Inside The Ropes released a video of Chris Jericho talking about Vince McMahon’s decision to book him in a match against Fandango at WrestleMania 29 in 2013.
Jericho was hoping to fight Ryback on that card, because Ryback’s popularity was through the roof. Jericho saw him as a guy who could possibly go after the Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak at some point, and a match against a star of that caliber was very appealing to him. But Vince McMahon instead decided to place Chris in a match against an evil ballroom dancer.
Y2J explains that he knew Vince McMahon didn’t like male dancers. After Jericho did Dancing with the Stars, Vince asked him what the male dancers were like, and McMahon found it hard to believe that women could be attracted to them. So it wasn’t surprising to Jericho that Vince’s innate suspicion would translate to an evil ballroom dancer character in WWE.
Jericho saw the Fandango gimmick as a flop and so he didn’t want to wrestle him. He countered Vince’s idea by suggesting a match against Wade Barrett for the Intercontinental championship. Jericho explains that McMahon wanted nothing to do with that concept:
“What about Wade Barrett?...I’m a nine time Intercontinental champion. I could go for my tenth victory. The record-breaking tenth Intercontinental championship. He goes, ‘Oh, nobody cares about the fucking Intercontinental championship.’
And I said, ‘But they don’t care about Fandango either.’ And he goes, ‘That’s your job, is to make them care.’ ...So I hung up on him. I hung up on my billionaire boss because I wasn’t happy with what he wanted me to do.”
Jericho finishes the story by explaining that Undertaker talked some sense into him about the importance of doing what McMahon wanted, whether it’s fighting against a top star like Shawn Michaels, or dealing with a terrible worker like Nathan Jones. So Jericho tried his best to make the Fandango story work, and he claims that he received the same payoff for a low card match against Fandango at WrestleMania 29 as he did in the WWE championship match against CM Punk one year earlier at WrestleMania 28.
It’s worth noting that Jericho is essentially putting on a show in the above video, so there is potential for hyperbole for the sake of telling an entertaining story.
But is it really that hard to believe that Vince McMahon thinks male ballroom dancers are evil, and that nobody cares about the Intercontinental championship?