|Birth name||Larry Weil|
June 26, 1951|
Paulsboro, New Jersey, United States
|Died||April 10, 2017
Woodbury, New Jersey, United States
|Cause of death||Liver disease|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Larry Sharpe
|Billed weight||260 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||Paulsboro, New Jersey|
|Trained by||Mr. Fuji
Larry Weil (June 26, 1951 – April 10, 2017) was an American professional wrestler, manager and trainer better known under his ring name, "Pretty Boy" Larry Sharpe. Sharpe is perhaps most well known for creating the Monster Factory professional wrestling school. He grew up in Paulsboro, New Jersey, and was the original trainer of Kevin Von Erich, and many other well-known wrestlers.
Professional wrestling career
Larry Sharpe was a successful wrestler at Paulsboro High School in his home state of New Jersey. He had a record 13-1-1 and was ranked fourth in the NCAA national rankings. In 1974 he was scouted by Red Berry and Gorilla Monsoon who trained him for a life in professional wrestling and later that year Larry made his pro wrestling debut in the WWWF.
Larry then toured Japan and various territories including Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Mid Atlantic.
Sharpe then headed to Canada, where he won his first championship while working for Stampede Wrestling in Calgary, Alberta. Forming a tag team with Ripper Collins, he won the Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship on September 24, 1976. The team held the title for less than one month, dropping it to Ed and Jerry Morrow on October 15.
In June 1977, Sharpe returned to the WWWF where he formed a tag team with Dynamite Jack Evans (who was working in the WWWF in preliminary and mid card matches). The Hollywood Blondes (as they were known) had a successful run winning matches on television and at live events. They impressed Gorilla Monsoon (who owned part of the World Wrestling Council) who sent them down to Puerto Rico for their most successful run.
On December 17, 1977, they defeated Carlos Colón and Victor Jovica to win the WWC North American Tag Team Championship. The title was declared vacant on April 22 the following year because of a controversial match against Jovica and Chief Thunder Cloud. The teams met for a rematch on May 6, and the Hollywood Blondes regained the championship. Three weeks later, however, they lost the title to Colón and Thunder Cloud.
Sharpe's next stop was Hawaii where he quickly became the top contender for the NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Championship. In November 1978 when the previous champion, Don Muraco, won the NWA Pacific International Heavyweight Championship, was forced to vacate the Hawaiian championship, Sharpe was awarded the title, later losing it to Mando Guerrero on November 22.
After a brief stint in the Mid Atlantic, he returned to the WWF in 1979. He was given a small push by Vince McMahon Sr, but ended up leaving to wrestle independently and open his training school.
The Monster Factory
The Monster Factory was a professional wrestling school in Paulsboro, New Jersey run by Danny Cage. It is considered to be the first publicly available professional wrestling school. Sharpe opened the wrestling school with "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers in 1983, and wrestled part-time until retiring in August 1991. The school's first famous pupil was Scott "Bam Bam" Bigelow, whose success brought a lot of attention to the school.
In February 2008, the school was threatened by a fire which had started at the building adjacent to the school, ANA Laboratories, and the building was evacuated by the school trainers. The fire was confined to the laboratory until its roof collapsed however, according to Camden County Chief Fire Marshal Paul Hartstein, only a firewall prevented the fire from reaching the school. The school had been in the middle of drills when the fire broke out although all the students were safely evacuated to the outside parking lot.
The Monster Factory's graduates include:
- Tony Atlas
- Big Show
- Bam Bam Bigelow
- D'Lo Brown
- Chris Candido
- Cliff Compton
- Sonjay Dutt
- Giant Silva
- Barry Hardy
- Chris Harris
- The Headbangers
- King Kong Bundy
- Balls Mahoney
- Ray Odyssey
- The Pitbulls
- Tony Ricca
- Rocco Rock
- JT Southern
- Tony Stetson
- Tank Toland
- The Godfather
Championships and accomplishments
- National Wrestling Alliance
- North American Wrestling Federation
- NAWF Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Northeast Championship Wrestling
- NCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Northeast Championship Wrestling (Tom Janette)
- NCW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Stampede Wrestling
- World Wrestling Council
- Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, February 14, 2007, page 1.
- Shyrock, Bob. "Bob Shryock: Paulsboro's 'Pretty Boy' Sharpe headed to wrestling hall of fame", South Jersey Times, December 5, 2014. Accessed August 15, 2016. "Larry Weil, A.K.A. 'Pretty Boy' Larry Sharpe, is headed to the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. The Paulsboro High School graduate, retired and living in Cape Coral on Florida's East Coast, will be enshrined in Tampa on Jan. 31."
- "Stampede Wrestling International Tag Team Championship". Wrestling Titles. Archived from the original on 2008-05-05. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
- "World Wrestling Council North American Tag Team Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
- "NWA Hawaii Heavyweight Title". Wrestling Titles. Retrieved 2009-12-13.
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter, January 29, 2007, page 1
- Martin, Adam; Miles, Dan (2008-02-02). "2/2 Championship Wrestling TV and close call at Monster Factory school". WrestleView.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.