The Fandango character we've come to know and love, or at least appreciate, wasn't actually designed to be a ballroom dancer with some serious eye candy hanging off his arm. No, the original idea was for the man playing Fandango now to use his initial stage name, Johnny Curtis, and work a male stripper gimmick.
They even started using him in dark matches and segments that were getting mixed reviews by fans. It didn't go over well enough to stick around and changes were made to what we see now.
Hence, Fandango, the cocky dancer.
One would think this to be a bad thing but, as many of his contemporaries have openly stated, the fact that Fandango plays the character with as much dedication as he does means he's far more likely to get over and stay over.
In an interview with The Hartford Advocate, he talked about the creation of the gimmick and what he thinks he can do with it.
"Initially, Vince McMahon had an idea of a male stripper. We kind of did that in a few dark matches as simply Johnny Curtis. I think they saw it and realized real quick that it's a little risky. It was Fandango a little more sexy, a little not quite PG. Vince had an idea to do the ballroom thing, and I embraced it, man. Thing is, if you can play a hard character, a real complicated character like this or The Undertaker - anything that's really far out there - I think you can make money with it if you really embrace it, you know what I'm saying? If you just go into it not really into it, people are going to see right through it and see just a guy playing a character. I'm like, 'This is an opportunity I've been waiting for for 13, 14 years. I either gotta really embrace this thing or just go back to working for EWA in Maine making 50 bucks a night."
On the one hand, it must have been terrible to have saddled with such a gimmick despite such natural talent and a great look to go with it. On the other, there are no small parts, only small actors.
Or something like that.
Fandango has proven he can be a viable entity on WWE television every week but the question now becomes whether or not he has staying power. He brought up Undertaker, a legend of the industry who has been rocking a "Deadman" gimmick since 1990, save for a couple year stint as a badass biker.
Does anyone think we'll see Fandango doing his thing years and years from now?