Hier ein kleiner Rückblick auf Candidos Karriere.
Credit: Mike Johnson (www.PWInsider.com)
TNA star Chris Candido passed away suddenly Thursday evening in New Jersey. Candido, 33, collapsed on Thursday evening. He was rushed to the hospital but was not able to be revived.
Candido was said to have been in good spirits following surgery on Monday, where a metal plate and screws were inserted to fix a dislocated ankle, a broken tibia, and a broken fibula. He had suffered the injury this past Sunday while working the opener of the TNA Lockdown PPV in a freak accident while taking a dropkick from Sonny Siaki. Candido had appeared at the TNA taping in Orlando, Florida this past Tuesday, just 24 hours after the surgery, managing the Naturals from a wheelchair to the NWA Tag Team championships. The episode is scheduled to air today on the Fox Sports Network.
The grandson of Popeye Chuck Richards, who worked the undercards for the WWWF, including Terry Funk's Madison Square Garden debut, Candido grew up around the business, breaking in as a teenager, setting up rings in the New Jersey area with boyhood friend Balls Mahoney. The two would often put together and promote their own shows, even as teenagers, a generation before the term “backyard wrestling” was popularized. Candido and Mahoney would go on to train under Larry Sharpe at the Monster Factory.
Candido debuted working for the late Dennis Coraluzzo's WWA promotion in the early 1990s with the moniker "Mr. Charisma" holding their Junior championship. Candido was often accompanied to shows by his High School girlfriend Tammy “Sunny” Sytch, who would later break into the business after accompanying him to Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Whatever the intangible "it" is that creates a great performer, Candido had it from the second he began working professionally, having great matches and showcasing a knack for carrying less talented performers to good matches. He also developed strong mic skills, cutting great promos, and a comedic timing well beyond his years.
Candido worked the early days of Eastern Championship Wrestling, under booker Eddie Gilbert, where he held the ECW Tag Team championships with Johnny Hotbody as The Suicide Blondes. INXS' "Suicide Blondes" would remain Candido's theme until he returned to ECW in 1996, when he began using AC/DC's "Back in Black."
Candido left the fledgling ECW, then running once a month, to work full-time for Jim Cornette's SMW territory, where he worked singles as a crybaby heel. Candido debuted for the promotion busting out every high impact move he could think of to no reaction from the crowd. Cornette sent him back out during the same TV taping and instructed him to whine and complain about the first bump he took. He did so, and the crowd was on him immediately. Candido was later teamed with Brian Lee, with the pair managed by Sytch, who had moved with Candido to stay with him while he was working SMW and had been turned into an on-air feminist manager. He feuded with Tracey Smothers, Bobby Blaze, and The Rock N’ Roll Express, among others.
Candido won a tournament in November 1994 in New Jersey to win the vacant NWA championship, defeating Tracey Smothers in the final. Candido later dropped the belt to UFC star Dan Severn during an SMW house show. He was becoming a hotter name on the independents, booked against the other breakthrough indy names of the period like Sabu, Louie Spicoli, and The Tasmaniac (Tazz). After a tour of All Japan Pro Wrestling, Candido was signed by WWF in early 1995.
Sytch had already been signed, doing TV promo work under the name “Tamara Sytch.” Candido was linked with her once he was signed, briefly given the names "Chris and Tammy Power." The gimmick was scrapped after one TV taping. The pair were re-christened Skip and Sunny, The Body Donnas, doing a heel gimmick similar to the one currently held by Simon Dean, as evil fitness instructors, ripping on the poor condition of the "fat fans." Candido was used in an undercard role with no real sense of upward mobility, with the highlight of the run losing to longtime prelim wrestler Barry Horowitz on TV and then a PPV rematch at Summerslam ‘95. Sunny, meanwhile, was becoming the precursor to today’s WWE Divas, becoming a star as a heel female manager and TV personality for the company.
Dr. Tom Prichard was brought into the act and added as "Zip" (at one point it was going to be Flip) to the act. The pair won the WWF Tag Team championships at Wrestlemania 12 in Anaheim, California, holding them for a short stint and doing programs with The Smoking Gunns and The Godwins. Sunny broke off from the team, which briefly was managed by a transvestite character named Cloudy (Candido’s old friend Jimmy Shoulders, who he had broken into the business with). Candido suffered a broken neck while taking The Smoking Gunns finisher, The Sidewinder, in Madison Square Garden. When he recovered, WWF utilized him as a trainer and discussed retiring him and putting him in that position full-time. Candido, at that point just 23 years old, opted out, wanting to wrestle full-time.
