Jim Duggan On Giving Advice To Younger Indie Talent, Connecting With His Fans (Exclusive)

Jim Duggan

Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images

Wrestlezone’s Dominic DeAngelo recently caught up with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan as the WWE Hall of Famer readies himself for his second run at his “2×4 Tour” kicking up once more in 2020 with plenty of dates lined up.

Many newer fans may not know, but Duggan was actually a heel back in his early days with Mid-South Wrestling as it was he, Ted DiBiase and the late Matt Borne (the original Doink) as members of the villainous Rat Pack. Duggan, however, found that is days as the all-American flag-waving patriot was way more rewarding.

“I enjoy being a good guy. That’s my personality. I like to say hi to folks, you know. I’m not a rude guy. So that’s the way, I enjoy doing it now. These comic cons. I love it. It’s amazing the effects you have on folks,” said Hacksaw, who shares of the story of recently connecting with one rather large and intimidating fan.

“Just recently I was at comic con in Arizona and I’m looking and there’s this long line of people. There’s this real rough, tough-looking guy in the line, you know and I’m watching the big guy and he’s working his way through the line to me and you know I’m checking on my security. I’m like, ‘where you guys at?’ Finally, this big guy comes up and he grabbed my hand and he squeezed my hand, ‘Hacksaw Duggan? Hacksaw Duggan! Me and my dad used to watch you…’ and he got teary-eyed. I tell you, I got up and I hugged the guy. We probably cried together. It was amazing the effect people have. Women come up with pictures of their mom or dad and hug on me and people just remember watching wrestling with their loved ones and you know, of course, back then you didn’t have 200 channels to choose from…”

For being in the business for over 40 years, Duggan has seen his fair share of the road and understands how hard it is in today’s world to make it as a big star in the industry. Duggan finds it really rewarding to be mingling some of the young talent, but wants them to know how competitive and tight their roads to stardom could be.

“I enjoy doing the indies because they are the kids that are busting their butt trying to get the break that the odds that are a million-to-one cause I tell them the young kids that come up, ‘You know, I want to be a wrestler.’ I said, ‘Well you look at it as a business, you know, not just wrestling but as a business you gotta support your family.’ Think of it, there’s 1,500 NFL football playing this year, there’s 500 NBA basketball players, there’s 100 WWE wrestlers. It’s a television show. It’s more competitive than sports but people don’t look at it that way. It’s just not kids from America, you got kids from Japan, Australia, Europe. It’s an extremely competitive business.”

That doesn’t mean Jim thinks they should not go after a dream, as he knows from personal experience that other big name talent has surprised him before.

“I always tell kids to chase your dream. Look at Daniel Bryan. I first saw that kid, I said, ‘There’s no way he’s gonna make it,’ but there’s a guy who had the drive, the desire, the work ethic and he became a huge star. So I always tell kids to chase your dreams cause who would have ever thought a guy with a 2×4 would work? So do your deal, but keep in perspective the odds are against ya, you know.”

(Transcription credit should go to @DominicDeAngelo of WrestleZone)

Duggan’s #2×4TOUR will be kicking off again February in West Chicago Social Club and ending at Hobart Art Theater, Hobart IN! Tickets are online NOW! Plus lots more dates for 2020! He and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase will also be in Las Vegas on February 8th for a “Rat Pack” meet and greet.

So much more from this exclusive interview as Duggan talks about his football days, wrestling under a mask and actually being a true blue patriot. Hear the entire conversation below: