Eddie Kingston has shared a personal story about a close friend that passed away while making it clear that “it’s not weak to struggle.”
When wrestling fans watch Eddie Kingston, they know he’s as real as it gets in a business full of characters. A promo from Kingston always fires up a crowd because he speaks from the heart and the fans know it. That’s why Kingston is one of the most beloved wrestlers in AEW.
During this National Suicide Prevention Month, Kingston spoke about mental health in an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. Kingston spoke about the death of his friend and wrestler Larry Sweeney (Alexander Whybrow), who died in 2011 when he was just 30 years old:
“He’d be a multimillionaire if he were still here and I also think he’d be with us in AEW. That hit extremely hard. I’ve never really gotten over his passing. A lot of us haven’t. He’s with me every time I’m in that ring. I really feel him when Bryce Remsburg is refereeing, because they also knew each other very well.”
“Let’s put it this way, he would have been the best man at my wedding. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t think of him.”
As for his own mental health, Kingston credited fellow wrestling veteran Homicide for helping him when he needed it most:
“Homicide, who is like my big brother, happened to call me. At the time, I felt a lot of shame about how things were going. I didn’t feel like myself. That was a regular phone call. But he gets me. He understands me. And he believes in me. So I knew I could fight through it. He stopped me from making a decision that would have hurt so many.”
Kingston spoke more about mental health and went on to say that the label of being “normal” needs to go away while adding that struggling doesn’t mean weakness:
“We need to get the word ‘normal’ out of our vocabulary. We make our own normal. No one is us; no one feels what we feel. We make the normal.”
“And it’s not weak to struggle. People who think that are wrong. There are times when I’m still struggling. It’s hard, but I know for a fact everyone has that strength to fight through it.”
“You may think people don’t [care], but one person always does." @MadKing1981 shares his story.
September is Suicide Prevention Month. AEW is committed to the mental well-being of our talent, staff & our fans. We encourage anyone struggling to reach out & get help: @afspnationalpic.twitter.com/2m6tKDaDYK
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) September 21, 2022
At this week’s AEW Grand Slam Dynamite & Rampage event in New York City, Kingston will face Sammy Guevara in a match that will air on Friday’s Rampage. The two men had an issue in the past when Kingston didn’t like something Guevara said in a promo (that never made it to TV since it was a taped show), but they have put it past them and are fine to work together.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It will be good for Sammy. He’s going to learn a few things.”
“There’s nothing like fighting at home. I wouldn’t say it’s going to be magic—but it is going to be me beating him up. I don’t doubt he’ll fight back. Sammy can go. There’s a lot you can say about him; there’s a lot I can say about the young man, but he’s a former champion—three different times.”
“Sammy can bring it. He has a lot of pride, but pride is the first step to a man’s downfall.”
If you are struggling with your mental health there are people you can turn to and talk to. In the US you can contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 998. In the UK The Samaritans can be reached by calling 116 123 and in Canada, Talk Suicide Canada can be reached at 1-833-456-4566 or 45645. All of these services are available 24/7 for anyone who needs them.