Tammy Lynn Sytch
|Tammy Lynn Sytch|
Sytch at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 2, 2010
|Birth name||Tamara Lynn Sytch|
|Born||December 7, 1972|
Matawan, New Jersey
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Tammy Spirit|
Tammy Lynn Fytch
Tammy Lynn Sytch
|Billed height||5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)|
|Billed weight||118 lb (54 kg)|
|Trained by||Kevin Sullivan|
Tamara Lynn Sytch (born December 7, 1972) widely known by her ring name Sunny, is an American professional wrestling manager, valet, and ring announcer. Sytch achieved great success as ring name Sunny within the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE) during the 1990s and is considered the first WWF Diva. In 1998 America Online named Sytch, "Sunny", the most downloaded celebrity on the internet. She later performed under her birth name in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), and Ring of Honor. Sytch was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Championships and accomplishments
- 5 Adult entertainment
- 6 Legal issues
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
Sytch grew up in a strict family with a father retired from the United States Navy. Upon entering Smoky Mountain Wrestling in 1993, her fictional "in-character" storyline presented her as having come from studying pre-law at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She then switched to pre-med at the University of Tennessee, with the ambition to be a plastic or orthopedic surgeon. During her first year of college, she worked as a freelance photographer.
Professional wrestling career
Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1992–1995)
Sytch started out traveling with her boyfriend Chris Candido to make some extra money. In late 1992, she signed a six-month deal with Smoky Mountain Wrestling. She first appeared onscreen as Tammy Fytch in 1993. She played a villain, who idolized Hillary Clinton. In her first storyline with the company, she threatened to file a sexual discrimination lawsuit due to the lack of prominent positions offered to females. She managed Brian Lee to the Heavyweight Championship and also began accompanying Candido in his matches. By May 1994, she was managing the two men as a tag team, which won the Tag Team Championship from The Rock 'n' Roll Express. Both Sytch and Candido, however, left the promotion in early 1995 for jobs with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
World Wrestling Federation (1995–1998)
In late 1994, Sytch was contacted by the WWF, and she began appearing as Tamara Murphy, a commentator for "Live Event News" segments during syndicated WWF television shows. One month later, Candido joined the WWF, and the duo began appearing as Sunny and Skip, known collectively as the villainous fitness fanatics, The Bodydonnas. Zip later joined the team, and Sunny was in their corner when they won the Tag Team Championship over The Godwinns at WrestleMania XII. In 1996, she won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Manager of the Year Award. She was also AOL's most downloaded woman of that year. Weeks later, The Godwinns regained the championship, and Sunny turned on The Bodydonnas in favor of the new champions. She then turned on The Godwinns and helped The Smoking Gunns win the Tag Team Championship. After The Smokin' Gunns lost the title at In Your House 10: Mind Games, she fired them in the middle of the ring.
She spent a short time as the manager of Faarooq Asaad, aiding him in his feud over the Intercontinental Championship with Marc Mero and his valet Sable. Sytch then began acting as host for several WWF television shows, including LiveWire and Shotgun Saturday Night. In addition, she appeared on MTV's Singled Out and Entertainment Tonight. Meanwhile, Candido left the WWF for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), and it was not long before she began making guest appearances with him in the promotion. In August 1997, she appeared at ECW's Hardcore Heaven 1997 pay-per-view.
In 1998, Sunny became a face and briefly became the manager for the Legion of Doom 2000, leading them to a win in a Tag Team Championship number one contender battle royal at WrestleMania XIV. Sunny would continue to manage them until she was released in July 1998 amid rumors of backstage problems with Rena "Sable" Mero and an addiction to painkillers, as well as no-showing several appearances.
Extreme Championship Wrestling (1998–1999)
After being released by the WWF in July 1998, Sytch joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). She made her debut at Heat Wave four days after her WWF release. Now billed as Tammy Lynn Sytch, she assisted Candido in his win over Lance Storm and their subsequent feud. By September, Storm introduced his own valet, a parody of Sytch, "Tammy Lynn Bytch", (later known as Dawn Marie). Later that year, amid more rumors of drug use, Sytch and Candido took some time off of television.
