June 30, 2005
Graham Cawthon

Sunny (1997)

Flashback 1997: the WWF is slowly incorporating more of an ECW style; the line between babyface and heel is blurred; and Vince McMahon is in the midst of a ratings war losing streak against Eric Bischoff and WCW.

On the roster was Shawn Michaels, the Undertaker, Psycho Sid, Bret Hart, and Steve Austin. But one of the company’s top stars at the time never had to lace a pair of boots. However, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for her to wear tight clothing.

Tammy “Sunny” Sytch seemingly had it all. She had looks, personality, and was always on the mark when it came to cutting a promo. And while she worked alongside a sizable list of superstars, it was often she who was more over with the crowd than her protégés.

This 1-hour Goodtimes video, released in early 97, takes a look at Sunny’s successes and failures over the previous year.

The World Wrestling Federation: For over 50 years, the Revolutionary Force in Sports Entertainment …

A video montage, set to “I Know You Want Me”, opens the tape before we’re taken to the host. It’s not Todd Pettingill, it’s not Dok Hendrix – it’s the woman herself.

“Guys, eat your hearts out. And girls, pay close attention. You just might learn something.” – Sunny

Sunny starts the show by recapping the WrestleMania XII weekend, mentioning she won both the Manager of the Year and Best Buns award at the Slammys. Her success continued the following night in Anaheim, CA.

WrestleMania XII
WWF Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals
The Body Donnas (w/ Sunny) vs. Henry & Phinneas Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim)
Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler on commentary

This bout was shown live as part of the Free For All preview show which began 30 minutes before WrestleMania went to air. Prior to the finals, the Godwinns defeated both the New Rockers and Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (via DQ) while the Body Donnas defeated the Bushwhackers and Savio Vega & Steve Austin (sub. for Razor Ramon). As a side note, the Godwinns and Body Donnas had been working house shows for nearly a month to build up to this match with the Godwinns coming out on top every time.

The Body Donnas have Sunny in their corner. To counter that, the Godwinns have Hillbilly Jim and a goat. It’s hard to have the advantage when the other team has a goat, I’ve always said that.

Henry beats the snot out of both Skip & Zip, including hitting a reverse powerbomb, before tagging out to Phinneas. Seconds later and Phinneas is having one of his ‘spells’ (runs around the ring crazy, does a few mule kicks in the air, etc).

“I’m surprised these idiots know how to walk and chew gum at the same time.” – Jerry Lawler on the Godwinns

Henry continues to dominate the opposition by slingshotting Skip over the top rope onto Zip who was on the floor. But as the referee is distracted by Sunny on the apron, Zip comes off the top onto Henry from behind, finally changing the momentum of the match. The Body Donnas continue their assault with a series of illegal double team moves behind the referee’s back, trying to keep the much larger Henry down on the ground. Eventually, Sunny’s team attempts a Rocket Launcher but Skip hits nothing but mat when Henry rolls out of the way and makes the hot tag.

The future Naked Mideon puts Skip in a compromising position and sets him up for the Slop Drop, only for Sunny to climb on the apron and raise the back of her skirt to prove to Phinneas just why she won Best Buns at the Slammys. Skip immediately gets a roll up from behind for the 3-count and the titles.

Winners at 5:24: The Body Donnas

We’re then taken to about 6 weeks later when the WWF came to Madison Square Garden on May 19th, 1996 (the Curtain Call show). A camera backstage catches Henry Godwinn and Hillbilly Jim finding Sunny in the locker room with Phinneas. We would find out later on what exactly took place in that private meeting between Sunny and Phinneas (And no, it’s not that. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Later in the evening, the Godwinns had another shot at the Body Donnas for the titles. We see entrances from both teams as well as many highlights from the historic house show. A sold out MSG crowd watches on as the Godwinns again dominate their competition.

Vince McMahon narrates the clips as we see Phinneas set Zip up for the Slop Drop. But when he sees Sunny climb on the apron once more, he grabs her, kisses her, avoids an attack from Zip, and hits the reverse DDT for the 1-2-3 and the championship. Skip tries to get in the ring but can’t make it in time to break the cover.

