Fandango (wrestler)

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"Johnny Curtis" redirects here. For the Native American musician, see Johnny P. Curtis.
Fandango
FAN-DAN.GO.jpg
Fandango on SmackDown in November 2013.
Birth name Curtis Jonathan Hussey
Born (1981-07-22) July 22, 1981 (age 33)
Standish, Maine
Resides Tampa, Florida
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Fandango[1]
Jonathan[2]
Johnny Curtis[2][3]
Jonathan Curtis[3]
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[3]
Deep South Wrestling[3]
Bill DeMott[3]
Florida Championship Wrestling[3]
Lewis Hotchin
Debut September 1999[3]

Curtis Jonathan "Curt" Hussey (born July 22, 1981),[6] is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Fandango.

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.[3] 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.[3] In December 2010, he competed in the fourth season of NXT as Johnny Curtis, and he eventually won the competition in March 2011.[5][7]

In 2013, Hussey re-debuted as Fandango. In April, WWE audience members started singing and dancing to his entrance music, which rose substantially on iTunes charts and generated much hype in mainstream media.[8][9]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1999-2003)[edit]

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.[2] He held the championship from May 19, 2002 until May 18, 2003.[2][10]

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.[11] They held the championship until November 15, when they were defeated by Paiva and Kid Mikaze.[11] 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.[11] 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.[11] He also wrestled for NWA: TNA, Chaotic Wrestling, and NWA Wildside.[12]

World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE[edit]

Deep South Wrestling (2006–2008)[edit]

Hussey as Johnny Curtis, training in WWE farm territory.

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.[3] 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.[3] 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.[3] 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.[3]

Florida Championship Wrestling (2008–2010)[edit]

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.[3] 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 Southern Heavyweight Championship.[3] On January 8, 2008, he wrestled Ted DiBiase, Jr. for the championship, but lost the match.[3] On September 18, Curtis made an appearance at the SmackDown/ECW tapings, where he defeated Armando Estrada in a dark match.[3]

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.[13] The team of Curtis and Reks proved to be successful, and they retained the championship on several occasions.[3] 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.[13]

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.[3] 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.[14] Soon afterwards, Curtis reverted his ring name to Johnny Curtis.[15]

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.[14][unreliable source] 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.[14]

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.[13][16] After a near three-month reign, Curtis and Bateman lost the championship to Wes Brisco and Xavier Woods on November 4.

NXT (2010–2012)[edit]

Curtis in action against Percy Watson at a WWE event.

Curtis was part of the fourth season, with R-Truth as his mentor.[7][17] He made his in-ring debut on the season premiere on December 7 episode of NXT, defeating fellow rookie Jacob Novak in singles competition.[18] The following week, Curtis was unsuccessful in the "Karaoke" challenge, but was successful in the "Obstacle Course" challenge, earning points towards immunity from elimination.[19] On the December 21 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Wheelbarrow Race" challenge, and suffered his first loss in a rematch to Jacob Novak.[20] 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 announced that he would be immune from elimination that week.[21][22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25][26]

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.[27] 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.[28] On the February 15 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Smash and Grab" challenge and the "Save Your Trivia" challenge.[29] Curtis was then successful in the "Grace Under Pressure Physical" challenge and in a triple threat match against Derrick Bateman and Johnny Curtis.[30] During the season finale on March 1, Curtis was declared the winner of NXT, defeating Brodus Clay in the final.[31]

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".[32] After weeks of backstage promos playing on words,[33][34] Curtis made his SmackDown in-ring debut on the August 12 episode, being squashed by Mark Henry in less than a minute,[35] which was his only non-battle royal match on SmackDown in 2011.[36]

Curtis then made his return to the fifth season of NXT as a heel on November 2.[37] Curtis turned his attentions to wooing Maxine, whom he had formerly dated, and therefore ignited a feud with Maxine's storyline fiancé, Derrick Bateman.[38][39] As the weeks passed, Bateman and Maxine ultimately broke up as Maxine gave a kiss to Curtis on the December 28 edition of NXT Redemption, thus solidifying their relationship. On the January 4, 2012 edition of NXT Redemption, Curtis and Maxine announced 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.[40]

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,[41] 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.[42] Striker was rescued by Bateman and Kaitlyn on the April 11 episode of "NXT Redemption". On April 18, William Regal announced that if Curtis and Maxine still wanted to be employed to NXT, they would have to sign a contract stating that Maxine is Curtis's manager. Following the contract signing, Regal would then handcuffed them together.[43] On the May 9 episode of NXT Redemption, Regal allowed Curtis and Maxine to be uncuffed.[44][45]

For the rest of 2012, Curtis formed an occasional tag team with Michael McGillicutty.[46] On the final episode of the fifth season of NXT on June 13, Curtis teamed with McGillicutty but lost to the Usos.[47] After the conclusion of the fifth season of NXT, NXT transitioned into the renamed Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory.[48] Curtis continued appearing on NXT,[49] where at the October 11 tapings[50] (which aired on November 28) Curtis finally received his tag team title shot from winning season four of NXT,[51] when he teamed up with McGillicutty in a loss to champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).[52]

Fandango (2012–present)[edit]

