“Everything old is new again.”
It’s a saying seemingly as old as the saying that something is as old as the hills. It means, quite simply, that anything, given an adequate amount of time out of the spotlight, can seem fresh to an audience if they haven’t seen it recently. Look at things that have come back in style over the years: the Rubik’s Cube, hip hugger jeans, Gallagher…well, maybe not Gallagher (thank God), but you catch my drift. Let some fad lie dormant long enough, and when it comes back, it seems fresh all over again.
According to James E. Cornette, the statute of limitations for this phenomenon in the world of pro wrestling is no less than seven years. At that point, many argue, it is ok to recycle characters or angles, because it’s likely that the fanbase has had enough turnover that they won’t recognize the rehash as, well, a rehash.
So when I heard of the upcoming debut of Simon Dean’s new fitness duo that’s scheduled to take place this weekend on Smackdown, I couldn’t help but chuckle.
Oh yeah, and look for Tammy Sytch.
It was the spring of 1995, and the duo of Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch, hot off an impressive run in Cornette’s old Smoky Mountain area, were headed straight for the World Wrestling Federation. Instead of playing up Candido’s heritage in the business (his grandfather was “Popeye” Chuck Richards) or Sytch’s Hillary Clinton fascination (which drew biggum heat down in the South), the creative team at Titan decided, for whatever reason, to portray the two as fitness gurus.
Uh huh – just like Simon Dean’s new team, the Gyminize (or Geminis or however they spell it).
As was the style at the time, the newly christened Bodydonnas made their WWF debut via a series of vignettes, in which they talked down to the lazy folks like you and me watching at home on our Zony TVs.
Now I know Vince wasn’t a billionaire or anything at this point, but you’d think the poor bastard could at least afford a Panaphonic or a Magnetbox.
We quickly learned that the male was Skip and the female in the duo was Sunny. You know how? Because they told us this fact.
No joke – Sytch said “I’m Sunny” and Candido countered with “and I’m Skip”, I guess in case someone thought the GIRL was Skip or something.
And then they did something completely diabolical – they started laughing right in our faces!
Oh yes, they laughed. And laughed. And laughed …
I mean seriously, I hadn’t seen two people having such a good guffaw since the heyday of the York Foundation.
I mean, just look at everyone laughing. Man, it just makes me want to plot all kinds of nefarious deeds and start laughing too.
In fact, I think I will!
Now don’t get me wrong. I think this gimmick had potential (and to be fair, I always thought Simon Dean did as well). Of course, all my fellow Crappers know of my incredibly unhealthy obsession with Tammy, but the key to the tandem, I think, was Candido, who was a hell of a worker even back then.
Plus, the two obviously had a lot of fun with the gimmick, complete with doing pushups on their fallen adversaries.
Everything was just fine for our fitness friends until they ran into the Jewish ubernerd (and hey, don’t yell at me, that’s how Vince promoted the guy) Barry Horowitz.
Now let’s make one thing perfectly clear – Barry Horowitz lost to everyone. EVERYONE. Mega superstars, regular superstars, jobbers to the stars – everyone. At one point, I think even TD Steel beat him.
But Barry Horowitz was able to beat one guy – Skip.
And thus was the beginning of the end of Chris Candido’s WWF career.
Having seen Candido lose to Horriblewitz, the fans immediately started to view him as a total joke. Everything was tried to salvage the gimmick, and that’s when things got REALLY pathetic.
First, Rad Radford (who would become more famous under the name of Louie Spicolli) was brought in as a “Bodydonna in training.” Now why anyone, especially a supposed grunge rocker, would suddenly decide his life long dream was to be a gym rat is anyone’s guess.
Suffice to say, however, that flopped in pretty much record time.
Next up, Skip brought in his “brother” Zip (Tom Pritchard, who was formerly one half of one of my all-time underrated tag teams, the Heavenly Bodies).
Yes, the team was Skip and Zip. Somewhere, someone was laughing.
Note I said someONE, as in one person in the entire universe.
Competing together, the duo won the WWF tag team championship on the biggest stage of them all – WrestleMania. Well, technically, it was on the pre-show, which also featured a similarly classic encounter: The Huckster versus the Nacho Man. Sadly, Billionaire Ted didn’t also ref the tag bout, which featured the Godwinns (!!) as YOUR WWF tag team champions.
Eventually, the pair split with Sunny, and this led to yet another craptastic angle, featuring…oh yes…
Because as everyone knows, transvestites = comedy!
Eventually, Candido became so annoyed with how his dream career was turning out that he flat out quit the company. And really, who could blame the guy? Here he was, a talented technical grappler who was really good on the stick too, trapped in a gimmick headed straight to nowheresville.
Rest assured, one day the Gyminize will be here too.
Sunny: “I’m Sunny.”
Skip: “And I’m Skip.”
Together: “And we’re the Bodydonnas!”
The Bodydonnas laugh and love.
RD (not really RD) laughs and loves.