Fandango (wrestler)

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Fandango
Fandango2 in April 2016.jpg
Fandango in April 2016
Birth name Curtis Jonathan Hussey
Born (1981-07-22) July 22, 1981 (age 37)
Standish, Maine, United States
Residence Tampa, Florida, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Fandango[1][2]
Johnny Curtis[2][3]
Jonathan[3]
The Portuguese Sundragon[2]
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)[1]
Billed weight 244 lb (111 kg)[1]
Billed from Boston, Massachusetts[4]
Westbrook, Maine[5]
Trained by Killer Kowalski[2]
Deep South Wrestling[2]
Bill DeMott[2]
Florida Championship Wrestling[2]
Lewis Hotchin
Debut September 1999[2]

Curtis Jonathan Hussey[6][7] (born July 22, 1981)[8] is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE on the WWE Raw brand, where he performs under the ring name Fandango. He is currently inactive due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder, which will require surgery. [9]

Hussey began his professional wrestling career in 1999. He worked for several promotions beginning in September 1999. He competed in several Independent promotions in New England, winning the PLW New England Championship, the PWF Northeast Tag Team Championship with Kenn Phoenix on more than one occasion, the PWF Northeast Heavyweight Championship, NCW New England Championship, the Tag Team Championship with Damian Houston, and the SCCW Lightweight Championship.

In 2006, Hussey signed a development contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), WWE's developmental territory.[2] He was then moved to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in June 2008, where he won the Florida Tag Team Championship on more than one occasion with Tyler Reks and Derrick Bateman.[2] In December 2010, he competed in the fourth season of NXT as Johnny Curtis, and he eventually won the competition in March 2011.[5][10]

In 2013, Hussey re-debuted as Fandango. In April 2013, WWE audience members started singing and dancing to his entrance music, which rose substantially on the iTunes charts and generated coverage in mainstream media.[11]

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (1999–2006)

Hussey trained under Killer Kowalski and debuted in September 1999. He wrestled for various independent promotions in the New England area over the next few years. He competed in Power League Wrestling (PLW) from 2000 until 2003, during which time he won the PLW New England Championship.[3] He held the championship, after defeating Chris Blackheart at Power-fest 2002, from May 19, 2002 until May 18, 2003.[3][12]

He also competed in the Premier Wrestling Federation during this time, and he teamed with Kenn Phoenix to win the PWF Northeast Tag Team Championship from Fuzion (Mike Paiva and Blade) on October 28, 2002.[13] They held the championship until November 15, when they were defeated by Paiva and Kid Mikaze.[13] Now known as The Talent Exchange, Hussey and Phoenix won a three-way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to win the championship again on February 15, 2003.[13] They held the championship until April 4, when Phoenix and Dean Ripley, The Talent Exchange's manager (who had been forced to participate in the match instead of an absent Hussey), lost the championship to the Storm Brothers.[13] He also wrestled for NWA: Total Nonstop Action (NWA-TNA), Chaotic Wrestling, and NWA Wildside.[14]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE

Deep South Wrestling (2006–2008)

Hussey as Johnny Curtis in Deep South Wrestling (DSW)

In 2006, Curtis signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was subsequently assigned to the Deep South Wrestling (DSW) developmental territory. Curtis made his debut for the territory on November 9, where he lost to David Heath.[2] After losing consistently over the next several weeks, Curtis scored his first victory in DSW as he and Robert Anthony defeated The Headliners (Shawn Shultz and Chris Michaels) on February 15, 2007.[2] Curtis continued to team with Anthony and after winning a few more matches, the team faced the DSW Tag Team Champions Team Elite (Mike Knox and Derick Neikirk) in a match for the championship on March 15, but they were unable to win the title.[2] Curtis then became a singles competitor once again and after losing two matches, he won his final match in DSW by defeating Frankie Coverdale on April 12.[2]

Florida Championship Wrestling (2008–2010)

