Reported by Paul Nemer of WrestleView.com
» On Friday, January 24, 2003 at 1:03 AM EST
Interview with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
Conducted on: January 17, 2003
Conducted by: Paul Nemer of WrestleView.com
I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan in Ottawa, Canada at the Border City Wrestling show. Duggan talked about his health, his WWF and WCW days, Vince Russo, Vince McMahon, being the first winner of the Royal Rumble, and much more.
Paul Nemer: How do you feel being in the ring as of late..after your previous health problems?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: I am feeling better now. I appreciate it more after facing cancer of course. It's been less than five years, so you never know with cancer, but ya I enjoy being in the ring now more than ever.
Paul Nemer: Since we are around Royal Rumble time, it reminds me that you were the WWF's first ever Royal Rumble winner back in 1988, do you take good pride in knowing that you won the first ever rumble?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Hmmm, not really brother. It was nice to accomplish it all, but back then in 88' it was just another show and we're off the next day doing another deal. But yea, it was definitely nice to win, better win it than lose it.
Paul Nemer: What would you consider your greatest WWF match of all time?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Andre The Giant, Main event, Madison Square Garden, 20,000 plus.
Paul Nemer: How did your jump to WCW come about?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: I was offered a no cut contract for more money.That's why everybody made the jump. Before Turner got involved in those contracts, if you didn't work, you didn't get paid. That's why Hogan left, Macho Man left, I left, Jimmy Hart left, Beefcake left, we all left at the same time because Turner decided he wanted to be the big dog in wrestling. He offered all the top guys contracts, of course we're all family men - business... so we made the move down to WCW.
Paul Nemer: Who's idea was it for you to join Team Canada? I mean you took so much pride throughout the years in carrying the U.S. flag around and everything.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: It was Vince Russo.
Paul Nemer: Did you like Vince Russo?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: No I didn't like Vince and I didn't like Bischoff either. What they tried to do with me is, they used me to build other guys. I would do jobs for kids like Alex Wright, and Craig Pittman, then get the 1,2,3 in the ring. They'd get up and roll out of the ring and I'd stand up and I'd give a "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh", then the whole place goes nuts with USA chants and I come back to the dressing room and I tell Bischoff and Russo, I said you can't kill me off, beat me every night because people like my gimmick. Terry Taylor would grab me and say "Shut your mouth and collect your pay check" you know, and that's what I did.
Paul Nemer: Why do you think that your gimmick lasted for a long long time? Gimmicks would often change, but yours didn't.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: They did such good jobs developing our characters. - King Kong Bundy is the same character, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Junkyard Dog. - It was a more personal..personality type oriented business before, than it is now. It used to be wrestling on television, now it's a television show about wrestling. It has very little do to with traditional wrestling. But in retrospect, hard to argue with success. It's McMahon's only product.
Paul Nemer: If you had to wrestle your last match in wrestling, and you can pick anyone from past or present, who would it be?
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: I've always said that my best match was with Theodore DiBiase. The Million Dollar Man. Teddy was the greatest technical wrestler in the sport. But he couldn't fight a lick and I beat his butt every night.
Paul Nemer: *Laughs* Alright, right now I got some name association, and I want you to shoot on these ones.
Paul Nemer: SGT. Slaughter.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Great man. A guy I respect and look up to. Very top shelf character. Could use more guys like him in the business.
Paul Nemer: Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: The greatest manager there ever was, and another good personal friend of mine.
Paul Nemer: Randy Macho Man Savage
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Macho's got the big head. He was ok until Spiderman came along and all after Spiderman he thinks he's a movie star. Macho never relaxes. Macho what you see on TV is Macho what you get right now.
Paul Nemer: Andre The Giant
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: A pleasure to work with him. By far the most talented professional wrestler in history and he made my career by allowing me to knock him out.
Paul Nemer: Yokozuna
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Yoko was a good man too, I like Yoko.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Get some bad guys in here, you're naming all the good guys.
Paul Nemer: *Laughs* Ok.
Paul Nemer: Vince McMahon
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Vince McMhaon is a promoter. Makes no difference if you're Don King, Vince McMahon or a music promoter, that's the job description. If you're going to be a successful promoter, you gotta use up people. These kids that go in the WWF, WWE now, and they say "Well they treated me like a piece of meat." Well kid, if your looking for a friend, get a pet. You know..WWF is big business, if you go in and expect to be treated fairly, you're in the wrong business. Same as the NFL and the NBA, they use you up and when you're done, they flush you down the toilet. McMahon is no different. I got nothing bad to say about Vince, that's just the nature of the beast.
Paul Nemer: Vince Russo
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Vince doesn't belong in the business. Everybody gives him way too much credit for turning around the WWF. There is only one man that makes decisions in the WWF, and that's Vince McMahon. Russo was up there, he contributed a few ideas, but he wasn't the big dog on campus.
Paul Nemer: He might of contributed a few good ideas, but 90% of his ideas in general were bad. Look at WCW.. David Arquette as world champion.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Well you know, there is the big idea that they...well Vince essentially sent Razor Ramon, Vince Russo, Kevin Nash down to the WCW to put them out of business and they did.
Paul Nemer: And one last one, Hacksaw Jim Duggan
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: That son of a..
Paul Nemer: *Laughs*
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: Hacksaw, I think that guy enjoys the business, enjoys the people, enjoys life.
Paul Nemer: And I enjoyed this interview very much. I thank you for your time.
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan: My pleasure brother. Good luck.
Paul Nemer: Good luck to you too.