In Memory of Chris Candido
April 29, 2004 by Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons
Today is a dark day for wrestling I woke up today on April 29th and read
something so shocking and sad that I had to write something about it. I read the
former WWE, WCW, ECW, and now TNA worker Chris Candido died late last night. His
brother Johnny made a statement on USA pro wrestling.net board saying it was
because of a blood clot and some complications through surgery.
Over time I realize I have said a lot of negative things in my columns but this
one is not going to be negative its just for remeberence of a great star of
wrestling. You know Candido is special because he defeated his demons with his
marriage, drugs, and alcohol while some wrestlers suffer with it the rest of
there life. He made a strong comeback to TNA and really has been impressive and
strong sense returning. Now that he is gone I'm glad I got to see the last
couple of great moments of his career.
To me this hurts a lot because I first started watching wrestling in 1995 when
Chris entered the WWE as Skip with Tammy who at the time was Sunny. He was the
first wrestler who I really had heel heat for because he was just really good in
the ring and could back up what he and sunny said which ticked me off. Chris
then went to ECW where I also followed and saw him have some great success with
the Triple Threat stable in ECW. There with Shane Douglas, Francine, Tammy, and
my favorite big man Bam Bam Bigelow they dominated ECW, with Chris holding some
gold and really was one of the bigger stars. From there he went to WCW and
became the Crusierweight Champion. We didn't seem much from Chris after this
because he was battling his demands but like I said earlier came in and had a
good run with TNA.
Like the title says I just can't believe it because he was out there wrestling
last Sunday when he broke his leg in a match with Sonny Saiki and Apollo. All I
can say is hope WWE does say something about this on Raw Monday, and TNA i think
will say something. I send my condolences to Tammy, Johnny and the rest of Chris
Candido's family. I hope everyone else prays for Chris and his family during
this dark day in wrestling history.
RIP Chris Candido 1972-2005
by Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons..
Dave Meltzer wrote on Wrestling Observer:
There are times when famous wrestlers pass away and everyone starts talking about what wonderful people they were, and sometimes, you almost have to bite your tongue. This is not one of those times.
Through thick and thin, through the bad times, and they were many, I don't think you'll find anyone arguing that Chris Candido was a really nice guy. He made a comeback at a time when everyone in the industry had given up on him. He was recently brought into TNA just as a test to put people over, and wound up winning a roster spot and was liked by everyone. If the circumstances of his death that are stated are accurate, it is one of the greatest tragedies of all. Practically everyone in wrestling who was at death's door at one point in their lives will say or have their friends say that are reformed. As history has shown, the vast majority of the times, it isn't true. What a lot of people don't understand, is for the minority who it turns out to be true about, it is a daily battle, as some, like William Regal and Eddie Guerrero will openly talk about.
Chris loved pro wrestling, even though it came close to killing him at one point in his life. It was more living out his childhood dream than making money. I think he enjoyed it every bit as much when he was barely making ends meet than when he was under a six-figure contract. He was on the road right out of high school. He had a bright future. He squandered that future. But he was determined the end the story of his wrestling career on a high note and with respect of the people in the profession that he had at times let down. He was on the road to doing all that.
What happened is one of those things that happen in life. There is no rhyme nor reason. Life isn't fair. You can question all you want about a guy who fought back from something that most never come back from, but then suffered a fluke broken leg, and suddenly, with no warning, this happened. Chris was very excited about his future in wrestling, particularly because he was starting to escape from the shadow of his past. The 6/10 and potentially 6/12 (if he was to be allowed to participate) were huge deals for him, and whether he would be able to wrestle or not, he was excited to be part of them.
Candido's last pro wrestling appearance will air today on the TNA Impact show. I'm told they will do a tribute graphic for him on the show, I believe at both the beginning and the end of the show. Before the show started, Candido came up with his own angle, because in a cruel twist of irony, he had been in a wheelchair at a ruse for the last few weeks on television. Candido came up with the storyline that his real broken leg on Sunday was his karma for the ruse, which led to the tag team title change and what was told to me was the best Impact match in a long time. There was debate whether the match should air at all. Shane Douglas who was his best friend in the company, felt 100% certain Candido would have wanted it to air. So that was the decision.