After WWE severed ties with DSW, Curtis and all the other talent in DSW were transferred over to the newly established Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in June. On June 26, Curtis made his FCW debut as he defeated former tag team partner Robert Anthony.[2] After mixed success as a singles and tag team wrestler, Curtis defeated Chris Gray on December 18 to become the number one contender for the FCW Southern Heavyweight Championship.[2] On January 8, 2008, he wrestled Ted DiBiase, Jr. for the championship, but lost the match.[2] On September 18, Curtis made an appearance at the SmackDown/ECW tapings, where he defeated Armando Estrada in a dark match.[2]

On December 11, 2008, Curtis teamed with Tyler Reks to defeat The New Hart Foundation (DH Smith and TJ Wilson) for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship.[15] The team of Curtis and Reks proved to be successful, and they retained the championship on several occasions.[2] After beginning a feud with Caylen Croft and Trent Beretta, Curtis and Reks retained the title against them on a few different occasions before finally losing the title to Croft and Beretta on April 30, 2009 after Curtis didn't appear for the title defense, leaving Reks to wrestle alone.[15]

After Reks was called up to WWE's main roster, Curtis renamed himself Jonathan Curtis and became a villain. The two then faced off for Reks' Florida Heavyweight Championship on June 25, but Curtis was unable to win the title.[2] On July 2, Curtis wrestled in a triple threat match for the FCW Florida Championship also involving Alex Riley, what but was again unsuccessful as Reks retained the title.[16] Soon afterwards, Curtis reverted his ring name to Johnny Curtis.[17]

Beginning in 2010, Curtis began competing at house shows for the Raw brand, with his first match being a loss to Evan Bourne on January 8.[16] After losing several matches to both Bourne and Paul Burchill at house shows, Curtis wrestled his first dark match, which he lost to Kung Fu Naki on the January 19 episode of ECW.[16]

On August 12, 2010, Curtis teamed with Derrick Bateman to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship by defeating the team of Donny Marlow and Brodus Clay and the defending champions, Los Aviadores (Hunico and Epico) in a three-way tag team match.[15][18] After a near three-month reign, Curtis and Bateman lost the championship to Wes Brisco and Xavier Woods on November 4.

NXT (2010–2012)

Curtis in action against Percy Watson at a WWE event

Curtis was part of the fourth season, with R-Truth as his mentor.[10][19] He made his in-ring debut on the season premiere on December 7 episode of NXT, defeating fellow rookie Jacob Novak in singles competition.[20] The following week, Curtis was unsuccessful in the "Karaoke" challenge, but was successful in the "Obstacle Course" challenge, earning points towards immunity from elimination.[21] On the December 21 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Wheelbarrow Race" challenge, and suffered his first loss in a rematch to Jacob Novak.[22] Curtis was then defeated by pro Dolph Ziggler on the December 28 episode of NXT, and afterwards won both the "Power of the Punch" challenge and a "Talent Show" contest. On the January 4, 2011 episode of NXT, Curtis was defeated in singles competition by Brodus Clay. It was later revealed that he was immune from elimination that week.[23][24] On the next week of NXT, Curtis lost both the "Slingshot Challenge" and the "Superstar Password" challenge, and competed in singles competition defeating pro Ted DiBiase after a failed interference by his rookie Brodus Clay.[25] Curtis was unsuccessful in the "How Well Do You Know Your WWE Pro?" challenge on the January 18 episode of NXT, and was safe from elimination that week.[26] On the January 25 episode of NXT, Curtis was unsuccessful in the "Out-think the Fink" challenge, and competed in a fatal four-way match with Brodus Clay, Derrick Bateman, and Byron Saxton with Clay winning the match.[27][28]

On the February 1 episode of NXT, Curtis won an "Arm Wrestling" challenge, but was unsuccessful in the "Talk the Talk" challenge, and also lost in a tag team match along with R-Truth against Derrick Bateman and Daniel Bryan.[29] On the next week of NXT, Curtis was unsuccessful in a "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Rookies" challenge, "WWE.com" challenge, and in singles competition against Brodus Clay.[30] On the February 15 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Smash and Grab" challenge and the "Save Your Trivia" challenge.[31] Curtis was then successful in the "Grace Under Pressure Physical" challenge and in a triple threat match against Derrick Bateman and Johnny Curtis.[32] During the season finale on March 1, Curtis was declared the winner of NXT, defeating Brodus Clay in the final.[33]

