A Star Shattered: Chapter Nineteen
By 1997, Tammy had grown frustrated with the fact that she’d become essentially just a model for the WWF. She’d come to the ring wearing an Undertaker t-shirt, but that was it. She was rather bored in the role and she couldn’t wear her own t-shirt. On her off days, she’d accompany Chris Candido to the ring in ECW and as a favor to Paul Heyman, the WWF allowed her to work a few shows since she wasn’t doing much of anything in the WWF.
Tammy was part of the first ECW pay per view known as Barely Legal. She helped direct the show and was responsible for giving match cues and timing so that everything aired on the pay per view at the right time. She describes having to make sure the timing for the last two matches were very important and how close she was to Terry Funk having called him “uncle Terry” since she was 17-years old.
It was a nerve wrecking main event between Terry Funk and Raven as she gave the direction to go-home but they couldn’t hear her. In any event, the timing ended up being perfect and Heyman was happy with what she did with the pay per view. After the event, Heyman brought Candido and Tammy to dinner at a Korean BBQ and offered Tammy a job. She’d get paid $20,000 more, have her own t-shirt and she’d be able to produce more pay per view events. She couldn’t say no to the offer.
The only problem is that she had three years remaining on her WWF contract. Heyman’s solution to that was to get herself fired. So, at the next ECW event she proclaimed that ECW was her new home, and the next day she got her release papers faxed to her. She was happy about it and the first few months went well in ECW. T-shirts were made and checks were being paid on time. However, that lasted only a few weeks.
She used her AMEX card to be the travel person for the company and she got 30k back in reimbursement checks once a month. But, then they got suspended because Heyman claimed they had a pill problem and wanted them to enter college courses.
So, while they were suspended, Heyman had his assistant, Debbie, continue to book flights using Tammy’s AMEX card. They tried to dispute the charges but in the end they lost $175,000. They needed to work and they needed to work quickly since they were using money out of their saving account.
They reached out to WCW about coming in and Kevin Nash, who was booking at the time, said they wanted to bring the duo into the company. They went to their first Nitro taping, but Heyman sent a fax to WCW saying Tammy and Candido were still under contract and couldn’t work for WCW. Heyman screwed them over, again.
After a month of avoiding them, Heyman finally answered the phone and said that he’d grant their releases only if they agreed to not sue him for the $175,000. They weren’t thrilled about that, but they agreed so they could make money. However, they’d have to sell their dream house to get a cash flow and AMEX ended up suing them.
Following all that was paid off, Tammy and Candido were left with a “lousy $35,000” and she doesn’t believe that Heyman cared about their futures. If Heyman were to die tomorrow, she’d dance on his grave.
All of her time in ECW wasn’t awful because the ECW group of wrestlers were a tight crew and worked hard together. She recalls a time in Florida with Francine where they got kicked out of an area because they had bikinis on and they are illegal there.
There was another time with Francine, Shane Douglas and Candido that they went to a bondage party at Tens. They had also told the entire crew about going to the party. It wasn’t a nightclub, but rather a strip club but they didn’t leave.
Tammy describes what the experience was like and saw guys getting walked around the venue and there was a rack. The DJ noted that there were wrestlers in the venue and Tammy was the only person to take on the challenge of the rack. Her breasts popped out a few times and someone tried to take pictures, but he was taken out by Perry Saturn. Apparently, he worked for Playboy and the pictures would have been on the website.
There was another time at the monthly Philadelphia show where Tammy, Chris, Shane and Bam-Bam had an encounter with a bunch of drunks from a bar named Mummers. At one point, they were outnumbered 10 to 3. Just then, Sabu, who was napping on the roof of his RV, woke up and dove off onto a group of Mummers to take them out. The ECW locker room proceeded to empty and led to a brawl. Tommy Rich put a guy in a headlock and kept him on the ground like it was a wrestling match.
Tammy also notes a story of a red rubber dress that Francine wore to a ECW show that had a zipper in the front and the back. The dress popped open and Francine was exposed for the live crowd as she took the Greetings From Asbury Park from Bam-Bam Bigelow. Both Francine and Tammy were laughing at the situation together.
She misses ECW and wishes that is was still around, but just wouldn’t want Paul Heyman as a boss.
Chapter Twenty coming soon!