No death of a people you know at a young age isn't sad in some form, whether you know them personally, or followed their lives simply watching them work from a young age. Many people followed Chris from when he was a very young man, and some since he was just a teenager But for many reasons, this one is harder than most. It's not just because it doesn't appear to have been self-inflicted, but because this was the phone call for years that many people feared we could get at any time. And just when we thought we knew it would never come, it came.
Julian Radbourne wrote:
It's difficult to know how to begin this column. When I woke up this morning and logged onto the Internet, I was probably as shocked as the rest of you when I found out that Chris Candido was dead.
Like most of you, the first two words that came into my head were "f***ing hell". The guy was only 33 years old, the same age as me. I thought at first that this could be a cruel joke played by some sick f**k, like the story that someone put out a couple of years back that Leon "Vader" White had died. But a check on Google's news service made me soon realize that this was no joke.
So just why did Chris die" This may be sound a bit harsh, but given his past problems with drugs, when I first heard the news I thought that he had overdosed or something. But apparently this all goes back to TNA's Lockdown pay-per-view last Sunday. While competing in a tag-team match, Candido was on the receiving end of a Sonny Siaki drop-kick. Siaki landed awkwardly on Candido's leg, and the scene afterwards brought back memories of the infamous moment in WCW when Sid Vicious broke his leg.
Those of us who follow many different sports have seen this kind of injury before, particularly in football. Liverpool's Djibril Cisse suffered a similar injury earlier this season, but recently made his first-team comeback a few weeks ago. When I first heard of Candido's injury, like everyone else I thought that he'd make a full recovery.
Everyone knew of his past drug problems, and many injuries which included a broken neck, many in the wrestling business were pleased that he had finally put his problems behind him, and now had another shot at the big time with TNA. Things certainly looked good for him.
Then came the accident in the ring last Sunday, followed by an operation to repair the damage. He appeared at ringside at the next TNA tapings, acting as manager for The Naturals as they won the tag titles. He wasn't letting a busted leg get in the way of his career, and we were all looking forward to seeing him at the two upcoming ECW reunions, even though competing on those shows was now out of the question. But the fact that he had had some of best matches in ECW meant that he just had to be at those shows.
But who among us would have known that the events last Sunday would lead to his death" The simple answer is that none of us did.
I'm not going to lie to you and pretend that I was a big fan of Candido's work. I enjoyed his matches, but I never really went out of my way to watch them. But this doesn't mean that I don't feel sympathy for his family and friends right now. They've lost a part of themselves, a part of their very being when he died last night.
Chris Candido was just 33 years old. It certainly makes you think about certain things, doesn't it"
R.I.P. Chris. Thanks for the great matches.
Nick Sparrow wrote:
This was a real shock to me. I got online today around 7:30, and went to TNAWrestling.com, to see some photos from lockdown. I saw the main page pic of Candido, and saying he had passed away. I was shocked and saddened
I have watched Candido since the end of his ECW Days, to his WCW Days, where he had won the WCW Cruiserweight Championship, and his recent TNA Days.
The end of iMPACT! today, with Candido and The Naturals, I broke to a silence, and realized that this would be the last time I would ever see him.
He will be greatly missed, and wish something bad like this, did not happen to such a great person. Candido was a guy that lived life to its fullest, and respected the business.
I see Candido as a guy that gave me some of his passion for wrestling, as I have great respect and appreciate the business.
I send my condolescents out to Candido's family and wife Tammy. You are missed already...Rest in Peace my friend!
nate mcatee wrote:
i was just as surprised as everyone when i read chris candido passed away i'm like holy s*it. i knew he was in wwf/e but i was little and i dont remember him too well but i knew who he was and from what i read about his career he had his up and down moments with drugs and booze but he overcame that got into shape and made his way back to the ring in TNA he will be missed dearly and may god rest his soul
C Thomas wrote:
As a die-hard, gung-ho, wrestling fan, it saddens me to hear about Candido's passing. As of TNA's last taping of Candido before his death, he looked to be better than ever and perhaps more hungry than i've ever seen him. I watched all my ECW and defunct XPW tapes just in honor of the man that was apart of Triple Threat and part of wrestling in general. I remember his stints in the WWF(E) as the Body Donnas and they were a great tag team. Plus, his comeback in ECW and his brief stint in XPW.
