Hussey began his professional wrestling career in 1999, and worked for several promotions beginning in September 1999. He competed in several Independent promotions in New England winning the PLW New England Championship, PWF Northeast Tag Team Championship with Kenn Phoenix on more than one occasion, NCW New England Championship and Tag Team Championship with Damian Houston, and the SCCW Lightweight Championship.
In 2006, Hussey signed a development contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), WWE's developmental territory. He was then moved to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in June 2008, where he won the Florida Tag Team Championship on more than one occasion with Tyler Reks and Derrick Bateman. In December 2010, he competed in the fourth season of NXT, later winning the competition and becoming WWE's next Breakout Superstar.
Professional wrestling career
Hussey began under Killer Kowalski, and debuted in September 1999. He wrestled for various independent promotions in the New England area over the next few years. He competed in Power League Wrestling (PLW) from 2000 until 2003, during which time he won the PLW New England Championship. He held the championship for one day short of a year, from May 19, 2002 until May 18, 2003. He also competed in the Premier Wrestling Federation during this time, and on October 28, 2002, he teamed with Kenn Phoenix to win the PWF Northeast Tag Team Championship from Fuzion (Mike Paiva and Blade). They held the championship until November 15, when they were defeated by Paiva and Kid Mikaze. Now known as 'The Talent Exchange', Curtis and Phoenix won a three-way Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to win the championship again on February 15, 2003. They held the championship until April 4, when Phoenix and Dean Ripley, The Talent Exchange's manager who had been forced to participate in the match instead of an absent Curtis, lost the championship to the Storm Brothers. He also wrestled for NWA: TNA, Chaotic Wrestling, and NWA Wildside.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Deep South Wrestling (2006–2008)
In 2006, Curtis signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and was subsequently assigned to the Deep South Wrestling (DSW) developmental territory. Curtis made his debut for the territory on November 9, where he lost to David Heath. After losing consistently over the next several weeks, Curtis scored his first victory in in DSW as he and Robert Anthony defeated The Headliners (Shawn ShulTz and Chris Michaels) on February 15, 2007. Curtis continued to team with Anthony and after winning a few more matches, the team faced the DSW Tag Team Champions Team Elite (Mike Knox and Derick Neikirk) in a match for the championship on March 15, but they were unable to win the title. Curtis then became a singles competitor once again and after losing two matches, he won his final match in DSW by defeating Frankie Coverdale on April 12.
Florida Championship Wrestling (2008–2010)
After WWE severed ties with DSW, Curtis and all the other talent in DSW were transferred over to the newly established Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in June. On June 26, Curtis made his FCW debut as he defeated former tag team partner Robert Anthony. After mixed success as a singles and tag team wrestler, Curtis defeated Chris Gray on December 18 to become the number one contender for the Southern Heavyweight Championship. On January 8, 2008, he wrestled Ted DiBiase, Jr. for the championship, but lost the match. On September 18, Curtis made an appearance at the SmackDown/ECW tapings, where he defeated Armando Estrada in a dark match.
On December 11, 2008, Curtis teamed with Tyler Reks to defeat The New Hart Foundation (DH Smith and TJ Wilson) for the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship. The team of Curtis and Reks proved to be successful, and they retained the championship on several occasions. After beginning a feud with Caylen Croft and Trent Beretta, Curtis and Reks retained the title against them on a few different occasions before finally losing the title to Croft and Beretta on April 30, 2009 after Curtis didn't appear for the title defense, leaving Reks to wrestle alone.
After Reks was called up to WWE's main roster, Curtis renamed himself Jonathan Curtis and became a villain. The two then faced off for Reks' Florida Heavyweight Championship on June 25, but Curtis was unable to win the title. On July 2, Curtis wrestled in a triple threat match for the FCW Florida Championship also involving Alex Riley, but was again unsuccessful as Reks retained the title. Soon afterwards, Curtis reverted his ring name to Johnny Curtis.
Beginning in 2010, Curtis began competing at house shows for the Raw brand, with his first match being a loss to Evan Bourne on January 8. After losing several matches to both Bourne and Paul Burchill at house shows, Curtis wrestled his first dark match, which he lost to Kung Fu Naki on the January 19 episode of ECW.
On August 12, 2010, Curtis teamed with Derrick Bateman to win the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship by defeating the team of Donny Marlow and Brodus Clay and the defending champions, Los Aviadores (Hunico and Epico) in a three-way tag team match. After a near three-month reign, Curtis and Bateman lost the championship to Wes Brisco and Xavier Woods on November 4. Lily McMalli, Girl friend of Curtis, was also briefly associated with Florida Championship Wrestling.
