Is it Fandango? Dodge Durango? Mango?
Whatever the name, the WWE’s newest dancing sensation had failed to make an impact other than constantly annoying wrestling fans with his incessant complaining about his name being pronounced incorrectly.
Until a week or so ago, the WWE Universe only knew Fandango as a dancing wrestler, whom had not yet had a match on WWE programming.
With his repeated attacks of former champion Chris Jericho, Fandango has now made an impact and one that might actually bode well for him in the long run.
Before Jericho, Fandango had been scheduled for matches each week against little more than enhancement talent. However, those competitors never even traded any type of wrestling moves with him, as he rarely even got as far as the ring before taunting his opponents about mispronouncing his name.
The gimmick was getting old very fast, and the crowd seemed to lose interest.
Chants of “You can’t wrestle” peppered the young superstar as he attacked Jericho on Raw. Which, to be fair, is an unfair assessment given that to date few fans have seen him do anything in the ring, as his debut is getting pushed back week to week.
Fandango does have a wealth of experience to his credit already.
As Johnny Curtis, he won the fourth season of NXT in 2011. After that, however, the company struggled with finding a place for him. The Fandango gimmick was hyped from the beginning, and he looked to be a legitimate threat to the WWE roster.
However, they say that you’re only as good as your first feud, and the company took some time before realizing who exactly it should be with.
Enter Jericho and his decades of experience.
By putting the two together, it accomplishes two things.
First, it gives Fandango some type of credibility as a performer, as he’ll be in a program with one of the most decorated and well respected superstars in the wrestling world. Secondly, it provides some fresh meat for Jericho, who has been in the ring with nearly every competitor over the years, to engage in a compelling feud with.
It is a win-win situation for both men. And Jericho has played off the gimmick very well.
Jericho is one of the greatest ring psychologists in recent memory.
He has always been very good with the microphone, and his constant harassing comments are what sometimes make him very interesting to watch. The smart comments with Fandango practically write themselves, as he loathes when his name is mispronounced. So in turn, Jericho is more than willing to indulge that weakness.
But he also helps in other ways.
After hitting Jericho with a top rope legdrop, Fandango grabbed a microphone, looking to add an exclamation on his work.
Jericho could actually be heard coaching the young superstar, saying “don't say a word” as Fandango looked at his fallen adversary and waited several moments before saying his own name. This was followed by Jericho saying “look at me,” after which Fandango looked down at him with disdain.
That type of coaching is what may one day make Fandango a household name.
Well, maybe not as that character. But the wealth of experience that he will gain by working with one of the greats will likely give him a competitive edge over many others in the business.
And whether or not you can say his name correctly, it stands to reason that Fandango may soon be dancing his way into bigger and better things thanks to Chris Jericho.