At the October 23, 2012, SmackDown taping, Hussey debuted a new ballroom dancer gimmick named "Fandango" in a dark match, with vignettes for the character following by November.[53] After months of vignettes hyping the introduction of Fandango, he finally debuted on the March 1, 2013 episode of SmackDown.[54] As part of his act, Fandango was portrayed as fussy, flamboyant, sultry-voiced and accompanied by a female dance partner, mostly by a dark-haired and unnamed Andrea Lynn (a real-life dancer and college student) in the beginning and later Summer Rae (a developmental wrestler).[55][56] When Fandango was scheduled to have his first on-air match against Zack Ryder, he refused to do so because backstage interviewer Matt Striker couldn't pronounce "Fandango" to his liking. Fandango said that he would début once Striker got it right.[57] A similar occurrence happened on the March 4 episode of Raw when Fandango refused to compete against Kofi Kingston due to Justin Roberts "mispronouncing" his name according to Fandango.[58] This scenario repeated itself on numerous occasions with Justin Gabriel, Tensai, and The Great Khali as neither the ring announcers or his opponents could pronounce his name to his satisfaction.[59][60][61]

Fandango and Summer Rae

On the March 18 episode of Raw, Fandango had a run-in with Chris Jericho in a backstage segment, where Jericho mispronounced Fandango's name intentionally, blatantly, and repeatedly so.[62] Four days later on SmackDown, Fandango interfered in Jericho's match against Jack Swagger and attacked him afterwards, starting a feud between the two.[63] Three days later on Raw, Jericho attacked Fandango before his début match, causing Fandango to flee the ring. However, Fandango returned and attacked Jericho again after Jericho was first attacked by Big E Langston.[64] Fandango finally wrestled his debut match on April 7 at Wrestlemania 29, defeating Jericho.[65]

Fandango wrestled in his first Raw match against Kofi Kingston the following night. Despite Fandango being a heel wrestler 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.[66] Not only did this take place during and shortly after his encounter,[67] but it also took place long after the show itself.[68] 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.[9] On the April 12 episode of SmackDown, Fandango was present at ringside for Chris Jericho's match against Dolph Ziggler, which Ziggler won after Jericho was distracted by Fandango and Big E Langston. After the match, Fandango attacked Jericho once again.[69] On the April 15 episode of Raw, Fandango was interviewed by Jerry Lawler, who wanted him to address the "Fandango revolution" that had taken effect the previous week.[70] Fandango simply stated that he was dissatisfied by the live audience and their attempts at "Fandangoeing" and because of this, refused them anymore of his presence.[71] At Extreme Rules, Fandango was defeated by Jericho in a rematch to end their feud.[72] The following night on Raw, Fandango and Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett were defeated by Jericho and The Miz in a tag team match after Fandango left the match to dance with Summer Rae at ringside and Miz submitted Barrett with the Figure-Four Leglock.[73] Four days later on SmackDown, Barrett warned Fandango to never cross his path again or there would be trouble. Fandango then did the same thing at ringside during the Intercontinental Championship between Barrett and Miz and eventually interfered, which lead to Barrett attacking Fandango and Miz post-match.[74] During the next episode of Raw, Fandango defeated Barrett in a non-title match after The Miz, who was special guest referee, gave Barrett a Skull Crushing Finale. Afterwards, Miz attacked Fandango as well.[75] In June, Fandango suffered a legitimate concussion, removing him from his scheduled title match against Barrett and Miz at Payback and was replaced by Curtis Axel.[76][77] Fandango returned on the July 1 Raw, losing to Sheamus via count-out.[78] 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.[79] On the September 2 edition of Raw, Fandango had his nose broken by The Miz and was defeated by him.[80] 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.

A brunette Caucasian woman and dark-haired Caucasian man in a wrestling ring, pointing and yelling at a blonde Caucasian woman with her back to the camera.
After replacing Summer Rae (right) with Layla (left), Fandango was confronted by Rae on Raw.

At Hell in a Cell Fandango and Summer Rae defeated Natalya and The Great Khali in a mixed tag team match.[81] On the December 23 Raw, Fandango defeated Dolph Ziggler in a "Present on a Pole match" to earned an WWE Intercontinental Championship match against Big E Langston the following week, however he was ultimately defeated.[82] On January 26, Fandango entered the Royal Rumble match at #19, and was eliminated by El Torito.[83][84][85]

Fandango went on to feud with Santino Marella trading victories in singles matches.[86][87][88] On the 3 March 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.[89] On April 6 at Wrestlemania XXX, Fandango competed in the "Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal" match, which was won by Cesaro.[90] The following night on Raw, Fandago and Summer Rae were once again defeated by Emma and Marella in a mixed tag team match, with Emma making Rae submit.[91] The following week, Layla El replaced Summer Rae as Fandango's dancer and valet, and quickly became embroiled in a feud with Emma and Santino Marella.[92][93][94] Rae returned on 19 May, attacking Layla.[95] On the July 11 episode of Smackdown, Fandango lost to Adam Rose by countout after Summer Rae started attacking Layla. Later in that night he got a kiss from both women and started dancing leading to both women attacking him and dancing together.

On the July 21 episode of Raw, Zack Ryder ended his losing streak by defeating Fandango, after Layla interfered, distracting him in the process. It was Ryder's first victory since November 2013. Fandango was defeated by Diego on the July 28th edition of Raw.

Personal life[edit]

Hussey lives in Tampa, Florida. He is a fan of video gaming and the Final Fantasy series, especially Final Fantasy XIII. He supports the Boston Red Sox & Premier League team Everton. Some of Hussey's 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 wrestling[edit]

Layla began managing Fandango in April 2014
Fandago and Summer Rae on April 7, 2014.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Northeast Championship Wrestling
    • NCW New England Championship (1 time)[122]
    • NCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Damian Houston[122]
  • Power League Wrestling
    • PLW New England Championship (1 time)[2]
  • Premier Wrestling Federation
    • PWF Northeast Tag Team Championship (2 times) – with Kenn Phoenix[11][123]
    • PWF Northeast Heavyweight Championship (2 times) [124]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]