There are things that bring you back to your childhood.
Whether it’s passing a house or a lot where you used to play ball. Or seeing an old friend. Or one of a million other things.
I’ve always been a pro wrestling fan. As a kid, I loved the larger-than-life characters. As an adult, I like the storylines — it’s more like a soap opera for adults. But sometimes, you get to go back to what you loved.
Wrestling came to town this past Friday. Among the names on the card was “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. The WWE Hall of Famer and the 57-year-old who hails from Glens Falls was going to wrestle.
See, though he’s not in the “big leagues” anymore, he’s a draw. People love him. Kids love him. He still marches around with his trusty 2X4, yells “HOOOOOO” to the crowd and leads them in “USA USA” chants.
He’s still Hacksaw.
Despite a smaller crowd numbering in the hundreds, they got excited when Hacksaw was out. And that’s good. It’s what wrestling is all about. It’s a show and they entertain.
Before the card, the older wrestlers sign autographs and take photos. It’s how they make a lot of their money. Hacksaw was out there with Carlito, Tommy Dreamer, Eugene, and a little later, Shane Douglas.
I took a moment to chat with Hacksaw and let him know I always got a kick out of it when I covered the state high school wrestling championships and see his photo in the past champs. He was a New York state champion in 1972 or 1973. We laughed a little about it when I mentioned his glasses that he wore in that photo.
He greeted fans with grace and smiled all along.
This is what wrestling was like to me as a kid. Seeing these guys was amazing. If I got to talk to them or slap hands? It was awesome. I got to see that look in many kids eyes Friday night when Hacksaw came to the ring.
He still has it.
He never was much of a technical wrestler, but he always put on a good show. He still does, albeit a shorter show. He smiles. Shakes hands. Leads the crowd in chants. In the end, he gets into his three-point stance, clotheslines his opponent and wins.
Take a peek at the finish from his match in Delhi:
It never gets old with Hacksaw.
Following the card, he left wearing glasses and a sports coat. He looked more like a college teacher at that point than a professional wrestler. He shook hands with people and made sure those he talked to had a good time at the show. He then carted off his suitcase and out the door he went, heading off to the next event he worked.
Life isn’t easy for a professional wrestler, especially not in the independent circuit.
Does Hacksaw need this work? Who knows. Some do, some don’t. But he still seems like he enjoys it.
And he still finds a way to bring out the kid in all of us.
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! USA!! USA!! USA!! USA!!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook by clicking the button on the right side of the page!