Fandango: Why Newest WWE Superstar Must Beat Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 29

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2013

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

As puzzling as it is to most wrestling fans, it appears as though Fandango will challenge Chris Jericho at WrestleMania XXIX. It is far from certain, but every indication seems to be pointing in that direction. If that is the case, then Fandango has to go over in order to justify his drawn-out debut.

The WWE has hyped Fandango for months with vignettes and promises of an in-ring debut, but we now sit a few weeks away from WrestleMania and he still hasn't competed on WWE programming. That is obviously by design, but the WWE has put a lot of pressure on itself because it needs to handle Fandango correctly or else the fans could turn on him quickly.

His trolling of the fans has been entertaining in one respect thus far, as he continually promises that he will debut before ultimately deciding against it. His gimmick has undoubtedly garnered him some heel heat and he could potentially become a key player in the midcard if the WWE books him well moving forward.

Fandango interrupted Jericho during a promo on the most recent episode of Raw. It resulted in Jericho making fun of Fandango's name before Fandango decided to storm off. It was a very brief exchange and it really shouldn't be the reason behind a feud and WrestleMania match, but the WWE seems intent on making Fandango vs. Jericho happen at WrestleMania XXIX.

Assuming the WWE goes through with this, Fandango needs to pick up the victory over Jericho.

While it certainly seems silly to say that a guy who hasn't yet wrestled a match in WWE under his current character should beat a legend like Jericho on the grandest stage of them all, it would be counterproductive to tease the fans regarding Fandango for this long only to have him lose right out of the gate.

Wins and losses don't really matter for a veteran like Y2J because he has already accomplished pretty much everything in the business. For a guy like Fandango, however, wins and losses are hugely important. If he loses his debut match, then there will immediately be fans out there calling him a jobber and it would basically reaffirm their feelings about him.

If he beats Jericho, though, it gives him instant credibility and puts a huge feather in his cap.

Jericho fans may not be particularly happy with this suggestion, and I can definitely understand that. Y2J has rarely won big matches during his past couple stints with the WWE, so perhaps his supporters are feeling a bit cheated. The fact of the matter is that Jericho is happy to put over younger talent and he is more worried about putting on a good performance as opposed to the results of his matches.

The WWE has an opportunity to make Fandango matter and it would be a shame if the company fails to take advantage of that.

It can definitely be argued that simply working with Jericho will act as a launching pad for Fandango regardless of whether or not he wins at WrestleMania XXIX, but I can't think of too many guys who lost their first match after this much hype and then went on to greatness.

Even if Jericho does ultimately put Fandango over, it would still be an embarrassing misuse of Jericho's talents. He is still one of the best workers in wrestling and is awesome on the mic as well, so he would have been better off facing somebody like Dolph Ziggler. They have a history together and Dolph could use a big win to bolster his status as Mr. Money in the Bank.

Jericho's feud with Fandango honestly makes very little sense, as it seems like the only link between them is dancing. Jericho once competed on Dancing With The Stars, while Fandango's character is that of a ballroom dancer. I can't say with certainty what the creative team is thinking, but it appears as though the WWE is trying to get some mainstream exposure.

Because of Jericho's prowess on the mic and Fandango's unique character, the build over the next couple weeks could be pretty interesting, but I just can't get excited about the match, and I assume that most fans feel the same way. It's unfortunate that the WWE has booked itself in the corner, but now it has to play with the cards that it has dealt itself.

Having Jericho lose to a guy like Fandango at WrestleMania isn't ideal because Fandango hasn't even accomplished a fraction of what Jericho has, but it is the only sensible way to book this budding rivalry.


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter and listen to him on Ring Rust Radio.