Fandango recalls Vince McMahon producing his ballroom dancing vignettes for one very specific reason.
Appearing as a guest on the Rewind Recap Relive podcast, the former WWE Superstar spoke about the debut of his dancer character in 2012, and how Vince McMahon rented out a ballroom in New York City to film the teasers. An expensive proposition, McMahon apparently had no problem scrapping the footage and producing the clips himself when he didn't like the way Fandango said his own name.
"We actually filmed a whole — Vince [McMahon] paid to rent out the whole Highline Ballroom, dance ballroom in New York City. We went there and filmed vignettes for a couple days and there’s this super expensive set and he didn’t like the way I said ‘Fandango’, so he scrapped the whole thing and he came and produced the vignettes himself. So me not pronouncing the name the way he thought in his mind actually turned into a gimmick, into a shtick that we did on TV," Fandango said.
Fandango has spoken before about how he didn't want to be a dancer but also revealed here that the gimmick wasn't even originally intended for himself. He said the following:
"Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins, they were slated to be — they actually debuted on SmackDown briefly in 2012 as dancers. I don’t know if you remember that. They would come out as firefighters. They’re essentially strippers and… it was brief. I think they briefly debuted in early or mid-Summer of 2012 and Gabe [Gabbi Tuft/Tyler Reks], who’s a friend of mine, Tyler Reks, he left the company so Curt Hawkins was left with the gimmick and then Curt, Brian Myers, Brian Majors went to the office and said, ‘Hey, what about Johnny Curtis?’ He’s not doing anything on TV right now’ and they go, ‘Yeah, that’s a great idea’ and then they came up to me and they go, ‘We’re gonna have you do the dancing gimmick. Hawkins is out.’ I go, ‘Alright’ and then I go up to Hawkins because I’m like, ‘Dude, I’m sorry bro.’ He didn’t really wanna do it anyways, but he’s smart. He grew up around the business. He knows if they have an idea for you, you’re not gonna say no because you can make some money with it but he’s like, ‘Dude don’t worry about it. I didn’t wanna do it that much anyways’ so, they sent me to dance school in Houston for a couple months."
Fandango, who was signed by WWE in 2006, was released by the company on June 25, 2021, along with his longtime tag team partner, Tyler Breeze.
h/t to Andrew Thompson and POST Wrestling for the transcription.