As a fan, i'm gonna miss the guy and i'd wish that God had kept him here a longer for the Hardcore Homecoming show and the WWE / ECW show.
R.I.P. Chris Candido.....THROUGH THE COUNTLESS TAPES, AUTOGRAPHS AND MEMORIES THE MAN FROM NEW JERSEY OR ANYWHERE HE DAMN WELL PLEASES WILL NEVER DIE --- LONG LIVE CANDIDO!
Chris P wrote:
I have been watching wrestling sine I was born in 1984. I am escentially a Wrestlemania baby. I grew up in a time where it still wasn't cool to like bad guys. The first was Shawn Michales and for me the second was the Bodydonnas. When I saw the first promo with Chris and Tammy I couldn't wait for the premier and could not root against them. The tag team title victory which was shamefully not put on the actual Wrestlemania 12 event was one of my favorites. Sadly Chris dissapeared from the WWF and being it before the age of internet I had noidea where Chris was. It was about a year later when my friend told me about this company that had Leif Cassidy, Dean Douglas, and of all people Skip. That was my selling point. From that day on I had a new show to watch. IT was ECW and it was all because of Chris. Again Chris dissapeared and then showed up on WCW which may have been the only good thing Russo did when he was there. I then heard about 6 months ago that Chris worked a dark match for WWE and though this is great maybe he'll come home. That didn't happen but he did show up on NWA and gave me a reason to start watching tna again. Chris was truly one of the greats and he will be missed. To me Chris was as great as Owen Hart,Mr. Perfect, and Rick Rude(three of the greatest IC champs of all time. and the THREE GREATEST wrestlers to never be world champion) That great Royal Rumble in the sky just got a new competitor.
I didn't find out until a couple hours ago. This is truly devestating because I have always enjoyed watching Candido wrestling AFTER he left the WWF. He was a natural born star & I knew he had a bright future. Then the demons kicked in & I always hoped that he would eventually be able to take control again to do what he did best. Then low & behold, he comes to TNA. It was awesome seeing him & after the leg breaking incident that he had at Lockdown, I figured it was just a minor setback. He was in the midst of a great comeback & he was STILL putting on great matches. Chris, you will be missed. RIP
Hillbilly Matt Darlin wrote (Remembering "No Gimmick Needed"):
I was as floored as anyone about the death of Chris Candido this past Thursday.
I know I just sat in cold silence as I read, what I hoped, was a sick joke. As I
read on, I realized that it wasn't.
I can remember back in the Smoky Mountain Wrestling days here in Knoxville,
Tennessee, going to see Chris and Tammy. The fans hated Chris' persona, but
wrestlers, fans and the like always-respected Chris. I believe I am safe in
saying that Chris was one of the best wrestlers I have ever had the privilege of
I know that Saturday nights are busy for indy promotions. I would like to ask
that the wrestlers working in tonight's shows wear a black armband in memory
of the best indy worker to hit the squared circle.
Chris, you will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Tammy and the rest
of the Candido family. We can't imagine knowing what you are feeling, but you
are not alone!
Casey Carr wrote:
I wasn't a Chris Candido fan until January of this year. I attended an NWA No Limit event in Muscatine, Iowa. It was my first indy event in a few years and Chris Candido was wrestling that night. I got my picture taken with him, got the autographed 8x10 and had a short but enjoyable conversation with him. He reffered to me as "AWA" due to my AWA shirt I had on. That night he wrestled Delirious. I have to say that match made me a Chris Candido fan. You can just tell when someone has that "it" factor. And that night I realized Chris had "it". It just happened to be the week Chris debuted on Impact wrestling AJ Styles. As the weeks progressed I was very pleased to see that Chris was becoming a regular on Impact. Everytime he came out I had to point him out to my wife. "There's the guy that was in Muscatine." She would act like she cared. Slowly but surely every week he started to become a bigger part of Impact and I was becoming a bigger Chris Candido fan. So, Chris' death was definately one that hit home for me.
