WWE | Pro Wrestling

Fandango’s Nonexistent Growth in WWE

Fandango is a WWE Superstar who quite frankly was not expected to do much. From the first vignettes that began running on WWE programming to his eventual debut on SmackDown, many fans have sat back, watching and waiting.

And waiting some more.

But so far, not much of anything has really happened. Truth be told, I for one don’t know just how disappointed anyone really is that Fandango is still basically in the same spot he has been from day one. Personally, I haven’t spoken to anyone who is really losing any sleep over Fandango’s lack of progress.

Again, he just wasn’t expected to do that much.

So maybe I’m in the minority on this one but I really thought that Fan would be a little further along than this by now. How far along are we talking? That’s a good question, actually.

Many fans point out that perhaps Fandango should have had a title belt by now. Why not hit the ground running, right? Other new Superstars have spent less time on the active roster and won a championship, why not Fandango?

I’m not suggesting that he should be WWE Champion by now. I’m not even suggesting that he be the World Champion by now. But the fact is that we’re now four months into his tenure and he is no closer to a singles title than he was before he first appeared on TV.

I don’t really know if this is a deal breaker, however. The fact is that neither the Intercontinental nor the United States Championships are really what you might call prestigious at this point. It’s no disrespect to Cutis Axel or Dean Ambrose but most of us are actually still waiting for some meaningful rivalries to occur with either title.

A championship is only as important as the emphasis that the company places on it. If a champion is not featured, or if the strap is not spotlighted as a sought after, highly desirable prize then it will lose value very quickly.

And the only way to truly spotlight a belt is to throw it between two guys and let them work for it. WWE has some very talented Superstars and that includes the men currently wearing their secondary championships; why not include Fandango in that mix?

But again, it may not be a deal breaker. Four months is not all that long; Fandango still has plenty of time, right?

What about the aforementioned meaningful rivalry? Just how many has Fandango had?

The most obvious answer is his first one with Chris Jericho. Y2J was the man that filled the role of veteran leader, the guy that was given a rookie and told “break him in.” And Jericho did just that.

I thought that Fandango did well in this feud. Chris controlled the tempo in their matches and was very selfless as he did it. He gave Fandango his fair share of spots and made him look very good along the way. This is not a surprise; the truth is that Chris is an old pro. He understood what he was there to do and he came through.

Fandango did not ultimately win this rivalry but I actually did not really have a problem with that. He gained the victory over Jericho at WrestleMania 29, a win that he will carry with him for his entire career. It was surely a great learning experience for Fandango and at the end of the day; one loss is not the end of the world. You live to fight another day, right?

Eh.

Therein lays the root of the problem. Because with no important feuds against relevant opponents, Fandango’s growth is nonexistent. And if he cannot grow then fans will no longer care about him.

Is the crowd dancing when his music hits? Yes. Does it make a difference? No.

Fans are fickle. They tend to change their minds as the wind blows and in the case of Fandango, they usually only respond to him because it’s trendy to do so. And the danger in that is that if Fandango becomes nothing more than a novelty act, then this entire thing could have been a waste of time.

After all, Santino Marella was a novelty act. Fans loved him; he was even red hot at one point. He was United States, Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion. He had much more than Fandango in terms of spotlight, popularity and trophies.

But did anyone really care?

I believe that Fandango has real potential. His ring work is not quite what I would consider to be main event caliber but I do think he could get there eventually. I’m also impressed with how he has handled his gimmick. When I see him prance around in the ring, living in his own little world, I cannot help but think of Exotic Adrian Street.

Street owned his character, much like Fandango does now. I think that if given the right opportunities against the right opponents, Fandango would eventually climb the ladder in WWE until he is not only a credible Superstar, but a legitimate threat to the company’s top championships.

But until that happens, I will just continue watching and waiting. And waiting some more.

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr

Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report and a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report

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Tom Clark

Tom Clark can regularly be found on Camel Clutch Blog. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at https://tomclarksmainevent.libsyn.com/

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