The Destroyer, Former Masked Pro Wrestling Star, Dies

Society Sports

Tokyo, March 8 (Jiji Press)--Former American professional wrestler Richard Beyer, best known by his ring name The Destroyer, who led 1960s and 1970s wrestling booms in Japan with his trademark white mask and figure four leg lock, died on Thursday. He was 88.

Beyer, who had been in bad health, passed away with his family members at bed side in his home in the state of New York, according to a wrestling club in Tokyo he helped establish.

Born in the state of New York, Beyer was active in college wrestling.

After his professional wrestling debut in 1954 under his real name, Beyer wore a white mask and called himself The Intelligent Sensational Destroyer from 1962. In the same year, he became the world heavyweight champion of the World Wrestling Association.

Coming to Japan for the first time in 1963, Beyer fought a fierce duel with wrestling legend Rikidozan, making full use of the figure four leg lock, a technique he invented.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press