Bulldog Brower Jr. wrote:
It is soo hard to believe that a good talented wrestler like Chris is gone. I can remember the late Bulldog Brower Sr., and myself (Bulldog Brower Jr.) working with Chris for Larry Sharpe @ the Monstor Factory in Paulsboro, N.J. It really saddens me as I am writing this, but yeah I just have to say my farewell to a good friend and co-worker (Chris Candido). With-out a doubt Chris is and always will be considered one of the best workers in the wrestling business. For the wrestlers and fans that had the chance to meet Chris, would say that he was a really cool guy. Myself I feel Chris should of had a better run in the WWE & WCW. He was one of those guys that any promotions should have never let him go. When you look at the art in pro-wrestling, you would have to see Chris.
I just can't understand why so many wrestlers are passing away like they are. Maybe God is trying to start a wrestling promotion in Heaven. If that is the case, well he has taken a lot of great wrestlers from us.
My prayers go out to Tammy and the Candido family. I know it's going to be hard but we have to keep moving forward.
All I can say is thanks to Chris and Tammy for all the fun we had, all the laughs & jokes we shared in the locker rooms, and anything else that I might be forgetting.
R.I.P. Chris, you might be gone, but you will never be forgotten. God Bless You!
I won't say anything that has already been said. So I'll just say... Thank you Chris... For the matches and memories...
Andrew Betts wrote:
like most i was saddend by the news of chris candido's death but i must say he was a great wreslter watching Impact this past friday i found it hard to get mad at candido for interfereing in the naturals match with amw knowing that was his last tv appearence he looked to be in great spirts which i must say was great here he was with a broken leg and still he was the difference maker in the tag team title match and that says a lot about the man a true professional in every sense of the word i along with the rest of the wrestling world mourn the loss of this great preformer
Sean Waltman wrote:
I was informed last night that another friend is gone. I tried to start
writing this at the time, but was just unable to type the first word without
breaking down. I thought if I slept on it that it would be a little easier
today. I was wrong. So F*** it, I have to say good bye to you Chris. As hard
as it is for me, It's just as hard or maybe harder for so many others who
have gotten to know and love you through all of the years you have been in
our sport. As I continue to wipe the tears from my face & off this keyboard,
I can only imagine the pain Tammy and the rest of your family are feeling. I
am thinking about the first time we met at Dennis Corraluzo's show in Jersey
back in 1991. What were we" I guess 19 at the time. I remember how excited
about wrestling we were back then & I remember how you were just as excited
about wrestling & life when I saw you for the last time at the hotel in
Orlando Tuesday night. If you haven't noticed, I am doing alot of
remembering right now. Like the time I worked that guy in Clementon, NJ for
Dennis & Larry Sharpe and he came off the top while I was on the floor, his
bodyweight driving my head into the concrete floor damn near killing me. I
don't remember a thing but he was suppose to do the job for me, so he picked
me up by the "head" rolled me into the ring and somehow had me pin him as I
was out cold. You all were so pissed You threw his shit out of the building
and ran him out or something. Like I said, I don't remember anything until
waking up in the hospital. It was You and Tammy, Dennis & Glenn Ruth I saw
standing over me. I can't help thinking about the show we ran in Minneapolis
with Dennis. Terry Funk & Hawk, Myself & Sabu, You & Jerry Lynn, Tazz, Masa
Saito. Holy shit what a line up that was & that was pre ECW days. Well I
know alot of people thought Sabu & I had such a great match, but I have
always said the best match on that show was without a doubt You & Jerry
Lynn. Phyllis Lee was at that show. I believe that was the fist time you met
her. I say that because the last thing we did the other night was exchange
numbers, I called yours & you answered it "Phyllis Lee Fan Club". It was
funny to us. If most of the people reading this are wondering why I am
rambling on so much about such things, it's because I'm writing this to you,
not them. Damn, I could go on and on after nearly 15 years of knowing each
other. It was good to see You and Tammy at the XPW shows a few years ago. I
wasn't too good to see how bad we both were doing health wise at the time &
then I came back to TNA and there you were looking fresh and excited like
You did the first day I met you in New Jersey in 1991. Chris you did it. You
went out with people remembering a Chris Candido at his best. Obviously we
all will miss you. Please say hello to Curt, Hawk, Owen, Boss Man, Louie,
Joe C., The Great Malenko(who was like a father to me), and everyone else I
haven't named that you are probably standing right next to. I miss you all
very much. Peace be with you.
