Friday, March 18, 2016

Remembering the Super Destroyer

Greenville SC Memories
by Don Holbrook

Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

During the mid-1970s, Jim Crockett Promotions hired a man named Don Jardine. Some people may not recognize him by that name because he was better known as the masked wrestler The Super Destroyer.

Signed photo to Don Holbrook from Don Jardine.
Jardine wrestled as both the Spoiler and Super Destroyer
Upon his arrival in the Mid-Atlantic area, Jardine had already had great success in other areas as The Spoiler. Jardine brought something unique to Crockett Promotions. A big man by the standards of that era, he could not only wrestle but he could move like a cat. Many times in the matches, he would walk the top rope like a cat. He was also able to work the crowd, draw heat and motivate fans to buy a ticket.

Some of Jardine’s biggest feuds while in the Mid-Atlantic area were with Wahoo McDaniel, Jerry Brisco, and Sonny King. He also teamed quite frequently with men like Johnny Valentine, Ivan Koloff, Brute Bernard, and others.

I will never forget seeing the Super Destroyer Monday nights in Greenville, SC, at the Memorial Auditorium and on Saturday nights in Spartanburg, SC. Like many of the other heels that appeared in the Spartanburg memorial Auditorium, Jardine would usually park on the campus of Wofford College, which sits directly behind the Auditorium. As he would make his way toward the Auditorium, he would walk right past a dormitory where students would be standing at their windows, some cheering and some booing and swearing at him. I remember seeing the little kids, mostly little black children, standing on the bank that looked down at the back side of the auditorium and I remember seeing one of them one night getting up enough nerve to chunk a rock at the Super D and Johnny Valentine, narrowly missing them. I will always remember Super D turning around and looking up at the kids and all of them scattering as quickly as possible, scared to death.

To this day, I regret that Jardine left Crockett’s territory so suddenly after having a disagreement with booker George Scott. It was, to me at least, a sad day for Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling. Jardine never returned to the Mid-Atlantic area, but will never be forgotten by many of us who followed wrestling in the Carolinas during the 1970s. The Super Destroyer was the consummate performer. People loved to hate him. He could make any bout with any opponent interesting.

Don Jardine is now retired from wrestling living in his native Canada. I am so fortunate to chat with him from time to time on the computer. He is a true gentleman and a great guy. I know from talking to him that he still loves the wrestling business and misses it. He always responds to my e-mail and in my opinion, he is one of the all time greats masked wrestlers.

This article, originally titled "I Remember the Super Destroyer",
 was published on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway in the early 2000s, 
 before Don Jardine's death.