Tamara "Tammy" Lynn Sytch (December 7, 1972) is an American professional wrestling manager, personality, and occasional wrestler. She achieved her greatest success under the ring name Sunny within the World Wrestling Federation during the 1990s, and is widely considered as one of the first Divas. She also performed under her own name in Extreme Championship Wrestling, World Championship Wrestling and Ring of Honor.
Sytch grew up in a strict family with a father who was retired from the United States Navy. She attended the same high school as her long-time boyfriend Chris Candido. Upon entering Smoky Mountain wrestling in 1993, a kayfabe claim was made that she had 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 pediatrician. During 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 pay-per-view.
In 1998, Sunny briefly became the manager for the reformed Road Warriors as "Legion of Doom 2000", leading them to a win in a Tag Team Championship number one contender battle royal at WrestleMania XIV. 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)
She then joined Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). She made her debut appearance 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, "Tammy Lynn Bytch", a parody of Sytch. 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 (previously known as "Tammy Lynn Bytch"), 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 a brief stop 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 couples run with the company. As in the past, Sytch's leave 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 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, it did not take long for Sytch to become 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.
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. Sytch also made an appearance on the 15th Anniversary of Raw.
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 claimed she would consider.
Tammy made an appearance at Dynamite Championship Wrestling's 9 Year Anniversary Event in February 2012. She would be the official Host of the Event.
Return to WWE (2009–2011)
Sytch, as Sunny, participated at WrestleMania XXV on April 5, 2009 in the 25-Diva battle royal for the crown of "Miss WrestleMania", but lost after being thrown out early on in the match.
It was announced on the March 7, 2011 episode of Raw that Sytch would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, class of 2011. She was inducted by the entire roster of WWE Divas at the Hall of Fame ceremony on April 2, 2011.
Sytch had a nine-month relationship 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.
In 1997, Playboy approached Sytch in regards to posing nude for the magazine, but she declined the offer. According to Sytch, Playboy offered her six figures to pose for them. Rena "Sable" Mero, with whom Sytch had real-life animosity, later claimed that Playboy never contacted Sytch for a possible photo shoot. She did, however, pose nude for Missy Hyatt's adult website Wrestling Vixxxens. In 2007, she claimed that she regretted doing it.
Sytch was rushed to the hospital in 2001 after her appendix burst, which required time off from wrestling to heal. By 2007, she was once again in school, studying Medical Technology.
In 2012, Sytch was arrested five times in a four-week span, for disorderly conduct, 3rd Degree burglary, and 3 counts of violating a protective order. She was represented by Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Rob Serafinowicz.
Sytch recently dated professional wrestler Damien Darling.
- Finishing moves
- "The Original Diva"
- Wrestlers managed
- Entrance Themes
Championships and accomplishments
- World Wrestling Federation / World Wrestling Entertainment