Boy, was I a horny little kid! Both sides of an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper isn’t nearly enough space to list all the crushes I had on famous women back when my age was in the single digits. Let me see, there was Yvonne Craig aka Batgirl, She-Ra, Marcia Brady, Nicole Eggert, Alyssa Milano Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2), Victoria Principal, Madonna, The Sagal twins, Miss Elizabeth…the list would literally take up 5-7 extremely long blog posts.
Eventually Playboy models would replace the aforementioned bevy of women and fictional characters on my list. Having an affinity for a pre-boob job Pamela Anderson and a fresh faced Jenny McCarthy helped create a new, more mature me. I felt that it was time to graduate from She-Ra to women who were more tangible with a greater ability to “satisfy me” in a roundabout sort of way. During the time I discovered those fine ladies, most of my friends were unaware of the beautiful women that lived within the pages of Playboy Magazine. Even though it was only a short time that I was able to brag to my circle of friends about “discovering” these sexy women, I still felt distinguished. In my mind I was sleeking around in a smoking jacket toking on a pipe like Hef.
My cavalcade of hot crushes were in their own exclusive world. Never for a minute could I imagine they would converge into my own little far off planet of comic books, music, and pro-wrestling. To my supreme excitement, it actually happened when Pamela Anderson walked Big Daddy Cool Diesel down to the ring while Jenny McCarthy escorted The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 11. It was a surreal moment considering it made me feel like my passion for these girls willed it to happen. It was that, or the fact that Vince McMahon has been wire tapping my phone since I was 6 years old. (The CIA refuses to entertain my suspicions despite my constant complaints.) Regardless of how it happened, these ladies weren’t marks for the business. I knew they were only appearing at Wrestlemania because of the big pay day. This large check gave them the option to enlarge or deflate their breasts at their every whim.
So…yeah…Playboy models are great but they’re so one dimensional, aren’t they? In 1995, a woman was about to enter my radar and totally obliterate all other sexy blips on it like she was the laser cannon in Space Invaders. The only difference? She wasn’t just made up of pixels, she was for real, she was from New Jersey, and she didn’t take anyone’s shit.
She is Tammy Lynn Sytch, aka Sunny: the first true WWE Diva. After working for Smoky Mountain Wrestling, Sunny entered the WWF as an on-air anchor promoting house shows. She eventually grabbed the attention of all the WWF fans as manager of the Bodydonnas. From then on, Vince and the WWF became bent on creating female superstars referring to them as “Divas.” Unfortunately for Divas past and present, none of them can or will ever hold a candle to Sunny.
Truly “making it” in pro wrestling takes guts, personality, and some severe delusions. Sunny had a perfect melange of all these ingredients. She was unabashed on the mic, a natural at generating heat with the crowd, and simply a born entertainer. Just like Sensational Sherri before her, Sunny wouldn’t think twice about interfering in a bout, distracting the ref, or getting caught up in a melee, as long as her men won the match. The fact that she was so good at being a “WWF Superstar” made her even more sexy in my eyes as well as in the minds of the millions of other wrestling fans who relentlessly downloaded her swimsuit pics on America Online. (Keep in mind, back then it took 5 minutes to download one low quality .jpg!)
To all the negative, idiotic, and obsessive freaks out there on the Internet who give wrestling fans a bad name: Sunny paved the way for all the Divas who came after her. You know the ones – the ones with non existent mic skills, the ones who can’t deliver their lines let alone remember them, the ones who look awkward in the ring, the ones who are in it not for the love of wrestling, but because they won a friggin’ contest. Sunny “brought it” all the time with that special factor that only few had. If Sable didn’t have gigantic fake boobs and never posed for Playboy, she would scarcely be remembered at this point. Unlike Sable, Sunny wasn’t just a pretty face, she knew the business. She can take her spot right next to the Bobby Heenans, Mr. Fujis, Jim Cornettes, and all the rest of them. There’s no doubt that Miss Elizabeth will always hold a special place in my heart, but she wasn’t much more than a valet and eye candy, while Sunny served both those purposes and more. Sunny owned her star quality which catapulted her to the forefront of storylines. She single handedly made the tag team scene in the WWF infinitely more interesting.
Sunny, was a sex symbol with actual talent for the business, a rare discovery. Sunny was the girl I didn’t think existed. A hot girl with a killer bod who was also into pro wrestling at a time when it had somehow become reserved exclusively for geeks. Was she for real, or did I create her in the garage with power tools? I began to move on from the Pams and Jennys as I realized that there would soon be an epic crossover as hot women surged into pro wrestling. Thank you Sunny for uniting these two worlds, and making us feel less geeky for being pro wrestling fans.