10 Facts About Hacksaw Jim Duggan


Following his debut in 1979, the legendary Hacksaw Jim Duggan would go on to have a career that made him one of the most memorable and unique characters in the history of professional wrestling. Most known for his time with WWE, then known as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Duggan was one was of the premier stars during the late 1980s and early 1990s, arguably the most popular and successful time in the company’s history.

Here are six facts about wrestling legend Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

    1. Before wrestling, Jim Duggan was signed by the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. (source) Prior to entering professional wrestling, Jim Duggan played college football at Southern Methodist University (SMU), and was a team captain there. Following his playing career in college, the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League signed Jim Duggan, but was ultimately released before ever playing in the NFL’s regular season due to a series of knee injuries. Following his short stint with the NFL, Jim Duggan would transition into professional wrestling, where he debuted in 1979.
    1. Following Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s 1988 arrest, WWE began drug testing. (source) In 1988, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, along with fellow WWE star the Iron Sheik were pulled over on the way to a live event in New Jersey, and police found drugs both cocaine and marijuana in their vehicle. The story became public, and was a catalyst in WWE beginning to drug test their performers.
    1. Hacksaw Jim Duggan won the first ever WWE Royal Rumble match. (source) Taking place each January, the Royal Rumble is one of the premiere events on WWE’s annual event calendar. The first Royal Rumble event took place in January of 1988, with the match being won by Hacksaw Jim Duggan. To date, it’s the only Royal Rumble match to feature just 20 participants.
    1. In 2011, Hacksaw Jim Duggan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. (source) Despite never winning a Championship during his time with WWE, Hacksaw Jim Duggan had a Hall of Fame worthy career, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the 2011 class – a group that also included the Road Warriors, Shawn Michaels, and the Road Warriors, among others.
    1. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the final WCW World Television Champion. (source) World Championship Wrestling, otherwise known as WCW, one perhaps the biggest rival promotion ever to WWE. One of their Championship Titles was the WCW World Television Championship, a belt that was first instituted back on February 27, 1974. The Title would ultimately be retired in 2000, just months before the company was purchased by WWE in 2001. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the last wrestler to ever hold the WCW World Television Championship, having held it for 54 days.
    1. In 1998, Hacksaw Jim Duggan beat kidney cancer. (source) In 1998, while working for World Championship Wrestling, Jim Duggan was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer. Not only did the future Hall of Famer beat cancer, but he was back working for WCW in a physical capacity within a matter of just a few short months.
    1. Hacksaw Jim Duggan never won a Championship in WWE. (source) Despite having a lot of longevity and many victories throughout his time with WWE, the legend from Glens Falls, New York never held Championship Gold during his run with the company. He had received title shots throughout the years, most notably for the Intercontinental Championship against Hall of Fame wrestlers such as Shawn Michaels and the Honky Tonk Man, but Duggan never held gold in the promotion. Many would say that due to Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s popularity in WWE, he never even needed a title belt.
    1. Jim Duggan defeated an all-time great in seconds to win the United States Championship. (source) He’s a multi time World Heavyweight Champion, and widely considered by many to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers in history, but Stone Cold Steve Austin, who was wrestling as Stunning Steve Austin prior to his time in WWE, actually lost the WCW United States Championship to Hacksaw Jim Duggan in only 35 seconds. At WCW’s September Pay Per View event, Fall Brawl 1994: War Games, Duggan challenged then Champion Stunning Steve Austin for the gold. Jim Duggan would go on to hold the gold for 88 days, before dropping the title to Vader at WCW Starrcade 1994 in December.
    1. Hacksaw Jim Duggan was one of just a few wrestlers to appear in the first ever WWE arcade game. (source) Released in 1989, ‘WWF Superstars’ hit arcades all throughout the United States, and it was the predecessor to the much more popular sequel, WWF WrestleFest, which came out two years later. WWF Superstars primarily featured tag team matches, and only had a roster of just six WWE stars from that time, including Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, the Honky Tonk Man, the Big Boss Man, and the Ultimate Warriors. Players could select two wrestlers, with the goal of climbing the ranks to get a shot at the WWF Tag Team Champions, the Mega Bucks — the team of Andre the Giant and “the Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase.
    1. Jim Duggan was victorious in the first ever WWE Survivor Series match. (source) Not only was Hacksaw Jim Duggan the winner of the first ever WWE Royal Rumble match, but he also had his arm raised in the first Survivor Series match too. Since the 1980s, Survivor Series has been one of the mainstay pay per view events every year for WWE, along with the Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and WrestleMania. In the first ever Survivor Series match back in 1987, Hacksaw Jim Duggan teamed up with four other WWE Hall of Famers — Macho Man Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts. In a 5-0 sweep, they defeated the team of The Honky Tonk Man, King Harley Race, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, Dangerous Danny Davis, Hercules.


Hacksaw Jim Duggan is one of the most unique and memorable characters in wrestling history! Do you have any more fun facts to share?


Featured image photo credit: James, 2009. Originally found on Wikimedia.org. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

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