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Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Photos: 'The Destroyer' meets with fans, autographs books at Main St. Pizza

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Main St. Pizza Company, sports, wrestling

Former professional wrestler Dick Beyer, aka The Destroyer and Doctor X, was at Main St. Pizza Company today selling copies of his book "Masked Decision" and signing autographs.

Previously: Main St. Pizza owner helping promote book of his idol, former pro wrestler 'Doctor X'

Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 9:05 am

Main St. Pizza owner helping promote book of his idol, former pro wrestler 'Doctor X'

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Main St. Pizza Company

What a life Dick Beyer has led, from a standout in high school football and a football scholarship with Syracuse University, to a master's degree in education and a professional wrestling career that took him and his family all over the world.

One of Beyer's wrestling matches in Japan was televised worldwide and viewed by 70 million people.

"I didn't realize how many that was until somebody told me only 50 million people watch the Super Bowl," Beyer said.

One of Beyer's biggest fans was Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company in Downtown Batavia.

Growing up, Marchese loved professional wrestling.

"I especially liked any wrestler that wore a mask," Marchese said.

Vic became a big fan of Beyer's later career character, Doctor X. Marchese was a member of the Doctor X Fan Club and he said he still has his membership card at home.

"I just always liked Doctor X," Marchese said. "I just never knew he lived 20 miles down the road from me all my life."

Marchese and Beyer met in a local T-shirt shop several years ago and became fast friends.

If Beyer is driving past Batavia, he always stops in to see Vic, usually coming home from a football game in Syracuse.

"I just love his pizza," Beyer said.

Beyer, 82, is finally telling his life story in a new book, "Masked Decisions," and will be at Main St. Pizza from 2 to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, for a book signing. Marchese is offering a free pizza with a book purchase.

"It runs through my whole life, honestly," Beyer said. "I don't pull any punches. I don't say a lot about individual wrestlers, who was won this or who was better. I talk about the humor of the game and about being at the right place at the right time."

Beyer attended a vocational school in Buffalo, and after his fourth year had to go to a fifth year of high school for math, history and English. He was offered a football scholarship to Syracuse and while starting for the Orangemen he was recruited onto the wrestling team.

According to Beyer, his roommate at his fraternity house where he lived was the heavyweight on the wrestling team.

One evening, Beyer was at the house playing pinochle when the wrestingly team came back.

"I asked Howie, 'How'd Bill Sky do today?' " Beyer said.

"He blew out his knee."

"I said, 'Who's going to be the heavyweight?' "

"You," said Beyer with deep laugh.

Beyer is a big man, barrel chested, pug nosed, with beefy hands. His baritone voice is as big as his physique and the breadth of his career.

By his junior year in college, he was being recruited by professional wrestling promoter Ed Don George.

The former Eagle Scout started his pro career as Dick Beyer and wrestled mainly in Upstate New York, finishing out an eight-year Army Reserve commitment and working on the staff of the Syracuse football team, including their national championship year of 1959.

His first year as a pro, 1954-55, a wrestling magazine named him Rookie of the Year.

His travels through his early career took him through Chicago, Ohio, Tennessee and Hawaii.

Then in 1962 he got a call from Los Angeles promoter Jules Strongbow

Beyer made his way to Los Angeles where Strongbow told him the next night he would be wrestling in San Diego, wearing a mask, not as Dick Beyer but as "The Destroyer."

Reluctantly, Beyer did it. He said the moth-eaten mask wasn't very comfortable.

"I wrestled," Beyer said. "I came in. I pulled the mask off. I told the manager, I said, 'Artie, tell Strongbow that was the first and last match for 'The Destroyer.' "

Another wrestler convinced Beyer there was money in wearing a mask and loaned Beyer one of his masks, so Beyer gave it a try.

It fit better and was more comfortable. The mask was made from a lady's girdle, so the next day, Beyer and his wife, Wilma, went to Woolworth's and bought ladies' girdles and she turned them into masks for "The Destroyer."

A few years later, Beyer was offered a six-year wrestling contract in Japan, which he accepted.

He was big in Japan (and he learned to speak fluent Japanese). His matches were televised internationally, including the one that was viewed by 70 million people.

Beyer still conducts an annual wrestling camp in Japan.

In the mid-1980s, Beyer retired from professional wrestling. He became an elementary school teacher in Akron and coached high school football and swimming.

Marchese said it's been one of the thrills of his life meeting and getting to know Dick Beyer. They've become good friends.

He's invited Beyer to his wedding.

"How many people can say they had their idol at their wedding?" Marchese said.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Photo: iPad winner at Main St. Pizza Company

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Main St. Pizza Company

Becky Smith, of Bergen, is the lucky winner of an iPad following a drawing at Main St. Pizza Company. Owner Vic Marchese gave away the iPad as part of a promotion honoring National Pizza Month in October. Customers were able to fill out registration forms at the restaurant and Smith's slip was selected in a random drawing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Contest: Main St. Pizza Company NFL Challenge Week 3

Week 2's winner: Tom Guentner, who was among six entrants who correctly picked
Jermaine Gresham, Cincinnati, as the tight end with the most reception yards.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 11:08 am

Main St. Pizza Company Fantasy Football, Week 2

For the Week 1 contest, 17 people correctly picked Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders as the week's leader in rushing yards. After a random drawing from among those 17 people, Mark Potwora wins the sheet pizza.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Sponsored Post: Weekly NFL challenge sponsored by Main St. Pizza Company

Notes: A few weeks ago, Vic Marchese, owner of Main St. Pizza Company mentioned to me, almost offhand, that he thought it would be fun to sponsor a fantasy football contest for the 2011 NFL season. As it so happened, just of that very day, I had available the tools to make it happen. So here you go, a weekly football challenge sponsored by Main St. Pizza Company.

Each week, you will be asked to pick an NFL player who will lead the league in an offensive or defensive statistical category. All of the entrants who pick the correct player will be entered into a drawing to win that week's prize. This week, for example, is a sheet pizza from Main St. Pizza Company.

Each Tuesday we'll post who won the previous week's contest and the new challenge question.

Click the ad above to enter the contest.

Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Artist-painted sign gets OK by city zoning board

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Main St. Pizza Company

A hand-painted sign on the back of Main St. Pizza Company on East Main Street, Batavia, has the local zoning board's blessing, according to shop owner Vic Marchese.

He said that the zoning board approved a variance for the sign on Tuesday, even though the county planning board had recommended disapproval.

The sign was painted by local muralist Vinny DelPlato earlier this summer. It was only after Delplato completed the work did Marchese learn the painting, considered a sign, not art work, needed city approval.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 at 11:24 am

Photo: New Main St. Pizza sign

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Main St. Pizza Company

Remember when businesses had painted signs on the sides of their buildings? 

Vic Marchese is going old school with the sign he hired Vinny DelPlato to paint for him on the back of Main St. Pizza Company.

DelPlato is responsible for many of the murals you see around town.

Here's a piece we did on him when he was working on the mural at Next Level Fitness.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Main St. Pizza gives away new TV to drawing winner

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, downtown, Main St. Pizza Company

mainst_plasma.jpg

Felicia Pfalzer parleyed two large pizza's into a 42-inch plasma TV this week.

The Darien resident was the lucky winner of a drawing offered by Main St. Pizza Company to celebrate National Pizza Month (October).

Above, Main St. owner Vic Marchese with Pfalzer after presenting the prize this afternoon.

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