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Larry Sweeney

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Larry Sweeney (born Alexander K. Whybrow (February 15, 1982 – April 10, 2011) was an American professional wrestler and manager who appeared all over the continental US as well as in Canada, Mexico and Europe. He performed primarily on the American independent circuit in promotions such as Chikara, Full Impact Pro, IWA Deep South, Ring of Honor and International Wrestling Cartel.

Career History

Sweeney's first professional match took place at the Wind City Pro Wrestling Battle of the Belts 2000 on May 20, 2000, at the Hammond Civic Center in Hammond, Indiana. Wrestling under the ring name 'El Zapatista', he participated in a three ring, 120-man battle royal. He did not, however, decide to purse a career in professional wrestling until 2002, while living in Indiana and training in amateur wrestling at the Sri Satpal Pehlewan Akhara at the Chattrasol Stadium in Model Town, Delhi, India. Later, he enrolled in Chikara Wrestle Factory in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in September 2003, under head trainer Mike Quackenbush and co-instructors Chris Hero and Skayde. He received additional training from Buddy Rose and Colonel DeBeers in Portland, Oregon, before debuting on May 1, 2004, in Ludlow, Massachusetts.

On June 16, 2005, he defeated wrestling veteran Glen Osbourne for the PWE Heavyweight Championship in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He held the title for 11 months before losing it to Mike Quackenbush in May 2006; in the meantime he had become a regular for many of the larger independent companies in the US. He represented Chikara at MXW's InterPromotional Incident in July 2006. On July 31, 2006, Sweeney made an appearance on WWE RAW, broadcast live from Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey, where he played an imposter Nick Hogan (son of Hulk Hogan) in a segment titled "Orton Knows Best" (a parody of the successful reality television show 'Hogan Knows Best' starring Hulk Hogan and his family). Later that year, he was the subject of the 'Introducing' feature article in the national magazine The Wrestler.

In 2007 he began feuding with Bryan Alvarez over the ICW/ICWA Texarkana Television Championship. On May 11, 2007, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, he won the ICW Super Indy title, defeating "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal, Azrieal and Shima Wion in a one-night tournament. He then went on to feud for the title with "Fabulous" John McChesney, who defeated him for the title on July 7. After feuding with McChesney for over six months, Sweeney regained the title on January 19, 2008, after winning a Texarkana Death Match. Sweeney was crowned the first CWE Undisputed Champion after defeating Eddie Kingston and Chris Hero in separate matches on July 20, 2007 in Youngstown, Ohio.

In April 2007, he competed in a War Games match for the NWA Upstate promotion in Rochester, New York, after successfully defending the ICW/ICWA title against Eddie Kingston in a strap match the night before at Colgate, University. Sweeney made his debut with the Hawaii-based promotion Action Zone Wrestling on January 7, 2008, CIMA at their even Battleclash III, a match billed on his 'ain't no doubt about it' DVD as the 66th Pearl Harbour anniversary showdown. In addition to this, he also participated in a Boxer vs Wrestler match against Larry Barnes (44-3-0, 17 KO's) on April 5, 2008 in New Rochelle, New York, at the New Rochelle High School, for the New York State Wrestling Federation.

Sweeney announced in November 2008 that he formed his own company, Bad Brothers of Wrestling (BBOW). Under this promotion, he held two shows in April 2007 and October 2008 at Colgate University, and announced plans to run shows at schools and carnivals, primarily in the Midwest.

Chikara (2004-2009)

Sweeney made his debut for the Chikara wrestling promotion on July 10, 2004 at the second annual Young Lions Cup, as the leader of Sweet 'n' Sour International, a group of wrestlers who were denied wildcard spots in the tournament. Sweeney's stable mates interfered in his matches throughout the tournament, in the end assisting him in defeating Jigsaw to win the Chikara Young Lions Cup in only his seventh professional match. On October 30, 2004, Sweet 'n' Sour International faced a group led by Jigsaw in an eight-on-eight torneo cibernetico match. During the match, his stable mate, Spyrazul, unmasked himself as Mike Quackenbush and turned on him, allowing Jigsaw to pin Sweeney. Sweeney lost the Young Lions Cup to Jigsaw on November 19 in his first defense.

