I must admit that throughout much of the mid 1990s, one my favorite WWE wrestling personalities was not a wrestler at all. For much of the same reasons that I imagine other teenage males did, I was quite the fan of Tammy Sytch.
"Sunny," as she was known, gave many fans reason to watch WWE during a down time in business. Armed with a tiny bikini and a sinister smile, the blonde bombshell broke download records in the early days of the Internet, and injected a healthy dose of sex appeal into the WWE product.
But Tammy was more than just a pretty face. Although she rarely competed in the ring, "Sunny" was unquestionably one of the most talented female wrestling performersin history. Her charisma and speaking ability helped sell the WWE product, and elevate several wrestlers whom she seconded as one of the last true wrestling managers.
Although she's been gone from WWE for a dozen years, Tammy has kept busy in the sport, including with her most recent project, her own cookbook, "Out of the Ring, Into the Kitchen." The book not only features some of her favorite recipes, but also her favorite road stories from her time in WWE.
Tammy's been trying to raise money to get her book published, and you could help by visiting this site and donating to her fund. For the right price, she'll even thank you in her book and feature one of your recipes.
I recently got the chance to ask the legendary femme fatale some questions about the book, her career, and her thoughts on the current women's wrestling scene. Here's what she had to say.
Alfonso Castillo: You're often referred to as WWE's first Diva, and yet you did very little wrestling during your time in WWE. Do you think some of WWE's current Divas would be more valuable outside of the ring then inside of it?
Tammy Sytch: Yes, maybe some of them. I've never been a huge fan of women's "wrestling", and have always thought it's best left to the guys. Some of the girls out there aren't so talented INSIDE the ring, and I think that just exposes the business even more. You wouldn't put a Doctor with a shaky hand into surgery, now would you? (laughs)
AC: You returned to WWE in 2009 as part of the Divas battle royal, but were barely featured at all on television. Do you have any regrets about how your WWE return worked out?
TS: My actual return was on the 15th Anniversary of RAW show, in December of '07, and I was featured nicely then. Had my own music, entrance, introduction, it was fun! Doing Wrestlemania was just the icing on top of that. I had a blast, but pay-per-view's are timed out and so stringently, that there was nothing anyone could do to focus on any of the girls.
AC: You have a new cookbook, "Out of the Ring, Into the Kitchen" that's filled with lots of delicious, and nutritious recipes. How important was cooking for you in getting back in great shape?
TS: Diet is everything. When I got back into "Sunny Shape", I had to cut out starchy carbs completely....which means absolutely no pasta, bread, rice or potatoes.... NONE. That's the only way my body will kick into gear and burn calories. I keep my proteins high, fats medium (lots of cheese and bacon, (laughs), and carbs very low. The only carbs I eat are salads and vegetables. The cookbook, on the other hand, will be filled with plenty of yummy carb-filled meals...my favorites!!!
AC: Your book also includes some great road stories from your wrestling career. How do you think a female's perspective about the behind-the-scenes world of wrestling differs from that of the guys?
TS: No one really knows what goes on behind the scenes and on the road...I can't wait to let you all in on our personal lives....it's very different than what you'd imagine!! We spend soooo much time on the road, that there is plenty of time for lots of hysterical things to take place! Since many times I was the only girl on the road with 30 or so guys, I had the birds-eye view to all the shenanigans!! I was one of the boys, so I was let in on many funny jokes and pranks....that you'll all soon read about!
AC: You've worked for just about every major wrestling organization at one time or another - from WWE, to WCW, to the original ECW to even Ring of Honor. What's been your favorite place to work, and what was your least favorite?
TS: Favorite has to be WWE...that's where I was allowed to shine the most, and peak in my career. Least favorite is definitely WCW....everyone was miserable there, (laughs), and I was very happy when that misery ended ! (laughs)