Underneath that goofy gimmick, Fandango is a well-rounded, talented wrestler.
Fans' chants of "You can't wrestle" are inaccurate. For now, those chants should be, "You don't wrestle." That will change at WrestleMania 29.
Much of the talk about Fandango’s match against Chris Jericho on April 7 has centered around whether Jericho can make the ballroom dancer a star, but Fandango's in-ring skills should have something to say about that as well. One has to go back to his days as Johnny Curtis to see just how good he is in the ring.
As Fandango, fans have only seen him refuse to perform, to teach folks how to pronounce his name and to nail a fallen Jericho with a flying leg drop.
PWInsider (via WrestlingInc.com) reported that "Fandango is getting a spot on WrestleMania 29 because the character is Vince McMahon's new pet project" and that "Vince is really behind the success of Fandango." Picking apart Fandango's ring work reveals why McMahon is so high on him.
Take this NXT match against Percy Watson, for example.
One of the biggest takeaways from this match is how dramatically he sells Watson's offense. Every punch to the gut seems to be causing internal damage. Fandango grunts and contorts in exaggerated pain.
Also on display is Fandango's ability to blend technical wrestling with showmanship.
He has some fluid takedowns on Watson as well as some convincingly painful arm holds. He accentuates these moves by slapping his opponent, by showboating. Fans are likely to see even more of this as Fandango's character is one of an arrogant show-off.
As a wrestler, Fandango is a bit of a jack of all trades. He's good at several aspects of the business, but not great at any of them, at least not yet.
His high-flying moves are solid, as are his mat wrestling skills. Taking a look at this fan-made video of his best moves reveals his versatility and shows off what he does best.
Fandango moves well in the ring as the video shows. His transitions from move feel natural, his footwork is fluid.
Moves like his low dropkick and flying leg drop display his athleticism. He's not on Kofi Kingston's level in that department but is fully capable of inserting some pops of excitement into his matches.
Watching him deliver uppercuts here to the likes of Dolph Ziggler and Brodus Clay highlights an area where Fandango could use some improvement. Unlike Antonio Cesaro's thunderous uppercuts, Fandango's don't look as realistic.
This is something that will get better from working with a veteran like Jericho. Jericho may tell him to come at him harder, to deliver more solid shots. Jericho's speed and agility will force the pace of their match to quicken. It should help fans see how athletic Fandango is as well.
Pairing him with Jericho will show us right away what kind of artistry he is capable of performing.
Fandango is set to finally wrestle after teasing fans with his debut for weeks. Those who haven't seen his work as Johnny Curtis may be surprised at how good of a show he and Jericho put on at WrestleMania 29.