After various dark matches, Curtis debuted on SmackDown on the June 3 episode in a bizarre backstage promo where he said that his promised tag team title shot was "not going to happen" in light of R-Truth's recent villainous turn.[5] He then began to sarcastically cry and proceeded to pour milk onto a plate and then over his head, in reference to the saying "don't cry over spilled milk".[34] After weeks of backstage promos playing on words,[35][36] Curtis made his SmackDown in-ring debut on the August 12 episode, being squashed by Mark Henry in less than a minute,[37] which was his only non-battle royal match on SmackDown in 2011.[38]

Curtis then made his return to the fifth season of NXT as a heel on November 2.[39] Curtis turned his attentions to wooing Maxine, whom he had formerly dated, and therefore ignited a feud with Maxine's storyline fiancé, Derrick Bateman.[40][41] As the weeks passed, Bateman and Maxine ultimately broke up as Maxine gave a kiss to Curtis on the December 28 episode of NXT Redemption, thus solidifying their relationship. On the January 4, 2012, episode of NXT Redemption, Curtis and Maxine revealed that they would marry in two weeks time in Las Vegas during Bateman's match with Darren Young. On 100th episode of NXT, Derrick Bateman interrupted Curtis and Maxine's wedding ceremony. Derrick showed a clip of Curtis sending a message on Bateman's iPad to Teddy Long (Maxine had dumped Bateman because he had allegedly sent a message to Long saying he didn't need Maxine and wanted to leave her on NXT whilst he had a chance at getting a contract on Smackdown). Maxine then slapped Curtis and reunited with Bateman once again after finding out that it wasn't true. Curtis then started to use his new catchphrase "Let's Get Weird" which was also printed on his trunks. In the next weeks, Maxine dumped Bateman for Curtis again. On the March 14 episode of NXT Redemption, Curtis and Maxine were defeated in a mixed tag team match against Derrick Bateman and Kaitlyn, who kissed at the end of the match, solidifying their relationship to the annoyance of Maxine.[42]

After William Regal was appointed as NXT's authority figure, Maxine enlisted Curtis' help to allow her to get close to Regal. On the March 21 episode of NXT Redemption, Maxine and Curtis knocked out Matt Striker with chloroform so that Maxine could join Regal on commentary. However, Striker was then kidnapped (kayfabe) by unknown persons,[43] later revealed to be Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks, who intended to blackmail Curtis and Maxine into using Maxine's charms to get Regal to leave Hawkins and Reks alone.[44] Striker was rescued by Bateman and Kaitlyn on the April 11 episode of "NXT Redemption". On April 18, William Regal forced Maxine to sign a contract as Curtis's manager if the two still wanted to be employed to NXT and then handcuffed them together.[45] On the May 9 episode of NXT Redemption, Regal allowed Curtis and Maxine to be uncuffed.[46][47]

For the rest of 2012, Curtis formed an occasional tag team with Michael McGillicutty.[48] On the final episode of the fifth season of NXT on June 13, Curtis teamed with McGillicutty but lost to the Usos.[49] After the conclusion of the fifth season of NXT, NXT transitioned into the renamed Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory.[50] Curtis continued appearing on NXT,[51] where at the October 11 tapings[52] (which aired on November 28) Curtis finally received his tag team title shot from winning season four of NXT,[53] when he teamed up with McGillicutty in a loss to champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).[54]

Championship pursuits (2012–2014)

At the October 23, 2012 SmackDown taping, Hussey debuted a new ballroom dancer character named Fandango in a dark match, with vignettes for the character airing by November.[55] After months of promotional videos, the character of Fandango debuted on the March 1, 2013 episode of SmackDown.[56] As part of his act, Fandango was portrayed as fussy, flamboyant, and sultry-voiced.[57] He was also accompanied by a female dance partner, mostly by a dark-haired and unnamed Andrea Lynn (a real-life dancer and college student) and later Summer Rae, a developmental wrestler.[58]

