The Destroyer Dick Beyer not only achieved tremendous success in the United States but he was a huge star in Japan, attracting the largest number of viewers (70 million) for any TV program in Japan for a match against Rikidozan.
One of the most famous masked wrestlers, his venture in Japan began thanks to a feud with Classy Freddie Blassie. The Destroyer beat Blassie for the WWA title at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1962, and then, because he was the champ, The Destroyer worked Japan. He became an instant celebrity in Japan.
He debuted in 1954, wrestling professionally when his coaching schedule permitted in New York. A babyface at first, he did not wear a mask.
His career took off at warped speed in the early 1960s when he was convinced to don the mask.
The initial mask was so uncomfortable that he was ready to rid it and scrap the idea, after his first match wearing it.
Fortunately, a women’s girdle solved the problem, and the rest is history.
A career that spanned 39 years and more than 10,000 matches, this great rule-breaker wrestled all the greats including Mil Mascaras. He also had a memorable mask vs. hair match against Gorgeous George. His last match was a six-man tag teaming with his son Kurt and legend Giant Baba in Japan.
Beyer, who worked as Doctor X in the AWA in the mid 1960s to early 1970s, is a former football player, wrestler and football coach for Syracuse University. He helped fellow Syracuse alum Mike Rotunda get started in pro wrestling. Rotunda, who became IRS in the WWF, is an agent for WWE. Rotunda has two sons who wrestle for WWE (Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt), and his wife is the daughter of wrestler Blackjack Mulligan and sister of wrestlers Barry and Kendall Windham.
Beyer, 86, talked about the mask, his children, his career, Japan, Gorgeous George, Syracuse University, Mike Rotunda, Mike Ditka and more.
He even has his own golf course in Akron, N.Y.
- Destroyer Park Golf
The first park golf course in the United States - Destroyer Approved
- Good reading
Beyer authored a book, published in 2011.
- Pro Wrestling On The Web
YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)