Tuesday, April 12, 2011

R.I.P. "Sweet & Sour" Larry Sweeney

Alex Whybrow a.k.a.
"Sweet & Sour" Larry Sweeney
Feb 18, 1982-April 11, 2011

Pro wrestling lost another great performer way before his time yesterday as Alex Whybrow better known to independent wrestling fans as "Sweet & Sour" Larry Sweeney took his own life at the age of 29 at a pro wrestling school in Louisana.

Sweeney became well known on the independent circuit becoming most prominent around 2006 and competed all over the world. Larry was trained at the WrestleFactory by Mike Quackenbush but would later receive some extra "polish" from veterans such as "Playboy" Buddy Rose and Ed Wiskowski better known as "Col. Debeers". Sweeney competed in tons of promotions but some of his most prominent work was done in IWA Mid South, Chikara, IWA Deep South, F.I.P., CZW, and later in Ring of Honor where he mostly managed and once had a famous face off with the legendary Bruno Sammartino.

Larry Sweeney was a throwback to the "good ol' days" as a guy who was not only a solid in-ring worker but highly entertaining as well. Sweeney was gifted on the microphone and much like veterans such as Jerry Lawler, Sweeney could seemlessly switch gears from being comedic to intense.....one moment he's hamming it up doing a strut off in the ring....to intense heel heat when the time was right...a very rare trait in young wrestlers these days. Sweeney was advanced beyond his years but that perhaps came from some of the legendary stars he had the opportunity to work with in his brief career in the wrestling business such as Jake 'the Snake' Roberts, the Iron Sheik, Bob Armstrong, Brad Armstrong, Kamala, Demolition, and many, many more. The eternal ICW/ICWA Tex-ark-ana Television Champion, Sweeney took a title belt that started as a comedic prop and actually gave it a lot of credibility by competing in so many different places
and stealing the show night in and night out.

Despite his fun loving disposition in the ring and in the locker room, Alex Whybrow the man behind the persona suffered from bi-polar disorder and many other mental issues stemming from an auto accident in his youth that he never quite was able to deal with. At one point seeming to be well on his way to stardom, in 2009, Sweeney had a falling out with Ring of Honor and left the promotion and the wrestling business after having a complete mental breakdown that he deemed to be the "worst moment in his life". Sweeney however bounced back and was living in Louisana and starting to wrestle again and train wrestlers at a school in the area. He also planned to once again return to Chikara Pro in 2011. At this point no one knows why Alex Whybrow chose to take his own life other than perhaps his mental disorders finally overcame him. One thing is for certain pro wrestling lost a great entertainer and a lot of wrestlers lost a great friend who always kept them laughing in and out of the ring. We can only hope that "Redondo Beach, California's Favorite Son" has finally found the peace on the other side that he couldn't find here.