Monday, June 12, 2017


Sonny King sets to Battle The Super Destroyer in Richmond

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

As short as the word “if” is, it can carry meaning and significance in a very large way. “If” was used in such a meaningful way by the masked Super Destroyer in a memorable local promo leading up to a match at the Richmond Arena on May 23, 1975 against top challenger Sonny King.

By this juncture, the Destroyer and King were entering the climactic stages of their feud that had been going off and on for nearly a year after the Destroyer collected a $7,500 bounty on King’s brother, Bearcat Wright.

The imposing masked man told announcer Les Thatcher, “Mr. Sonny King, all you can think about is going in the ring and at the opportune time when you think myself the Super Destroyer, or some other opponent, you have him beaten or he’s half beaten, then you put the so called finishing touches on. Well Mr. Sonny King, it proves one thing, that in Richmond I have given you a chance in the past. And now it’s the future and it’s too late for you Sonny King because you’ve already missed your chance Sonny King and I really feel sorry for you. Very soon now…very, very soon after next week in the Richmond Arena you will be joining your brother. Because you’ve got to remember one thing Sonny, the bounty hunter is still here, the Super Destroyer!”

The Destroyer continued, “Through the generosity of the Super Destroyer, I’m going to give you another chance, and that is IF you can go in the ring, IF you can beat the Super Destroyer and IF you can take the mask off…but you don’t have to do it because IF, the big possibility that you won’t do it Sonny King. But nevertheless, IF you do it I will stand in the center of the ring as the gentleman I am, and with my head down with the mask in one hand, but that’s a big IF for you Sonny King, because you are on a losing streak.”

Sonny King responded to the masked Destroyer when he got his turn at the mic telling Thatcher, “Yes Les, like I heard the guy out here and I heard exactly what he said about all these ‘ifs’ you know, but then Les I want to tell you something…there’s no IF in Sonny King’s mind. He’s not gonna stand in the center of the ring and take the mask off, I’m not gonna take it off, but when the people come to put him on the stretcher to take him to the hospital in order to get the oxygen mask on, they’re gonna have to take the mask off! Can you dig it? So Les, I wanna say this to the people in Richmond…like you’ve seen Sonny King before, and you’ve seen me, I’ve come to Richmond pretty mad. Well Les, like I’m gonna do just the opposite because this is precisely what the Destroyer wants. He figures if he gets to me mentally he’s gonna do it physically. Les, I proved to him on TV, he hurt me Les…I got up and trained and I’m coming back and I’m healthy and I want to say to the Destroyer that I’m ready for you daddy!”

In this Richmond Arena battle of the ‘ifs,’ the Super D. would defeat Sonny King in a fiery bout that helped ignite the fire for another month of intense contests between these two in fence matches, boxing matches, lumberjack matches and no disqualification matches. As soon as this brutal series of clashes ended, King immediately left the Mid-Atlantic area with the Destroyer leaving right behind him several weeks later. Neither ever returned to Jim Crockett Promotions. One has to wonder IF one had anything to do with the other? Alas, that tiny little word “if” doesn’t always supply us with readily apparent answers.