Vignettes have aired for the past several months touting the arrival of Fandango to the WWE. Although he has yet to make his in-ring debut, he has appeared on WWE programming for the past couple weeks. Many fans seem unwilling to give Fandango a chance, but they shouldn't be so quick to judge.
The biggest issue that some seem to have with Fandango is his gimmick. The prospect of a ballroom-dancing wrestler is admittedly a bit far-fetched, but at least Fandango has a character. Much of the WWE's mid-card is littered with anonymous superstars who are neither unique nor interesting. Fandango is both, so he at least deserves an opportunity to show what he can do.
Unfortunately, Fandango is already at a disadvantage due to the way the WWE has handled him. I like when the WWE uses videos to hype the debut of a new superstar, but it seems like the company has lost sight of the reason behind them. Vignettes have recently been used to delay the debut of superstars to excessive levels that ultimately cause the fans to lose interest and rebel.
That is likely what has happened with Fandango. He didn't make his first television appearance until last week, but fans have been well aware of him for months. Rather than simply allowing Fandango to compete, his gimmick consists of him deciding not to wrestle until his name is pronounced correctly. Matt Striker apparently didn't say it right on SmackDown, and neither did Justin Roberts on Raw, so Fandango is still in limbo.
It wouldn't surprise me in the least if the WWE decided to prolong this routine and delay his true debut until after WrestleMania. The WWE generally likes to save new superstars until after WrestleMania since there tends to be more television time available. If that is the case with Fandango, though, I'm not sure why the WWE didn't just wait to start airing his vignettes until a month or two ago. That way it wouldn't seem like overkill to continually push things back.
With all of that said, I'm interested to see how he performs when the WWE finally allows him to wrestle. Fandango is played by Johnny Curtis, who won the fourth season of NXT and has proven to be quite talented while coming up through the system in WWE. Curtis has an interesting personality, which I believe will aid in his success as Fandango.
Whether you like his character thus far or not, he does seem to be fairly skilled on the mic, so that alone means that he has a chance to be something in the WWE. He has had some good matches in the past as Johnny Curtis as well, so he can work when called upon. My guess is that his in-ring work will be comedy based and will feature plenty of dancing, but the skill is definitely there.
I've seen a lot of people compare Fandango to other dancing characters like Disco Inferno, Alex Wright and even Brodus Clay. Obviously, the connection makes sense, but it isn't fair to pigeonhole him before he even wrestles a match. Dancing gimmicks admittedly haven't launched guys to main-event status in the past, but Fandango doesn't need to be a main-eventer in order to make a positive impact on the product.
The WWE's mid-card is a bit of a mess right now, so adding a talented guy like Fandango is a welcomed sight from my perspective. Gimmicks barely exist in wrestling anymore, and I certainly wish that there were more of them. Most wrestlers just come off as caricatures of their true selves. Fandango is clearly a character that is totally manufactured, so he has so much freedom when it comes to developing it.
Are you excited to see Fandango make his in-ring debut?
Even so, I'm sure that some people will continue to complain and call Fandango a waste of time. It seems like 3MB goes through the same treatment. While 3MB doesn't take up that much television time, I constantly hear from fans how awful their gimmick is. I find them at least mildly entertaining, and the fact of the matter is that they would be three generic jobbers if they weren't together as 3MB, so there's no reason to hate them.
Fandango is in a similar situation. If the WWE simply recognized him as Johnny Curtis, he would be some random guy who jobs to everyone else. The Fandango character makes him relevant, though, and at least gives him a chance to stand out from the crowd. I'm not saying that he'll be a huge star, but he should at least add some spice to a mid-card that has been severely lacking excitement as of late.
Even if Fandango is a career mid-carder, it's better than being a career jobber. Fandango brings something different to the table, and that is something that fans should embrace rather than frown upon. None of us know for sure how his gimmick will ultimately come across, so we might as well reserve judgment and let things play out first.