A Star Shattered: Chapter Twenty-Three
After being released from the hospital, Tammy had to keep it easy. Most notably, she had to not drink because her pancreas wouldn’t be able to handle it. She’d likely die if she did. Chris Candido went back to work, but remained in the United States. He didn’t want to go back to Japan considering Tammy’s condition. Tammy couldn’t work due to being weak from the ordeal. She even had to cut her hair since it was a mess from laying down for three weeks.
Tammy talks about how it is different working for a million dollar company and then working on the independents. On the independents success can vary. For a few months it can be profitable and then it can lead to a steep nosedive. By the winter of 2002, they were having a difficult time covering all the bills and they were going broke.
Then, Candido got a phone call. Victor Quinones from Puerto Rico was on the other line. He was the owner of IWA and was very open about being a homosexual. He liked to joke around about it and nobody took it offense to it. Candido was given a job to start in April 2003. They decided they’d stay with family before going down to Puerto Rico. Word traveled that Candido was going there and he soon got a phone call from his good friend Sabu.
Sabu called Candido in an attempt to get him to work for WWC, a rival to IWA. Considering Candido is a loyal friend, he decided to instead work for WWC and brought Tammy as a package deal. Tammy was excited about working on an island as she always loved the beach. However, when they got to the hotel that all the American workers stayed at, it was a rundown motel. The beds felt like they were fifty years old.
Though, one positive was the restaurant and its delicious menu. Everything on the menu was really good. They were promised $800 a week and they began to look for an apartment. However, she’d quickly realize that their tropical dreams would be just that. Instead, they’d be nightmares.
The first four weeks they got their guarantee money and worked outdoor baseball stadiums. The fans in Puerto Rico truly believe in good guys and bad guys. So, it wouldn’t be uncommon for them to have batteries and cups of urine tossed at them.
After their first month, they found their apartment and it was gorgeous. It had beautiful furniture. There was a mango tree that hung above the balcony to provide fresh fruit and fragrance. Outside of the resorts, Puerto Rico is disgusting. You only ever see that when you live there. They’d walk the streets and there would be raw sewage flowing down the streets. She recalls seeing a drug lord being protected after being shot twelve times in the face and seeing his brains and guts. You’d see people shooting up heroin very often.
Their pay started at $800, but eventually it went all the way down to $200. Pay was often late and sometimes they’d never get paid. Victor Jovica was the actual owner of IWA and has a slimy owner. Often times, he’d pay wrestlers with booze.
Eventually, they got evicted because they couldn’t pay the $1,000 rent. They went back to the Empress and got a room for free. She found out the owner was working with the mafia to launder money through.
Tammy couldn’t deal with it and wanted to leave and told Candido that it was either with or without him. They gave their notice and told Colon that they were leaving. He said that he’d buy the tickets and give them the pay owed to them. A week and a half went by, and nothing happened. So, they went to the office determined to get their money. He requested they work one more show and they’d have their money. They accepted, but Tammy had payback on her mind.
She ended up taking the keys out of the ring truck and tossed them into the ocean. They ended up getting $200 instead of the $3,000 and got their plane tickets. However, Colon used his daughters credit card to pay for the tickets. They left Puerto Rico and never returned.
In 2011, she ran into Colon at WrestleMania weekend. He was getting a drink from the bar and she was behind him. When he turned around and saw her, he turned ghostly white. She remained civil because she knew he got him back with the keys.
Chapter Twenty-Four coming soon…