We’re back with our host and Sunny reminds us of that backstage meeting with Phinneas prior to the match. Apparently a contract was signed that guaranteed she would be managing the champions after the bout, regardless of which team it was. So Sunny was now, along with Hillbilly Jim, co-managing the Godwinns. Henry and Jim weren’t too thrilled about it but Phinneas was certainly pleased.

In Your House: Beware of Dog
WWF Tag Team Champions Henry & Phinneas Godwinns (w/ Hillbilly Jim & Sunny) vs. the Smoking Gunns
Vince McMahon & Jerry Lawler on commentary

Only 7 days later and the Godwinns have their first title defense against, of all teams, the returning Smoking Gunns. The Gunns were forced to give up the titles in February due to Billy’s neck injury. As a result of that forfeiture, the championship was held up for the tournament that culminated at WrestleMania.

We’re in Florence, SC and Vince mentions the bad weather in the area as the match begins. The babyface Gunns work over Phinneas until Henry is tagged in and the pace of the match picks up a bit. The crowd is not overly vocal in the match but does cheer for both teams.

McMahon & Lawler put over some of the matches scheduled for later in the evening while the challengers once again work over the arm of Phinneas. While Bart has Phinneas down on the mat in an armbar, Sunny randomly climbs on the apron in an attempt to distract Billy. However, when she gets too close, Billy grabs her and kisses her on the lips. In the commotion, both Bart and Phinneas stopped what they were doing in the ring. As Phinneas starts to get in Billy’s face for moving in on ‘his girl’, Bart hits a back suplex from behind for the 3-count and the titles. During the cover, Sunny sits on the apron facing the crowd, and wipes her mouth. Vince says that Sunny’s distraction backfired for the Godwinns. Or was that the idea all along?

Winners at 4:57: The Smoking Gunns

Where the belts go, Sunny goes. She then recaps her new association with the Gunns and goes on to state she felt really bad over her mistreatment of Phinneas Godwinn and wanted the chance to apologize. Cue the next clip.

WWF Superstars – 6/29/96
Vince McMahon & Mr. Perfect on commentary

Jim Ross conducts an in-ring interview with a regretful Sunny.

“Now, everybody knows the Sunny that you see in the magazines and everybody knows the Sunny that you see on television. But I have to let everybody know that that’s not me; that’s not the way I am.” – Sunny

She goes on to state that she feels horrible for how she mistreated Phinneas Godwinn over the past several months, using his affection for her personal gain. As Phinneas walks out to the ring, Sunny holds the ropes open for him and says she has to tell him what’s really on her mind. She throws in some ‘honey’s and ‘baby’s before asking him to tell her how he really feels.

After much encouragement, a nervous Phinneas says “I love you” into the microphone. Moments later, she asks him to pucker up and close his eyes. Hoping for a kiss, he does so but is slapped in the face. With tears in his eyes, Sunny verbally berates the hog farmer as the Smoking Gunns cheer her own from the floor. The Gunns soon jump Phinneas from behind until Henry and Hillbilly Jim come out to make the save.

With her men unable to help, Sunny is cornered on the floor by both Godwinns and Jim. The fans, Henry, and Jim encourage Phinneas to slop Sunny but he seemingly doesn’t have the heart. After realizing he won’t slop her, Sunny blows him an insincere kiss. …And that’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Phinneas dumps the entire contents of the slop bucket onto her head as the crowd jumps to their feet.

Aside from the nastiness now in her hair, I usually don’t mind seeing Sunny in wet clothes. But I digress …

In Your House: Mindgames
WWF Tag Team Champions the Smoking Gunns (w/ Sunny) vs. Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith
Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, & Mr. Perfect on commentary

Prior to the bout, a giant poster of Sunny is dropped from the rafters but it’s been clearly vandalized by the challengers. Owen and Davey immediately claim ignorance.

“It was Owen,” chuckles Mr. Perfect.

A visibly upset Sunny tells the cameraman to go away as the match begins. Moments later, Clarence Mason – filling in for the injured Jim Cornette – comes ringside to be in the challengers’ corner. We would later find out that Mason stole the contracts of Owen & Davey while Cornette was selling a beating from Jose Lothario.

