From the WWE Network: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan

Ol’ Hacksaw fights for his country against royal blood, Commie scum, Giants and Canadian French men. USA! USA! USA!

The Ultimate Warrior eats cigarettes and tells us not to smoke.

We open with a green screen parody of “Patton” with ol’ Hacksaw getting a chance to opine on the greatness of America.

We see clips of Duggan’s feud with Nikolai Volkoff.  Duggan wants to stop Volkoff from utilizing his first amendment rights to express his love of the USSR.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Boris Zhukov

This match is from almost a year and half later as Duggan faces Zhukov in a “Flag match” on “Saturday Night’s Main Event”. The men slug it out but Duggan wins in short order via the running clothesline. The American flag lowers from the ceiling. Was the Russian flag up there too? Otherwise kayfabe takes a blow.  Vince McMahon wishes on commentary that we had more meatheads who are as blindly xenophobic as Duggan to make America greater than it already is.

On Superstars, Harley Race spends too much time celebrating his win over a jobber and ends up blocking Duggan’s entrance in the next match. Pat Patterson, Jay Strongbow, Tony Garea, Blackjack Lanza and others pull him back towards the back. Duggan squashes Tiger Chung Lee in short order, allowing Race another chance to confront him. Race gets a chair to neutralize the 2×4, but that ends poorly for Race as Duggan wins the weapon battle. Duggan steals the crown and cape.

Duggan cuts a promo on the interview stage on a later show. He still has the crown and cape. Bobby Heenan distracts him and Race gets the jump on Hacksaw.

We next flash to the Slammys from 1987. Duggan is forced to give Race an award, and it sparks a long brawl around the backstage. Monsoon grabs a mic to call the action as they wreck the makeup area. Of course there’s a donkey and chicken there. Awesome!

Race takes a bump through a table as a llama walks by the scene. Race escapes and tries to lock Duggan inside a utility cage. They fight around the building, with Duggan taking a bump off a staircase and onto a couch. They wind up at a Christmas party and wreck the catering section. Ultimately, the men break through the screen on the main stage. Duggan wins a Slammy as the men brawl, but Duggan stops long enough to take the award. This was all tremendous stuff, and probably the earliest backstage style brawl the WWF fans would have seen.  Other than Memphis having brawls around the arena or JCP doing some brief locker room fights, I can’t recall anything like this from the era.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. “King” Harley Race

This is from the January 1988 MSG card according to the on screen graphics. Vince McMahon is doing commentary with “Lord” Alfred Hayes. I assume Vince is covering for Gorilla Monsoon who was missing some time at this point after suffering a mild heart attack.

Race bumps all over the place for Duggan in the opening minutes. I wonder if Race would be the first king on record who had tattoos? Race finally gets control, delivering a belly-to-belly and a piledriver, neither of which stop Duggan from rampaging onward.

Duggan misses a knee drop to finally give Race a chance to get some heat. As I type that Duggan starts screaming and firing off blows. Race cuts him off and knocks Hacksaw to the floor. Race misses a headbutt attempt and splats his head on the concrete. They briefly return to the ring, but Duggan is backdropped to the floor.

Race slams Duggan’s face into the mat, but Hacksaw shakes that off. Race returns to the ring, allowing Duggan to sneak under the ring and ambush Race from the other end. When Hacksaw is outsmarting you, it might be time to retire.

Race fights him off once again, then attempts a flying crossbody. Duggan flips that over for the 3-count. Good brawl here as it played to Duggan’s strengths and Race knew how to make people look good.

Clips of Wrestlemania 4 as Andre the Giant interferes in Ted Dibiase and Hacksaw’s match, allowing Dibiase to win.

A few weeks later on Superstars Andre destroys a jobber. Hacksaw storms down and contronts Andre face to face. Andre laughs off Duggan’s challenge, then lures him into lowering his guard. Andre grabs Duggan by the throat, accidentally busting open his mouth as he does so. The blood pouring out of Hacksaw makes a good visual as Andre chokes the life out of him. Duggan manages to grab his 2×4 and knocks Andre out!! This did set up a series of main event matches, but at the same time it’s surprising to see how quickly the WWF moved on from Andre as the king of monster heels after Wrestlemania 4.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Andre the Giant

This is from a Boston house show in June 1988. Ron Trongard calls the action. Ron was a long time AWA announcer that Vince signed in one of his more petty moves to destroy every last bit of Verne Gagne. Trongard wasn’t particularly great. Here Trongard goes to his carny roots, revealing Andre’s real name and telling tall tales of Andre’s grandfather being almost 8 feet tall. He calls Duggan “Doo-gan” repeatedly and uses “And-dre” at least once. His partner “Superstar” Graham makes this a frightening commentary team.

Andre doesn’t like the fans booing him, so he leaves the ringside. Pedro Morales, serving as a WWF official, orders Andre to the ring. Andre stalls at ringside as the fans are still booing. Andre stalls even more, prompting Duggan to run around and pose with his 2×4.

Andre looks like he hurts himself just climbing in the ring as he stumbles. Hacksaw knocks him into the ropes and Andre is tied up. Duggan tries to headbutt the Giant but hurts himself.

Andre clings to the ropes to aid his balance as he tries to fight off Duggan. The Giant moves on to a nerve hold and surfboard to try and drain Duggan’s resolve. Duggan escapes, but runs into a boot, allowing Andre to pin Duggan with his own feet on the ropes for leverage. This was kind of sad to see as the deteriorated Andre tried to do as best as he could with his physical limitations.

They show whole “Brother Love show” segment from Summerslam ’88 where Duggan cuts generic promo number 5 before chasing Love off.

Another Brother Love segment is shown, this time with Dino Bravo and Frenchy Martin confront Hacksaw with their own brand of jingoism.

“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo

This is a flag match from MSG. Trongard, Lord Al and Hillbilly Jim are the commentators. Duggan dumps Bravo fast, forcing Bravo to retreat. Bravo and Duggan trade rest holds in between spurts of brawling.

Frenchy prevents Duggan from trying his 3-point stance charge. Frenchy gets involved again a minute later as he attempts to strike Duggan with the flag pole, only to hit Bravo. Hacksaw scores the win. This was lousy as are most Bravo matches. The fans loved it and Bravo sells to the hilt as he protests the national anthem post-match.

Final thoughts: You aren’t going to be wowed by any catch as catch can stylings here, but it was a lot of fun to watch.

 

Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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