Bill Tyrrell wrote:
I just wanted to say my peace about Mr. Candido. I know this man wasn't the greatest wrestler of all time, but this man does deserve respect and should seen as a true legend. I have actually had the honor of Chris Candido twice, both times when he wrestled in ECW in 1997, and at the time was part of the great tag team with Lance Storm. Condsidering he was a heel I excepted him to rude and just not care about the fans, but showed me great respect, and talked to me for about 3 or 4 minutes, about how grateful he was to be wrestling, it is something that he always loved, and I could just tell he great passion for wrestling, and he treated me like a friend that he hasn't seen in a while, nice hand shake and a pat on the back, ask me how I was doing, and he thanked me for taking the time to talk with him. I of course thanked him for taking time out of his day to talk with, and told how great it was to see a wrestler with so much respect for this business and its fand. I will be the first person to admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of Candido, I did however have respect for me, and I was truly honored to meet a wonderful human being within the wrestling industry. Thank you Chris for being the great man that you were and still are, and may you R.I.P. 1975-2005.
When I woke up the other day and heard about this, I was stunned. I met
Chris, Tammy and John at Bam Bam's restaurant last year and when I saw
him, I was amazed at the changes that he had gone through and was happy
that he had gotten his life straightened out. He was starting to rebuild
what was once a bright future. Now, we have to look and think what might
have been. It's an unfortunate event and will forever be a dark day in
wrestling. God bless Tammy, John, his family and friends in these dark
days. R-I-P Chris! You will be forever in our hearts.
Joe L wrote:
Just when the world doesn't get anymore F-up, another wrestler kicks the bucket. This time, it's Chris Candido, former WWF and ECW Tag Team Champion and probably one of the most underrated and highly original wrestlers in this great sport. While not emotionally affective to me like the recent Matt Hardy/Lita/Edge fiasco, I was still shock by his sudden death for he was starting to breakout as a semi-famous star and entertaining manager in TNA. I never watched Candido that much but when I saw his presence in the ring, I was in awe of his incredible workrate. The man was a REAL talented athlete and it's a shame I will never be able to see him on TV again.
Everytime I DID see Candido, he provided a lot of good moments. I can fondly remember his match with Lance Storm at ECW Heatwave 98, which was a grudge match at its finest that featured Candido performing a top-rope powerbomb that would put Mike Awesome to shame. Also, after watching the Mick Foley DVD, I could fully understand why he was considered as one of the truly great heels in the Smokey Mountain Wrestling era when he feuded with Cactus Jack (aka Mick Foley). Featuring well-balanced attributes of power, speed and a technical wrestling, not to mention a unique personality, Candido was a rarity in this business where he could do more than just wrestle. He could brawl, he could fly, he could cut shocking to funny promos and could turn a dumb gimmick into an appealing character (The Bodydonnas stint with targeting fat people was hilarious, as opposed to Simon Dean's totally unfunny skits).
Sadly, politics and leg injuries ruined Candido's career time and time again, which is unfair because he had a lot of immense talent. Who could ever forget his running away into the crowd that inspired the likes of Mankind in SMW" Or being a member of the Triple Threat, where he won Tag belts with Lance Storm, providing greatness in the tag division" He was even a World Heavyweight Champion, although that championship distributed from the fifth-rate XPW organization but still, it was a World title and he was also a Cruiserweight Champion in WCW.
