Where Wrestling's Regional History Lives!
- Max Levy
Jim Duggan was, without a doubt, one of the greatest stars ever to grace
the rings of Mid-South Wrestling. Duggan may have lacked finesse, but he
more than made up for it with heart, toughness, and brawn. In fact
Hacksaw epitomized what Mid-South wrestling was all about. His toughness
made him a favorite of not only fans, but also Mid-South promoter Cowboy
Bill Watts. What made Duggan so popular was that he was tough yet
approachable. He wasn’t a bodybuilder or a handsome man. He had an
honest, ordinary look that, combined with his down to earth attitude,
made him seem like someone you knew. All together, these elements helped
Hacksaw Jim Duggan acquire his lasting popularity.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan is a native of Glens Falls,
New York. In high school he excelled at sports, especially football.
Duggan’s prowess on the gridiron earned him a scholarship to Southern
Methodist University in Fort Worth, Texas. He played on the offensive
line and earned much acclaim in the competitive Southwest Conference.
Duggan eventually went to training camp with the Atlanta Falcons. He was
unable to win a spot on a Falcons team that was finally becoming
competitive after years of being the NFL’s doormat. However, the
NFL’s loss would prove to be professional wrestling’s gain.
wrestling legend and fellow former SMU football player Fritz Von Erich
help Jim Duggan break into professional wrestling. Some of Duggan’s
earliest matches came at the World famous Sportatorium at the
intersection of Industrial Boulevard and Cadiz Avenue. From Dallas, Jim
Duggan ventured back to his native Glens Falls. Using the Northeast as a
base, Duggan competed in the WWF as a preliminary wrestler. Working as a
babyface, Duggan faced Hulk Hogan, Larry Zbyszko, Ken Patera, and other
WWF heels of 1980. Jim Duggan ventured to Georgia in 1980 and 1981 and worked as
a heel. Known as Crazy Jim Duggan, he often jawed with the fans and
angrily reacted to the fans’ chants of “Crazy Jim”. It was similar
to another of wrestling’s great stars, Crazy Luke Graham. Duggan
continued to gain experience and was on the brink of breaking out.
Stardom was just around the corner.
After spending several years establishing his career in the business, in 1982 Hacksaw Duggan was finally ready to make his mark on professional wrestling and Mid-South was the place to do it. Duggan formed a heel faction with Ted DiBiase and Matt Borne known as The Rat Pack.More...