Mid-States Wrestling will host the second annual “Legends of Wrestling” event this Saturday night and WWE Hall of Fame wrestling legend “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan will be walking to the ring with his signature 2x4 and an American flag, ready for action.
Duggan began pro wrestling in 1979 after he sustained a knee injury playing football with the Atlanta Falcons.
“It seemed to work out better that way,” Duggan said about switching to pro wrestling.
He was the first to win the Royal Rumble in 1988. The Royal Rumble was originally a television special on the USA Network.
Duggan later competed for WCW in later years, winning the United States Championship and the Television Championship.
He was diagnosed with early stages of kidney cancer in 1998. He did not go without a fight, beating the cancer and returning to the ring.
Duggan said he got his nickname “Hacksaw” when he played football at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He was known for hacking through the wedge. The nickname “Hacksaw” was created and transferred over to his wrestling career. He was recruited by Fritz Von Erich during a trip to SMU.
“It was a chance encounter,” Duggan said.
Carrying a 2x4 became Duggan’s trademark when walking to the ring. His mentor Bruiser Brody told him to carry something he can use in the ring.
His trademark yell “HOOOOOOOO!” is known throughout the lands, along with the “USA! USA!” chant.
“Forget the feather boas and sequin robes,” Hacksaw said Bruiser Brody told him. Brody carried chains to the ring.
Duggan said he enjoyed working with Andre the Giant. Duggan and Andre had a sold out match in Madison Square Garden.
“He was a real giant,” Duggan said. “One of the most talented professional wrestlers in history.”
Hacksaw grew up in Glen Falls, N.Y. He studied Socioloy at SMU. He said that if he had not pursued wrestling he would have probably become a firefighter in his hometown.
Duggan said that the hardest part of professional wrestling is the travel.
“At first it was glamourous, but then it became harder,” Duggan said. “It’s hard to leave my family.”
Duggan has been to every state in the union, every providence in Canada and 23 different countries.
Duggan returned to Friday Night SmackDown and Monday Night Raw this past week. He was featured on the first episode of Raw in 1993 and will be on the 1,000th episode on July 23, 2012.
Hacksaw was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2011 at Wrestlemania XXVII. He continues to compete in the ring and make several television appearances.
“This is a big opportunity for wrestlers and fans to interact,” Duggan said. “Folks get to see a family-friendly environment. It’s not obscene like some of the TV programs.”
Duggan said it will be nice to return to the area.
The night will include three Hall of Fame inductions including Wrestling Legend “The Junk Yard Dog,” Adrian Steel, and “Pimptight” Kevin Lovejones. Both Steel and Lovejones competed in Mid-States Wrestling in the past years, both gentlemen passed away this last year, and their families will be in attendance to receive their Hall of Fame Awards.
After great success last August with the inaugural event, the second annual promises to be bigger and better, with more stars, and more action. Last year, the team of Jerry “The King” Lawler, Jason Jones, and Gary Gram managed to earn a win in the main event, sending the 500 plus wrestling fans in attendance home with a big smile on their faces.
Seven big matches make up the night’s card with such local favorites as Gary Gram, “The Space Cowboy” Jason Jones, Big Bubba Hall, “the 7-foot” Doomsday, “Mr. Saturday Night” Michael Barry, Dustin Heritage, Jim Fallon, Stephen E. and more.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the Brandon Burlsworth Youth Center
Tickets are on sale now at Extreme Muffler and Music Games & More in Harrison. Tickets will also be available at the door the night of the event. General Admission is $15 and Reserved Seating is $20.
For more event info, sponsorships, and group rates you may contact Mid-States Promotions at (870)-577-7433.