But just when Candido was about to hit major success, he was screwed politically and physically. In the WWF, he lost to worldwide jobber Barry Horowitz and the fans no longer cared about him. In WCW, he jobbed the belt in a mixed tag and then the executives fired him for being injured ala Steve Austin. In ECW, he was completely depushed from the main event picture. In XPW, he won the title and then vanished. And in TNA, he suffered a broken ankle and a broken leg just as he was about to get healthy again. And no, he did not break his leg by just walking like Kevin Nash.
Chris Candido was a phenomenal performer with an old-school presence and impeccable wrestling skills. He was like the Eddie Guerrero of the midcard where he could get the fans to hate him and have them appreciate his in-ring performance. But leg injuries and political nonsense took their toll and robbed us of one of wrestling's most under-appreciated performers. Hopefully, there is a better and much safer place for him in heaven than there was during his 90's wrestling career. Thanks for the memories, Chris Candido. You were one hell of a talent.
jay dunivant wrote:
at first i didn't believe it was truee . It might been the accident at the pay per view. It will look on Impact have somone ied on for three week when their died it'll show they tape the show
Mike Herold wrote:
I would consider Chris Candino to be one of my favorite wrestlers. The reason is becasue he was a hard worker and he had that "Mr. Perfect" gimmick. He was definently cocky and felt he could do whatever he wanted in the ring. His ECW days were probably my favorite. He wasn't hardcore like other ECW wrestlers such as Tommy Dreamer or the Dudley Boys, but his matches were exciting to watch and his moves were phenomenal. I was both shocked and excited when I witnessed him make his return to wrestling in TNA. He took on AJ Styles, which was a great match. He was no stranger to TNA fans, Candino formely wrestled for WCW, ECW, and WWE. He managed now NWA Tag Team Champions, The Naturals, and he went out "on top" according to his brother and I couldnt agree more. I'm glad to see WWE put a picture of Chris Candino on RAW, but they should have maybe made a short 20 second video at least. Best wishes to his family and friends, and we will also miss you Chris! R.I.P. Chris Candino 1972-2005
Alicia Fenton wrote:
I really thought that this was some kind of joke. My husband told me to get on the Internet and find out the results of the TNA PPV on Monday. I did, and the only thing I can remember about the whole thing was that Chris Candido broke his ankle and was scheduled to have surgery. My husband being the die hard wrestling fan that he is for over 20 years, was a little upset because he would be gone for a few months recovering.
We caught TNA on Fox sports net on Friday, in the middle of the show, but we didn't pay any attention to it because we always watch it on Saturday. Well Saturday morning my husband came and woke me up and told me we lost Chris, and I just could not believe it. I jumped up and ran to the computer to make sure no body was playing another stupid prank, and read it for myself in black and white. I said many words that a normal woman may not say, and I was just sick to my stomach.
How could this be" He was 33 years old, and in better shape than probably any of us ever dream to be. It is very sad!!!