During the finale of season three of NXT, it was announced that Curtis would be part of the fourth season, with R-Truth as his mentor. He made his in-ring debut on the season premiere on December 7 episode of NXT, defeating fellow rookie Jacob Novak in singles competition. The following week, Curtis was unsuccessful in the "Karaoke" challenge, but was successful in the "Obstacle Course" challenge, earning points towards immunity from elimination. On the December 21 episode of NXT, Curtis lost the "Wheelbarrow Race" challenge, and suffered his first loss in a rematch to Jacob Novak. Curtis was then defeated by pro Dolph Ziggler on the December 28 episode of NXT, and afterwards won both the "Power of the Punch" challenge and a "Talent Show" contest. On the January 4, 2011 episode of NXT, Curtis was defeated in singles competition by Brodus Clay, and was later announced that he would be immune from elimination that week. On the next week of NXT, Curtis lost both the "Slingshot Challenge" and the "Superstar Password" challenge, and competed in singles competition defeating pro Ted DiBiase after a failed interference by his rookie Brodus Clay. Curtis was unsuccessful in the "How Well Do You Know Your WWE Pro?" challenge on the January 18 episode of NXT, and was safe from elimination that week. On the January 25 episode of NXT, Curtis won unsuccessful in the "Out-think the Fink" challenge, and competed in a fatal four-way match with Brodus Clay, Derrick Bateman, and Byron Saxton with Clay winning the match.
During the season finale on March 1, Curtis was declared the winner of NXT, defeating Brodus Clay in the final.
SmackDown and NXT Redemption (2011–2012)
After various dark matches, Curtis debuted on SmackDown on the June 3 episode in a bizarre backstage promo where he said that his promised tag team title shot was "not going to happen" in light of R-Truth's recent villainous turn. He then began to sarcastically cry and proceeded to pour milk onto a plate and then over his head, in reference to the saying "don't cry over spilled milk". After weeks of critically panned backstage promos playing on words, Curtis made his SmackDown in-ring debut on the August 12 episode, being squashed by Mark Henry in less than a minute, which was his only non-battle royal match on SmackDown in 2011.
Curtis then made his return to NXT Redemption as a villain on the November 9 episode, interrupting a "Talk the Talk" challenge between Titus O'Neil and Derrick Bateman, whom he later that night teamed with in a tag team match defeating Titus O'Neil and Percy Watson. As the weeks followed, Bateman and Curtis would feud against each other for Maxine, who was Bateman's storyline fiancé at the time. As the weeks passed, Bateman and Maxine ultimately broke up as Maxine gave a kiss to Curtis on the December 28 edition of NXT Redemption, thus solidifying their relationship. On the January 4th 2012 edition of NXT Redemption, Curtis and Maxine announced that they will be marrying in two weeks time in Las Vegas during Bateman's match with Darren Young. On 100th episode of NXT Redemption, Derrick Bateman interrupted Curtis and Maxine wedding ceremony. Derrick showed a clip of Curtis sending a message on Bateman's iPad to Teddy Long. Maxine then slaps Curtis and reunited with Bateman once again. Curtis then started to use his new catchphrase "Let's Get Weird" and it was also written on his trunks. As the weeks follow, Maxine would later on dump Derrick Bateman for Johnny Curtis. On the March 14 episode of NXT Redemption, Curtis and Maxine were defeated in a mixed tag team match against Derrick Bateman and Kaitlyn, who kissed at the end of the match, solidifying their relationshp.
After William Regal was appointed as NXT's authority figure, Maxine enlisted Curtis' help to allow her to get close to Regal. On the March 21 episode of NXT Redemption, Maxine and Curtis knocked out Matt Striker with chloroform so that Maxine could join Regal on commentary.However, Striker was then kidnapped (kayfabe) by unknown persons, later revealed to be Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks, who intended to blackmail Curtis and Maxine into using Maxine's charms to get Regal to leave Hawkins and Reks alone. Striker was rescued by Bateman and Kaitlyn on the April 11 episode of "NXT Redemption". On April 18, William Regal announced that if Curtis and Maxine still want to be employed to NXT, Curtis and Maxine would have to sign a contract stating that Maxine would have to become Curtis's manager. Following the contract signing, Regal would then proceed to handcuff Maxine and Curtis together. On the May 9 episode of NXT Redemption, Regal allowed Curtis and Maxine to be uncuffed.
