Derek Burgan reviews Shoot Interview with Tammy Lynn Sytch
Produced by RF Video
Without a doubt, the most beautiful woman in wrestling in the 1990s was Sunny. Played by Tammy Sytch, Sunny's incredible popularity made her the first WWE Diva of the modern era. After leaving WWE, Sytch has had some well documented issues, including drug abuse allegations in ECW, working for the Wrestling Vixxxens website, her longtime boyfriend Chris Candido passing away while working for TNA, and continues to have the term "Sunny Days" (a reference Shawn Michaels made to imply Sytch having an affair with a married Bret Hart) hanging over head. Suffice to say, Tammy Sytch's most recent shoot interview is one of the most anticipated shoots over the past several years. Will it live up to expectations? Let's check it out.
Tammy started off the shoot by talking about her previous involvement in the Wrestling Vixxxens series. Tammy justified her appearance on the DVDs by saying she at least left a little something to the imagination as compared to the other skanks who showed all of their business. There's something to be said for the mindset of a person who has no problem doing porn, but needs it to be tasteful. Tammy added that she had been approached by Playboy while working for WWE but didn't feel the time was right. At 27, she finally felt it was the appropriate time to let nude shots be taken. Well, they say timing is everything. She also got a big runaround by the guy producing the DVDs and eventually Sytch said she wasn't going to do any more work for the website unless she gets paid. I tried that once with Bryan Alvarez. It didn't work either.
Tammy admitted doing the Vixxxens stuff was a big mistake after the Vixxxens webmaster gave Tammy the runaround on her payoffs, including the claim that Missy Hyatt had already taken all the money via an ATM card. This led to a bunch of Hyatt stories, a girl Sytch said had once been like a sister to her. Their friendship ended when Sytch claims to have woken up one night to find Hyatt doing crack over her head with an unnamed mystery woman. I'm now having flashbacks to sleeping at Keith Lipinski's condo during WrestleMania weekend. In a doozy, Tammy said she didn't want to be associated with a user, as she would look like a user herself, so she ended their relationship. Tammy then said she has never done any recreational drugs. This reminds me of wrestling's version of being "clean" and the real life definition, which are completely different.
Puerto Rico: Tammy said that she and Chris Candido were all set to work for the late Victor Quinones' IWA in Puerto Rico when Sabu called in a solid and asked them to work for rival Carlos Colon's World Wrestling Council . The pair agreed - as Sabu was like family - and started in WWC at 800 bucks a week, even though they would have gotten 1,000 a week in IWA. The pair didn't mind the country, as it was a break from the WWE/ECW/WCW grind they had being doing, and accepted a two year deal, but once they got an apartment in Puerto Rico the troubles began in earnest. Soon they were getting 750 a week. Then 700. This went down till they would just be drawing 150 a week and then they had trouble just getting their checks. You can imagine how well this went over. Meanwhile, the conditions in Puerto Rico were piss poor, as poverty was everywhere in the country and going to the ring was a chore without getting hit by nine volt batteries or cups of warm piss. After six months the pair left the country and shacked up with Hack Myers at Hack's house in Florida, with Tammy thinking about killing Sabu. Tammy would have probably wanted to kill Myers shortly after finding out it wasn't his house they were staying in, it was his parents.
I actually met Hack Myers when I went to the first WrestleReunion and he seemed to be a nice guy. An old friend of Sytch and Candido from their ECW days, Myers began to get on Sytch's nerves when she felt Myers was using her as a "road wife." Not road wife in the usual wrestling sense, Myers wanted Sytch to cook and clean the house for him. This went over about as well as the low paydays in Puerto Rico, and as soon as Candido was booked for a Frank Goodman UXW show, the pair boarded a plane to New York and never returned to Florida.
The topic of discussion went towards Sytch's weight gain over the past several years. Sytch blamed it on heavy drinking, which caused her to suffer pancreatitis, a condition she said almost killed her. This screwed up the insulin control in her body and that combined with a thyroid condition caused her to balloon in weight. Tammy also noted the gas she was on while in ECW, to achieve the "ripped" body type, didn't help the problem either.
