In light of the passing of “The Destroyer” Dick Beyer earlier this month, I thought I would share the full quotes I got from Ric Flair about Beyer for a press release I put together in 2017. Beyer had been awarded the Stanley Weston Award, the lifetime achievement honor from Pro Wrestling Illustrated in late 2016.
RIC FLAIR ON DICK BEYER
What a talent he was, not only as a wrestler. I was pulling for him so hard to become the AD at Syracuse. He was a two sport All-American, I mean, God. Lived his gimmick. Great guy, beautiful children. And I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life in Japan. I’m new to the business – I’m walking around (with Destroyer). That mask… he never took it off.
Dick was the guy that went (to Japan) first. Not Freddie Blassie. And Dick is wrestling Rikidozan. Who was a bad motherfucker, I mean really a tough guy in real life. But so was Dick Beyer.
My love for him, more than anything is… he invited me on this (amateur wrestling) tour with my son. It was Team Destroyer, and my 12-year-old son went over there and did a home stay for like 10 days. My son won a silver medal, it was Team Destroyer (with all) the pageantry of the Japanese nationals.
I traveled with him, my son adored him (and) respected him. I mean, when I first got there, he showed me Tokyo.
And I’ve never seen Dick without his mask. The only other guy I’ve never seen without his mask was Mil Mascaras. I never saw Dick without his mask until my son pulled it off one night when he was walking around in the hallway of a train, traveling. Can you believe that?
If people ever look back at the impact he had on the wrestling business in Japan… I mean, he brought the Americans there, so there you go.
Japan wouldn’t have been where they were with Baba and Anoki without (Beyer). I mean, here is this guy, Dick Beyer, wrestling Rikidozan, who walked around Japan with a briefcase with a million dollars in it strapped to his wrist. It was a very tough culture over there.
He’s been through it all, he has respect from the entire wrestling world, and for me, the fact that he’s my hero (is because) he is my son’s hero.
So well deserved, 20 years too late. One of the all-time greats, a man among men.
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Read more stories about Beyer and his journey through pro wrestling in his biography “Masked Decisions”