wrestling / News

Hacksaw Jim Duggan Reflects On Winning First Royal Rumble, Hardest Part Of The Match

January 26, 2022 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Mid-South Wrestling 12-29-84 Hacksaw Jim Duggan Image Credit: WWE/Peacock

Hacksaw Jim Duggan was the first-ever Royal Rumble winner, and he talked about his memories of the match and more in a new interview. The WWE Hall of Famer spoke with Beltway Insider and you can see some highlights regarding the Rumble below:

On where his win in the first Royal Rumble ranks as a career moment: “Probably number two. The Royal Rumble was obviously the biggest feather [in my cap], but as a kid, I grew up in upstate New York in a small town. I had a loving, supporting family and my dad would bring me to New York City, about 250 miles away, to see the circus at Madison Square Garden. As an adult, you can only imagine the thrill to bring my dad down to New York City, to Madison Square Garden, and see Hacksaw Jim Duggan versus Andre the Giant on the marquee. My dad was my best man at my wedding, the best man I’ve ever met, and that was a thrill that will stay with me to the day I die.”

On when its best to enter the match: “It’s always better to come in later. You’re fresher than the guys who have been out there longer. People talk about 15 or 20 minutes in the ring, that’s a long time. I’ve only done one-hour time limit draws a few times. That was with [Ric] Flair when he was world champion. I was dragging at the end of an hour because it was a long time. But you’re in front of millions of people, thousands in the arena cheering you on, you do get an adrenaline rush.

“You can be backstage after your traveling had been screwed up, you’re five hours late, it’s snowing, the hotel has been horrible, there’s no food, your bags are late, and you’re in the back lacing up your boots like, ‘Jeez, how am I going to do it?’ All of a sudden, boom, you hear your music, the curtain opens up, you step out and the place is going crazy, and it’s like a shot of adrenaline.”

On the hardest part of the match: “Just staying in the ring. There were a couple of times I was bouncing on the top rope and it could have gone either way. But I always think it’s like when you’re competing in any sport, you think, ‘I can pull this out, I’m down 20 points and I can still win it.’ I never gave up hope, and it’s the biggest feather in Hacksaw’s cap.”