A former WWE Superstar has described the situation when Chairman Vince McMahon scrapped a high price shoot because he didn’t like the way the star said their own name.
Johnny Curtis was part of WWE in their developmental territories from 2006 before he got his chance on the main roster as Fandango. Making his debut as the soft shoe shuffler at WrestleMania 29 against Chris Jericho, he upset the odds as he managed to defeat the first-ever Undisputed WWF Champion.
Before his debut, however, Fandango had several vignettes air on WWE television to hype his impending arrival. Some of the vignettes were filmed at a high price ballroom in New York City, but according to Fandango in an appearance on Rewind Recap Relive, the whole two-day shoot was for nothing because Vince McMahon didn’t like the way Fandango said his own name:
“We actually filmed a whole — Vince McMahon paid to rent out the whole Highline Ballroom, dance ballroom in New York City. We went there and filmed vignettes for a couple of days and there’s this super expensive set and he didn’t like the way I said ‘Fandango’, so he scrapped the whole thing and he came and produced the vignettes himself. So me not pronouncing the name the way he thought in his mind actually turned into a gimmick, into a shtick that we did on TV.”
Part of Fandango’s presentation on WWE television was he would stop people and correct their pronunciation of his name, giving an over-the-top, elongated version of his name that any ring announcer would do well to get right.
As part of a tag team with Tyler Breeze, known as Breezango, Fandango captured the NXT Tag Team Championship in August 2020. Both Fandango and Breeze ended their long association with WWE in June 2021 when both men were released from their contracts as part of continuing budget cuts in the company.