Thursday, August 10, 2006

Performer Analysis: Chris Candido

Chris "No Gimmicks Needed" Candido died due to a blood clot in his leg after surgery to repair from an injury that happened live on a TNA PPV on April 28, 2005. He was only thirty-four years old and had been a pro for nineteen years. He had wrestled in every major company in the US, including WWF, WCW, ECW, and NWA-TNA. He was trained by Larry Sharpe in 1985 and was long time engaged to Tammy Sytch, who also doubled as his manager in most promotions. This is his analysis.

1) Innovation-4- Chris Candido was never going to be a main eventer, but he seemed to try and bring the fans entertainment regardless. He was small by wrestling standards, at 5' 8, and 225 lbs., but he was determined to attempt to have great matches. There were flashes of brilliance from him, in places where no one was doing anything to stand out, like in the dying days of WCW, but after getting over in ECW, I don't think he was as experimental as before.

2) Conditioning- 6- Candido in ECW was in phenomenal shape. He had a great physique and could carry his size well, and work long matches with a variety of opponents. In WCW, he gained weight and in TNA, but he was always in great wrestling shape. Candido was known as a pain killer abuser in his later ECW run, which majorly effected his career. In 2004, he suffered a heart attack, which led to him trying to go clean from drugs.

3) Ring Skill- 6- I wouldn't say Candido was a show stealer, or a main event type caliber performer, but he could hold his own. I saw in his later days that he took control and lead matches, as opposed to in WWF and ECW, where I think he could slip easily into letting someone else lead the match. Plus, he was a great bumper.

4) Character/ Psychology- 7- Candido had a lot of charisma and claimed not to need a gimmick to get over. His gift was his comedic presence, and over the type behavior. As a bad ass, I didn't buy him, like they tried to market him in ECW. Candido had great facials and knew that he didn't have to go out and get put through six tables in a match to get over, even with the jaded ECW crowds. Sometimes more is less and one look can say more in a match than 2 high spots.

5) Interviews- 6- Candido was also a pretty good interview. He was rarely nervous on the mic, but my only criticism is that he didn't always have something to say and the people weren't 100 percent into his interviews. As someone who was never a big fan, I found myself appreciating what he had to offer as someone who had been in the sport for so long in his short lived TNA run.

6) Face/ Heel- 5- This category is always half and half. I give Candido a five because he was an exceptional heel, and not a very good face, although he didn't play one often, if ever. He was more like the scared heel and would play up to that role when necessary, something a lot of guys in this very macho business would rather not subject them selves to. It worked well in almost every company he's ever been in, but like I said, he has no face time and gets no points for it.

7) Basics- 4- Four seems low, but Candido was not the most technically sound wrestler around. Sure, he knew how to put on a headlock or do an armdrag sequence, but they weren't foremost in his repertoire. His punches and kicks also weren't that solid, but he could put together some sequences fairly well.

8) Fan Reaction- 5- Candido was one of those heels that got easy heat from the crowd, but I think a small portion of people always liked him. He got a little of that face heat that some heels get that always leads to an eventual face turn. So, he wasn't invisible to the fans, and I think he did a good job in playing to the crowd and making them feel they were involved.

9) Match/ Opponent Diversity- 2- Candido has had a storied career and has seen the highs and lows of this business, but let's quickly look at his career in terms of big programs. There's been none. He was mostly a tag wrestler his whole career. His biggest feud in the WWF was with Barry Horowitz. What does that tell you? In ECW, he and Lance Storm had some good tag matches, and a good feud to follow, maybe the best of his career. In WCW, he feuded with The Artist, but that was never followed through on. And in TNA, he was mostly in a managerial role. So, I feel that my score is justified.

10) Gutcheck- 8- Candido had many hurdles to overcome in wrestling. First and foremost, he didn't have the build to be a wrestler. But, he worked out and put on some muscle and size. Second, he had a girlfriend who was in the business and on the road with him. I don't need to tell you how difficult that could be. And third, he dealt with the same problems that a lot of other athletes deal with and that is substance abuse, but his family should be proud to say that he died clean and sober and over came all those obstacles to be remembered by the wrestling world as a great person and a great wrestler.
The PO: Thumbs Middle
Final Score: 52

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