The Low Ki Incident: Tammy talked about the infamous moment in 2002 at a USA Pro show in which Low Ki sat in a chair she had been sitting in previously (to apply makeup) and refused to give it back up to her. Low Ki was going over his match with Crowbar and was not pleased at all to hear Sytch back talk him. "YOU WILL SHOW RESPECT TO LOW KI." That is much cooler when you say it using your Low Ki voice. Sytch said she went hoss on Ki and that it took four guys to hold her back while only two held him back. Sytch mentioned that the show was filled with old ECW guys and they would have killed Ki if he had actually laid a hand on her. I don't know about that, because Low Ki has FIGHTING SPIRIT and it would take a lot more than Balls Mahoney and Bam Bam Bigelow to take him down. Sytch said that Low Ki never apologized to her (and made it sound like Ki doesn't apologize for anything) but added that Ki later asked Candido to evaluate one of Ki's matches, and that was Ki's way of squashing their heat. One day I vow to write the Unwritten Rules of the Locker Room! The book will be the next DaVinci Code. Well, at least to undersexed, overweight, Star Wars nerds who know immediately what movie I'm talking about when I say the quote, "Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the gun."
Speaking of my upcoming book, Sytch told a story about a time when Jackie Gayda was supposed to work with Tammy over in Jersey All Pro Wrestling and never came up to say hello to Tammy, even though Jackie had been in the building for an hour. Tammy went up to Gayda and said "Hi," but was completely blown off. "Jackie would not have a job in this business if it wasn't for me. They (WWE) didn't know how to use girls until me." I seem to remember Miss Elizabeth doing quite well during her tenure.
Tammy remembers WWE the most, as the company made her career. Sytch did go over how she and Candido left ECW, completely leaving out any mention of drug issues, only to find out their American Express card was still being used by the company to purchase airline tickets. They ended up having to sell their $500,000 dollar house just to pay off the debts. Sytch ended up with $30,000, despite putting $120,000 down and paying an ungodly mortgage. Sytch felt that if Candido had not passed away, he would have been in the WWE because Heyman felt he owed the two of them for how all of that went down. And hey, if you can't trust Paul Heyman, who can you trust?
The rumors of Tammy becoming a flight attendant is just that, rumors. Sytch just happen to haphazardly say she wouldn't mind being a flight attendant one day, and the story took on a life of its own. Not for nothing, but I bought the DVD set Airline: Season One, which was a reality show based on the daily events that happened to various Southwest airline employees, and I found it to be an incredible watch.
No Gimmicks Needed: Tammy talked about Chris Candido breaking his leg in a meaningless tag match at TNA's Lockdown show. Candido was a substitute for Kid Kash and fractured both his tibia and fibula while also dislocating his ankle when Sonny Siaki landed awkwardly while performing a leg lariat. Candido was crying like a baby after it happened, afraid the injury would ruin his momentum, as both felt Chris had finally turned the corner in his life. Sytch was the calming voice of reason. Sytch admits that Candido took percasets from the doctor because he was in excruciating pain. "If you are going to hold him responsible for taking pain medication, fuck you." Candido couldn't have been happier in TNA and was even looking forward to a job as an agent. Tammy talked about the last 24 hours of Candido's life, as he showed up and worked at a TNA taping, using a wheelchair and crutches as his gimmicks, and helped the Naturals win the TNA tag belts. I remember seeing some of Candido's incredible performance from this day as part of the Forever Hardcore DVD. Truly a five star performance.
Tammy said Chris flew home to New Jersey and woke up in pain. Turns out that Candido had pneumonia and the doctors had to drain his lungs. Shockingly, Candido wanted no general anaesthesia for this. Tammy said that she didn't use general anaesthesia for her nose job or two boob jobs. After being told it would be a very painful procedure, Candido agreed to the anaesthesia. Tammy left the room, only to come back twenty minutes later and was told by the doctor, "I'm sorry, he's gone." Tammy said she went crazy and even began punching the doctor. The medical staff had found a blood clot, which apparently formed when Candido flew home from Orlando. Sytch said that Candido didn't even have to fly home as he could have stayed in Florida with any number of friends if he had just been told he couldn't fly. Sytch said she is looking for the "right lawyer" to pursue litigation on that matter, as she felt the hospital was negligent for not supplying Chris with any antibiotics or informing Candido of the dangers of flying after surgery. Personally, I think it was a damn shame that someone who had come back from so much had to go this way, especially since Candido was so good to the younger wrestlers and willing to check out their matches to talk about what worked and what didn’t. Wrestling needs more guys like Chris Candido.
