless for a while. He’ll probably pop up in random matches on SmackDown and Main Event. Then WWE will have no idea what to do with him. They'll get tired of the character, and he’ll be fed to guys like Sheamus.

Then Fandango will go away and will most likely end up on a “worst gimmicks” list down the road.

All the promos, the vignettes and the squash matches will have amounted to nothing.

Sure, Johnny Curtis may have a great run in the WWE someday, but not as Fandango.

A ballroom dancer named Fandango will never be a world champion. He won’t increase ratings, and he won’t convince people to leave their homes on a Friday night, drive 45 miles to the nearest city and buy a ticket for a WWE house show.

What McMahon needs right now is someone like a Vince Russo, who confronted him during the Monday Night Wars and told him that his product sucked and it was time to change.

WWE needs a new approach to wrestling, not dated characters that dance.

But more importantly, Vince needs to believe it.

The 80s are long gone, the Rock n’ Wrestling era was great for its time, but it doesn’t work anymore.

Just look back at WWE’s recent history for example.

Other cartoonish acts like Simon Dean, The Highlanders, The Heartthrobs, Tensai, Kenzo Suzuki, Deuce and Domino, Kizarny, Matt Striker, Jesse and Festus, Rob Conway and Eugene may have achieved some initial amount of success, but all fell flat on their faces.

It's because bad gimmicks can only last so long before people get tired of them.

Sure, HHH was once Terra Ryzin, Undertaker was once “Mean” Mark Callous and Dolph was a member of the Spirit Squad. But instead of giving new acts terrible gimmicks, why doesn’t WWE instead learn from those mistakes and not cast talented wrestlers in embarrassing roles?

In the end, who knows? I’m just some guy. Maybe somehow Fandango will work. Maybe Fandango will take WWE to new heights and spark a whole new creative boom for the company. Maybe Steve Austin will come out of retirement to have that dream match with Fandango.

I guess crazier things have happened.

If the character is still around doing the same act a year from now, I’ll gladly admit I was way off.

But, as James Vandenburg used to say at the end of his WCW promos, “Of course, that’s just my opinion, and I could be wrong…but I doubt it.”