I wanted to add that I thought it was in very poor taste that Vince McMahon did not give Chris the 20 seconds he so rightfully deserved in posting something on his live PPV Backlash on Sunday night. I was also very surprised that not one of the wrestlers that preformed that night wore any kind of arm band or anything in memory of Chris. Not even JR mentioned it. There was however a short banner that shot across the screen briefly the following night on RAW right before a commercial break, but again not JR or King said a word about it. Well to all of Chris's family and friends, I WILL SAY WHAT JR OR KING SHOULD OF SAID during there broadcast. Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Chris was a great passionate wrestler, One who actually loved the sport, not just the mighty dollar. He will truly always be in our hearts and will greatly be missed. -Alicia Fenton, Lansing, Michigan
Jason HAHAHAHA wrote:
I myself had a chance to see Chris wrestle during his
comeback, Middletown, New York a ECPW show and
although I don't remember the match all that much, I
do remeber his attuide was awesome, I remember him
jokeing with his opponents. He even joked with
fans...my dad calling him Skip and asking where Sunny
was (dads not a hardcore fan) and Chris saying "How
the hell should I know." That got a laugh. At one
point in the match Balls Mahoney broke out silly
string and Chris joked with that saying "Enough with
the silly string," then spreying it himself. I don't
remember who one that night, but I do know all in
attendence were winners for seeing Chris...and
wrestling fans who seen him wrestle during his
comeback were winners...do not remember the chris with
demons but remember the Chris who got his life back on
Rest in Peace Chris you will be missed by thousands of
fans throughout the world, you are now in the big
wrestling ring in the sky.-Jason Bradbury
I am writing you this letter in hopes that maybe you can publish this or forward it on to the family of Chris Candido. Chris passed away last thursday of a blood clot. I do not know Chris but I have met him on several occassions. And he was a great guy. I was happy to see Chris return to the ring in on a national wrestling program this past year. I always thought of Chris as a tremendous athelete with alot of heart. He held several wrestling titles over the years from Smokey Mountain Wrestling Heavyweight Champion,NWA Heavyweight Champion, a multi time WWE Tag Team Champion, ECW Tag Team Champion, WCW Cruiserweight Champion and XPW Heavyweight Champion. He was the first wrestler who people had heat for because he was just really good in the ring and could back up what he and sunny said which ticked off fans. Chris then went to ECW where I saw him have some great success with the Triple Threat stable in ECW. There with Shane Douglas, Francine, Tammy, and my favorite big man Bam Bam Bigelow they dominated ECW, with Chris holding some gold and really was one of the bigger stars. I remember seeing Chris for the first time back in 1993 in IWCCW. He was in a group called Heart Thro Four. IWCCW was had events all over and it's home base was out of my hometown Parsippany, New Jersey. It was great I got to see Chris when he first started out. Chris was four years older than myself and both of us were Aries. Joe Salvodi introduced me to Chris. He was a great guy and loved to make people laugh. I'd follow his career in Pro Wrestling Illustrated and I was proud that someone from Jersey was actually making it big and not being told to change where your from. When Chris made it to the WWE with Tammy I was excited to see someone who has talent and can draw heat from fans as a heel and back it up actually in the promotion. WWE lacked that for a while as most of their talent wanted to be the face figuring fans would buy more of their merchandise that way. I went to the Meadowlands in 1996 to see a WWF aka WWE event and I ran into Chris at the ticket booth. He was notifying them that a family member will becoming to the show to get some tickets. I went to approach him and four security guards came over and blocked me from approaching Chris. Now I was the only person in the area besides three buddies and Chris. My buddies only knew or cared about ig name guys and never followed the indy cricuit so when someone like chris comes to the WWF/WWE they would say, "hey Ed who is this guy"" But when the guards blocked me Chris asked them what are they doing" They told him they are preventing fans from going new the athlete's. Chris said there was no need to. Chris said I looked familiar to him. I was in shock he remembered me from IWCCW. We talked for a little while and took some pics. I had asked him since I was done with High School if he would be interested in training me to be a wrestler or manager. He told me he would like to but at the time his WWE schedule is so crazy but gave me great advice on what to look for in a school, where to go, and what scouts look for. Unlike Tito Santana a legend in pro wrestling who when I asked him at an indy show in 1995 I was told by him, "No sorry. I don't want to train anyone who is going to take my job from me." or like Raven who told me he doesn't have the time but if he did he could spare only 3 days for two weeks only and it would cost me $25,000 for those two weeks. They did not care about the business just himself unlike Chris. We talked about the business and his storyline for a little while before he had to get to the back. I thanked him for his time and he said enjoy the show. I took Chris advice and I was going to go to a wrestling school but I broke my leg in three playing football and my knee went to my groin tearing all my ligaments and tendants in my leg. My wrestling dreams were over. Saw Chris again in Manasquan at Leggits back in 2000. I walked in and Chris sent a beer over with a note saying well are you a wrestler. I looked around wondering who sent it and the bar maid pointed to Chris.
Bulldog Brower Jr wrote:
After reading what JAX wrote on here in memory of Chris, I just have to respond to it. JAX I am the son of the late Legendary Dick "Bulldog" Brower Sr., and I am writing this response to you, so listen up. After reading everything you wrote on here, I have to say to you, congratulations on a great article. You might not be the late Curt Hennig (Mr. Perfect), but you indeed wrote a perfect article. I had goose bumps all over my body.
