Dawn Marie - Biography & Career
In her youth, Dawn Marie was a fan of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), admiring wrestlers such as Bob Backlund, Jimmy Snuka and Roddy Piper. She graduated from the New York University Stern School of Business at the age of 23 and went on to work for a real estate consultancy firm in Manhattan, New York, reaching the position of Director of International Real Estate.
After meeting an ex-boyfriend who had aspired to play football professionally and finding out that he had been signed by the Chicago Bears, Dawn Marie decided that she would also pursue a career in entertainment. She resigned from the firm and moved into the entertainment industry with the goal of becoming either a model or an actress.
While signing modeling posters for Jonathan Gold, a talent agent and professional wrestling promoter, Dawn jokingly told Gold that she would be interested in pursuing a career in wrestling. Gold took her comment at face value and later contacted Dawn Marie, informing her that she was scheduled to appear at a wrestling show in New Jersey. With some trepidation, Dawn Marie went to the show and managed Tony Atlas in his match against Jimmy Snuka. Following the event, Dawn Marie stopped modeling and began appearing on the independent circuit, managing and learning from wrestlers such as Devon Storm, Buddy Landell, Snuka, Tom Brandi and Steve Corino. She wrestled her first match in January 1995.
Dawn Marie spent four years working on the northeastern independent circuit, appearing with promotions such as Maryland Championship Wrestling and the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation. In 1999, she was told by Jeff Jones that Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) employee Buh Buh Ray Dudley was interested in bringing her into the company. At the behest of Dudley, Dawn Marie travelled to the ECW Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where ECW promoter Paul Heyman told her that he would book her for several appearances in a storyline with Lance Storm. Dawn Marie debuted in ECW on August 28, 1998 as the manager of Lance Storm, feuding with Chris Candido and his manager, Tammy Lynn Sytch. Heyman was impressed by the chemistry between Dawn Marie and Storm, and offered Dawn Marie a contract, which she accepted.
Storm and Dawn Marie feuded with Candido and Sytch for several months, during which time Dawn Marie was renamed Tammy Lynn Bytch to spite Candido and his manager. She used a similar tactic during a feud between Storm and Tommy Dreamer in early 1999, adopting the name Beulah McGillyslutty as a reference to Dreamer's former manager, Beulah McGillicutty. After the respective feuds ended, Dawn Marie used the ring name Dawn Marie Bytch, which was eventually shortened to simply Dawn Marie. After Storm formed a tag team with Justin Credible known as the Impact Players in the summer of 1999, Dawn Marie managed both men, helping them win the ECW Tag Team Championship on two occasions. Dawn Marie continued to manage Storm until he left ECW for World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in May 2000. Dawn Marie was also offered a contract by WCW, but declined to leave ECW in order to remain with her fiance, ECW wrestler Simon Diamond.
After Storm departed ECW, Dawn Marie became a color commentator on both ECW pay-per-views and the television series ECW on TNN. In August 2000, she began managing Steve Corino; the alliance was short-lived, as Dawn Marie quickly betrayed Corino. On December 3, 2000 at the Massacre on 34th Street pay-per-view, Dawn Marie announced that she would become the manager of the winner of the opening match between Simon Diamond and Swinger and Christian York and Joey Matthews. Although York and Matthews won the bout, Dawn Marie opted to join forces with Simon and Swinger. She managed the duo until ECW declared bankruptcy in April 2001.
Following the bankruptcy of ECW, Dawn Marie returned to the independent circuit, managing Simon and Swinger. The trio made several appearances with the short lived X Wrestling Federation in November 2001. In addition to wrestling, Dawn Marie worked as a stock trader and co-hosted a radio show known as the "Rock and Wrestling Radio Show". During her time on the independent circuit, Dawn Marie trained as a wrestler under Simon Diamond and Mikey Whipwreck.