Guest Author - Vance Rowe
Although the names Hacksaw Jim Duggan and the WWF go hand in hand, Duggan never won a major championship during his tenure in the company. Hew is best known as the flag waving, 2x4 carrying, “HOOOOO” chanting, brawling superstar. He was one of the most popular superstars back in the mid and late 80’s in the WWF. Jim Duggan was born and raised about forty-five minutes from my old stomping grounds in Glens Falls, New York. His father was the Chief of Police in that city for many years as well.
When it came time for college, Hacksaw Jim Duggan was wooed as a football player by such colleges as Penn State and Ohio State but chose to go to Southern Methodist University in Louisiana.
It was there that he met Fritz Von Erich and decided to try his hand at professional wrestling. It was 1982 when Duggan debuted in the Mid-South Wrestling. While there he won the Louisiana Heavyweight championship, the Mid-South North American Championship, the Mid-South Tag Team Championship with Magnum TA and then went on to the UWF and won the UWF Tag Team Championship with Terry “Don’t Call Me the Red Rooster” Taylor. He has wrestled in WCW as well where he won the United States Championship and after finding the Television championship belt in the trash can, that was thrown in there by Scott Hall, and he started to defend that.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan has also had a lot of personal turmoil in his life as well. I guess you really cannot be a professional wrestler without some sort of personal turmoil and Duggan certainly had his share. One of these turmoil events I speak of can also be where people started to take a look at professional wrestling as entertainment more than sport. He was involved in a heated feud with the Iron Shiek in 1987 and was stopped by the New Jersey State Police for suspicion of driving under the influence. He was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana and his passenger was the Iron Shiek. The Shiek was found to be under the influence of cocaine and small amounts of cocaine were found in the vehicle as well. He tried to cover up the fact that he was traveling with the Shiek, a man he was currently feuding with, by saying that the Shiek was stuck for a ride and so instead of him missing the show, Duggan offered to give him a ride. It was a ride, in my opinion, that literally changed the face of professional wrestling.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan also battled kidney cancer and won and is currently again on the roster in the WWE. He is the oldest wrestler currently on the active roster and is currently involved in a storyline with Ted DiBiase Jr. and Cody Rhodes. They told him to retire as he is too old and he was about to do that when Jerry “The King” Lawler basically told him not to pay any attention to the tag team champions. Duggan was a great brawler in wrestling and there was never much technical wrestling with him and his greatest claim to fame in the WWE is being the first one to ever win the Royal Rumble which debuted in 1988 and entered the ring at number 3. There were only 20 men in the Royal Rumble then.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan will always have a place in our hearts as a true patriot and a great wrestler never to win a championship in the WWE. Alright, all together now, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”