Vince and JR, who were somewhat at odds with each other at the time, share many the awkward moment on commentary as the action is fast and furious from the get-go. Bulldog gets the loudest pop of the four men when he is finally tagged into the ring. Davey hits a leap frog and twice takes Bart down with arm drags before tagging out to Owen. Once inside the ring, Owen immediately clips Bart in the back of the knee to the crowd’s delight.

A chant of “Bart Sucks Billy” begins as the challengers continue their attack. Gotta love the creative Philadelphia chants.

Davey sets Bart up for a delayed vertical suplex, which gets a sizable pop, and follows with a legdrop for a near fall. Moments later, Owen and Davey switch places in the ring as Hart stretches the leg ligaments but is rolled up with an inside cradle for a near fall. Immediately thereafter, Owen hits an enzuiguri for a 2-count, with Billy breaking the cover.

Moments later, Davey is attacked from behind and beaten down on the floor by Billy. After throwing Smith into the steps, Billy pushes him back inside the ring for Bart to continue the attack. The champions hit an impressive double team as Billy leaps off Bart’s back to hit a big clothesline to Davey in the corner. The Sidewinder follows but Clarence Mason distracts the referee, allowing Owen to come off the top onto Billy with a double axe handle.

The Gunns continue to pound on Davey but Smith is able to run Bart into Billy in the corner, then hits the running powerslam while Billy watches on. Owen hits a leg lariat on Billy to prevent the cover from being broken and we have new tag team champions.

Immediately after the bout, an embarrassed Sunny publicly fires her team and verbally berates them before storming off. A disgruntled Billy begs her forgiveness as he follows her to the back.

Winners at 11:00: Davey Boy Smith & Owen Hart

With tag teams now behind her, Sunny turns to singles competition and takes on Farooq as her newest protégé.

Monday Night Raw
WWF IC Championship Tournament Finals
Marc Mero (w/ Sable) vs. Farooq (w/ Sunny)
Pat Patterson as Guest Referee
Kevin Kelly, Jim Ross, Mr. Perfect, & Jerry Lawler on commentary

We’re joined in progress and Sunny is quickly ejected from ringside by Patterson after interfering in the match. Farooq uses his power to keep Mero on the mat while JR hypes the return of ‘Razor & Diesel’ as well as the story behind the ‘Real Double J’, both of which will be resolved later in the hour.

Farooq goes up top but Mero bumps the ropes, causing the larger of the two men to crotch himself on the top turnbuckle. A hurricanrana off the top follows and Mero slowly crawls over for a near fall. Both men hit a double clothesline moments later.

Sunny returns ringside with a loaded purse and she and Sable soon take part in a catfight on the floor. Inside the ring, Mero intercepts the purse from Farooq, hits him with it, and follows with the Shooting Star Press for the 1-2-3 and the title.

As the celebration takes place in the ring, Sunny removes a brick from inside the purse and hides it underneath the ring.

Winner: Marc Mero

We’re back with Sunny in the studio and she comments that “that thing” (Sable) must have put the brick in her purse when she wasn’t looking. Now done with managing, she mentions her co-hosting role on both Livewire and Shotgun Saturday Night.

The next segment takes a look at how she gets ready for work every weekend. A makeup-less Sunny, wearing sweats and sunglasses, arrives at Titan Towers in preparation for the first episode of Shotgun. We see her get her hair and makeup done then get fixed up in wardrobe.

To finish out the tape, the “I Know You Want Me” video is played with various clips of Sunny on the beach or in lingerie. If memory serves the original song used for the montage was “Sunny”, an oldies track from the 60s. However, to avoid paying royalties, the music was changed for this release.

My View

Very entertaining little tape. The vast majority of matches are shown in full and, considering the rarity of said matches, that’s very much appreciated. I was always a much bigger fan of Sunny than I was of any of the other ‘divas’ of the era so I would recommend picking this one up.

In my opinion, Sunny’s all-around talent when it comes to sports entertainment is surpassed by only Trish Stratus (and that’s only because Trish has the added advantage of being a good worker in the ring). This video is a solid example of Tammy Sytch in her prime.

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