When the duo returned, Candido re-aligned with Shane Douglas' Triple Threat, and Sytch began a feud with Douglas's manager Francine. The feud was cut short when Sytch was arrested after violating a restraining order filed by her mother. After a brief tour of Australia, she returned in October 1999 on an episode of ECW on TNN, where she talked openly about her past drug issues and reformation. After a brief feud with Dawn Marie, there were rumors that Sytch had been found passed out in a locker room. Candido and Sytch left the promotion in December 1999.
World Championship Wrestling (2000)
After appearing in Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) in early 2000, both Sytch and Candido signed on with World Championship Wrestling (WCW). Candido debuted in March of that year and Sytch debuted one month later at Spring Stampede, helping him win the WCW Cruiserweight Championship in a match against The Artist Formerly Known as Prince Iaukea. She then feuded with Iaukea's valet Paisley. The short-lived feud came to a conclusion at Slamboree when The Artist and Paisley stripped Tammy's dress off to reveal her undergarments following Candido's singles victory over Iaukea. Sytch and Candido then briefly feuded with Crowbar and Daffney. Candido later dropped the title, which marked the end of the couple's run with the company. As in the past, Sytch's departure was surrounded by rumors of drug abuse.
Independent circuit (2000–present)
After being released from WCW, the duo landed in Xtreme Pro Wrestling where she managed Candido to a title (the XPW World Heavyweight Title) once again. Candido and Sytch parted ways with XPW and started touring other independent wrestling promotions. In the spring of 2003, Sytch and Candido moved to Puerto Rico and were set to work for Victor Quinones' International Wrestling Association promotion. Sabu convinced them to work for Carlos Colón's rival World Wrestling Council (WWC) promotion instead. After six months, the couple quit the promotion and headed back to the States. Upon their return to the States, both Sytch and Candido briefly lived with former ECW wrestler Hack Myers in his home in Florida.
After the death of Candido, Sytch became regularly involved in the independent circuit again. Sytch made appearances as a referee for NWS Wrestling in May 2005 and attended a Chris Candido Memorial show on June 4, 2005. Also, Sytch was a part of Hardcore Homecoming on June 10, 2005. She first came out with Johnny Grunge and Pitbull #1 to do a tribute to former ECW wrestlers who had recently died. Among those honored were Candido, Pitbull #2, and Rocco Rock. They were interrupted by Danny Doring and Roadkill, but 911 cleared them out of the ring.
During this time period, Sytch appeared at the New Jersey-based NWA Cyberspace promotion. Soon after Sytch's departure from NWA Cyberspace, the New Jersey-based National Wrestling Superstars (NWS) became her new primary wrestling promotion. She appeared on a handful the promotion's shows in the summer, and on June 3, 2006, she managed Lex Luger to victory over Johnny Candido. Prior to the bout, a presentation was held from The Manasquan Elks Lodge to the Chris Candido Memorial Fund. The Elks Lodge donated $500 to the fund, with the money being used towards a scholarship for a Manasquan High School student. In spite of the prior ruling, Sytch returned to NWA Shockwave (formerly NWA Cyberspace) in 2006 as a featured headliner. On December 1, 2006, Sytch was appointed the new commissioner of NWA Shockwave. Immediately following this announcement, Sytch declared all Shockwave championship titles vacant and informed fans that new Heavyweight and Internet Champions would be crowned on January 13.
Sytch made an appearance at a Ring of Honor show on December 29, 2007 held at New York City, seated at ringside during a non-title three-way match where Daizee Haze defeated fellow ROH regulars Lacey, and then-Shimmer Champion Sara Del Rey. Upon the conclusion of the match, Lacey verbally assaulted Sytch and accused her of denigrating women's roles in professional wrestling, which supposedly resulted in women's wrestlers not being taken seriously in the industry. She also threatened to assault Sytch, but Haze made the save on Sytch's behalf. Sytch made a few more appearances for ROH in 2008, where she repeatedly offered her services to Austin Aries but was turned down. On the April 12 ROH show, Larry Sweeney announced that he had opened a "Diva School" and invited Sytch to be the trainer, an offer she said she would consider.