In a dark match at the October 23 SmackDown taping, Curtis debuted a new ballroom dance gimmick, defeating Sami Callihan. On the November 5 episode of Raw, a vignette aired for Curtis's new character, named Fandangoo. On the November 6 airing of Super SmackDown Live, another vignette aired with the modified spelling of Fandango. After Fandango wrestled at a few house shows and dark matches, another vignette aired on the November 26 episode of Raw, after which he was not seen for a month. He resurfaced at a house show on December 26, defeating Ted DiBiase. After over two months of not being seen on television, vignettes for Fandango began airing again on the February 4, 2013 episode of Raw. On the February 25 episode of Raw, it was revealed that Fandango would debut on the March 1 episode of SmackDown. When he was supposed to have his first match against Zack Ryder, he refused to do so because backstage interviewer Matt Striker couldn't pronounce his name, and said that he would debut once Striker got it right. A similar occurrence happened on the March 4 episode of Raw where Fandango refused to compete against Kofi Kingston due to Justin Roberts mispronouncing his name. This scenario repeated itself on numerous occasions with Justin Gabriel, Tensai, and The Great Khali as neither the ring announcers or his opponents could pronounce his name to his satisfaction.
On the March 18 episode of Raw, Fandango had a run-in with Chris Jericho in a backstage segment, where Jericho intentionally mispronounced Fandango's name numerous times. Four days later on SmackDown, Fandango interfered in Jericho's match against Jack Swagger and attacked him afterwards, starting a feud between the two. Three days later on Raw, Jericho attacked Fandango before his debut match, causing Fandango to flee the ring. However, Fandango returned and attacked Jericho again after Jericho was first attacked by Big E Langston. Fandango finally wrestled his debut match on April 7 at WrestleMania 29, defeating Jericho.
Fandango wrestled in his Raw debut match against Kofi Kingston on April 8. Despite winning via disqualification when Chris Jericho attacked him, Fandango received loud ovations from fans singing his entrance music during the match and long after the show itself. The song became an overnight hit as many fans took to iTunes to buy the single, causing it to gain considerable momentum and move from #175 to #11 in one day on the UK chart, before settling at #44 by the weeks end. On the April 12 episode of Friday Night SmackDown, Fandango was present at ringside for Chris Jericho's match against Dolph Ziggler, which Ziggler won after Jericho was distracted by Fandango and Big E Langston. After the match, Fandango attacked Jericho once again. On the April 15 episode of Raw, Fandango was called out to the ring by Jerry Lawler, who wanted him to address the "Fandango revolution" that had happened the previous week. However, when he appeared, Fandango simply said that he was unimpressed with the fans and their attempts at "Fandangoing". On the May 13 episode of Raw, Fandango and his newest dance partner Summer Rae competed against Chris Jericho and his partner Edyta Sliwinska in a dance competition. During the competition, Summer faked a leg injury to distract Jericho into checking her condition. It was a set-up allowing Fandango to ambush Jericho, leaving him decimated after assaulting him with part of the dance floor. On the May 17 edition of Friday Night Smackdown, Fandango and Summer Rae came down to the ring after Jericho's successful match against Antonio Cesaro. However, Fandango's attempts to one-up Jericho were negated and Fandango fled from ringside. The two would face each other in their second official PPV match at Extreme Rules. On May 19, at Extreme Rules, Fandango lost to Jericho via Jericho executing a Codebreaker to achieve victory. The following night on Monday Night Raw Fandango joined forces with Wade Barrett to face The Miz and Chris Jericho. Appearing disfunctional as a tag team, Fandango eventually abandoned Barrett and the match in progress and proceeded to dance with his partner Summer Rae. The match ended with Jericho and The Miz winning and both partners ran off Fandango who left Summer Rae behind. On the May 24 episode of Friday Night Smackdown, Fandango and Summer Rae were guests on The Miz's Miz TV segment during the opening hour of the show. After being addressed about his conduct during his tag match, Wade Barrett came to the ring, warning Fandango that if they crossed paths again, he would ensure that no one would remember the name of Fandango. This sparked a fight between the Miz and Barrett prior to their match for the Intercontental Championship. Fandango joined the ringside table to serve as a commentator during the match between The Miz and Barrett. He interferred with a kick to The Miz's head calling for DQ and the two assaulted The Miz. However, Wade Barrett knocked out Fandango with his Bull Hammer elbow. On the May 27 edition of Monday Night Raw, held on Memorial Day, Fandango faced Barrett in a match refereed by The Miz. After The Miz delivered a Skull-Crushing Finale to Barrett, Fandango picked up the pin. After the match, Fandango received a parting blow by The Miz leading to a mock-pin counted by The Miz after Summer Rae fell on top of him during the knock-down.
