"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan recently spoke with the Baltimore Sun about his appearance for Big Time Wrestling tonight, his career and more. Check out the highlights:
On what he's been doing since his last WWE run: "I keep busy with quite a bit of stuff. The big thing for me right now is that I do a lot of charity work. I do about 200 hours a year. I just did the Variety Telethon in Des Moines, Iowa. It was extremely successful and we raised over $3 million. I've done that for 14 years now. Of course, I also do a lot of autograph sessions, and I still wrestle quite a bit, both in smaller shows and sometimes for the WWE."
On being working for WWE in his mid-50s and still doing occasional RAW appearances: "I'm really proud that I'm one of the last guys from my era still in the ring. It was fun to wrestle then, and also funny because I would be in the ring with [Ted] DiBiase's kid, and I'd wrestle against Dusty [Rhodes]'s kid, all of these sons of guys that I had wrestled against. And it was great that I could still make the WWE fans chant "USA" with me. And even though I got beat with my own 2x4 against Jack Swagger [on RAW earlier in March], I can say that I got a win on RAW at my age, even if it was by DQ. And who knows if things between me and Zeb Colter are finished?"
On why he still works indy shows: "Duggan: I love the independent shows. That's traditional wrestling right there. It's like what I came from, the roots of wrestling. Guys just working really hard to achieve their dream. Some of the top young talent in the country are wrestling in independent shows right now. I just really enjoy everything about the smaller shows...I've wrestled in a lot of National Guard armories, high school gyms, all sorts of places, and I love it. There's nothing quite like jamming 400 people into a place that's only supposed to hold 300 and hearing them yelling and cheering the entire time. I never get tired of seeing those fans. I'm not even close to being tired of wrestling, going out to the ring and looking out and giving them a "HOOOOO." I just walk through that curtain and love every bit of it. Whether it's 90,000 people or 200 people shouting USA with me, it's just my honor to do it."
On his favorite WrestleMania memories: "My first Wrestlemania was Wrestlemania III. That was the one with 93,000 folks. I didn't have a match, but I ran down with the 2x4 and hit Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. I had 93,000 people chanting USA, and that was the thrill of a lifetime...At that same Wrestlemania, I was in the back watching when Andre did the job for the Hulkster. That was one of the largest moments in the history of the business, and one that I will never forget."
On his WWE Hall of Fame induction: "It's a great honor. You always want to be remembered. Being recognized by the WWE is the pinnacle of our profession. It's something that everybody aspires to. A lot of guys say that they don't care, but they're the ones not getting the call. It was a beautiful night. My family was there, and some of my good friends. It was just a really special night."
On when he plans on retiring: "I think when I stop being entertaining to the crowd, only then will I stop wrestling. We had a big event up in Fort Wayne recently and I still had the place rocking shouting HOOO and chanting USA. There's more to this than just taking bumps. As long as the fans want to see me, I will keep lacing up the boots. Of course, being a cancer survivor, health is something I take seriously. I visit my doctor regularly, I watch my health, and I keep an eye on my diet, and that adds to my longevity....so many guys watched the movie The Wrestler and just assume that all of us still wrestling are destitute. But that's not the case. There are guys like me, and Roddy Piper and others who are successful. Everyone wants to talk about the [Scott] Halls, the trainwrecks. And there's definitely a portion of our business like that, but there are a lot who are still extremely successful."