The Popularity of 'Fandangoing' Doesn't Mean Popularity for Fandango Himself

Bill AtkinsonAnalyst IApril 21, 2013

( photo)
( photo)

Fandango’s theme is fun, light, catchy and has a good beat. It has everyone from WWE fans to pro football cheerleaders humming and dancing along, and it even began stirring up WWE Hall of Fame support for its composer.

However, popular trends do not automatically translate into popularity for the trendsetter. The world may be “Fandangoing” at this moment, but that does not mean they are drinking the Kool-Aid of an arrogant, cocky character who fancies himself as a dancing lothario and a man’s man.

Fandangoing is popular. And when I say “popular,” I mean everyone wants to be involved with it in some way, shape or form.

People might want to do the Fandango, but judging by the heat he gets from the arena crowds, that does not mean they want to be Fandango.

Fandangoing is fun. Fandango is not.

The entire Fandangoing buzz reminds me of something that everyone was so hot for just a couple of years ago.


Everyone wanted to strike the pose that Tim Tebow made so popular. Down on one knee, elbow resting on the thigh, head resting on the fist…BOOM! A trend is born. People took pictures and videos of themselves Tebowing all over the place.

Meanwhile, the trendsetter—a devout Christian and non-traditional NFL quarterback who actually was praying on the sideline—has been torched by football pundits and fans for his unusual (some called it lack of) football skills. He bounced from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets, and now who knows where he will end up?

Switch now to WWE. Different setting. Different setup. Same old situation.

Fandangoing is not exactly a set of fluid dance moves. No one is trying to attempt Fandango’s dance steps. Basically, fans are standing at their seats and bouncing their arms up and down to the beat of Fandango’s entrance theme.

But once the music stops, the boos start. It’s one thing to dance to someone’s music, but it is something else to actually sit there and enjoy watching them work.

At its core, Fandango’s character is part Dancing with the Stars, part “Ravishing” Rick Rude.

After he struts, sashays and sways down the ramp into the ring, Fandango launches into a tirade of insulting the crowd just because they pronounce his name incorrectly. Longtime wrestling fans have heard that before. Back in the 1980s, Rude used to insult the men and the city (“You fat, ugly, no-good, out-of-shape, Poughkeepsie pukes…”) and tell them to shut up while he performed for the ladies.

Later on, he would bring a woman (obviously a plant) from the audience into the ring, kiss her and then gyrate over her swooning body.

On last week’s SmackDown, Fandango even tried to pull a Rude by attempting a move on ring announcer Lillian Garcia, but was stopped by Santino Marella. Now, usually, having Marella get into the ring is not high dram. But this time, he actually was a savior…not so much to save Lillian Garcia but to save the WWE Universe from an awkwardly painful sketch.

Listen, folks, Fandangoing is a dance fad. Fads are fun, but fads fade fast. Look at Hammer Time, the Macarena, even last year’s Gangnam Style.

You probably knew some, most or even all of the steps. But do you recall off the top of your head who popularized those dance fads?

Exactly. The dance is popular. The dancer is not.

There is no doubt WWE is doing everything possible to milk every last drop of publicity from Fandangoing. But when the milk finally runs out, so eventually will the patience with the performer.

Unless WWE has something long range in store for Fandango, such as a serious championship run, he stands to be only a handful of matches from a comedic dance-off with Brodus Clay.

Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.