Curtis competed in the pre-show Battle Royal at WrestleMania XXVII, which was won by The Great Khali. Curtis was seen at Edge's farewell speech on the April 15 edition of SmackDown. He was also present at Extreme Rules during Big Show's and Kane's match against The Corre as a lumberjack.
After various dark matches, Curtis made his debut on the June 3 edition of SmackDown in a bizarre backstage promo in which he briefly summed up his status with former NXT Pro R-Truth and his promised tag team title shot, abrubtly stating "That's not going to happen... and that's the truth." (due to Truth's recent heel 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 backstage promos all playing on words, Curtis made his in-ring debut as a face for the brand on the August 12 edition of SmackDown in a losing effort to Mark Henry in only 54 seconds.
Curtis seemingly turned heel on the November 3 edition of NXT Redemption, teaming with Tyson Kidd against The Usos in a losing effort. He then scored his first win on November 9 edition of NXT Redemption when he teamed up with Derrick Bateman against Percy Watson and Titus O'Neil. As the weeks followed, Bateman and Curtis would feud against each other for Maxine, who was Bateman's storyline fiance 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, Derrick Bateman interrupted Curtis and Maxine's 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 thier 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 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. On the final episode of the fifth season of NXT on June 13, Curtis teamed with Michael McGillicutty in a losing effort against the Usos.
After the conclusion of the fifth season of NXT, NXT transitioned into the renamed Florida Championship Wrestling developmental territory. Curtis continued appearing on NXT, where on the October 11 tapings (which aired on November 28) Curtis finally received his tag team title shot from winning season four of NXT, when he teamed up with Michael McGillicutty in a losing effort against champions Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan).
In a dark match at the October 23 SmackDown taping, Curtis debuted a new tango dancer gimmick, defeating Sami Callihan. On the November 5 episode of Raw, a vignette aired for Curtis's new character, now 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 the character was not seen for a month. He would resurface 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 make his debut on the March 1 episode of SmackDown As a heel. 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 the likes of 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. On April 7 at Wrestlemania 29, Fandango finally made his debut match by defeating Jericho.
Fandango wrestled in his Raw debut match against Kofi Kingston the following night. Despite Fandango being a heel wrestler and winning via disqualification from Chris Jericho attacking him, he still received an enthusiastic ovation from the live audience as they boisterously sang his theme music and created a dance for it as well. Not only did this take place during and shortly after his encounter, but it also took place long after the show itself. On the April 12 episode of 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 taken effect the previous week. However, when Fandango appeared, he simply stated that he was dissatisfied by the live audience and their attempts at "Fandangoing" and because of this, refused them anymore of his presence. On April 19, Fandango appeared on the 21st edition of The JBL and Cole Show, shown as being turned off by Tony Dawson trying to effect the Fandango audience dance. At Extreme Rules, Fandango would go on to be defeated by Jericho. On the May 27th, 2013 edition of RAW, he would defeat Wade Barrett in a non-title match with The Miz being the guest referee. On June 10th WWE announced on its website that Fandango had suffered a concussion on the June 7th, 2013 edition of SmackDown in a match against Zack Ryder, and that he would not compete at WWE Payback. He was replaced by Curtis Axel. On the June 28 episode of Smackdown!, Teddy Long announced that Fandango will compete in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. Fandango returned on the July 1 episode of Raw, losing to Sheamus via count-out. On July 14 at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, Fandango competed in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match, but was unsuccessful as the match was won by Damien Sandow. On the September 2 edition of Raw, Fandango had his nose broken by The Miz and was defeated by him, which also involved R-Truth and The Great Khali, as well as losing another match to him at Night of Champions. Fandango ended his losing streak on the September 17th 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.