Professional wrestling is known for its outlandish gimmicks.
In many cases, but not all of them, these unorthodox characters tend to have a fairly difficult time getting over in the WWE.
And many expect such troubles to haunt the latest creation of the WWE’s zany mind; Fandango, the Latin ballroom dancer – who just happens to be a professional wrestler.
While it’s understanding for fans to be sceptical of this new concept, Fandango seems to have garnered a lot more criticism than one may have expected during his short time on WWE television.
But fear not, as there is still plenty of potential for this gimmick to flourish.
This article identifies four key reasons why Fandango could yet prove to be a success, and thus silence his many doubters.
Few Superstars receive the luxury of a high-profile feud with which to kick start their WWE careers.
But the fact that Fandango has been handed a WrestleMania date with Chris Jericho is testament to the faith that the company obviously has in him.
Though it puts him in a high-pressure situation, this could prove to be hugely beneficial to Fandango.
One of our readers recently pointed out to me the constant advice that Jericho was offering Fandango during their in-ring scuffle on Monday Night Raw this week.
After being beat down, Jericho could be heard muttering “don’t say a word” to his adversary, prompting Fandango to pause for dramatic effect and really improve upon what was already a solid segment.
Such advice, combined with his stellar abilities in the ring, could well be enough to polish Fandango into the finished article.
Based on what we saw on Raw, Jericho’s experience should be of great benefit to the up-and-comer as he looks to establish himself in the WWE.
Though Jericho’s influence may well be of help, it is undeniable that Fandango has potential of his own.
One of his biggest qualities, which we have seen exhibited on a number of occasions now, is his ability on the microphone.
Fundamentally, Fandango’s job each week is to refuse to compete and leave the audience high and dry–quite a simple ask in all honesty.
However Johnny Curtis’ personality has shone through his character, making this straightforward task rather more interesting than it would first seem.
His arrogance and swagger make for an entertaining combination, and it’s certainly convinced me to believe in the gimmick’s potential.
His cockiness was all too apparent in addressing Lilian Garcia as “Jillian," adding irony to his grievance of others being unable to correctly pronounce his name, while his one-liner to Natalya was also highly amusing (see 5:10 in the video).
On the few occasions he has had a chance to speak, Fandango has performed very well and looks perfectly at ease with his words on the big stage.
Given that he is yet to fully debut in the WWE, we’ve not been given much of a glimpse of Fandango’s in-ring style as of yet.
But it must be said, what we have seen looks pretty promising indeed.
He has a unique blend of athleticism and intensity, and we saw this contrast on display on Raw this week as he brutally beat down of Y2J before delivering a picture perfect diving leg drop from the top rope.
Furthermore, he knows how to take a beating as well.
His selling Jericho’s knife-edge chops was excellent and although it may only be a minor factor, it certainly suggests that he is pretty well-rounded in the ring.
Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions as we haven’t seen too much of him yet, but so far so good in my opinion.
For me, this is the biggest factor that could drive Fandango’s character to success.
The reason former-oddball Goldust had a decent WWE career was that Dustin Rhodes was 100 percent behind the gimmick, despite its apparent ridiculousness.
Many would have scoffed at the concept of an “androgynous” professional wrestler, but Rhodes persisted and ended up having quite an impact in the then-WWF.
Such commitment to the gimmick is exactly what Johnny Curtis appears to be demonstrating in his portrayal of Fandango.
If Curtis were only half-heartedly behind the idea, then it simply wouldn’t work. But his professionalism and desire to succeed is what can help this gimmick become a WWE mainstay, despite its initial unpopularity and skepticism.
There may still be doubters at present, but if Curtis continues to place such faith in the Fandango character, then it will be hard not to take him seriously.
I appreciate that this article has been incredibly pro-Fandango, but I feel that is all the gimmick deserves after the immense criticism that is has come under thus far.
Beneath the ballroom dancer persona is a talented Superstar with the look, the charisma and the talent to make him a success in the WWE.
Sure, the gimmick is not conventional—but that’s what professional wrestling is all about.
If a 175-pound Rey Mysterio can win the World Heavyweight Title, and if the company’s owner himself can score a couple of World Title of his own, then why can’t a ballroom dancer be taken serious inside the squared circle?
It may take some time, but Fandango has all the potential to win the critics over and prove himself in the WWE.
Of course, that is only my opinion—and I’m sure you guys will have your thoughts on this subject.
Please feel free to comment below with your feelings on Fandango and any of the other issues discussed in the article.