Fandango in April 2016
|Birth name||Curtis Jonathan Hussey|
July 22, 1981 |
Standish, Maine, United States
|Residence||Tampa, Florida, United States|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Billed weight||244 lb (111 kg)|
|Billed from||Boston, Massachusetts
|Trained by||Killer Kowalski
Deep South Wrestling
Florida Championship Wrestling
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. 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. In December 2010, he competed in the fourth season of NXT as Johnny Curtis, and he eventually won the competition in March 2011.
In 2012, 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.
- 1 Professional wrestling career
- 1.1 Independent circuit (1999–2006)
- 1.2 World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Other media
- 4 In wrestling
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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. He held the championship, after defeating Chris Blackheart at Power-fest 2002, from May 19, 2002 until May 18, 2003.
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. They held the championship until November 15, when they were defeated by Paiva and Kid Mikaze. 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. 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. He also wrestled for NWA: TNA, Chaotic Wrestling, and NWA Wildside.
World Wrestling Entertainment/WWE
Deep South Wrestling (2006–2008)
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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. On January 8, 2008, he wrestled Ted DiBiase, Jr. for the championship, but lost the match. On September 18, Curtis made an appearance at the SmackDown/ECW tapings, where he defeated Armando Estrada in a dark match.
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. The team of Curtis and Reks proved to be successful, and they retained the championship on several occasions. 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.
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. 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. Soon afterwards, Curtis reverted his ring name to Johnny Curtis.
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. 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.
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. After a near three-month reign, Curtis and Bateman lost the championship to Wes Brisco and Xavier Woods on November 4.
Curtis was part of the fourth season, with R-Truth as his mentor. He made his in-ring debut on the season premiere on December 7 episode of NXT, defeating fellow rookie Jacob Novak in singles competition. The following week, Curtis was unsuccessful in the "Karaoke" challenge, but was successful in the "Obstacle Course" challenge, earning points towards immunity from elimination. On the December 21 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Wheelbarrow Race" challenge, and suffered his first loss in a rematch to Jacob Novak. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. 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. On the February 15 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Smash and Grab" challenge and the "Save Your Trivia" challenge. Curtis was then successful in the "Grace Under Pressure Physical" challenge and in a triple threat match against Derrick Bateman and Johnny Curtis. During the season finale on March 1, Curtis was declared the winner of NXT, defeating Brodus Clay in the final.
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. 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". After weeks of backstage promos playing on words, Curtis made his SmackDown in-ring debut on the August 12 episode, being squashed by Mark Henry in less than a minute, which was his only non-battle royal match on SmackDown in 2011.
Curtis then made his return to the fifth season of NXT as a heel on November 2. Curtis turned his attentions to wooing Maxine, whom he had formerly dated, and therefore ignited a feud with Maxine's storyline fiancé, Derrick Bateman. 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.
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, 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. 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. On the May 9 episode of NXT Redemption, Regal allowed Curtis and Maxine to be uncuffed.
For the rest of 2012, Curtis formed an occasional tag team with Michael McGillicutty. On the final episode of the fifth season of NXT on June 13, Curtis teamed with McGillicutty but lost to the Usos. After the conclusion of the fifth season of NXT, NXT transitioned into the renamed Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory. Curtis continued appearing on NXT, where at the October 11 tapings (which aired on November 28) Curtis finally received his tag team title shot from winning season four of NXT, when he teamed up with McGillicutty in a loss to champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).
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 following by November. After months of promotional videos, the character of Fandango debuted on the March 1, 2013 episode of SmackDown. As part of his act, Fandango was portrayed as fussy, flamboyant, and sultry-voiced. 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) in the beginning and later Summer Rae , a developmental wrestler.
Despite his debut, Fandango refused to wrestle his first match on numerous occasions because neither the ring announcers or his opponents could pronounce "Fandango" to his satisfaction. On the March 18 episode of Raw, Chris Jericho mispronounced Fandango's name intentionally and repeatedly to start Fandango's first feud. This resulted in Fandango wrestling and defeating Jericho on April 7 at WrestleMania 29, which was also the character's first match. 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. Not only did this take place during and shortly after his encounter, but it also took place long after the show itself. 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. At Extreme Rules, Fandango was defeated by Jericho in a rematch to end their feud. Fandango moved on to a three-way feud for the WWE Intercontinental Championship against champion Wade Barrett and fellow challenger The Miz. 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. Fandango later pinned Barrett in a non-title match after Miz, who was the special guest referee, attacked Barrett. 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. His replacement, Curtis Axel, won the match and the championship.
