A year ago, they were two WWE Superstars that many had pegged on their “to be future endeavoured” list of talent that could be released after WrestleMania. The same was probably true again this spring. But over the past six months, Tyler Breeze and Fandango have reinvented themselves by just being themselves, having fun, and caricaturing the very characters they were portraying in the first place. As the Fashion Police duo known as Breezango, Breeze and Fandango have won over the WWE Universe with their Fashion Files vignette series and become losers so lovable, that a win or loss means very little. As Rolling Stone magazine stated in their article on Breezango this past May, “it’s the kind of freeform approach that, ironically, made Raw must-see back when potential journeyman like Brian Christopher and Scott Taylor could sell T-shirts as Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay.” But it hasn’t exactly been an overnight success for the two WWE Superstars. Not by a longshot.
Fashion Files: The Case of Fandango
The wrestler who would become Fandango hit the WWE radar first, signing with the WWE in 2006. Prior to joining the WWE, he had spent the previous seven years working on the indie circuit as Johnny Curtis. Trained by WWE Hall of Famer Walter “Killer” Kowalski in 1999, he spent the first few years working the deep New England indie scene such as Chaotic Wrestling, Northeast Championship Wrestling and New England Championship Wrestling. After signing with WWE, he was sent to Deep South Wrestling (DSW), WWE’s developmental. He would follow WWE’s developmental twice more, first to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in 2008, then to NXT in 2010, just missing getting called up several times. Finally, after six years in WWE’s developmental system, Curtis made his debut on the main roster, but as a character completely in a different direction than his NXT/FCW days. Rather than arriving as Johnny Curtis, he debuted as a dancer named Fandango and was pushed out the gate, defeating Chris Jericho in his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 29. It was all downhill from there. He slowly slid down the mid-card he’d just ascended and was soon relegated to enhancement. His WWE career seemed like it was on a collision course with a pink slip until he showed up on Smackdown in April of 2016 as Goldust‘s new tag team partner during the Golden Truth storyline.
Fashion Files: The Case of Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze’s journey started much later than his partners. He began training with Lance Storm in his native Canada in 2007, a year after Fandango was already in the WWE system, debuting with Vancouver’s ECCW in 2008 as Mattias Wild. For two years, he worked the Western Canada circuit, with appearances with Prairie Wrestling Alliance (PWA) and Power Zone Wrestling. He signed with the WWE in 2010 and was assigned to FCW, where he debuted as Matt Dalton. He became a popular star in FCW, winning the FCW Heavyweight title, just before the developmental system was shifted to NXT. But in NXT, Dalton’s character fizzled and he was removed from TV. He was repackaged as the narcissistic selfie-snapper Tyler Breeze and soon became one of NXT’s top heels. A work horse of a performer, he was often called upon to face some of NXT’s top stars, such as Neville, Hideo Itami, and Sami Zayn, or guest stars like Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Tyler Breeze made the main roster in October of 2015, beginning a highly underrated feud with Dolph Ziggler than sadly bombed at the box office. Breeze was nearly immediately scaled back and reduced to enhancement, until he was called upon by R-Truth to become his tag team partner in the Golden Truth storyline.
Fashion Files: The Case of The Golden Truth
It began innocently enough. A comedic series of vignettes to lead to the pairing of two WWE veterans that weren’t being used, Goldust and R-Truth. The duo’s comedic cat and mouse game of “should we”/”shouldn’t we” in regards to teaming together became a brief hit with the audience (until they actually teamed up and became the bottom rung tag team in the division). But the real story of this angle turned out to be the seemingly random pairing of Fandango and Tyler Breeze together, when they two turned on their respective partners and joined together as Breezango.
At first, Breezango seemed to follow a similar fate as the Golden Truth. The story played out, the faces became the lower card tag team and Breezango seemed to be on par with the atrociously booked Ascension. But soon the two began to shed the narcissist gimmicks that both had been tiredly holding onto, and began to become more slapstick in their presentation. They began to write tickets for “fashion crimes” and dressing like cops. And thus, the Fashion Police era began.
Fashion Files: The Case of Southpaw Wrestling
Just as the Fashion Police gimmick was winning over fans around the WWE Universe and internet alike, the WWE released an online web series called Southpaw Regional Wrestling, just before WrestleMania 33. The comedy series, which satirized 80’s territorial wrestling, won instant acclaim, in particular the buffoonary of Fandango’s character, the drunken, broken down announcer, Chet Chetterfield. Tyler Breeze also portrayed the hilarious “Mr. McMahon” character, Mr. Mackelroy. In a hilarious twist, both made an appearance at WrestleMania AXXESS completely in character from their appearance on Southpaw.
Fashion Files: The Case of the Fashion Files
In early May of this year, the Fashion Police gimmick hit its stride with the creation of The Fashion Files, a Law and Order-esque sketch comedy series of skits that followed Breezango on a series of fashion charges, until they were attacked and went on a case to find their attackers. The absurdity and overwhelming joy of these two’s commitment to the vignettes made the Fashion Files – and Breezango – some of the most must-see segments on Smackdown Live all year.
Fashion Files: The Case of the Tag Team Championship
As much as the vignettes of Fashion Files has been so popular, Breezango still haven’t made much of an impact in the ring. And while they’re regularly quite busy on the Live Events circuit and dark matches for Smackdown Live, aside from tonight’s match to determine the new #1 contenders for The Usos‘ Smackdown Tag Team titles, the last televised tag match with Breezango was their victory over The Ascension at Money In The Bank on June 18. But hopefully WWE took notice of the pop Breezango got when they came out tonight and sees that there’s real hope for a fun run with Breezango in the ring, as well as backstage. And like Rolling Stone mentioned in their article, they don’t necessarily have to be the perennial main event contenders in the division. They can remain the anchors of the mid-card with their comedic lunacy, just like Too Cool was for years during the Attitude Era. But hey, if Jerry’s Kid and The Worm can hold WWE Tag Team gold, it’s not out of order to wish for one for Breezango as well.
Anything less, would be a fashion crime.