Far as talking to some of the guys to train you to become a pro-wrestler, it can be difficult on some of their schedules. Sorry to hear that you gave up on your dream to become a pro-wrestler. But also remember there are many top name wrestlers that had injuries like yours or even worst that never gave up and became great workers. So don't let any injury stop you from living a dream.
You talked about being from Parsippany, New Jersey were the IWCCW was based out of with Joe and Mario Salvodi running the company. Well there are two great friends of mine and my father's right there who would have trained you. There was many times in the early 90's that Joe and Mario asked the Browers to work for them. If you should still be interested in becoming a pro-wrestler and would like to know what is the best training school to attend without the promoter just taking your money and running with it. Here is a little advice I am giving to you and anybody else that wants to get in the business, Pick the wrestling school that is very successfully in sending their wrestlers to the WWE. Next thing once you have found that perfect school to attend, here comes the pricing part. Say a wrestling school charges $3,500.00 to train guys to become wrestlers. Ok now you give the promoter $500.00 down, now what you want to do is divide the $3,000.00 in to 6 months, so that would be just over $115.00 per week. This way if a promoter should close up and run, they won't run with all of your money and anybody should be able to get just over $115.00 worth of training per week. If there is anyway I can help you with any questions or concerns about professional wrestling, you can e-mail me @ BulldogBrower3@aol.com. Take Care!!
Dr. Russ Montalbano aka "Russ Money" wrote:
I just want to take time to respect Chris Candido. I was a jobber in the ICW (Savoldi) approximately 12 years ago. I was trained by Tom Brandi and King Kahula. Tom brought me to Kutcher's in the Catskills to get me some work and I had the honor of working with Chris. It was a six man w/ Chris, Tom, and Flex" vs. me, James Maritato and someone else. During the match, Chris gave me a gut wrench snap suplex and I didn't tuck my left arm and I think I dislocated my elbow. Ever since that day I've had a click in my elbow and it tends to lock up every once in a while. When I pop my elbow I think of Chris (In a good way). That's the truth. I would see Chris occasionally, at shows and conventions and as soon as He saw me He and Tom Brandi would rib me and He would say "Tom this is the kid we did like 20 finishes on at Kutcher's". He always gave me time to BS with and his ribs were in good fun. I always respected him for his work, since guys who aren't "6'3 300lbs" are not supposed to make in wrestling. I truly wish his family peace and my prayers, thought this difficult time. Thank you for this opportunity.
Jacob Kuhn wrote:
I think Mick Foley said it best when he said that Candido was one of the few wrestlers in the sport willing to play the coward. While this might not seem at first to be quite the compliment, it actually is one of the best.
Wrestling has become a cutthroat business, where most of our stars only care about one thing: themselves. This is one of the things that does not differentiate our sport from all the others. The welfare of the sport and the enjoyment of the fans is second and third as long as the wrestlers and promoters are getting money. Wrestling has a loyal fanbase that sticks with the sport even when it doesn't stick with us.
Chris Candido was one of those wrestlers who did what was right by the fans. He played the part and did what the fans wanted to see. In addition to being an outstanding grappler, he had a good character. Even when wrestling dealt him a bad hand, he stuck with it. He kept giving us what we wanted.
One of the things we like to see in wrestling is the talented, yet cowardly heel. Although many fans 'complain' over and over again about rulebreakers, the fact is that a lot of us fans love them. And those of us who don't like them, we keep watching cheaters because they infuriate us. They keep us tuning in.
In closing, I want to say that you can not have a hero without a villian. Chris Candido gave us what we wanted and needed: a throwback to the days of the great rulebreakers. He ranks right at the top with Ric Flair and Greg Valentine. I was so happy to see him in TNA, and I am so sad to see him gone. He may not have been the most recognized in the sport and he may have never been World Champion, but he was one of the best and truest men ever in this sport. Rest in peace, Chris. We miss you.
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