WWE WrestleMania XXIX: 5 Things to Know About the Jericho-Fandango Match
WrestleMania is 24 hours away and on the show, Fandango will make his anticipated in-ring debut against one of the most respected stars of this generation, Chris Jericho.
There is great intrigue surrounding the match, mainly due to the fact that a large portion of the audience has never seen Fandango, or his former alter-ego Johnny Curtis, compete. Now, he will be asked to compete on the biggest stage the sport has to offer, against one of the very best in-ring performers of the last 50 years.
As the WWE Universe prepares for Fandango's first match, and the latest in Jericho's WrestleMania legacy, here are five things fans should know about the match prior to this weekend's "Showcase of the Immortals."
Jericho's WrestleMania Win-Loss Record: Less Than Stellar
Despite being one of the most recognizable stars in World Wrestling Entertainment, and one of the sport's most decorated and respected, Chris Jericho's WrestleMania win-loss record is one of the worst among the industry's top performers.
Amassing only four wins compared to seven losses, Jericho has never been one to achieve much success in terms of victories on the sport's biggest stage. Instead, his legacy consists of several high-quality matches against some of the industry's elite.
This Sunday, fans should expect to see Jericho do everything possible in an attempt to make his young, up-and-coming opponent look like a star, all the while trying to steal the show out from underneath those involved in the main event.
Even if that means tacking on another loss to his unimpressive WrestleMania record.
Fandango Dances on Biggest Stage for the Very First Time
Sunday not only marks Fandango's in-ring debut, it marks the performer's first appearance at WrestleMania.
The pressure put on performers at WrestleMania is tremendous. Imagine playing your first game in the World Series or the Super Bowl. How about the Stanley Cup Final or game seven of the NBA Finals? That is the type of situation Fandango steps into when he takes to the ring inside Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
All eyes will be on him. The critics will be ready to pounce on him, unleashing their verbal venom if he fails to live up to the moment.
On the other hand, if he does not let the pressure that comes with the glitz, glamour and pandemonium of WrestleMania detract him from delivering a solid performance, he may end up the recipient of a push few would have expected.
First-Time Winners...and Losers
Speaking of first-time performers at WrestleMania...
Appearing on your first WrestleMania card does not necessarily guarantee you a win.
Or a loss for that matter.
In the first 28 years worth of WrestleMania events, Superstars performing at their first "Showcase of the Immortals" have amassed a win-loss record of 139-133-7.
Sunday night, while most signs point to Fandango winning his first match in order to build the character to the future, statistically, there is only a slightly better chance of that happening than not.
When taking into account Chris Jericho's less-than-stellar win-loss record, the odds shift ever-so-slightly more in the direction of the ballroom dancing newcomer.
Fandango Has Never Faced Someone Like Jericho
As Johnny Curtis, Fandango competed against the likes of Derrick Bateman, Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, Yoshi Tatsu, Ted DiBiase, Zack Ryder and Percy Watson.
Add all of those men's credentials up and you do not have a fraction of what Chris Jericho has accomplished in the professional wrestling industry. He has collected more championships than Fandango has wrestling moves and has performed all over the world.
Jericho is a veteran of the big-match situation and will not be intimidated by the big stage and bright lights that come with a Wrestlemania match. The fact that Y2J is in the match, alone, guarantees heightened expectations.
In his first match under the new character, Fandango will be tasked with performing up to the level of one of the all-time great in-ring performers.
Fandango's Performance Could Mean Life or Death for the Character
WWE management has placed a great deal of trust into the Fandango character, a character that Vince McMahon is reportedly said to already have affection for. They have given him a number of pre-debut hype packages, a grand entrance and a WrestleMania opponent the caliber of Chris Jericho.
The table has been set for dinner and it will be Fandango's responsibility to deliver the groceries. And, like any dinner, missing groceries makes for a disappointing meal.
If Fandango fails to perform up to the moment, to excel on the biggest stage any professional wrestler encounters, then his days in World Wrestling Entertainment may not last long. Everything has been prepared for him to succeed. There are a number of talented Superstars that will watch from the locker room area, envious of everything Fandango has had handed to him since the character change, so failing to capitalize on the opportunity he has been given will create doubt in management and among his peers.
There are very few performers that will enter Met Life Stadium on Sunday night with more pressure on them than Fandango. Succeed, and you are a made Superstar, one who will likely receive a major push and may very well be the breakout star of the next year.
Fail, and your stay with the world's top sports entertainment company could be a limited one.
Wrestling fans will find out what kind of performer Fandango is Sunday night and whether he will be able to dance his way to bigger and better things in the near future.