Candido heading to Extreme Championship Wrestling, debuting to a standing ovation as a surprise during an October 1996 ECW Arena event, defeating Spike Dudley. Given the nickname “No Gimmicks Needed” as a play on his forgettable WWF character, Candido received his strongest national push ever as a member of the Triple Threat with Shane Douglas and Brian Lee (with Bam Bam Bigelow later replacing Lee). Behind the scenes, Candido began working with Paul Heyman on a number of backstage duties, including assisting with booking and television production. He had been scheduled to face Lance Storm on the debut ECW PPV, Barely Legal, but suffered a separated shoulder in the weeks leading to the show. The night before the PPV, Candido joked during a speech that he was killing himself just trying to keep up with 53 year old Terry Funk, who was in the main event of the show and was being honored by the company at a banquet.
"One of the coolest things I ever got to do was something that happened behind the scenes that no one ever knew I was involved with. We did a Terry Funk retirement show in Amarillo, Texas, which was about his 15th retirement (laughs). Funk and Bret Hart were going to wrestle in the main event that night and they both called me to help them with the match. That was one of the coolest things ever in my life."
Candido held the ECW World Tag Team championships with Lance Storm, with the duo breaking up while champions in December 1997. Tammy Sytch, who had been released by WWF, joined Candido in Extreme Championship Wrestling that summer. Once Sytch arrived, the change was immediate in Candido. The pair soon fell out of favor with Paul Heyman due to their personal problems, although he would bring them back several times before finally writing them off. Candido’s last run with ECW was early in the promotion’s run on TNN, where he was paired with Rhino as a tag team.
Candido and Sytch popped up in XPW in California, and began working a number of independent companies including USA Pro Wrestling in New York. After some back and forth wrangling with ECW over their contracts, the pair received releases and headed to WCW for a short run, which included Candido winning the WCW Cruiserweight championship and losing it during some nonsensical Vince Russo era booking. Candido did end up working with one of his heroes, Terry Funk. In a story that was recently recounted in Funk’s autobiography, the pair had a Hardcore match on Nitro where they had brawled into a horse’s stable, complete with the horse kicking Funk in the face in a story. Candido suffered a broken arm while working for the company, which upset then-WCW Executive Eric Bischoff. Candido ripped the cast off his arm so he could wrestle despite the injury, only to end up fired by the company anyway after an issue with Sytch backstage. Candido would later publicly say he regretted working hurt and wasn’t high on his time in the WCW.
"Most of the lowpoints were all my fault, so I promised myself I’d never do them again. The worst I’d have to say was near the end of WCW when I broke my arm. I came to the television tapings the next week with a cast on my arm. Eric Bischoff yelled at me for wearing a cast, which I guess meant I was a jerk for breaking it or something. So he made me cut the cast below the elbow so I could wrestle. A week after that, I was fired by him because I was hurt. That was the worst thing ever in my career. On top of it, it wasn’t even my fault."
By this point, Candido and Sytch’s reputations had been completely tarnished by their outside issues. Candido wasn’t shy in hiding he had gone through problems with painkillers and drugs in the period that followed while working independents, often joking about his past and cleaning up while appearing as a co-host for USA Pro promoter Frank Goodman’s hotline. A favorite story that was recited and referred to often on the hotline featured Candido ending up at a hotel where workers from Major League Wrestling were staying in Florida, wandering the halls bloody, naked and incoherent.
"Obviously, me and Tammy did a lot of stupid things but some of it got blown out of proportion worse on the internet. We were legitimately stupid, but we became even stupider when you read about us on the internet. The word of the internet fans goes a long way now. For some reason the business has been greatly influenced by somebody typing on their computer all day. I guess it’s a good thing, but in a way it hurt us. So now, I just want to ask the internet wrestling fans to give me the opportunity to watch for me what I am and I hope you enjoy my work. But at least I can say me and Tammy always gave the internet something good to talk about."
Candido finally cleaned himself up to the point his matches began looking like the Chris Candido of old and little by little, promoters started to take notice. Sytch as well had cleaned herself up, began losing weight. She had publicly discussed becoming a flight attendant but later ended up running a tanning salon in New Jersey. Through it all, good and bad, the pair had remained together. Candido began helping advising many of the younger workers he was running into at independent shows, and broke his younger brother, Johnny into the business. The two worked a short program for USA Pro.
Over the last year or so, Candido looked as if he was following the success stories of Eddie Guerrero and William Regal in overcoming his issues and making a go of it with his career, as opposed to following the tragedies of Brian Pillman and Louie Spicoli. He was regularly working and having good matches for USA Pro, IWA Mid-South, the International Wrestling Cartel out of Pittsburgh, NWA Cyberspace, Pro Wrestling Unplugged and other companies.
"I stuffed a lot of fun into my first 31 years so now I just try to do the home thing. It’s funny…me and (wrestler) Hack Myers were hanging out a couple weeks ago and he told me that some mutual friends were telling some Chris Candido stories that were new to him. Well, they were new to me too because I had done a lot in those years that I don’t remember doing. To think about those years and what we went through, I feel excited to be able to lead a normal life now."