Fandango returned on the July 1 Raw, losing to Sheamus via count-out. 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. On the September 2 edition of Raw, Fandango had his nose broken by The Miz and was defeated by him. 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. 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. 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.
The 'New and Improved' Fandango & Various Feuds (2014–2015)
On April 6 at Wrestlemania XXX, Fandango competed in the "Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal" match, which was won by Cesaro. 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. 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. Rae returned on May 19, attacking Layla. 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. Layla and Summer Rae went on to cause Fandango numerous losses on WWE television.
After months of absence, it was announced that Fandango would return with Rosa Mendes as his new dance partner to compete in the pre-show match at Survivor Series. At the event, Fandango defeated Justin Gabriel with a salsa dancer gimmick and new theme music. On the January 22 episode of SmackDown, Fandango announced his participation in the Royal Rumble match. 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. Mendes then cost Fandango a match against Adam Rose, joining his "Exotic Express" and sparking a short feud between Fandango and Rose. Fandango picked up 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 would face Chris Jericho in a WrestleMania 29 rewind match in a losing effort. At WrestleMania 32, Fandango would enter the 3rd Annual Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal, where he was the first participant eliminated.
On the April 14 episode of SmackDown, Fandango would team with Goldust in the WWE Tag Team Championship number one contenders tournament, after Goldust told R-Truth, his original partner, that they would not be teaming together, where they were defeated by The Vaudevillains in the first round. On the April 18 episode of Raw, Fandango lost to Baron Corbin. On the April 22 episode of SmackDown, Fandango faced off against R-Truth with Goldust as the special referee, R-Truth won the match. The following week, they'd become an official tag team dubbed Goldango, while R-Truth teamed with Tyler Breeze as the Gorgeous Truth. On the May 12 episode of SmackDown, Goldango faced The Gorgeous Truth which ended in a no-contest when Fandango and Breeze turned on their partners after R-Truth and Goldust refused to fight each other. This resulted in Fandango aligning with Tyler Breeze, turning heel once again in the process. Now dubbed as "Breezango", Fandango and Breeze teamed together to defeat Golden Truth (Goldust and Truth) the week after on Raw. At the Money in the Bank event on June 19, Breezango lost to Golden Truth, ending their feud. Breezango defeated The Usos on July 24 at Battleground (2016) after being drafted to SmackDown Live.
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 and Everton FC. 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.
- Finishing moves
- As Fandango
- As Johnny Curtis
- Signature moves
- As Fandango
- As Johnny Curtis
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- Northeast Championship Wrestling
- Power League Wrestling
- PLW New England Championship (1 time)
- Premier Wrestling Federation
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- South Coast Championship Wrestling
- SCCW Lightweight Championship (1 time)
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Although Fandango is portrayed by Curtis Hussey, a wrestler with almost 15 years of experience, the character is a strange bedfellow in the WWE roster: a fussy, flamboyant, sultry-voiced dancer who seems more interested in ballet than brawling, and works up his fiercest rage when his name is constantly mispronounced.
- "WWE NEWS: Identity of Fandango's original dancer revealed – will she return to WWE TV?, how WWE found her, more details on interesting journey to WWE television". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Fandango informed Matt Striker he was not ready to compete". WWE. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- "Fandango refused to face Kofi Kingston when Justin Roberts mispronounced his name". WWE. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
- "Justin Gabriel vs. Fandango ends in No Contest". WWE. Retrieved 2013-03-15.
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- "Fandango music continues after Raw on the train". YouTube. 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- Benigno, Anthony (2013-04-15). "Raw results: Ryback breaks his silence, Brock returns with a vengeance and Kofi goes for the gold". WWE.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
- "Fandango is dissatisfied with the WWE Universe's attempt at doing the Fandango: Raw, April 15, 2013". WWE.com. Retrieved 2013-04-20.
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Equal parts dance mix and sports anthem, the ballroom brawler's remixed tune includes a cameo by Fandango himself
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Overseas, the ballroom brute's music is skyrocketing to the top of the charts.
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Eager for more after Raw went off the air and fans left New Jersey's IZOD Center, the WWE Universe has flooded iTunes looking for the ballroom dancer's signature song.
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The dance expert sent out the following tweet:
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