Tuesday, April 12, 2011

R.I.P. Larry Sweeney

I normally don't do this sort of thing, but I felt the need to tonight.

In March of 2008 - my wedding anniversary weekend, to be exact - I went to the Jai Alai Fronton on 17-92 near SR 436 on a Saturday afternoon. It was WrestleMania weekend, and it was here in Orlando, which meant that Ring of Honor was, too.

Before the show that night, though, there was a meet-and-greet at Jai Alai. I met several of the guys there...the Vulture Squad (Jigsaw and Ruckus), Delerious, El Generico, Austin Aries, Lacey...and Larry Sweeney.

I took a minute or two to shake his hand and let him know I thought he was "the greatest heel manager since Bobby Heenan." And it wasn't just because I was there, meeting him; I meant it. Larry Sweeney could run his mouth like nobody's business, and knew how to irritate the piss out of people while getting his guys over the top.

Sweeney was genuinely flattered by the compliment, saying those were "heavy words" putting him in "really lofty company." I shook his hand again and asked if I could take a picture with him.

A little over a year later, he had not only left RoH, but had well-nigh disappeared off the face of the earth. What no one really knew - least of all, me - is that Sweeney suffered from depression all his life. Enough so that it was reported that he took his own life on April 11, 2011.

Obviously, I didn't know Sweeney very well or anything. But that doesn't mean I can't appreciate talent and certainly miss it when it's gone. I can only hope you're happier where you are, Larry.

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