Candido had tried hard to get a WWE tryout dark match at several points over the last year, and at one point was scheduled to work a Raw taping in Long Island, but it never came to pass. He finally hooked up with TNA through booker Dusty Rhodes, who was extremely high on him. He earned himself a regular slot after an excellent match with TNA flagbearer AJ Styles on Impact! Candido continued to have a string of decent matches, was co-hosting the syndicated Xplosion show and was cast as The Naturals’ advisor.
"Me and Dusty Rhodes appeared on a few independent shows together. We had met a few times in the past, but we ended up having a heart-to-heart talk about me getting cleaned up, getting back into ring shape and doing the right thing while I’m still young and able to make another run at it. He was proud of me for admitting my problems and trying to fix them, and he told me if he was ever in a position to offer help he would. As soon as he got into that position in TNA he called me right up. I owe him a lot."
The injury at Lockdown, suffered while taking a Sonny Siaki dropkick, was horrible timing for Candido’s comeback but he still intended to make all his dates despite the injury. Sytch had posted on the USA Pro Wrestling message board that Candido still intended to make all his bookings, doing promos or managing at ringside, because he didn’t want to miss any dates. Candido had hoped to return to the ring within six weeks, which given the nature of the injury seemed to be unrealistic. Candido had told many that he was excited for the “ECW” weekend where he was scheduled to work the Hardcore Homecoming event being organized by Shane Douglas and Jeremy Borash. Candido had also privately discussed working the WWE organized ECW One Night Stand PPV, as he wasn’t signed to a TNA deal, which would have prevented that.
Chris Candido quotes courtesy TNAWrestling.com interview
Chris Candido Championship History
Compiled by Buck Woodward
WCW Cruiserweight Championship
Defeated Prince Iaukea, Juventud Guerrera, Crowbar and Lash LeRoux to win vacant title in Chicago, Illinois on April 10, 2000.
Lost to Daffney in a tag team match with Tammy Sytch against Daffney & Crowbar when Daffney pinned Sytch in Biloxi, Mississippi on May 15, 2000.
ECW World Tag Team Championship
With Johnny Hotbody
Defeated Larry Winters & Tony Stetson in Radnor, Pennsylvania on April 3, 1993.
Winters & Chris Michaels (part of the Suicide Blondes group) lost the belts to The Super Destroyers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 15, 1993.
With Lance Storm
Defeated champions Doug Furnas & Phil LaFon and Axl Rotten & Balls Mahoney in a three way dance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 6, 1997.
Lost to Sabu & Rob Van Dam in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 27, 1998.
WWF World Tag Team Championship (as Bodydonna Skip)
With Zip (Tom Prichard)
Defeated The Godwinns in a tournament final in Anaheim, California on March 31, 1996.
Lost to the Godwins in New York City on September 22, 1996.
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
Defeated Tracey Smothers in a tournament final in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on November 19, 1994.
Lost to Dan Severn in Erlanger, Kentucky on February 24, 1995.
SMW Television Championship
Defeated Tracey Smothers in Jefferson, North Carolina on December 6, 1993.
Lost to Robbie Eagle in Chilhowie, Virginia on January 10, 1994.
Defeated Scott Studd for vacant title in Warrensville, North Carolina on July 5, 1994.
Lost to Lance Storm in Saltville, Virginia on August 8, 1994.
SMW Tag Team Championship
With Brian Lee
Defeated The Rock N' Roll Express in Johnson City, Tennessee on April 23, 1994.
Lost to The Rock N' Roll Express in Knoxville, Tennessee on August 5, 1994.
Defeated The Rock N' Roll Express in Johnson City, Tennessee on August 6, 1994.
Lost to The Rock N' Roll Express in Saltville, Virginia on August 8, 1994.
SMW United States Junior Heavyweight Title
Defeated Bobby Blaze in Jellico, Tennessee on October 4, 1993.
Lost to Bobby Blaze in Knoxville, Tennessee on October 8, 1993.
Defeated Bobby Blaze in Barbourville, Kentucky on October 9, 1993.
Lost to Bobby Blaze in Johnson City, Tennessee on October 10, 1993.
USA Pro Wrestling United States Championship
Defeated Xavier on in Queens, New York on August 19, 2002.
Lost to The Sandman in Queens, New York on October 19, 2002.
Defeated Mike Tobin in Franklin Square, New York on June 19, 2004.
Lost to Trent Acid in Queens, New York on November 19, 2004.
XPW Heavyweight Championship
Defeated Damien Steele in Hollywood, California on February 26, 2000.
Vacated the title when he left the promotion to work in WCW.
Independent Superstars Of Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship
Defeated champion Ace Darling and 2 Cold Scorpio in a three way match in Wildwood, New Jersey on July 22, 1999.
Lost to Ace Darling in Wildwood, New Jersey on August 5, 1999.
Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling United States Championship
Defeated Ray Odyssey for vacant title in Reading, Pennsylvania on June 14, 1996.
Candido also held numerous other Independent Championships, including the Jersey Championship Wrestling Television Title, the WWA Junior Heavyweight Championship, and more.
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