Tammy Lynn Sytch

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Tammy Lynn Sytch
10.2.10TammyLynnSytchByLuigiNovi1.jpg
Sytch at the Big Apple Convention in Manhattan, October 2, 2010
Birth nameTamara Lynn Sytch
Born (1972-12-07) December 7, 1972 (age 46)[1]
Matawan, New Jersey[1]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Tammy Spirit[1]
Tammy Lynn Fytch[1]
Tamara Murphy[1]
Sunny[1]
Tammy Lynn Sytch[1]
Billed height5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)[1]
Billed weight118 lb (54 kg)[1]
Trained byKevin Sullivan[2]
Chris Candido[2]
Jim Cornette[2]
Debut1993[1]

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 Sunny within the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, later WWE) during the 1990s and is considered the first WWF Diva.[3][4] In 1996 America Online named Sytch, "Sunny", the most downloaded celebrity on the internet.[5] 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.

Early life[edit]

Sytch grew up in a strict family[6] with a father retired from the United States Navy.[7] 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.[8] She then switched to pre-med at the University of Tennessee,[2][8] with the ambition to be a plastic or orthopedic surgeon.[9] During her first year of college, she worked as a freelance photographer.[8]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Smoky Mountain Wrestling (1992–1995)[edit]

Sytch started out traveling with her boyfriend Chris Candido to make some extra money.[2] 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).[8]

World Wrestling Federation (1995–1998)[edit]

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.[8] 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.[8][10] Zip later joined the team, and Sunny was in their corner when they won the Tag Team Championship over The Godwinns at WrestleMania XII.[2][8] In 1996, she won Pro Wrestling Illustrated's Manager of the Year Award. She was also AOL's most downloaded woman of that year.[1][10] 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.[8]

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.[8] Sytch then began acting as host for several WWF television shows, including LiveWire and Shotgun Saturday Night.[8] 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.[8]

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.[10] 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.[8]

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1998–1999)[edit]

After being released by the WWF in July 1998, Sytch joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).[11] She made her debut at Heat Wave four days after her WWF release.[8] Now billed as Tammy Lynn Sytch, she assisted Candido in his win over Lance Storm and their subsequent feud.[8][10] 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.[8]

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.[8] 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.[8]

World Championship Wrestling (2000)[edit]

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.[8] As in the past, Sytch's departure was surrounded by rumors of drug abuse.[8]

Independent circuit (2000–2018)[edit]

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.

Sytch as a referee in April 2009

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.[12] 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.

On December 22, 2007, Sytch won her first championship, the WSU Championship, after defeating the champion Alicia at a Women Superstars Uncensored (WSU) show in Lake Hiawatha, New Jersey,[1] holding the title until March 21, 2008, when she lost the title to Nikki Roxx in a three-way match that also included Alexa Thatcher. Sytch turned heel at WSU's J-Cup Tournament a day later, when she appeared as the villainous manager for Dawn Marie in her first round match against Becky Bayless, which Bayless won via disqualification.

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.

A week after being released from jail in October 2018, Sytch announced via Facebook that she would be taking bookings for what she claimed would be her final nine to twelve months of appearances before retiring to a private life.[13]

WWE appearances (2007, 2009, 2011)[edit]

Sytch made an appearance on the 15th Anniversary of Raw.[14] 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.[15] Sytch was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by the entire roster of WWE Divas on April 2, 2011.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Sytch attended the same high school as her long-time boyfriend, Chris Candido, who would later introduce her to the professional wrestling industry.[8] Sytch regularly managed Candido throughout his career and remained with him until his death in 2005.[17] By 2007, she was once again in school, studying Medical Technology.[2]

Sytch had a nine-month affair with Shawn Michaels.[18] In 1997, Michaels insinuated that Bret Hart had been having an affair with Sytch, which Hart denied. The accusation caused marital problems for Hart, leading to a backstage confrontation with Michaels.[19] Sytch was friends with Hart and would entertain his children whenever they followed him on tour.[20] Sytch walked out of Raw the night after, and in reaction to, the Montreal Screwjob, the incident in which WWF owner Vince McMahon cost Hart the WWF Championship.[8]

Sytch was rushed to the hospital in 2001 after her appendix burst, which required time off from wrestling to heal.[8] 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.[21][22]

She released an autobiography, A Star Shattered: The Rise & Fall & Rise of Wrestling Diva Tammy "Sunny" Sytch, on February 4, 2016.[23]

Legal issues[edit]

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.[24] Sytch served 114 days in jail and was released in May 2013.[21]

