The world of professional wrestling lost a great entertainer today with the passing of “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney at the tender age of 29.
For those who never got a chance to see Sweeney's work, let me put it to you this way: If he had come about a generation earlier, his mike skills could have given Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan a run for their money as perhaps the best heel manager of this era.
Larry was never the biggest or most athletic guy in the squared circle, but he was always entertaining.He was gold on the mike, and while he never got a chance in the “big leagues” (outside of playing Nick Hogan in Randy Orton’s “Orton Knows Best” spoof during his 2006 feud with Hulk Hogan), he was a well-respected name on the indy scene in the latter half of the 2000s.
Coming up, Larry spent a lot of time working in CHIKARA, Combat Zone Wrestling, and Pittsburgh’s IWC before getting his big break in Ring of Honor as the leader of Sweet & Sour Inc.,a group that included various former WWE talent and a lot of current top ROH stars as well. As recently six months ago, he was back in CHIKARA, assuming the identity of Vokoder before being unmasked in October.
As a frequent patron of CZW, Chikara, and ROH over the last half-dozen years, I was lucky to see Sweeney work in every capacity – manager, wrestler, interviewer, and color commentator. I also got to know Alex Whybrow the man a little bit in that time and every conversation (mostly about the wrestling of the 1980s both he and I grew up watching) was always pleasant and usually hilarious.
I’m sure those who choose to trash the business will carelessly add Larry’s name to the list of wrestlers who passed away before age 40 (or, sadly, 30 in his case). He had some personal issues as we all do, but instead of simply counting his loss as a statistic, hopefully Larry will be remembered as a man who lived to entertain and was damn good at it.
RIP, Sweet & Sour. The ICW/ICWA Texarkana television title will never be the same.
PWI Contributing Writer