Big Gamble on Fandango Paying Off; He's 2013's Daniel Bryan

Justin LaBarFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Go ahead and hum it. DO DO, DO-DO DO DO DO, DO-DO-DO, DO DO DO-DO DO DO DO...― that's the sound of a big gamble paying off.

For weeks I said Fandango making his in-ring television debut at WrestleMania was the biggest gamble WWE's ever made with one superstar. Yes, the guy who plays the character has been in television matches but not the character. An extremely unique character at that. Plus, we didn't see much of Johnny Curtis on television in the ring so there isn't much to lean on there anyways.

Fandango is right there with Dolph Ziggler as one of the big winners from WrestleMania week. He earned his keep in his match with Chris Jericho. The ending was a little off because of Fandango's positioning. He wasn't supposed to be as close to the ropes as he was. They called a quick audible and made it all work.

There was no “you can't wrestle” chants or lack of interest. When Fandango came out at MetLife Stadium, I looked around and there was no mad rush up the steps to hit the bathroom or concession stands like there was for Diddy's performance. Attention was locked to the ring to see if this was going to flop or not.

In my lifetime of my grandfather working as a promoter when I was a boy, always being a fan and now working in pro wrestling as it pays the bills―I've been to over 500 wrestling shows ranging from the lowest of independent shows to having been to what I consider the greatest WrestleMania ever in 2001 for WrestleMania 17. Monday night at the Izod Center for WWE Raw was one of the most incredible things I've ever experienced.

Now, there is a handicap as the New York/New Jersey crowds are known of being the best. They just are. However, it still didn't take away how incredible 17,000 strong were in the middle of a match with two top stars in Sheamus and Randy Orton that the whole building is humming and dancing to Fandango's theme music.

Are 17,000 humming it because Fandango is all the sudden their favorite wrestler? Likely no. They were doing it because it's catchy, funny and, yes, they do now respect the Fandango character enough because he's finally having matches and growing before our eyes.

After Raw, John Cena's first words when addressing the crowd in his quick speech to send everyone home was, “Fandango's music, really?” He said WWE likes to end with music to send everyone home but instead he wanted the fans to make the music. The entire crowd continued their humming and Cena did his best ballroom dancing as he left.

Fandango is here to stay. After WrestleMania 28, there was another performer who overnight became as relevant as any based around the chants from the audience. It was the “Yes” chants of Daniel Bryan, and this past year worked out pretty well for him.