Published on June 11th, 2016 | by Pro Wrestling Stories0
The CHRIS CANDIDO Story
As Told By His Brother, Jonny
Part 2: Drugs, Deception & Betrayal
The story of Chris Candido is one of heartfelt dedication, betrayal, redemption and eventual heartache. In Part 1 of our open and honest interview with Chris’s brother, Jonny Candido entitled, ‘The Beginnings‘, we took a candid look at Chris’s origins in Manasquan, New Jersey. We came to know the love he had for his family and the passion he shared for his sport of professional wrestling. Sharing some belly laughs along the way, we learned the tales of the spirited ribbing between Chris and Jonny as kids as well as the journey Chris took from childhood fan of pro wrestling to the squared circle by age twelve. We also discovered the secret ingredient in Balls Mahoney’s signature homemade dish, ‘Chicken Mahoney,’ which Chris so adamantly refused to eat (for good reason, too)!
Now it’s time to move on to a different side of Chris’s story, one which brings on an entirely different set of emotions.
When you think of Chris Candido, the thought of Tammy Sytch (or Sunny, as she was referred to in WWE) comes to mind. The thoughts are never pretty: Cheating, betrayal and drugs. When talking to Jonny, Tammy naturally came into our conversation, and I allowed him to share whatever he felt comfortable with talking about. I soon found out that he had a lot on his mind. Understandably, he went through a lot with her and his brother. While this piece is meant to celebrate the life of his brother, Chris, it is hard to share his story without talking about Tammy.
What Jonny attempts to do here in this series of interviews is put together a true and honest account of his brother Chris. In this part of the story, Jonny shares the downfalls of his brother’s struggle with drug abuse and depression while also giving his take on the rocky relationship between his brother Chris and Tammy. You’ve heard the rumors, now hear it from someone who lived through it.
This is the story of Chris Candido, as told by his brother, Jonny.
PRO WRESTLING STORIES: “You and I talked back in January. In this conversation, you mentioned Chris went through some depression. Of course, I respect it if you don’t want to talk about it.”
JONNY CANDIDO: “I can talk about it. I just don’t want to say the wrong shit, you know? Or offend or get into an argument with somebody…”
PWS: “What you say is completely up to you and we respect that. Chris was very close to you. Your Twitter account is dedicated to him and I think it is absolutely wonderful what you do to keep his memory alive.”
JC: “That’s my brother.”
PWS: “It must have been quite hard for you to witness many of the things that he went through, especially with his relationship with Tammy. We haven’t really talked about that much, but he was with her from high school. They went through so much together. They got into wrestling together and then, of course, their relationship changed. They were introduced to drugs and a different lifestyle. Things changed.”
JC: “I just want to clarify: The things I am about to say, all the crazy, traumatizing shit, is what sticks out most of all.
Growing up, though, you have to understand, Tammy was really cool. She’d babysit me and my sisters. And even later in life, after Chris passed away, after all of that crazy stuff happened, we still stuck together through a lot of shit. She managed me [while I was wrestling] and I would always have her back. If anybody fucked with her, they fucked with me. So it wasn’t always so terrible.
It’s hard. You know, almost, in a way, I feel like people should understand what went on behind closed doors, but then I feel like they shouldn’t because it was behind closed doors. I want people to understand the dynamic, and how shit went, but I also – let me put it like this: no matter what, I’m always going to have a certain affection in my heart for Tammy. No matter what she does. Whatever kinda crazy shit she pulls or has pulled in the past, there’s always gonna be – I’m always gonna feel connected to her. Every time I talk to her on the phone, it’s like it’s two thousand and, you know, whatever again. So that’s why I feel bad saying bad things. But once I start talking about my brother in that time period, though, that’s just what comes to mind, and that’s what it was. So it’s hard to make up stories that weren’t true.”
PWS: “This makes sense. A lot of these memories naturally come back when you think about your brother. When you think about the things you might say, you don’t want to hurt anyone. You don’t want to bury anyone. You are just speaking what’s in your head and in your heart.”
JC: “I just wanted to put it on record that I do really have some closeness with [Tammy]. Even though, obviously, we’ve been through a lot. She was a part of my life since I was seven years old. I don’t want it to come off like I’m being cold, trying to bury her.
Let me just leave it at this: I’m very conflicted. I don’t want to leave a bad taste in people’s mouth. Coming from me, whatever she did – I know how she is, but I don’t want to leave my and her relationship just fuckin’ totally shot and end up hating each other, cause I don’t hate her. But it’s like this: if you ask me the questions, I will tell you what happened.”