The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling recently chatted with WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan to discuss his standup comedy tour entitled “The 2×4 Tour”. In the interview Hacksaw discusses some of his biggest moments from The Mid South territory as well as moments and matches against opponents like Ted Dibiase and The One Man Gang. In this excerpt, John Poz and Chad get some insight into the WWF locker room scene in the 1980s as well as the origin of some of Duggan’s trademark character traits. The full episode is available at this link.
The locker room vibe of the WWF and who were the stand out “tough guys”:
“It was actually a snake pit of tough guys in that dressing and there was not hardly a weak link in there because if there was you would have been eaten up. Anybody could beat anybody on a given day if you got the first one in on them. It was mutual shared destruction and nobody was going to walk away clean and that is why everybody got along in a very high pressured situation. Of course there was a few flare ups but relatively not many considering the whole deal. Haku, who I’ve known for thirty five years and is known as one of the toughest men in our business and of course The Barbarian is right up there with him.”
Who were the ideal opponents for Hacksaw:
“To work with I enjoyed (Ted) Dibiase and I think really all the second generation wrestlers with guys like Curt Hennig, Jake The Snake, Dibiase and guys who grew up in the business were just a little more polished and they understood more. I didn’t start wrestling until I was twenty five and coming out of a football background I really wasn’t a big wrestling fan growing up and when I first started wrestling down there at the Sporatorium in Dallas with Fritz Von Erich and they said that my opponent was going to beat me in twelve minuets I would say: “Well I know I can beat him.”
Mid South’s Impact On The WWE:
“The library of the WWE Network has opened up my generation of guys to a whole new audience and I’ve got a lot of young kids that say they know the Hacksaw or saw me on Legends House. The Network is great and with all those libraries but I’m not sure what percentage of WWE Hall of Fame guys came through Mid South but it has to be an awful lot of them. It was a great training territory because you’d wrestle nine or ten times a week with a lot of traveling but we were all a bunch of young guys. You’d drive to Shreveport do a show and party, drive to New Oleans and do a show and party and it was just a bunch of young guys having fun on the road. It wasn’t only a great place to learn to wrestle but Bill Watts was very critical of your interviews so you also learned how to talk on the microphone too which is a lost art now. You wouldn’t do one generic interview it would be interview after interview until you got it right. In an example when I was up at WWE, a young man came up to me and said: “Hacksaw here is your verbiage for your interview.” And I looked at it and looked at him and thought how is some punk kid going to tell Hacksaw Jim Duggan how to cut his interview and I thought well send me the check okay (laughing). I have a very big respect though for actors who have to deliver lines because I was very robotic. I was losing all my mannerisms and my “hacksaw-ness” trying to remember lines so I really respect those actors and actresses that can do that.”
The long lasting impact of the “Hacksaw” character:
“It is being genuine. “Hacksaw” is part of Jim Duggan. It is an extension of my personality and I saw that in another guy and when I first met Daniel Bryan I thought there was no way this kid was going to make it in our business. But there was a guy who had the work ethic and desire, the hustle and he made it work and he was genuine. The fans got behind the “YES, YES, YES” and it reminded me of the “HO HO HO” (laughing) and I saw a lot of the genuineness in that young man that is what has helped me get through thirty plus years.”
The origin of HOOOO and carrying the American flag:
I joke and say that one time I was out with my 2×4 and I got a big giant splinter in my finger and said “ohhhhhh” (laughing). I don’t know but it is kind of like Flair’s “WOOO” or when One Man Gang had a yell going for a little while but it was just a way back in Mid South when I was really starting to develop the Hacksaw character that was a way to interact with the fans. I was a heel and I was interacting with the fans and when yelling at them, they would yell back and why I made the switch (babyface) and Ted Dibiase was put with Skandor Akbar I started carrying the American Flag and HOOO just stuck with it.
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