He entered into the 2005 Tag World Grand Prix with Share Cropper, but they were eliminated in the first round of the tournament by Shane Storm and Mister ZERO. On May 20, Sweeney and Cropper were defeated by Jolly Roger and Lance Steel in a "Crybaby/Slave for a Month" match, and as a result the entire Sweet 'n' Sour International stable were forced to wear diapers the following night. Sweeney refused to do this and fired all of his stable members, disbanding Sweet 'n' Sour International.

The following month Sweeney brought his ICW/ICWA Texakana Television Championship to Chikara and debuted his new bodyguard, Mana the Polynesian Warrior. On March 31, Sweeney lost the title to Milano Collection A.T. and after he and Mana were defeated on April 21, Mana turned on Sweeney. Sweeney debuted his new talk show segment, Winner's Circle, the following month, and then defeated Mana before regaining the Texarkana Television title from Milano Collection A.T.. He then started a feud with Eddie Kingston, to whom he would lose the Texarkana title to on July 22. During the feud, Sweeney and Kingston performed and angle where Sweeney ran over Kingston with a car. He recaptured the title in Canada, but on November 18, 2006 at Talent Borrows, Genius Steals Kingston defeated him in a "Yellow Belly strap match" to end the feud.

In 2007, Sweeney's Ring of Honor trainer Chris Hero entered Chikara, when on April 22 he helped Hero defeat Claudio Castagnoli and thus forced him back into the Kings of Wrestling. The following month, Hero, Castagnoli, and Sweeney joined forces with Team F.I.S.T. (Icarus, Gran Akuma, and Chuck Taylor) to form the Kings of Wrestling superstable. Mitch Ryder, Shayne Hawke, and Max Boyer later joined the stable. Castagnoli defeated Hero on December 9, and the Kings of Wrestling disbanded shortly afterward. Sweeney, however, continued to team with Mitch Ryder and Shayne Hawke, and as the "Fabulous Three" they made it to the quarter finals of the 2008 King of Trios tournament, before losing to the Golden Trio of Delirious, Hallowicked, and Helios. After the trio lost a number of consecutive matches, Ryder fired Sweeney from the group on June 15, 2008, after which he turned face for the first time in his Chikara career. He attempted to earn the trust of his former Kings of Wrestling stable mate Chris Castagnoli for months, until he finally agreed to team with Sweeney on December 14. However, in their match against the Fabulous Two, he turned on Castagnoli, hitting him in the face with brass knuckles and re-joining Ryder and Hawke.

Ring of Honor (2006-2009)

Sweeney made his Ring of Honor debut on December 23, 2006, when he interfered on behalf of the Kings of Wrestling in their win against the Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe). Chris Hero announced the following night that Sweeney would join ROH as his new agent. After that, Sweeney went on to form Sweet 'n' Sour Inc., an agency constisting of his "clients" Chris Hero, Sara Del Ray, personal trainer Tank Toland, and Bobby Dempsey. In February 2008 he declared a hostile takeover of attempt on ROH and signed Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, and Shane Hagadorn in the wake of the declaration. That same month he perpetrated the simulated rape of Allison Danger by Bobby Dempsey on his newest interview segment "The Larry Sweeney show starring Larry Sweeney". The segment earned him a "Turnbuckle Turkey" award from the magazine Inside Wrestling in November.

Brent Albright quit the group following a loss where he and Chris Hero dropped a Scramble Match to Delirious and Pelle Primeau on May 10, 2008. Sweeney ordered him to beat down Bobby Dempsey with the rest of the stable, but instead he delivered suplexes to every member aside from Sweeney who escaped the ring once Albright started attacking. Sweeney made an offer to No Remorse Corps leader Roderick Strong on June 6 to join his stable. Strong decline, as he had done before, only to be attacked and beat down by his NRC stable mate Davey Richards. Richard then after tore away his NRC shirt, revealing that he was wearing a Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. shirt underneath, thus joining the stable. On June 28, 2008 in Chicago Ridge, Illinois, Sweeney welcomed Go Shiozaki and Tank Toland back into the group.

