WWE Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Exclusive Interview

Hacksaw recently spoke with Will Rook about his experience fighting in the Rumble battle. He said that the secret to surviving is longevity

WWE Hall of Famer "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan has shared his tips for winning a Royal Rumble fight. During the debut Royal Rumble event in 1988, Jim Duggan made history by being the first person to win the famous bout. To win the match, he came in at number 13 and defeated 19 other stars, notably Bret Hart and The Ultimate Warrior.

On where his victory in the inaugural Royal Rumble rates as a career highlight, he says, "Probably number two." The Royal Rumble was undoubtedly the giant feather in my crown, but I grew up in a little village in upstate New York. My family was kind and supportive, and my father would drive me to New York City, some 250 miles away, seeing the circus at Madison Square Garden. As an adult, you can only imagine how exciting it was to take my father to New York City, Madison Square Garden, and watch Hacksaw Jim Duggan take on Andre, the Giant on the marquee. My father was my best man at my wedding, the most remarkable man I've ever known, and it was a joy I'll remember until the day I die."

Hacksaw recently spoke with Will Rook about his experience fighting in the Rumble battle. He said that the secret to surviving is longevity.

"The whole concept is about longevity, which is why, when you see the Royal Rumble, everything rushes to the corners." That's a secure location, and it’s nothing like a singles match. I appreciated regulating the tempo of a fight but forgot about that in a battle royale or a Royal Rumble. Nobody has any control over anything; it's just like the Wild West out there," Duggan remarked.

"It's always preferable to come in later," he says of when it's best to enter the match. You're younger than the folks who've been out there for a while. People talk about spending ten to fifteen minutes in the ring, an extended period. I've done a few one-hour set limit draws. That was when [Ric] Flair was the world champion. Because it had been a long time, I was tired at the end of one hour. But when you're in front of millions of people, with thousands roaring you on, you get a rush of adrenaline.

"You may be backstage after your travel has been messed up, you're five hours late, it's snowing, the hotel has been terrible, there's no food, your luggage is late, and you're lacing on your boots thinking, 'Jeez, how am I going to do it?'" Suddenly, you hear your music, the curtains open, you go out, and the place goes berserk, and it's like an injection of adrenaline."

"Just remaining in the ring," he says of the most challenging portion of the contest. I was leaping on the top rope a couple of times, but it could have gone anyway. But I always believe it's like when you're participating in any sport: 'I can drag this out, I'm down 20 points, but I can win it.' It's the most fabulous feather in Hacksaw's crown because I never gave up hope."

Later, Duggan was asked how he thought the company had evolved since he was a part of it. Hacksaw feels that things have altered dramatically: "The entire business has shifted." "Because there weren't 200 stations to pick from back then, you virtually had to watch wrestling," Jim Duggan explained. "It might have been wrestling, a quiz show, or the news.

"I believe that today's youth are far more professional. Nobody is lying on the floor back there, and no one is out all night partying. When I was with the WWE in Australia following my comeback, I was at the hotel bar, where there were young ladies, and the liquor was free. I was hanging around because none of the lads were present.

Disclaimer: No Deccan Chronicle journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.

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