Throughout May and June 2015, Sytch was pulled over and arrested in Pennsylvania three times for DUI. Sytch pled guilty to all three of the main charges with the lesser charges being dropped. During a July 2016 interview with Bill Apter, Sytch said she agreed to plead guilty because she was "blackout drunk" during the arrests and that she did not remember them, stating that it was the worst relapse of her life.[25]

In January 2016, Sytch pled guilty to driving while under suspension.[26] A judge sentenced her to 90 days in jail on August 18, but counted her 97 days in rehab as time served.[27] On September 12, 2016 was rushed to Palmerton Hospital, from her home in Palmerton, Pennsylvania where alcohol was discovered. This led to a charge for violating the parole stemming from her three Pennsylvania DUI cases from 2015.[28] Sytch remained in jail on these charges through her arraignment in January 2017. She was fined $1,496.45 for the remaining charges[29] and was released on February 3, 2017.[30]

While on probation, Sytch was arrested in New Jersey for two DUIs on January 23 and February 2, 2018 and was also charged with fleeing the scene of an accident in relation to the February 2 arrest. After failing to appear in court for either case, she was arrested on February 27, 2018 for two fugitive from justice charges and six counts of contempt of court and was placed in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution. While she was being processed it was discovered that she was a fugitive from justice due to her parole from Carbon County Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania having been revoked in August 2017.[31][32] Sytch was subsequently extradited to Pennsylvania on March 23 and remained at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning until she was paroled on October 9, 2018.[33]

A bench warrant was issued for Sytch in Pennsylvania on February 15, 2019 and the Carbon County Probation Department filed a motion to revoke Sytch's October 2018 parole. This was the result of Sytch's failure to continue her payment plan with Pennsylvania to cover the state's legal costs for her case. After making payments of $120 to the state in both October and November 2018, Sytch had ceased making further payments. On February 23, 2019, Sytch was pulled over in Seaside Heights, New Jersey where Seaside Heights police arrested her for driving while intoxicated. They also issued a summons for having an open alcohol container in a motor vehicle, consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle, and reckless driving. Additionally, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, who were also on the scene, issued her a summons for failure to stop at a stop sign, driving the wrong way on a one-way street, driving with a suspended driver’s license, and careless driving. Seaside Heights released Sytch into the custody of the Holmdel Police Department after it was discovered that she still had outstanding warrants in both Holmdel, New Jersey for $1,500 and Knowlton Township, New Jersey for $1,000. She was charged with Contempt of court - Disobedience/Resistance of Court Command on both warrants.[34] Sytch saw a judge via video conference concerning the Holmdel warrant[35] but remained in custody at Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township, New Jersey pending her remaining charges. On March 20, Sytch was extradited from Monmouth County back to Carbon County Correctional Facility to address her Pennsylvania charges.[36] A court hearing for Sytch's Pennsylvania charges is scheduled for April 5, 2019. However, on March 26, Sytch's attorney, Matthew Glenn Schnell, filed a motion to withdraw as her counsel.[37]

Adult entertainment[edit]

Sytch has claimed that, in 1997, Playboy had approached her and offered a six-figure sum to pose nude for the magazine. Sytch stated that she declined the offer[8][38] because she didn't feel that she was emotionally ready to do something like that. Rena "Sable" Mero, with whom Sytch had real-life animosity,[8] later refuted Sytch's claim that she was approached for a possible photo shoot.[39] From 2001 to 2003, however, Sytch regularly posed nude for Missy Hyatt's adult website Wrestling Vixxxens. In later years, Sytch said she regretted taking part in the website due to money she claimed she never received as well as the sexual actions some of the other models performed in their own photo and video shoots.[18]

