The self-destruction of Tammy Sytch

The first time I ever knew Tammy Sytch existed, she and her best friend / lover Chris Candido appeared on WWE (then WWF) wrestling programs, promoting themselves as “The Bodydonnas,” a self-conceited fitness team.  Candido was Skip, and Sytch was Sunny.  Skip did the wrestling, while Sunny acted as the sexy valet and creator of victory-influenced interference.

As pro wrestling gimmicks went, it was okay for its time.  Eventually, though, the spotlight focused on the character of Sunny the Bodydonna – and, thanks to a series of cheesecake photo shoots and sexy-cute wrestling videos, Tammy Sytch’s “Sunny” character became, for a while, the most downloaded image on the Internet.

The sky was high for Sunny – no pun intended – and she appeared in several storylines for the WWE over time, managing everyone from Ron Simmons (as “Farrooq Assad”) to an updated version of the Road Warriors / Legion of Doom (“LOD 2000”).  Her career with the WWE ensured her a place in the WWE’s Hall of Fame, to which she was inducted in 2011.

And then, somehow, it all spiraled out of control – mostly from drug abuse.  She was released from the WWE; she worked for other companies, she came back to the WWE, she was released again, lather, rinse, repeat.  Her best friend and emotional rock, Chris Candido, passed away as a result of wrestling injuries in 2005; and the spiral continued.

There were some uplifting moments for Tammy Sytch – she worked as commissioner for a New Jersey wrestling promotion, NWA:Cyberspace, and she also did some wrestling shows with the Ring of Honor company.  But her self-spiral continued.  Drugs.  Arrests.  More appearances on TMZ than in the squared circle.

On two separate occasions, both as part of wrestling-based articles I wrote as freelance assignments, I met Tammy Sytch in person – both instances were as part of wrestling reunion shows.  I’ll mention the second time first – that took place in Long Island, as I was writing a piece for Toy Collector Magazine on the popularity of wrestling toys, dolls and action figures.  During my interview with her, she was bubbly and chatty, talking about her new wrestling action figure and her plans to return to pro wrestling as soon as she got her body down to “Sunny shape,” as she put it.

That was a far cry from the first time I met her, two years prior, when she was at a Philadelphia wrestling reunion show.  That time, she was under the influence of something – pills, alcohol, I don’t know which – and she was in no condition to be asked anything of substance.  In fact, she was actually thrown out of the event due to her causing problems with other wrestlers at the show.  Two different views of Tammy Sytch over two different events.

Look, I understand that the backstage world of professional wrestling can be extremely complicated and overwhelming.  You’re participating in a sport that can destroy your body with one wrong suplex.  The sport rivals professional football for instances of dead wrestlers suffering from CTE.  The sport takes a physical and emotional toll on anyone.

And just last week, it was announced that not only has Tammy Sytch written an autobiography – a reveal-all tome about her life and career and the like – she also filmed and released an adult video.

No, I’m not going to post a link to it.  You’re so desperate to see cute little “Sunny” from 20 years ago doing things that don’t require ring posts or turnbuckles, go use your Google search engine.  But suffice it to say that the adult video leaves absolutely NOTHING to the imagination.  This wasn’t a “leaked” porn video like the ones that surfaced from Hulk Hogan or Chyna or X-Pac.  This wasn’t some cheesecake companion video to a photo shoot from Rena “Sable” Mero or Candice Michelle or any other WWE Diva that might bare it all just so they can have a staple in their midsection and a crease in their midriff.

And it’s not like Tammy Sytch hasn’t tumbled down this xxx-rated rabbit hole before.  At one point in her career, inbetween wrestling stints, she and another wrestling valet legend, Missy Hyatt, created a website called  Yep, you paid your money and you got to see – well, if you were looking for that match between Hiroshi Hase and the  Great Muta, you were in the wrong location.

Nope.  This is the big stuff.  Tammy Sytch doing her own Marilyn Chambers impersonation.

And how do I feel about this?

Does my opinion really matter?

It really doesn’t.  But the only thing I can see from a move like this is pain.  Straight-up emotional pain and sadness.  This is Tammy Sytch, twenty years after her greatest and most exciting moments, trying to recapture that magic and excitement from a bygone era.  Trying to capture it by doing the one thing that she thinks the people who watched her back in the day want to see now.

This isn’t a solution.  This is surrender.

You know what the worst thing about all this is?  Before she ever got into professional wrestling, Tammy Sytch wanted to be a doctor.  She went to med school.  Even after her wrestling career ended, she looked at other options in her life – working with an airline, with veterinary science, all of that.

I hate that her self-chosen option was this.

Tammy, if your Google Alerts are showing this blog post, please listing to what I’m about to say now.  I don’t have all the answers.  Trust me, my life is about as screwed up as anybody else’s.  But no matter what, I know that there’s a talented, smart person out there named Tammy Lynn Sytch.  And I know that sometimes we have to make choices that aren’t comfortable.

I only hope that the next time I hear about you, it’s for an amazing achievement in your life.  A success.  A personal growth and accomplishment.

You were always better than this.

And I know you will be better than this in the future.