Talk is Jericho with Chris Jericho
Guest: Dick Beyer aka “The Destroyer”
Release Date: September 13, 2017
Recap by: Armando G. Ureña, PWPpodcast.com Reporter
Top Newsworthy Items
-70 million people watched The Destroyer wrestle Rikidozan.
-The Destroyer once released a Christmas album in Japan.
-Verne Gagne didn’t want Beyer coming into the AWA as The Destroyer, which is why he wrestled as Dick Beyer.
Jericho plugs his sponsors, his book, and Fozzy. Jericho gives some background on his guest this episode. Destroyer was a masked wrestler who never worked in Mexico or in the lucha libre style. Destroyer is 87-years-old, Jericho’s second oldest guest behind only Bob Barker. So, of course, his experience is one where kayfabe was alive and strictly enforced, inside and outside of the ring.
Destroyer Interview Part 1
Jericho opened up the podcast introducing Dick Beyer aka The Destroyer. Destroyer was excited to be on the podcast believing that he and Jericho have similar experiences, going off of what he read about Jericho. Destroyer wrote four books during his time in Japan. He also released a Christmas album while in Japan where he sang Japanese Christmas Carols. He only learned a little Japanese during his time there. The TV show he was on played off his lack of Japanese for laughs.
Beyer starts talking about one of the first guys he wrestled against in Japan, Rikidozan, who Jericho describes as the Godfather of Japanese Pro Wrestling. He was WWA World Champion defending against Rikidozan. He says 70 million people watched their match. Rikidozan was a sumo wrestler while Destroyer used more mat wrestling. Their matches were more shoot-style.
Jericho asks what Destroyer thinks about the current style. Destroyer feels they should wrestle more, rather than use all the acrobatics. He comments that Vince presents it like a show, while before they did not do that.
It was after Japan when Destroyer went to LA that he started wearing the mask. When he returned to Japan, he wore his wrestling mask all the time to protect his identity, since people recognized his face since he had wrestled Rikidozan.
Destroyer Interview Part 2
Jericho starts off part 2 of the interview asking Destroyer about his experiences with kayfabe. Specifically, any problems he might have experienced as a result of being a heel. One time in LA, someone stabbed Destroyer with a beer can opener while he was heading out to the ring. Territories like Oregon would have a police officer escort him to the ring.
Destroyer says that Oregon was the best territory he worked. Working for Don Owens didn’t always make him the most money, but it was always an honest cut. He also worked with good talent in Oregon.
Destroyer picked up Andre the Giant in Buffalo. He talks about Andre’s appetite for beer after matches. Andre once shared a case of beer with him. Destroyer had four beers, and Andre had twenty. After finishing the case, Andre wanted more beer.
Destroyer would go into a territory usually being able to book himself. Jericho asks when he knew if it was time to move on. Destroyer says it usually had to do money, jobbing too much, or a combination of both.
Destroyer Interview Part 3
Jericho asked about some of Destroyer’s opponents. Destroyer worked with Gorgeous George in Alabama along with Freddie Blassie.
Destroyer made good money in Japan and LA. He said he made lousy money in Kentucky and Tennessee, which were under the control of Nick Gulas. Jericho continues to ask about Gorgeous George, specifically a hair vs. mask match. Destroyer says it was later in his career, and the tail end of George’s career. There was doubt that it would draw, but it ended up being successful. Destroyer won the match so George had two barbers come down and shave his head. Destroyer was the babyface and George was the heel so the crowd was going crazy. Destroyer was using the Figure Four Leg Lock as his finish. He started using it after Buddy Rogers retired, acknowledging on TV that he was using Buddy Roger’s hold.
The Figure Four Leg Lock promoted discussion on Ric Flair. Destroyer worked with Flair, having great matches with him. Jericho asks if Destroyer could tell early on that Flair would become a star. Destroyer says yes, acknowledging his in-ring ability and mic work. Jericho asks about other wrestlers who had great mic work. Destroyer gives credit to Freddie Blassie, who he says put him over the best.
Jericho asks about Destroyer’s Doctor X gimmick. Destroyer was coming in to wrestle in Minneapolis, where Verne Gagne did not want him to use the Destroyer gimmick. He wanted him to be Dick Beyer since people knew by then that Dick Beyer was the Destroyer. He would wear a black mask with an “X” on it, and black shoes, top, and pants. He also changed his style of work a little bit, which managed to fool the people into not realizing he was the Destroyer.
Destroyer also worked with Mil Mascaras, Dos Caras, Eddie Guerrero, and Chavo Guerrero. Jericho asks about Destroyer’s favorite opponents. He listed Billy Red Lyons, Antonio Inoki among them. Destroyer says in the 39 years he wrestled he figure he has had 10,800 matches. When Jericho ask about a good match that stands out to him, Destroyer says the matches with Red Bastien. Destroyer talks about the how many wrestlers have died in the last year, many of whom come from his time. Destroyer says he got a list of wrestlers who passed away, which had a count of seventy-two.
Jericho ends the podcast asking Destroyer to sing a line from a Japanese Christmas Carol.
“Who the hell is Dick Beyer? He never made any money!”
Score and Review (5/10):
This episode of Talk is Jericho was not one of the finest episodes. Due to the location, the audio was off. Jericho seemed to have only one good microphone, which he wisely kept on Dick Beyer. Jericho sounded like he was very far away. I do not know if he had an inferior mic, or if there was only one so Jericho had to speak into it from further away. Either way, it was not a huge deal since Jericho did not speak much during the podcast.
Dick Beyer is a much older wrestler so his experiences are very different from the ones current wrestlers are experiencing. Even guys from the ’80s and’ 90s have very different experiences, with the wrestling oligopoly that existed in North America during most of those 20 years. Hearing stories about wrestling’s more distant past was cool, but I did not find Beyer interesting. Combined with the audio issues, the podcast did not engage me the way many of Jericho’s other podcast do. I recommend you skip this one.
00:00: Sponsor Ads
00:45: Podcast Introduction & Sponsor Ads
5:19: Destroyer Interview Part 1
21:38: Sponsor Ads
24:40: Destroyer Interview Part 2
39:11: Sponsor Ads
43:01: Destroyer Interview Part 3
1:10:26: Podcast Conclusion and Sponsor Ads
For more, check out our archive of Talk is Jericho.