Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Sang The Song From "Frozen" To My Daughter
Hamilton, Ontario was once a hotbed for professional wrestling. Much of my earliest wrestling exposure came from watching Maple Leaf Wrestling on the Hamilton affiliate, CHCH-11, hosted by the inimitable Billy Red Lyons. The first Royal Rumble was held from its famed Copps Coliseum in 1988 (a decade later, Copps hosted the PPV Breakdown: In Your House). And it's also the town where my brother and I ditched a bunch of past-their-prime wrestlers as part of the ill-fated ICW.
Hamilton is also the home of an annual comic convention that I'd always wanted to check out and was able to this year, thanks to my wonderful fiancee. My family made the 45-minute trek to Hamilton (a/k/a Stinktown, because of the city's long and colorful history as a steel mining metropolis) excited to take in the day's event.
This year's event was particularly appealing because, in addition to also-ran guests like Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk), Ken Osmond (Eddie Haskell from Leave It To Beaver) and Verne Troyer (Mini-Me), they were billing a "Legends Of Wrestling Reunion".
I will say off the bat that The Honky Tonk Man (one of my legit favorites growing up) looked particularly haggard. Instead of long sideburns and his hair slicked back, he had a greasy mullet and unshaven grey stubble.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan, on the other hand, not only looked as Hacksaw-ish as ever, but was a class act all the way. I'd decided early on that I was only going to get one photo with a wrestler (at $20/pop, it adds up after a while) and something told me that my best bet would be old Hacksaw.
I wasn't wrong. Twenty bucks not only got me as many pictures as I wanted with me and my family, but he sat and talked for several minutes about his career and even mentioned how I'm watching Legends House on WWE Network.
Hacksaw's comment - "Roddy Piper and I are best friends now because of that show, but not Tony Atlas. What an ass he is!" He made a similar comment at the Q & A later, so I'm not sure how seriously to take that....
My daughter also wanted to tell him she'd seen him on television (which she has), so she timidly walked over to him.
Hacksaw could not have possibly been friendlier to her. Not only did he take his time chatting with her, but (explaining he has two daughters) he began singing Let It Go from the movie "Frozen" to her, with brought a huge smile on her face.
Although, as my brother has since pointed out, he should have called the song 'Let It Hooooooooo!' If Hacksaw now records that, he totally owes The Big Rybowski royalties.
At 12:30, the "Legends of Wrestling" held a Q & A session on the main stage.
The panel included WWE Hall of Famers Howard Finkel, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and Mean Gene Okerlund, in addition to The Honky Tonk Man, Bushwhacker Butch and Tugboat. George "The Animal" Steele was also advertised, but didn't appear on the panel.
With The Fink acting as the moderator, the legends answered a number of questions from the fans. While the sound quality isn't amazing in the videos below, they give you a feel for what type of answers the panelists were giving.
Among other questions asked at the Q & A:
Duggan was asked his thoughts on Rusev, to which Hacksaw recalled the story of how Rusev recently demolished his 2 x 4 on Raw, which he said took some considerable strength. He also weighed in on current and former WWE World Heavyweight Champions Brock Lesnar and John Cena, not really picking a favorite between the two of them.
Tugboat was (shockingly) not asked about The Shockmaster, but was asked about John "Earthquake" Tenta, whom he called a wonderful friend and tag team partner.
Both Ted DiBiase and The Honky Tonk Man cited "Macho Man" Randy Savage as one of their favorite all-time moments, but their choices for worst opponent got mixed reactions. DiBiase said "Virgil", which garnered some laughs from the audience, but Honky Tonk's answer of "The Ultimate Warrior" was met with uncomfortable silence.
Honky Tonk also sang the first bar of his old WWF theme song for a fan, but refused to do an encore when the same request was made later in the session.