WWE pulls rehab offer for Tammy Sytch

Tammy Lynn SytchI have been very reluctant to write anything about the current situation involving Tammy Sytch, as it’s not a nice thing to discuss, and felt a little exploitative. Having been arrested half a dozen times in as many months over issues surrounding her boyfriend and seemingly stemming from alcohol abuse, it was beyond messy. At the time that it started last September when she was arrested three times in as many days, it seemed ridiculous and consequently opened Sytch up to derision. However we are now in February, and things may have gone from bad to worse because of some choice words put out by the WWE Hall Of Famer.

On Monday, shoot interview series Kayfabe Commentaries released a sample clip of its latest interview with her, recorded before her most recent arrest last month where she discussed – among other things – how she claims the WWE sponsored rehab that she was part of changed depending on what was going on at the time – most specifically, Linda McMahon’s second attempt to become a Senator, which for a second time, ended in failure.

At this time, this is when Linda McMahon was running for Senate. So me being in the news all over New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut – the 6 o’clock news, the 11 o’clock news – four or five times over a month period plus TMZ five times wasn’t looking good for her or for the company. They were quite upset.

However, Sytch claims that the rehab on offer altered after her political run came to an end, as there allegedly wasn’t the need to keep up appearances anymore.

The Senate race had just ended. So as the Senate race was going on they were paying a thousand dollars a day. As soon as the Senate race is over; ‘guess how much this place costs per day? So you get just a hundred and six dollars a day.’

Tammy Sytch mugshotIn addition, the 40-year old discussed the conditions of her cheaper rehab facility, claiming they were draconian and rough, and also how she got into a fight, as well as WWE’s reaction to it.

…she threw a glass at my face. The glass hit me right here [points underneath her right eye]. I had my lawyer call the WWE and they were like, ‘no, we’re not paying for anything else.’ I said ‘how is it that you can pay Scott Hall to go to 12 rehabs, nice rehabs?’ They said to me on the phone, ‘well, you’re not Scott Hall’.

Someone within WWE must have got wind of this interview, as within the last 24 hours, the company released the following statement to Cageside Seats:

As part of the Former Talent Rehabilitation Program, WWE has sent Ms. Sytch to rehabilitation numerous times, with all costs covered by WWE. Unfortunately, Ms. Sytch has continued to make poor personal choices and is ultimately responsible for the consequences of these decisions. WWE has always provided rehabilitation at a certified treatment center; however, given Ms. Sytch’s inability to change her lifestyle and successfully complete treatment, WWE will no longer fund her rehabilitation.

Now, I can see WWE’s point. Sytch clearly bit the hand that fed her, and was paying for her to clean her act up, regardless of whether she was totally serious about doing it or not. At least she had the opportunity to do so – but based of her most recent arrest, the rehab stints didn’t work. I don’t blame WWE for being annoyed with her comments, as it smacks on ingratitude. However, in making this move, it’s another short-sighted decision which equals the others which Sytch has made, and may but her in serious jeopardy.

Since September 2007, WWE has offered sponsored rehab to any employee who asked for it – be they current or former talent. According to the company’s corporate section, 6% of former talent have accepted assistance, and a copy of the letter sent out is linked to the page – you can read it by clicking here. It says that ‘help will be provided regardless of the circumstances of your departure from the WWE or the amount of time you performed.’ Nowhere does it say that the quality of your rehab will be judged on merit or star power, and absolutely nowhere does it say that the treatment is conditional of you saying nice things about the company. To yank it away seems rash, unfair and is potentially damaging to someone who clearly needs the help, and now has fewer means of being able to get it.

Tammy Lynn Sytch wweI’m not saying that Sytch is blameless. In doing what she needed to do to get some money – as one could surmise that her income has slowed dramatically since falling out of the spotlight – Sytch said what she thought she needed to say to generate some buzz and sell the interview to people. However, it was ill-thought out, as by doing so, she alienated the people who may have been in the best position to help her out.

You could have some sympathy for her because psychologically something seems to be wrong – and in the KC clip, she admits that there is ‘probably’ a mental illness involved. If you consider that possibility, it seems very dangerous to take away help from someone who needs it, even if they’ve messed up. If WWE say they will help, ‘regardless of the circumstances of your departure’, how can they justifiably pull the assistance?

Worst-case scenario – Sytch plunges further down the hole and she dies. Can WWE then justify their actions of pulling the help? I’m sure they will say that you can’t help someone who won’t help themselves – something which Jim Ross says in his latest blog, though doesn’t mention Sytch by name – but what if Sytch fully commits to helping herself and the help which WWE promised is no longer there? When you factor in that the party who loses out is someone who potentially has both an addiction AND a mental disorder, we could possibly be looking at another wrestling tragedy. I don’t want it to happen, and I really hope that WWE reconsiders for both its public profile and for Sytch’s future. Somebody has to be the bigger person here, and it should be the side which has the clear head. Otherwise, we may be looking at a future with the star known to millions as Sunny in prison, in a psychiatric facility or in the morgue.

– Lee Burton
– Photos by Peter Casolino, Branford Police Dept & WWE

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