Fandango and Summer Rae

Despite his debut, Fandango refused to wrestle his first match on numerous occasions because the ring announcers and his opponents could not pronounce "Fandango" to his satisfaction.[59][60][61][62][63] On the March 18 episode of Raw, Chris Jericho mispronounced Fandango's name intentionally and repeatedly to start Fandango's first feud.[64][65][66] At WrestleMania 29, Fandango defeated Jericho in his first match.[67] Fandango wrestled in his first Raw match against Kofi Kingston the following night. Despite Fandango being a heel and winning via disqualification from Chris Jericho attacking him, he still received an enthusiastic ovation from the live audience as they boisterously sang his theme music and created a dance for it as well.[68] Not only did this take place during and shortly after his encounter,[69] but it also took place long after the show itself.[70] The song became an overnight hit as many fans took to iTunes to buy the single, causing it to gain considerable momentum and move from #175 to #11 in one day on the UK chart, before settling at #44 by the week's end. In spite of the phenomenon which WWE labelled as "Fandango-ing", the Fandango character continued to insult audiences.[71][72] At Extreme Rules, Fandango was defeated by Jericho in a rematch to end their feud.[73] Fandango moved on to a three-way feud for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against champion Wade Barrett and fellow challenger The Miz.[74] Days later, Fandango distracted Miz by dancing at ringside while Miz was wrestling Barrett; then he attacked Miz, resulting in Miz gaining a disqualification win over Barrett.[75] Fandango later pinned Barrett in a non-title match after Miz, who was the special guest referee, attacked Barrett.[76] A triple threat match for the Intercontinental title was set for Payback which Fandango was booked to win. However, he suffered a legitimate concussion during a SmackDown taping against Zack Ryder in June and was removed from the match.[77][78][79] His replacement, Curtis Axel, won the match and the championship.[80]

Fandango in November 2013

Fandango returned on the July 1 Raw, losing to Sheamus via count-out.[81] At the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Fandango competed in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but was unsuccessful as the match was won by Damien Sandow.[82] On the September 2 episode of Raw, Fandango had his nose broken during a match against The Miz, which he lost.[83] Fandango then lost a dance contest to The Miz, which also involved R-Truth and The Great Khali, as well as losing another match to him at Night of Champions. His losing streak came to and end on the September 16 Raw, where he defeated R-Truth. At Hell in a Cell, Fandango and Summer Rae defeated Natalya and The Great Khali in a mixed tag team match.[84] On the December 23 Raw, Fandango defeated Dolph Ziggler in a "Present on a Pole match" to earn a WWE Intercontinental Championship match against Big E Langston the following week, however he was ultimately defeated.[85] On the March 3 episode of Raw, Fandango and Summer Rae lost to Emma and Santino in a mixed tag team match, when Emma once again made Rae submit.[86]

Various storylines (2014–2016)

At Wrestlemania XXX, Fandango competed in the "André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal" match in a losing effort.[87] The following night on Raw, Fandango and Summer Rae were once again defeated by Emma and Marella in a mixed tag team match, with Emma making Rae submit.[88] The following week, Layla replaced Summer Rae as Fandango's dancer and valet, and quickly became embroiled in a feud with Emma and Santino Marella.[89][90][91] Rae returned on May 19, attacking Layla.[92] On the July 11 episode of Smackdown, Fandango lost to Adam Rose by countout after Summer Rae started attacking Layla. Later, he got a kiss from both women and started dancing, leading to both women attacking him and dancing together. Layla and Summer Rae went on to cause Fandango numerous losses on WWE television.

After months of absence, Fandango returned with Rosa Mendes as his new dance partner to compete in the pre-show match at Survivor Series, defeating Justin Gabriel with a salsa dancer gimmick and new theme music.[93] Fandango participated in the Royal Rumble match, in which he was eliminated by Rusev.

On the April 13 episode of Raw, after losing to Stardust, Fandango brought back his old theme and dance and dissolved his relationship with Mendes, turning face in the process for the first time since 2010. Mendes then cost Fandango a match against Adam Rose, joining his "Exotic Express" and sparking a short feud between Fandango and Rose. Fandango earned the majority of victories between the two over the next few weeks on television and at house shows, ending the feud in mid-2015. Fandango then appeared on Superstars and Main Event, defeating the likes of Adam Rose and Heath Slater. Fandango suffered a loss to Rusev on the episode of Main Event on August 17.