Sytch made an appearance at Dynamite Championship Wrestling's 9 Year Anniversary Event in February 2012. She would be the official Host of the Event. She also made an appearance for Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling on September 14, 2013 at the "Back at It" event in Freeland, Pennsylvania.
WWE appearances (2007, 2009, 2011)
Sytch made an appearance on the 15th Anniversary of Raw. Sytch, as Sunny, participated at WrestleMania XXV on April 5, 2009 in the 25-Diva battle royal for the crown of "Miss WrestleMania" but was Eliminated by Beth Phoenix. Sytch was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by the entire roster of WWE Divas on April 2, 2011.
Sytch attended the same high school as her long-time boyfriend, Chris Candido, who would later introduce her to the professional wrestling industry. Sytch regularly managed Candido throughout his career and remained with him until his death in 2005. By 2007, she was once again in school, studying Medical Technology.
Sytch had a nine-month affair with Shawn Michaels. In 1997, Michaels accused Sytch and Bret Hart of having an affair, which Hart denied. The accusation began causing marital problems for Hart, which led to a backstage confrontation with Michaels. Sytch was friends with Hart and would entertain his children whenever they followed him on tour. Sytch walked out of Raw the night after the Montreal Screwjob, the incident in which WWF owner Vince McMahon cost Hart the WWF Championship.
Sytch was rushed to the hospital in 2001 after her appendix burst, which required time off from wrestling to heal. While in jail in 2013, Sytch said that she was diagnosed with cervical cancer but underwent a hysterectomy and was later diagnosed as cancer free.
Championships and accomplishments
- Cauliflower Alley Club
- Other honoree (1996)
- New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame
- Class of 2013
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Women Superstars Uncensored
- World Wrestling Federation/WWE
In 1997, Playboy approached Sytch in regards to posing nude for the magazine, but she declined the offer. Rena "Sable" Mero, with whom Sytch had real-life animosity, later said that Playboy never contacted Sytch for a possible photo shoot. She did, however, frequently pose nude for Missy Hyatt's adult website Wrestling Vixxxens, which she later said she regretted.
In 2012, Sytch was arrested five times in a four-week span, for disorderly conduct, third degree burglary, and three counts of violating a protective order. She was arrested a sixth time in January 2013, also for violating a protective order. During a February 2013 interview, Sytch criticized the way WWE handled her company-sponsored rehabilitation program in 2012, linking her alleged poor treatment to Linda McMahon's failed senate run. WWE responded with a statement claiming that after multiple failed attempts to help Sytch, they would no longer pay for future rehabilitation visits under the company's Former Talent Rehabilitation Program. To date, Sytch is the only former talent for whom WWE will no longer cover the expenses of rehabilitation. Sytch served 114 days in jail and was released in May 2013.
In January 2016, Sytch pleaded guilty to driving while under suspension. A judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail on August 18, but counted her 97 days in rehab as time served. On September 23, eighteen days into her probation, Sytch was arrested for violating her parole. The arrest was due to three 2015 DUIs. Sytch remained in jail on these charges through her arraignment in January 2017. She was fined $1,496.45 for the remaining charges and was released on February 3.
Sytch was once again arrested on February 27, 2018. Sytch was charged as a fugitive from justice, and given several "Contempt – Disobedience / Resistance" charges as well. She was detained within Monmouth County Jail and charged for failure to appear in court warrants for both Aberdeen Township and Knowlton Township. Both charges stem from DUI citations on both January 23 and February 2, 2018. An additional citation for fleeing the scene of accident was given in the February 2 incident. Her initial bail charge was set at $2,500. The bond on the Aberdeen Township charge was later set to $5,000 while the Knowlton Township bond was set at $1,000 for a total of $6,000. Sytch was extradited back to Carbon County, Pennsylvania due to a bench warrant issued as a result of her probation being revoked for multiple parole violations on August 22, 2017. Sytch faces five years in prison on the Pennsylvania charge after previously being issued a zero-tolerance ultimatum for future probation violations by Judge Joseph J. Matika. Sytch was released on parole from Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania on October 9, 2018.
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