During the July 1 episode of Monday Night Raw, Fandango returned to the ring after nearly missing a month due to a concussion. His first match since returning was against Sheamus, losing the match after choosing to leave the ring on a count-out. During the July 5 episode of Friday Night Smackdown, Fandango defeated Justin Gabriel in a tune-up match leading to his participation in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match at Money in the Bank. Only July 14, at Money in the Bank, Fandango faced other heel wrestlers including Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger, Antonio Cesaro and Wade Barrett. The match was eventually won by Sandow. The following night on Raw, during the opening half-hour, Fandango interjected himself between a in-ring mic session between the new GM Brad Maddox, John Cena and the Money in the Bank winner of the WWE Championship contract Randy Orton. Orton attacked Fandango. Maddox immediately ordered an impromptu match between the two ending with Fandango losing to Orton.
On the August 26 episode of Raw, Fandango was originally set to face Cody Rhodes (with Damien Sandow at ringside for commentary). However, Fandango was distracted by The Miz and Rosa Mendes who appeared on stage, mocking Fandango and Summer Rae's attire and dancing routine. This caused Fandango to lose to Rhodes and sparked an attack by Fandango and Sandow on Rhodes afterwards. The Miz joined in the conflict, leading to Raw GM Brad Maddox to announce an impromptu match between the four. Fandango however, walked out on Sandow and watched the match's conclusion from the stage area. After Sandow's defeat, Fandango only remained on stage to make his stylized name pronunciation and exit unharmed. During the opening half-hour of the September 13 episode of Smackdown, Fandango joined a dance competition featuring R-Truth before impromptu participants The Miz and The Great Khali joined the contest. It was won by The Miz which infuriated Fandango who attempted to attack The Miz before he was double-teamed by R-Truth and The Miz, ejecting him from the ring. Fandango lost to The Great Khali at Night of Champions, his losing streak came to an end on the September 16 episode of Raw, where he defeated R-Truth.
At Hell in a Cell, Fandango and Summer Rae defeated Natalya and The Great Khali in a mixed tag team match. The following week on Raw, they would lose to Natalya and Tyson Kidd. On the December 23 Raw, Fandango defeated Dolph Ziggler in a "Present on a Pole match" and earned an Intercontinental Championship match against Big E Langston the next week, however he was ultimately defeated. On January 26, Fandango entered the Royal Rumble at #19, and was eliminated by El Torito. after that he began a feud with Santino Marella. He defeated him on the February 10 episode of Raw with the leg drop, and would go on to have several more matches both in singles and in mixed-tag team with Summer Rae against Santino and Emma. After defeat in one such match, he split up with Summer Rae over Twitter on April 8, 2014. He then began appearing with Layla on the April 11 episode of SmackDown. On the April 25 episode of SmackDown, Fandango was scheduled to be part of an 11-on-3 handicap match against The Shield as part of the main event, however he did not compete after the group triple powerbombed him off the entrance ramp and through two tables prior to the match.
In April 2014, he dropped a bombshell on his bombshell, tweeting that he was breaking things off with Summer Rae! Later, the fleet-footed Superstar introduce his new dance partner, the lovely Layla. But soon after that, Fandango found himself in the crosshairs of both Summer Rae and Layla, as they accompanied all of Fandango's opponents down to ringside and did their best to cost their former lover victories.
At Survivor Series, Fandango reappeared in WWE after an extended absence to defeat Justin Gabriel. Fandango now sports a seductive new look, and he hopes this new look will carry him to great success, particularly in WrestleMania 31’s Andre the Giant Battle Royal.
On the April 13 edition of Raw, after losing to Stardust, Fandango brought back the old theme and the Cha-Cha dance, turning face in the process.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- "The Premier Player"
- The Weird One"
- "The Thoroughbred"
- "Dirty Curty"
- "The Ballroom Brawler / Brute / Dancer"
- "The Dance Expert"
- "The New And Improved"
- "Deputy Dango"
- Entrance themes
- "I Told You So (V2)" by Flatfoot 56 (August 12, 2011–October 2012)
- "ChaChaLaLa" by Jim Johnston (March 1, 2013 – August 14, 2014); (April 13, 2015–present)
- "Peña Flamenca" by Jim Johnston (November 23, 2014 – April 13, 2015)
- "Breezango" by CFO$ (May 12, 2016 – present; used while teaming with Tyler Breeze)
Championships and accomplishments
- Florida Championship Wrestling
- Northeast Championship Wrestling
- NCW New England Championship (1 time)
- NCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Damian Houston
- Power League Wrestling
- PLW New England Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #116 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2011
- South Coast Championship Wrestling
- SCCW Lightweight Championship (1 time)