With that ever-popular catchphrase, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan can excite a wrestling crowd, even still as he has reached his 60s.
Originally from Glens Falls in upstate New York, Hacksaw played college football and was in the NFL before turning to the world of professional wrestling.
A favorite among many fans, he’s colorful, candid, and entertaining. He’s patriotic and will get a crowd chanting “USA USA USA!” without issues. And, he does it all with his trusty 2×4 by his side (or over his shoulder).
He stills gets in the ring occasionally, usually to throw a few punches or tag up, but he’s still out there entertaining people. If you follow him on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll get an inside look at the WWE Hall of Famer’s life as he travels all over to different types of wrestling shows, conventions or just a glimpse at life.
I’ve written about Hacksaw on the blog before, such as when he was doing a fundraiser for shoulder surgery, or just looking back at Hacksaw when he came to my hometown for an independent card. I’ve had in in various other posts when talking about professional wrestling as he’s one of my all-time favorites.
Recently, it was announced Hacksaw was doing a one-man show. The 2×4 Show is a way for people to get a glimpse behind the curtain, so to speak, and see Hacksaw in a different way. He’s on a stage talking wrestling, telling stories, and taking questions, which gives fans a true look at his remarkable career. He doesn’t hold back any punches, either.
I saw he had an upstate New York tour set, and was trying to plot where I could get to one. With five spots close enough to see this show, I knew I’d hit one. It turned out to be the closest – Binghamton.
One thing’s for sure – I definitely don’t regret going to this show.
The setting for the Binghamton show was at the Relief Pitcher, in a downstairs conference room. It was a nice and relaxed setting for the show. After a local opening comedian, Hacksaw took the stage and took the crowd of more than 50 through his career. The stories ranged from growing up in Glens Falls, to his football days, to becoming a wrestler.
His stories were candid, open, funny and genuine. He told the crowd about how he went from Big Jim Duggan to the Convict (in a mask) to Hacksaw, and how Bruiser Brody told him he needed something to carry to the ring, which led to his trademark 2×4. .
Originally a heel in the ring, he made his biggest stamp as a patriotic wrestler, leading crowds in the chants of USA. He fought the evil wrestlers, such as the Iron Sheik (no love lost between those two, which Duggan pointed out), and enjoyed success as one who battled Andre The Giant so many times.
He didn’t hide from the past, either. He was honest when a fan asked about the situation with he and the Iron Sheik riding together and getting pulled over. Duggan admitted to having some “doobies” under his seat and then it turned out the Sheik had cocaine in the car.
This was before the days where “the truth” of wrestling was known, so it was bigger news. It cost Duggan big time, but he would rebound.
One could tell how much Duggan enjoyed being with fans and talking stories and telling his tale. His well-placed “Hoooo” chants always kept the crowd into what was going on.
He also breaks the molds of some wrestlers as he’s been married to his wife for more than 30 years. She was with him at the show, at one point bringing him some water. He spoke amazingly highly of his family and how important they were to him.
Duggan also spoke about some of his closest friends in the business and how many of them are no longer with us.
The biggest thing I took away from this was how personable Hacksaw is. He took time to answer questions and didn’t shy away from things. He told about life on the road and in the ring. And following the show and Q&A session, he went to a table in the back where his wife was handling the sales of merchandise.
They worked so well as a team, too. She would get the name he was signing on items and make sure he knew what to sign, and even switching markers and such. That allowed Duggan to do what he is so good at – talking with fans and being personable to give each person in line a true intimate setting to talk with Hacksaw for a few moments.
She also took the photos for people, with their cameras. It wasn’t like some independent shows where it’s one photo and gone. She made sure the photos came out well and Hacksaw would insist on a couple of different poses. The line might not have moved as swiftly as some may want, but it gave people their money’s worth, that’s for sure.
One final funny story from that night, and being in line. I wanted to get a photo, so it was going to be me, my brother, and Hacksaw. As I noted, his wife was taking the photos. So I set up my DSLR and was like “Now this isn’t like a phone, it’s big equipment.”
Yes, I was trying to be funny.
She responded “Don’t worry, I can handle big equipment.”
Yes, very funny.
To which (can’t make this up), Hacksaw laughs and says … yes she can, she’s a “HOOOOOOOOO!”
Laugh out loud funny! I can see why they have been married for (I think he said) 35 years.
I hope this tour and this show continue. If you have the chance to see the show, take advantage of it and go watch. Even for non-wrestling fans, it’s a cool experience and a lot of fun. It’s well worth the couple of hours.
For more photos from the event, visit my Flickr album.
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