In 2016, Vivid Entertainment released a pornographic film featuring Sytch titled Sunny Side Up: In Through the Backdoor.[40]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "OWOW profile".
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Martin, Adam (2007-04-20). "Tammy Lynn-Sytch Interview: Talks about her career, Michaels, & more". WrestleView. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  3. ^ Shields, Brian (2014-09-15). 30 Years of WrestleMania. DK Publishing. ISBN 9780241182963.
  4. ^ "Sunny". www.wwe.com. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  5. ^ "Sunny outshines Sable". www.canoe.ca. February 17, 1999.
  6. ^ "The thrills and spills of Sunny, Tammy Lynn Sytch". slam.canoe.com. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  7. ^ "Tammy "Sunny" Sytch's New Adult Film Now Available, Sunny Comments". Wrestlezone. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Altamura, Mike (2001-12-13). "Sunny days, wintry nights: The thrills and spills of Tammy Lynn Sytch". SLAM! Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  9. ^ "Tammy "Sunny" Sytch on getting into wrestling, her new book - WWE News and Results, RAW and Smackdown Results, TNA News, ROH News". WWE News and Results, RAW and Smackdown Results, TNA News, ROH News. 2014-08-06. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
  10. ^ a b c d "WWE Hall of Fame: Sunny". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 2011-03-08.
  11. ^ "Wrestling Queen Tammy Lynn Sytch Returns to Ring On TNN's Friday Night ECW WRESTLING Series". Business Wire. October 6, 1998. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  12. ^ "Sytch becomes Shockwave's new commissioner". Archived from the original on 2011-07-14.
  13. ^ "Tammy Sytch Announces 'Comeback/Farewell' Tour". October 14, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  14. ^ "Hall of Fame: Sunny makes a surprise return at the 15th anniversary of Raw". WWE. 2011-04-03. Archived from the original on 2015-05-24. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  15. ^ Plummer, Dale (2011-04-11). "Wrestlemania 25: HBK-Undertaker steals the show". Slam! Wrestler. Retrieved 2015-05-23.
  16. ^ "Sunny". WWE.
  17. ^ Wade Keller (April 29, 2005). "Chris Candido - 1972-2005: Notes on his life, details on his death, TNA's statement". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
  18. ^ a b Kelley, Patrick and James Walsh (2007-12-12). "The Interactive Interview: Sunny". Wrestling Epicenter. Retrieved 2009-06-16.[unreliable source]
  19. ^ a b McCoy, Heath (2005). Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. CanWest Books. p. 249. ISBN 0-9736719-8-X.
  20. ^ Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows
  21. ^ a b Jennifer Swift (May 21, 2013). "Former WWE diva Tamara Sytch released, charges 'dealt with'". New Haven Register. Retrieved May 23, 2013.
  22. ^ Mike Johnson (2013-05-23). "Sunny out of jail". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2013-05-22.
  23. ^ Mike Johnson (February 4, 2016). "Tammy Sytch Autobiography Released Today". PWInsider.com. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  24. ^ "Ex-WWE Diva Tammy Sytch ARREST #5". TMZ. October 9, 2012.
  25. ^ "WWE HALL OF FAMER TAMMY SYTCH ARRESTED". February 24, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  26. ^ Den McLaughlin (February 4, 2016). "Former WWE diva pleads guilty". Times News (Pennsylvania). Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  27. ^ "WWE Legend Tammy Sytch Ducks Jail In Triple DUI Case". TMZ. August 18, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  28. ^ Werner, Barry (September 23, 2016). "Report: WWE Hall of Famer 'Sunny' under arrest, again". FoxSports.com. Retrieved September 24, 2016.
  29. ^ "Tammy Sytch Receives Fine for 2015 Charges, Still Awaiting Hearing for Arrests for Her Probation Violations". 411Mania. January 28, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  30. ^ "Tammy Sytch Released From Jail, Hearing Cancelled". 411Mania. February 3, 2017. Retrieved February 16, 2017.
  31. ^ "WWE Legend Sunny Busted for DUI Twice In 2 Weeks ... Friends Concerned". TMZ. March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  32. ^ "TWO MORE DUI ARRESTS FOR TAMMY SYTCH". PW Inisder. March 2, 2018. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  33. ^ "Tammy Sytch (Sunny) Issues Statement After Being Released From Jail". October 9, 2018. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  34. ^ "COMPLETE DETAILS ON TAMMY SYTCH'S LATEST ARREST, YET ANOTHER DWI". February 25, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  35. ^ "Tammy Sytch, WWE Hall of Famer, charged with DWI". February 25, 2019. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  36. ^ "TAMMY 'SUNNY' SYTCH LEGAL UPDATE". March 20, 2019. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
  37. ^ "MORE DETAILS ON WHAT LED TO ARREST WARRANT BEING ISSUED FOR TAMMY SYTCH, HEARING SET FOR NEXT MONTH IN PA". March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 27, 2019.
  38. ^ "Mega Offer From Vivid for WWE Diva". SINDOnews.com (in Indonesian). 2016-01-18. Retrieved 2017-07-10.
  39. ^ Greg Oliver (1999-01-11). "Sable looks beyond wrestling". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 2007-06-03.
  40. ^ Middleton, Marc (21 January 2016). "WWE Hall of Famer Sunny Signs Deal To Shoot Adult Film With Vivid, Title Revealed". News. Wrestling Inc. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 6, 2013. Retrieved 2010-06-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ "Women Superstars Uncensored". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2008-07-07.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]