The world of professional wrestling has been good to Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Contrary to many of the famous tales full of addiction, broken marriages and personal demons, Duggan counts himself as one of wrestling’s success stories.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes’ very own Fin Martin in Issue 9 of Inside The Ropes Magazine, Duggan explained how wrestling’s perception is often very different to reality. The WWE Hall of Famer said that while many people see the movie The Wrestler and assume all wrestlers are like Mickie Rourke’s steroid using, broken down, drug fuelled lead character Randy “The Ram” Robinson, the truth in many cases is very different.
Duggan said that wrestling had been a “great business” for him, describing how he’s been married for 36 years and remains very active in the community.
“I’ve got a lot of stuff going on in my life, thank goodness. But it’s been a great business for me. So many people see the movie The Wrestler and they all think we’re like Mickey Rourke’s [Randy Robinson]. I’ve been with my wife for 36 years. I’ve never had to go through rehab for booze or drugs. I’ve put two daughters through school. I’m active in my community. I do a lot of charity events. I saved my money. I paid my taxes.”
The former United States Champion continued, adding that there are success stories in wrestling, you just don’t get to hear about them.
“There’s success stories in wrestling; you just never hear about them. Tito Santana’s another example . . . Jerry Sags. Everybody hears the train wreck of Scott Hall and Jake Roberts, but there’s another side to the coin. I live a very comfortable life in a nice little farm in South Carolina. I’ve got a lake house up in New York. I travel the world now—me and my wife—and I do a stand-up show. I was down in Fiji, Australia, New Zealand last year, telling wrestling stories. And thank goodness for wrestling fans.”
“It’s unbelievable the appeal of wrestling around the world: I’ve wrestled in every state in the Union and every province in Canada and 30 different countries. The only thing that can compete with it is your football, soccer.”
Hacksaw Jim Duggan began his wrestling career in 1979 after a brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons NFL franchise. After appearing in Mid-South Wrestling for much of the 1980’s, Duggan arrived in the WWF in 1987. Here Duggan enjoyed a great run of success appearing at the first ever Survivor Series and winning the first Royal Rumble Match.
The veteran moved to WCW in 1994 where he went on to win the United States and World Television Championships. Duggan returned to WWE in 2005 enjoying short feuds with the likes of Eugene and Cody Rhodes.
Duggan was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, appearing in the Royal Rumble the following year.