Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jim Duggan [Straight Shootin' Interview]

The Good
"Hacksaw" Jim Duggan is one of pro-wrestling's great acquired tastes. I had a cousin who absolutely loved him. I know a lot of "smart marks" cannot stand him. While he was not my favorite later in his WWF run, his Mid-South stuff is wildly entertaining and his later days in WCW were great in their own way. His character is definitely an extension of his real-life personality and that comes across strongly here. I cannot remember another shoot interview (and they're often conducted in the wee hours of the morning) where they had so many problems with disturbing others due to noise. I guess if you have someone yelling "Hooooo" and chanting "U-S-A!" at regular intervals, you'll have issues with the neighbors. Aside from all that, Duggan is very honest and is willing to talk about most everything, including the infamous New Jersey arrest with the Iron Sheik and considering others (Ken Patera, Jimmy Snuka and Chris Adams) were not willing to dig the skeletons out of their closets. I found Duggan to be both frank in his comments and funny in his delivery, so this was a difficult interview not to enjoy.

The Bad
As much as I enjoyed Hacksaw's over-the-top personality and its presence in this interview, I am sure some people would not. I would rather have that and get some extra goofiness than the bland deliveries I've heard out of charisma kingpin Jimmy Valiant. Duggan has had such a full career and has enjoyed some booze and gimmicks along the way, so he seems to be missing memories of many high points of his career (according to fans, his personal high points he remembers). My only complaint is that Duggan seems kind of bitter toward how the business changed during the Monday Night Wars and how a cartoon character like himself was simply cut out of the spotlight. It is funny because if you pulled him out of 1987 and stuck him in there, he could have been a hot commodity, but after nearly a decade of being a goof, he just could not offer much past a nostalgia act. Therefore, he seems angry at the smaller workers (Lance Storm, Dean Malenko and others), annoyed with the youngsters who need gimmicks (Buff Bagwell, Van Hammer, etc.) and upset with the management that took to an edgier style.

The Rating: ****1/2

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