On the March 21, 2016 episode of Raw, Fandango faced Chris Jericho in a losing effort. At WrestleMania 32, Fandango was the first participant to be eliminated from the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

Breezango (2016–present)

On the April 14 episode of SmackDown, Fandango teamed with Goldust in the WWE Tag Team Championship #1 contenders tournament, replacing R-Truth; the two were defeated by The Vaudevillains in the first round. On the May 12 episode of SmackDown, a match pitting Fandango and Goldust against R-Truth and Tyler Breeze ended in a no-contest when Fandango and Breeze turned on their partners who had refused to fight each other. Fandango aligned with Breeze,[94] adopting the name Breezango". The new team defeated Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth) a week later on Raw[95] but lost a rematch at the Money in the Bank, ending the feud.[96] Breezango defeated the Usos on July 24 at Battleground after being drafted to SmackDown.[97][98] On August 2 episode of SmackDown, Fandango was defeated by Randy Orton via disqualification when Brock Lesnar attacked Randy Orton with a F-5.[99] At SummerSlam, Breezango unsuccessfully competed in a 12-man tag team match. In the SmackDown Tag Team Championship tournament, they were eliminated in the first round by American Alpha.

On the November 8 episode of SmackDown, Breezango defeated The Vaudevillains to qualify for Team SmackDown for the 10–on–10 Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination match at Survivor Series; they were the first team eliminated from the match, which was ultimately won by Team Raw. During this time, Breezango began to refer themselves as "fashion police". On April 2, 2017, at WrestleMania 33, Fandango, along with Breeze, took part in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

On the April 25 episode of SmackDown, Breezango defeated The Ascension in a Beat the Clock challenge match, becoming number one contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship at Backlash. During the feud, Breezango turned face in the process. At Backlash, Breezango unsuccessfully challenged The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. On the May 23 episode of SmackDown, after Fandango and Breeze defeated Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in singles matches, Breezango challenged The Usos for the titles that same night, but were once again unsuccessful. At Money in the Bank (2017), Breezango defeated The Ascension.

Breezango lost to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn on the Survivor Series (2017) Preshow and to The Bludgeon Brothers at the Clash of Champions (2017). They also lost rematches on the December 26 and January 2 episodes of Smackdown. During the latter, The Ascension tried to save them from a beat down by the Bludgeon Brothers. On the January 9 episode of Smackdown, Breezango defeated Rusev and Aiden English. On the Fastlane (2018) Preshow, Breezango and Tye Dillinger defeated Mojo Rawley, Chad Gable, and Shelton Benjamin in a six man tag team match. On the March 21 episode of SmackDown, Fandango lost to John Cena. On the April 3 episode of Smackdown, Breezango, Tye Dillinger and Zack Ryder defeated Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, Mojo Rawley and Primo Colón. At WrestleMania 34, Fandango competed in the André the Giant Battle Royal.

During the 2018 Superstar Shake-Up, Breezango were drafted to Raw. On the April 16 edition of Raw, they defeated Cesaro and Sheamus. On July 6, 2018 it was reported that Fandango has suffered a Left Labrum tear in his shoulder and that he could be out of action for six months.

Personal life

Hussey lives in Portland, Maine. He is a fan of video gaming and the Final Fantasy series, especially Final Fantasy XIII. He supports the Boston Red Sox. Some of his hobbies include skateboarding and collecting skateboard decks; he also owns over 300 videotapes of past WWE, WCW, and ECW shows that he recorded as a teenager. In the summer of 2013, he acquired a half sleeve tattoo on his legs, featuring his favorite bands. He cites Shawn Michaels as his inspiration to become a wrestler. He is of Irish descent on his mother's side of the family.

Other media

Web

Year Title Role Notes
2015 Swerved Himself 3 episodes
2017 Southpaw Regional Wrestling Chet Chetterfield 8 episodes
2017 Superstar Ink Himself

Video games

Hussey is a playable character in several video games: WWE 2K14 (as a downloadable character), WWE 2K15, WWE 2K16, WWE 2K17 and WWE 2K18.

Championships and accomplishments

References

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External links

  • Fandango on WWE.com
  • Fandango on Facebook
  • Fandango on Twitter
  • Fandango's profile at Cagematch.net
  • Johnny Curtis on IMDb
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