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The Destroyer was super nice when I met him at a wrestling convention.  Super fun to talk to, just a great, happy guy.

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Posted (edited)

Just maybe the nicest man to ever work as a pro wrestler. I've got tons of clippings and xeroxes he sent me when I wrote him a couple of fan letters. Just a super nice guy who always, always made time for the fans. I know my bro, Steve Yohe is just going to be crushed by this, I'm praying that he doesn't see it on a message board and maybe got an e-mail from Kurt Beyer, since he's been in touch with the family. RIP,  Intelligent, Sensational One! You were one of a kind and I mean that in the best way possible.

Edited by OSJ
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I'd had a bad feeling about this for a couple of months now, can't quite put my finger on why, other than just knowing how old he was.  But every time that unbidden thought leapt into my brain, it was always paired with, "Just let him go easy".  Sounds like he did, so maybe the world is infinitesimally less shitty than I thought it was.

(Also, it seems like I've been misspelling 'infinitesimal' my whole life.  Sigh.)

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I got to hold the ropes for him as he climbed into the ring to talk to a group of fans and a few prospective students before APW's KOI in 2001. He was 71 at the time, and still had a tremendous passion for the business, even as he was long past working in it.

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We need to blast this thread (or another one) with Destroyer matches.

RIP

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Posted (edited)

Welcome to "Thoughts I Have on a Daily Basis", Curt.

Edited by Contentious C
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Posted (edited)

Try not to drool, kids. Yohe sent me this earlier cause he knew I was bummed.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3bft06paef673l3/1964-12-01_The DestroyerBill DromoKurt Von Stroheim -vs- ToyonoboriShoehi BabaMichiaki Yoshimura (1).m4v?dl=0

 

BTW: Yohe considers this the best six-man match he's ever seen. I'm a lot higher on lucha than he is, but if there's a better six-man match out there, I'm having a hell of a hard time thinking of what it might be. This is pretty damned exquisite and you can see that it's the Destroyer holding everything together, just a great, great worker.

Edited by OSJ
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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, paul sosnowski said:

Kurt Beyer

It is with a very heavy heart to let you know that Dad -- aka The Destroyer, aka Doctor X, aka Dick Beyer, aka Coach -- passed away shortly past Noon today. He was in bed at home, and was surrounded by all of his children and wife as he slipped peacefully away. I will have more to share later, but wanted you to hear this sad news from me first. Thoughts and prayers are most welcome at this time. Peace. (The Destroyer - Honoring A Wrestling Legend! The Destroyer (wrestler))

That's how you want to go. Loved discovering the Destroyer when Youtube first came out. The first gaijin king of Japan

 

Edited by CreativeControl

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I have to think that the highest compliment that you can a pro wrestler is that they elevated everyone that they worked with. You can't say that about too many people, however, you can say it about Dick Beyer. Win, lose, or draw whether working with a young lion or an aging and virtually immobile Giant Baba, the Destroyer got the absolute best out the guys that he worked with. Of course, I only saw the very tail end of his career (until the advent of Youtube) and even aging and obviously slowed down a lot, he was entertaining as hell. During his prime, based on variety of opponents and his general globe-trotting, you'd have to rank him pretty damn high from the 1950s through the early 1970s as one of the best workers in the world. We talk a lot about Ric Flair in his prime as a travelling champ getting great matches out of just about anyone, Dick Beyer did that world wide not just nationwide. When you're considered one of the best ever on four continents you've had one hell of a career.

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Posted (edited)

So in the newly unearthed 1980 AJPW TV footage, there was a Destroyer vs Abdullah match. It's much more of a bloody, head-butty brawl than you usually saw from him and is very good.

We covered it today on SC (it was honestly in the rotation for this week anyway because the Network didn't deliver "matches"; we got different gold). I'm glad that we were able to give him a tribute though.

Here's our coverage: http://segundacaida.blogspot.com/2019/03/new-footage-friday-destroyer-abby.html

Here's the match:

And here's what he sent to Abby when he couldn't make his retirement show:

 

D1FNPj8U4AA6lob.jpg:large

 

Edited by Matt D
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Kikutaro just posted on FB that Wally Yamaguchi passed away. RIP.

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Yusuke "Wally" Yamaguchi, who was a former WWF manager of Kai En Tai but was a major figure in the Japanese pro wrestling business, passed away after a lengthy illness.

Yamaguchi was 60. He had suffered a serious stroke in 2017.

Yamaguchi, who grew up as one of the leaders of the Mil Mascaras Fan Club, ended up being a major player during the heyday of Japanese pro wrestling magazines, and one of the driving forces and faces of Gong Magazine, a weekly color magazine that had a huge circulation in the 80s and 90s before the bottom fell out of the Japanese magazine business.

