The Jim Duggan Story
Hacksaw Jim Duggan with Scott E. Williams
Synopsis: The autobiography of WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
After I finished talking with my dad, the next call was to Vince McMahon. Now, I know a lot of people in the wrestling business have laid out horror stories about working with Vince, but he treated me pretty fairly, and as much of a workaholic as he's always been, he was actually fairly approachable back in 1987.
Still, having to call Vince McMahon was not something people looked forward to, even under the best of circumstances. I was dreading the conversation even as I dialed his office number.
Usually, calling Vince at the office meant sitting on hold for five minutes listening to that awful Muzak that companies pipe over their phone lines while you wait. However, when I called his office that morning and told the receptionist, "Hi, it's Jim Duggan for Vince McMahon," it was almost instantaneous, like, click-click, "Jim?"
And I will remember verbatim what he said next until the day I die: "Jim, what have you done to us?"
I don't say this because he once sang the main song from "Frozen" to my five year-old daughter.... but "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan has been one of wrestling's most enduring and fun-loving characters over the years. And while his name may not come up at the very top of people's lists for wrestling autobiographies... ol' Hacksaw has plenty to say.
The story starts with very humble beginnings - everything you'd ever heard from wrestling announcers about Duggan being the son of the police chief in Glens Falls, New York is absolutely true - and from his description, it sounds like a very happy but modest childhood.
Excelling at football and amateur wrestling, Duggan eventually made his way to Southern Methodist University, which led to a brief football career with stops in Atlanta and Toronto before he decided to explore a career in the squared circle.
Certainly, Duggan has no shortage of wrestling experience and road stories, going from regional promotions in Hawaii and Texas to the Mid-South/UWF and from the WWF to WCW, with brief pitstops along the way in other territories. Hacksaw's biggest matches and rivalries are dissected, with Duggan weighing in on what worked and what didn't.
What I like about Duggan's book is that he really doesn't pull any punches. If he did something wrong (such as impaired driving with The Iron Sheik in 1987), he fully owns up to it and doesn't try to make any excuses. If someone rubs him the wrong way (the late Matt Bourne is an example), he calls them out for what happened. And yet none of it comes across as mean-spirited or bitter - a refreshing change for these type of books!
Along with co-author Scott E. Williams (who wrote Hardcore History and worked on Terry Funk's More Than Just Hardcore), Duggan exudes a certain relatibility in his stories. When he gets passionate about a particular angle or match, you do, too. When he's betrayed by a young Ted DiBiase or attacked in the kidney by Bill Goldberg, you're right there with him shaking your head in shame. And when he talks about the love of his wife (which, at nearly 30 years of marriage, needs to be a wrestling record right up there with Mick Foley) and children, you feel his pride coming through the page.
Overall Rating: Oh Hell Yeah! Is this a wrestling biography you absolutely need to have in you collection? Probably not, as there's nothing particularly groundbreaking or overly shocking here. But it's probably the equivalent of sitting down for a beer with Hacksaw Jim Duggan - some fun stories and a cool trip down memory lane from one of wrestling's true legends.