During his time with Ring of Honor, Sweeney only wrestled four matches with the promotion; he defeated Claudio Castagnoli in a singles match at Final Battle 2007, he competed in a six-man tag in spring 2008, defeated Roderick Strong in a gauntlet match in August 2008 and wrestled in a tag match with Davey Richards in December 2008.

Sweeney made an appearance at a Shimmer Women Athletes, the sister promotion of ROH, taping on October 19, 2008. On the show, he cut a promo about how his client Sara Del Rey would get her Shimmer Championship rematch in ROH. Later in the evening, he would pull Del Rey out of the ring to save her from MsChif and Serena Deeb. Sweeney announced that he had quit ROH over monetary issues on his Myspace on April 20, 2009. He returned to the company as a color commentator on December 12, 2009 at Final Battle 2009, but did not make any appearances after that.

Other Independant Promotions (2010)

Sweeney wrestled his first match in 14 months on August 14, 2010, losing to Dan Lawrence at an All American Wrestling event. On August 21, 2010 Sweeney returned to the Pittsburgh-based International Wrestling Cartel and participated in a 3-on-3 War Games Steel Cage Match, the main event of the evening. In that match, he pinned radio personality Bubba the Bulldog, and after that was eliminated by his longtime nemesis 'Fabulous' John McChesney after absorbing four successive superkicks and sustaining tremendous blood loss. His team went on to victory without him, when Dennis Gregory defeated McChesney.

Return to Chikara (2010)

He returned to Chikara at Chikarasaurus Rex: King of Show on July 26, 2010, where he, disguised as Vökoder, a cyborg, previously portrayed by Tim Donst, stared down his Bruderschaft des Kreuzes partner Pinkie Sanchez. He made his next appearance as the cyborg on August 29, being eliminated by Sanchez from The Countdown Showdown battle royal. Sweeney went public with his hatred for Sanchez on the In Your Head radio show, even the identity of Vökoder was meant to be a mystery. On October 19, it was announced that he would take the final spot on UltraMantis Black's Team Chikara in the torneo cibernetico match, where they would face BDK. During the match on October 23, Vökoder was unmasked as Sweeney. He managed to eliminate Sanchez from the match before being eliminated himself by Claudio Castagnoli. He posted a blog entry on Chikara's official site on December 29, 2010, where he announced he would return to the promotion in 2011. After his death, on King of Trios 2011, Chikara dedicated the tournament to his memory.

Death

Whybrow was found dead on the morning of April 1, 2011, at the age of 29, after hanging himself off a turnbuckle in a Lake Charles, Louisiana wrestling school. He was survived by his parents and two siblings.

Personal life

Whybrow was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised in Wilmette, Illionois, with two siblings. He graduated from New Trier High School and Oberlin College. As a junior at Oberlin, he travelled to India for a study-abroad program, and became interested in wrestling after seeing it there. He later moved to and resided in Pennsylvania. Whybrow suffered from bipolar disorder and had a mental breakdown in 2009, which he called the "absolute worst event" of his life at the time. Prior to becoming a professional wrestler, Whybrow worked as a house painter, blacksmith's apprentice and Kaplan tutor.

Wrestling facts

  • Finishing moves
  • '68 Comeback Special (Hangman's neckbreaker followed by a DDT)
  • Boa Constrictor (Seated dragon sleeper)
  • 12 Large Elbow (Diving elbow drop)
  • Signature moves
    • Bionic elbow
    • Double underhook suplex
    • Falling fist drop
    • Piledriver
    • Slingshot suplex
    • Sweeney Stomp (Multiple stomps while circling a fallen opponent)
  • Nicknames
  • "Sweet & Sour"
  • "The Super Agent"
  • Tag teams and stables
  • Wrestlers managed
  • Theme music

Championships and accomplishments

  • CWE Undisputed Championship (1 time)
  • IWC Super Indy Championship (2 times)
  • Super Indy IV tournament (2007)
  • WORLD-1 Tag Team Champion (1 time) - with King Kaluha
  • PWF Universal Tag Team Champion (1 time) - with King Kaluha
  • Other
  • ICW/ICWA Tex-Arkana Television Champion (27 times)

See also

External links

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