That summary line is worth repeating over and over again.
It’s the kind of thing that’d reduce one to a confused mess of cries like, ‘Why would WWE go out of their way to crush a promising push or actively discouraged any reactions from the audience?’ Weirdly, it has happened. In fact, it’s happened to ton throughout company history.
Here’s the deal: Vince McMahon calls the shots around these parts. I always have. WWE might’ve installed several other decision-makers since the 1980s, but they’re at McMahon’s mercy-it’s very-much his way of him or the highway. What Vince wants on-screen goes on-screen, and what he doesn’t…doesn’t.
This causes problems when an act starts to get over with fans “in the wrong way”.
To explain, Vince apparently doesn’t like it when heel characters catch fire with crowds and bag an organic babyface response. This is often ignored if it’s the other way around (Roman Reigns circa 2015-2018, for example), which only makes things even more baffling.
Here are the WWE gimmicks/characters/pushes scrapped because they were too successful or worked in spite of WWE. You won’t believe some of these stories…
DAAA-DUH! DAAA-DAAA-DAAA-DUH-DUH! DUH-DUH-DUH!
Anyone who lived through WWE’s 2013 will remember that. Fandango’s catchy entrance theme blew up overnight, and turned the dancing fool from Chris Jericho’s random WrestleMania 29 conquerer into a sudden flavor of the month sensation who dominated space on iTunes as well.
The promotion embraced this unexpected mainstream attention at first. They presented Fandango as a hot newcomer who could sustainably thrive atop WWE cards, but then… they lost interest. It’s almost like Vinnie Mac decided the tune sucked after setting it as his Blackberry ringtone and hearing it non-stop.
As quickly as he’d landed in the collective fan consciousness, Dango was plucked from it.
He was supposed to be a heel, damn it! A concussion before challenging for the Intercontinental Title then wrecked the dancer’s remaining momentum and Fandango’s brief moment in the sun was very-much over. He’d never reach those heights again, partly ’cause WWE got frosty on embracing that fans were in on the fun.