Chris Candito 1972-2005
May 1, 2005
I am still coming to grips with this myself, so you will have to bear with me as I try to honour the memory of a great partner, opponent, and friend. I was lucky enough to know Chris Candito for 11 years, and some of my fondest memories in this business are of matches and time spent with him. We first met in 1994 in SMW. My wife and I lived in the same apartment complex as Chris and Tammy. We went to movies and the gym together and more importantly had some of the best times in the ring together. We were reunited again in ECW where we got to both team and feud with each other, oddly enough at the same time. We both loved being in the ring together as we both just wanted to have a great match and have fun (something I believe we managed to do each night). It was always about entertaining the crowd and more often than not the boys as well.
Chris loved throwing things in to our matches just to ‘Pop the Boys’. He loved popping the boys so much that I started taking it upon myself to try to pop him and make him lose his composure during matches. I could regularly get him with my Tom Prichard/Jimmy Garvin Hair fussing routine before tying up. I obviously never had the hair for it, which made it look even more ridiculous, and Chris would usually have to rush the tie up to help cover up his laughing. My crowning moment was the night we did a mix tag match at the ECW Arena with Tammy and Dawn. I did the ring announcing for our match and laid into them pretty stiff. I cleared everything with them ahead of time, except one line, which I knew would pop him. I introduced him hailing from ‘His mother-in-law’s house in Spring Lake, NJ’. Chris actually had to turn and bury his face in his arm on the top turnbuckle he was laughing so hard. Chris actually was living at his Mother-in-Law’s house, which sounds worse than it really was. She had this huge home and both Chris and Tammy were always on the road, it made senses but sounded bad, which is why I used it in the introduction. Nothing was off limits with Chris and I. It was always about having fun.
The day we won the ECW Tag Team Titles he started just calling me partner. At first I thought it was because we were a tag team at the time, but the title stuck and I realized it meant more than that. We covered a lot of ground he and I and when it came to this business and being in that ring, we just fit, we were partners. One of my favourite times in this business, and I’d like to think one of his as well, was the time we were ECW Tag Team Champions and feuding with each other. We pulled double duty every night, defending the Tag Titles, and then going straight into a singles match. A lot of people in the business would have looked at that program as a nightmare, but we loved it and saw it as the best of both worlds. We got to tag and wrestle each other, what could be better than that? While we drifted in and out of touch over the years we remained close, we remained partners. I don’t think anyone outside the business can understand this but it’s true. We went likely 5 years without seeing each other before our last meeting her in OVW. When I walked into the Davis Arena and saw him, our faces lit up, we hugged, and he called me partner. We sat around the whole day telling stories and laughing at all the good times we had as if we had seen each other yesturday.
Chris once said to me, “I need to work with you the rest of my life.” I took this as a huge compliment knowing that he meant because it was always, fun, easy, and safe. I’ve never forgot him saying that to me, and it always brought a smile to me face because it reminded me of him and how much fun we had in the ring together. I just never figured ‘the rest of his life’ would be so short. I will remember that line till it’s my turn to join him, but I’m afraid it will never again bring a smile to my face.
I will miss you my friend, and remember you fondly. You loved this business more than anyone I know and it will remember you for your great contributions.
I will try to find a good Chris Candito story in my archived commentaries to post as a tribute as well.