In May 2003 IPW Hardcore promoters created the JEFF PETERSON MEMORIAL CUP in tribute to the fallen cruiserweight star who passed in 2001 after a long battle with cancer. Since then the event has garnered a list of international stars who supported the event and honored Jeff’s memory by putting on five star caliber bouts. The previous winners were “Reckless Youth” Tom Carter, Justice, Chris Sabin, Milano Collection AT and Chris Hero. This weekend sixteen men will come to Port Richey and Brooksville, Florida to try and join those names. Could this year’s winner be:
“Sweet N’ Sour” Larry Sweeney
Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA resides in Chicago, IL
Pro Debut: May, 2004
Tournament History: Winner 2004 Chikara Young Lions Cup, 2005 Chikara World Tag Grand Prix (lost in 1st round), 2006 Chikara Trios (lost to the Iron Saints), Winner 2006 IWC Super Indy VI (defeated Jay Lethal, Azrieal & Shimma Xion)
Where have you seen him: Ring of Honor (head of Sweet N’ Sour Inc.), Chikara, Full Impact Pro, IWA-MS, CZW, Pro Wrestling World-1, IWC, UWA Hardcore, IWA Deep South & GEAR to name a faw.
Championships held: PWE Heavyweight, Pro Wrestling World-1 Tag Team (w/ King Kaluha), 21 time ICW/ICWA Texarkana TV champion, IWC Super Indy champion.
Alan Wojcik: What does being part of the 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup mean to you and what did you know of Jeff before you were invited to be part of the event?
Larry Sweeney: I broke into the business right around the time that Jeff fell victim to cancer and so I never knew him, though I’ve heard a lot of kind stories. I know that this tournament means a lot to a lot of people, though, and I’m honored to be a part of it.
Alan Wojcik: Your www.onlineworldofwrestling.com bio lists your were trained by Mike Quackenbush and Chris Hero as well as former AWA legends Col. DeBeers and “Playboy” Buddy Rose. How different were these four men in their training methods and philosophies?
Larry Sweeney: Quack and Hero are two of the best wrestlers on the current independent scene, and I learned so much from both of them. From the very beginning I had an old school mentality, though, that emphasized storytelling and psychology over athletic display. The Playboy and the Colonel are two of the best ring psychologists ever, and as old school as it gets. It was an honor that they took a liking to me, and I learned a lot from them in terms of how to get the most out of your time in the ring.
Alan Wojcik: For those fans that might not know you, where does the nickname “Sweet N’ Sour” come from and what led to the formation of Sweet N’ Sour Inc?
Larry Sweeney: Sweet ‘n’ Sour Inc was an opportunity to make a good deal of money managing the careers of other wrestlers, and only a fool would not have jumped on it. Sweet ‘n’ Sour…well, it’s been said of me, and I have no idea why, that I have a sour attitude and anybody with any sight at all can see that I’m a sweet looking guy, so it was a natural.
Alan Wojcik: Since 2005 you have competed for the northeast based Chikara promotion which also has been the home for fellow JPC ’08 members Jigsaw, Gran Akuma and Rhett Titus. All have said it’s possibly the most unique (if that makes sense ) promotion around. Your thoughts?
Larry Sweeney: I’d agree. Chikara presents a product that is not only a hybrid of all wrestling styles–european, lucha, japanese, old-school american–it is a product that continually pushes the box in terms of characters, stories, and what fits within the confines of a professional wrestling context.
Alan Wojcik: You made your Ring of Honor debut in Decmeber 2006 teaming with Chris Hero. How did you come to work for ROH and your thoughts on being part of a promotion that joined the PPV ranks last year.
Larry Sweeney: It’s a tremendous honor for Ring of Honor to be able to feature the talents of a man such as I. Hero and I go way, way back, and the two of us concoted a plan to make a lot of money and rise to the top of the ranks. And I’ve got to give us the figurative pat on the back, because it’s worked like a charm.
Alan Wojcik: Your group boasts an impressive roster in ROH, from time to time it’s members include: Chris Hero, Brent Albright, Tank Toland, Sara Del Ray, Eddie Edwards, Bobby Dempsey, Adam Pearce and Shane Hagadorn. If you could, try and briefly summarize why you chose each of these individuals.
Larry Sweeney: Oh god, each of them? Hero’s the best athlete in pro wrestling, Sara the best women’s wrestler in the world. Toland the best fitness trainer, Pearce one of the very best minds, as well as the NWA Champ. Hagadorn is very effective and very underrated, Edwards the next big star in wrestling. That leaves Bobby Dempsy, and your guess is as good as mine. I guess he’s a glutton for punishment, among other things.
Alan Wojcik: ROH’s roster has several groups or factions including yours. Namely The Vulture Squad, The No Remorse Corp and Age of the Fall. All four of the groups have battled for supremacy and championships. Talk about what makes Sweet & Sour Inc. better than the other groups.
Larry Sweeney: The No Remorse Corp is effectively ended via my signing of Davey Richards. I offered Roddy a spot with us but he didn’t have the smarts to sign. No other group has the leadership or depth that we do…Smokes is out of his mind and hardly able to show up, let alone put together and lead a group. Right now they are a tag team, not a stable. Age of the Fall has done very well for themselves and have not crossed our path..rest assured if they do, the depth of the emotion that they are wrapped up in, and the ’cause’ that they are fighting for, whatever that means, will be their downfall.
Alan Wojcik: You took part in a boxer vs. wrestler match taking on Larry Barnes this past April losing in the fourth round via DQ. Do you regret taking part in the match?
Larry Sweeney: That match was an abomonation in terms of officiating and the result never should have gone down in the books, tainted as it was by many parties. Larry Sweeney has no regrets though.
Alan Wojcik: You are not a stranger to the Florida fans having worked for Full Impact Pro. Your thoughts on the promotions and its fans.
Larry Sweeney:The Full Impact Pro fans are among the most disgusting in all the wrestling fanscape. Believe me when I say it took top dollar to get me down in the area.
Alan Wojcik: Chris Hero won last year’s event. Have you talked to him about the tournament experience?
Larry Sweeney: I have not. I enter the tournament very confident and our ring styles are completely different.
Alan Wojcik: Through your Myspace page fans can buy shirts plus DVD’s of your travels around America. Checking out the DVD selection shows you have been in the ring with some wrestling legends like Demolition, One Man Gang, Kamala, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, the Iron Sheik, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams and the Armstrong family. Do you have a personal favorite among those that made you mark out?
Larry Sweeney: When I wrestled the Gang we did a strutt-off…it’s moments like that that I entered pro wrestling for, but never really thought would come to pass. What a life.
The 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup will be held Friday September 26th in Port Richey and Saturday September 27th in Brooksville. FL. Tickets and show information is available on http://jpc2008.com