He also had a hand in starting FMW, and was a key figure early in the career of New Japan booker Gedo. He was also, in the 80s, very close with the Baba family and All Japan Pro Wrestling until his being involved with independent promotions in Japan changed that relationship.

Yamaguchi had a ring in his house that many younger wrestlers trained at, and had tons of rare wrestling memorabilia.

On a personal note, he was a good friend of mine, and I stayed in his home on several trips to Japan during the 80s and 90s.

Yamaguchi was a key player in the Japanese coverage of wrestling in the Observer during that period and was very close with virtually every major star that came from the United States because he spoke perfect English and part of his role with the magazine and different companies was to make sure American talent's tours were as much fun as possible.

He later worked as the liaison for Japan for WWF, and also as part of putting the deal together to bring in the Kai En Tai group, which was a stable in Michinoku Pro Wrestling that were brought to the WWF from 1998 to 2001. His most memorable role was "choppy choppy pee pee" with the idea they were going to chop off the genitals of Val Venis, who in the storyline, was sleeping with Yamaguchi-san's storyline wife.

He is the older brother of current WWF announcer Shun Yamaguchi. Shun was a photographer working in the U.S. for his brother's magazine at the time, often at ringside at major shows for almost every promotion.

https://www.f4wonline.com/japan/wally-yamaguchi-passes-away-60-years-old-278891

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On 3/7/2019 at 6:52 PM, OSJ said:

Try not to drool, kids. Yohe sent me this earlier cause he knew I was bummed.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3bft06paef673l3/1964-12-01_The DestroyerBill DromoKurt Von Stroheim -vs- ToyonoboriShoehi BabaMichiaki Yoshimura (1).m4v?dl=0

 

BTW: Yohe considers this the best six-man match he's ever seen. I'm a lot higher on lucha than he is, but if there's a better six-man match out there, I'm having a hell of a hard time thinking of what it might be. This is pretty damned exquisite and you can see that it's the Destroyer holding everything together, just a great, great worker.

This match is fucking incredible and one of the most fun matches I've seen in I don't know how long. Destroyer is just charm in this, talking shit the whole time (he must be the best of the "loud wrestlers"), cheating, begging off, running away, trying to fool the ref. Von Stroheim works snug and Dromo is right there with Destroyer in trying to get away when he needs to. Baba is surprisingly a force in this one. Every chop and slap are Andre-level with the weight of the world on them, and the crowd responds appropriately. His speed is up to par with his smaller opponents and partners and makes me want to watch way more early Baba because only his early stuff has looked good to me. As far as the other natives go they're pretty much just good hands but the angle they work for the finish is awesome and is sold just how it should. What a treasure, and what a loss to the world. Dick, you were the best. 

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Before about the mid 70's, Baba could be carried quite well and in his young days he could move too.

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Roger Kirby passed away today at 79. He'd broken his hip last month and the doctors discovered he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Just a horrible way to go. RIP.

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2 hours ago, RIPPA said:

 

What's weird is that he apparently died over a month ago (mid-February), yet news is just coming out now. You'd think a former yokozuna's death wouldn't fly under the radar like that in Japan.

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Posted (edited)

Condolences and thoughts go out to Terry Funk, his family and friends at this trying of times.

Edited by The Natural

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That's sad. By all accounts, she was just as nice as Terry. And she was an important part of his career. Scott Williams would tell me that when they were out doing book signings, she would make sure to hang around so that if Terry was getting too chatty with fans, she could shoo them away and keep the line moving so that he didn't look like a jerk. And she would talk him out of doing some of the more dangerous spots he would want to do during some of his later matches. 

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RIP Al Wilson. Sad he didn't get to see Torrie inducted into the HOF.

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Chet Coppock, the longtime Chicago sports media personality, was killed earlier this month in an auto accident in the Savannah/Hilton Head area. He was 70.

https://www.cbs46.com/news/legendary-sports-broadcaster-killed-in-crash-in-se-georgia/article_4219a78e-61e5-11e9-84cf-ab4463a9a928.html?fbclid=IwAR3hVc6VCGSBBGIp1qpBHT2bZgZOTIgO5C-Al_mUrRbBnM_UtRpmlVizT7s

Coppock was the ring announcer for the Chicago matches at WM2. He also regularly interviewed wrestlers in the 90s on his NewSport (precursor to Fox Sports Net) chat show "NewSportTalk".

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I remember Chet Coppock as the announcer of the Midwest Pioneers in the International Roller Derby League.

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RIP John.

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