Candido's death also presented another problem, as Tammy and Chris were never legally married. The two vowed that if they ever had a family, they would get married, but were fine with the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Because of that, "Mommy and Daddy made arrangements." You can tell throughout this segment that Sytch is still bitter about how things went down concerning Candido's funeral arrangements. Chris' mom told Tammy,"We decided we're going to cremate him." Mom wanted this because she wasn't always "going to live in New Jersey." Tammy didn't want to cremate Chris, she wanted to have him buried near her dad. Candido's mom had a classic response to that: "You don't have a choice. Don't worry, you're gonna get a third." Wow. Candido's mom also laid the guilt trip card on Tammy, all but blaming her for Candido's death since she didn't take him to the hospital in time. Candido's mom also said "It should've been you" to Tammy, which is just about as low as a human being can go. Sytch said she hasn't talked to Candido's mom since that time and has had only limited interaction with Candido's step-dad while continuing to have a much better relationship with Candido's brother and sisters.
Candido's Wake (a.k.a. "The biggest house Chris ever drew"): "There was no one who did not attend," said Tammy as she described people flying in from Japan as well as friends from ECW, WWE and TNA. Dixie Carter even made the trip. Tammy looked at Rob Feinstein and asked, "Were you there?" Feinstein was. Tammy had a great line as she remembered looking up to the sky and saying, "You finally sold the place out." TNA sent Tammy a ham before the funeral. "A boneless fucking ham." Tammy remembered saying to Dawn Marie, "Look what I got from TNA." Sytch also told a story about getting Candido's final TNA paycheck, but then couldn't cash it. The bank said, "He's gotta be here." Sytch called up Terry Taylor and explained the situation, saying she needed a check in her name. A couple of months went by before Taylor called Sytch back and said, "We can't do it." This is like the tenth welcome to wrestling story, and we're not even an hour into the shoot! Sytch's family ended up making her go to a psychiatrist and she was soon taking anti-depressants. This made her gain weight and subsequently become even more depressed. Sytch soon stopped going to that psychiatrist.
Surprisingly, Sytch's first wrestling booking was only a week after the funeral, at WEW in Florida. "The Queen of Extreme," Francine, made the deal and promised Tammy she would get $500 for the shot. The show had a 10 bell salute for Candido and Tammy broke down afterward. Then Sytch really broke down when she only got a check for $100 after the show. Welcome to… well, you know the rest. After the show Tammy realized she wasn't ready to be in front of a crowd, so she went home and got HAMMERED. This led to a diatribe on people holding "memorial shows" for Candido. Sytch said she was actually shorted by, of all people, Ian Rotten. When Candido was alive, Tammy would curse out Ian because he would take advantage of Candido, guaranteeing Candido $1500 but giving Chris $600. "What kind of friend are you?" Tammy said, "Now he wants to run a memorial show?!" Sytch felt that she should at least be asked to be a part of any memorial show a company is planning for Candido, while putting over the NWA Cyberspace company for having the best of the lot. I think that means their check cleared.
Dating after Chris: Tammy got back into the dating scene as she felt lonely after Candido's passing, although she admitted some people in her social circle said it was too soon. Tammy said she was mostly meeting "drunks and assholes." Well, welcome to the wonderful world of men! Tammy then went into details on her current boyfriend. Apparently Tammy now works as a salesperson for a workout club in New Jersey and a bunch of cops work out there. One of the cops wanted to introduce her to a friend as he felt they were both "obnoxious." Tammy finally agreed and talked about talking on the phone to guy for hours along with texting him. Yada, Yada, Yada, they finally met and she was in love. To a fan of Candido, like myself, this was completely nauseating. Yes, I realize Tammy Sytch is not going to be a virgin until she dies, but this is just something I didn't feel comfortable hearing about. In the LINE OF THE SHOOT, Tammy said the two have been inseparable and added, "It's been five amazing weeks, I'll probably spend the rest of my life with him."
"It's been five amazing weeks, I'll probably spend the rest of my life with him."
"It's been five amazing weeks, I'll probably spend the rest of my life with him."
Tammy is working on getting back into "Sunny shape" and wants another run in WWE, "To show those fucking girls how it is done." Tammy wasn't impressed by that skit on WWE's $250,000 'Rat Search back in 2004 in which none of the girls knew who Kamala was. Sytch could understand not knowing Ron Bass, but Kamala?! When asked who on the indy scene could make it in WWE, Sytch said, and I swear to God I'm not making this up, Mike Kruel. I could probably name 100 workers off the top of my head I'd like to see on Raw or SmackDown and not one of those names is Mike Kruel.
All SHIMMER fans ignore the following. Sytch was asked, "Can a full time women's wrestling company work?" Sytch replied, "Never happened, never will."
THE TWF "MENTAL WELLNESS TEST!"
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).