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2019 has been a very significant year for professional wrestling. So much has happened this year that we will remember for years to come. Although many fans will remember 2019 as the year that reignited our passion for pro wrestling, it has also been quite a tragic year, as a lot of wrestlers have passed away.
These athletes contributed a lot to this business so that we, the fans, can be entertained. Even though some of them didn't win a championship belt in their career, they'll always be champions in our eyes.
They may not be around today, but they'll never be forgotten. This list is dedicated to these legends and what they've done for this business.
Dick Beyer began his pro wrestling career in the 1950s, and for three decades, he thrilled fans and frightened his opponents. In the '60s, he wrestled as 'The Destroyer' and wore a mask after Freddie Blassie, whom he defeated to win his first WWA World Championship, convinced him that the gimmick would give him a big push. Beyer defended the title for 10 months before dropping and regaining it in 1964.
In 1963, Beyer traveled to the Land of the Rising Sun for the first time to wrestle Japanese legend Rikidōzan. The bout that was watched by more than 70 million television viewers, making it one of the most-watched matches in the history of the sport.
In that same year, he competed in three sold-out matches against Shohei Baba in Los Angeles. In June 1964, Beyer defeated Dick the Bruiser to win the WWA Title for the second time but he lost it to Bob Ellis three months later. He recaptured it in November and lost it for the final time to WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales in 1965.
He also wrestled in the now-defunct American Wrestling Association promotion under the ring name Doctor X. On 7 March 2019, Beyer passed away at the age of 88.