Larry Sweeney, generally considered the best manager in pro wrestling before being overcome by drug problems and terrible bipolar issues, committed suicide either last night or this morning. He was 29.
Born Alex Whybrow, Sweeney died from hanging himself at a wrestling school in Lake Charles, LA.Whybrow began training as a wrestler under Chris Hero, Mike Quackenbush and Jorge Rivera in 2003, as well as going to Oregon to train under Buddy Rose and Ed Wiskoski and began wrestling in 2004.
He worked for a number of independent promotions but was best known for his role as an agent for Chris Hero, and creation of the heel stable, Sweet and Sour Inc., which at different times included Claudio Castagnoli, Sara Del Rey, Tank Toland, Matt Sydal, Daniel Puder, Adam Pearce, Brent Albright, Shane Hagadorn and Bobby Dempsey in Ring of Honor from 2007 to 2009. He was regularly compared to a young Bobby Heenan during that period, and in both 2007 and 2008 was voted Best Non-Wrestling Peformer in the entire industry in the Observer poll and placed highly both years for Best of Interviews.
But issues with drugs and mainly extreme depression ended his ROH stint in April, 2009, and he spiraled out of control from there, losing contact with many of his closest friends in recent months. He did some wrestling in 2010 using the name Vokoder under a mask with CHIKARA this past year.
He was constantly battling depression throughout his life, stemming from a high school auto accident where he was driving and a friend was seriously hurt. His issues seemed to worsen when he was no longer in the spotlight.
"We spent a few years together on the road and Alex was gifted beyond measure," wrote Chris Hero on twitter. "He could enthrall you with colorful stories from his personal life, or he could captivate thousands with his undeniable charisma. I loved him and my heart is with his family, friends and countless fans. First, he was my student and he transcended that almost immediately. I will forever cherish our in depth conversations and time spent together."
In 2007, Sweeney feuded with Bryan Alvarez over the Texarkana heavyweight championship.