As an athlete at Syracuse University, Beyer was a member of the varsity football and wrestling teams. He played in the 1953 Orange Bowl for Syracuse. Beyer graduated with a master's degree in education and is a member of the Fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta's Syracuse Chapter. Beyer is also an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Beyer was a teacher in New York until he began his wrestling career, and he also coached swimming.
Professional wrestling career
Worldwide Wrestling Associates
Beyer began as a "babyface" wrestler in the mid-1950s. His career as a "masked" wrestler, The Destroyer, began in 1962 in Los Angeles, California. He used the Figure-four leglock on his way to the Worldwide Wrestling Associates (WWA) championship on July 27, 1962 in a win over Freddie Blassie, who convinced him that the mask gimmick would give him a large "push". Beyer went on to defend the WWA title for 10 months.
In early 1963, Beyer wrestled three sold-out matches against Shohei “Giant” Baba at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. In May 1963, Beyer traveled to Japan for the first time, to wrestle with Rikidōzan, in a match watched by 70 million TV viewers. In June 1964, Beyer returned to Los Angeles and beat Dick “The Bruiser” for another WWA title. Beyer lost the title to Bob Ellis in September, won it back in November, and then lost it for the last time in March 1965 to Pedro Morales.
American Wrestling Association
Between 1966 and 1972, Beyer wrestled as Doctor X while in Minneapolis, although he was known as "The Destroyer" elsewhere. During his time as Doctor X, Beyer had matches with many of the top names in the business including his real life brother-in-law Billy Red Lyons. In fact, it was Lyons who handed "X" his first American Wrestling Association (AWA) defeat on Minneapolis television when he defeated the good Doctor with a figure four leg lock. In August 1970, "X" removed his own mask to get a chance at revenge against his former partner Black Jack Lanza. He stood in center ring with announcer Marty O'Neill, who told the fans that "X" was a former coach from Syracuse University. "X" then removed his mask, handed it to St. Paul promoter Eddie Williams, and wrestled the match as Dick Beyer.
In other AWA cities, he was actually unmasked by both Lanza and Paul Diamond. In these matches, his name was revealed to be Bruce Marshall. The reason for Beyer wanting to be unmasked was that, he and his family were set to go on a world tour, where he would also wrestle again as The Destroyer. It has been speculated that by late August 1970, Beyer had already left the AWA and that it was "jobber" Bobby Jones under the mask. When Beyer removed his own mask on the August 8, 1970 card in St. Paul. During 1972, Beyer had several battles with "Crippler" Ray Stevens. Their last match resulted in Beyer as Doctor X having his leg "broken." This "injury" allowed Beyer to leave the Minneapolis area to join a wrestling tour in Japan.
Japan and Canada
From 1973, Beyer wrestled in Japan for six straight years, in a deal with Giant Baba and NTV of Tokyo. During his tenure in Japan, he had a feud with Mil Máscaras which resulted in a series of seven matches. Beyer also helped promote All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) for Giant Baba and established himself as a television personality in a late-night TV show called “Uwasa No Channel.” Beyer held the PWF United States Championship until 1979, when he left AJPW and the championship was abandoned.
From 1979, Beyer wrestled in Toronto and Montreal, against Bob Backlund, André the Giant, Terry Funk, Dory Funk, Jr., Tony Parisi, Nick Bockwinkel, Édouard Carpentier, Mad Dog Vachon, Superstar Billy Graham, and others.
Beyer went into semi-retirement in 1984. From 1984 to 1995, Beyer taught physical education in the Akron Central School District in Akron, New York, where he also coached football, wrestling and swimming. He served on the Board of Directors of the Cauliflower Alley Club, which holds annual reunions in Las Vegas. He was a member of Toastmasters International, a public speaking club, and carried the club designation of Certified Toastmaster.
He also Inducted Gorgeous George into the WWE Hall of Fame on March 27, 2010.
On August 27, 2011, Beyer, along with his son, returned to Japan to take part in All Together, a charity event held together by AJPW, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Noah. Beyer, appearing under his Destroyer mask, hosted the Destroyer Cup and presented a trophy to its winner, Kentaro Shiga.
In 2013 Beyer opened Destroyer Park Golf in Akron, NY. This was the first Park golf course in the United States. Beyer learned the game while living in Japan.
Championships and accomplishments
- All Japan Pro Wrestling
- American Wrestling Alliance
- AWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (1 time) - with Billy Red Lyons
- Central States Wrestling
- NWA Big Time Wrestling
- NWA Los Angeles
- NWA International Television Tag Team Championship (Los Angeles version) (1 time) - with Dan Moukian
- Pacific Northwest Wrestling
- Tokyo Sports Grand Prix
- Popularity Prize (1975)
- World Wrestling Alliance (San Francisco)
- WWA World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Billy Red Lyons
- Worldwide Wrestling Associates