The Name on the Marquee: Hacksaw Jim Duggan
A Coliseum Video prooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooofile.
-Ultimate Warrior warns us that smoking deprives us of full power!
-Sean Mooney warns us that not buying Wrestlemania V on home video deprives us of full bonus wristwatch!
-We start things off with a Patton-ish intro, in which Duggan extols the goodness of…uh, let’s see…America. America doesn’t have royalty or wings, and Americans come in many sizes, short Americans, medium sized Americans, and large Americans, like Andre the Giant. Yeah, he actually says that.
-We open with a clip montage of Hacksaw; the clip where he just barely misses walking into a desk in the MSG hallway is pretty funny…Okay, you know what? I’m looking forward to this, I was a Duggan mark when I was a kid. I bought the official replica foam 2×4 as a souvenir at the first event I ever attended.
-We get a weird edited version of Duggan’s debut and his appearance at Wrestlemania III. In keeping with the WWF’s policy of not acknowledging anybody who’s out of the company, Iron Shiek & Nikolai Volkoff (who took most of 1989 off) are both completely removed from the footage, so we see Duggan chasing people out of the ring and threatening them, without ever showing who he’s chasing off.
FLAG MATCH: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs BORIS ZHUKOV
-Fisticuffs lead to a Duggan atomic drop that launches Zhukov out of the ring. Back in, Zhukov gets a boot and walks into a series of punches. He goes for a dropkick(!) and nearly Wattses all over Duggan before the big patriot moves out of the way. This looked just indescribably bad.
-Duggan whips Zhukov into the ropes and Zhukov gingerly comes off the rope and politely hands his body over to Duggan for a big slam. Three-point stance finishes. 0 for 1. An unfortunate example of one guy totally giving up on a match, as Zhukov seemed to be game for the first minute or so, and then when he realized Duggan just wanted a squash, he said “Fuck it” and mailed it in.
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs TIGER CHUNG LEE
-A squash match that’s worth putting on the tape for the angle that surrounds it. King Harley Race, the winner of the previous match, is parading around the ring and hogging the show when Duggan shows up for his own match. Race insists on a graceful bow for the king and Duggan give the royal noggin a right peppering with the 2×4.
-With that, he goes to work on Lee as a bunch of road agents hold Harley Race back. Duggan finishes Lee off without much trouble and Harley Race returns with a chair, but Duggan still manages to fight him off with the 2×4 and celebrates by stealing the crown & cape and parading all over the ring to Race’s entrance music. The Fink rubs it in by announcing him as “King for a Day” Jim Duggan. 1 for 2. Fun angle.
-Craig DeGeorge interviews Duggan, who shows up with the crown and the cape. Bobby Heenan creates a diversion, and Race knocks Duggan out with his own 2×4 to get his royal crap back.
-And that takes us to the Slammy Awards and a brawl that goes all over the hotel.
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs KING HARLEY RACE (with Bobby Heenan)
-And here’s the blow-off from MSG. Duggan Irish whips Race and follows with a clothesline, but not the big clothesline. Thoughts that don’t occur to you when you watch these matches as a kid: Why didn’t Duggan just do the big clothesline EVERY time he wanted a clothesline?
-Race gets whipped into the turnbuckle and onto the floor, and I actually like his version of that bump better than Flair’s. Back inside, Duggan whips him again, this time shoulder-first into the post. Race goes to the apron to recover, but Duggan clotheslines him backwards back into the ring. Double-shoulderblock knocks Duggan to the mat, and Race’s body bounces off the ropes and causes him to fall head-first onto Duggan’s balls (or his knee, if you’re as well-schooled in anatomy as Vince McMahon seems to be tonight).
-Duggan recovers and hammers away at the king. Kneedrop misses and Race capitalizes…with punches to the face. What’s crazy is that Duggan is limping all over the ring like he’s trying to give Race a hint. Race takes him out to the floor and goes for a falling headbutt, but Duggan misses goes Race eats the concrete. Back inside, Race knocks Duggan back outside.
-King keeps throwing headbutts to stop Duggan from getting back inside, so Duggan crawls under the ring to sneak in behind Race’s back and clotheslines him. Shoulderblock takes Race to the floor. Race gets back in and tosses Duggan outside this time. He heads to the top and comes off with a bodypress, but Duggan rolls through and gets three out of nowhere to win. 2 for 3. Bungled knee psychology and out-of-nowhere finish mar this one a little bit, but both guys were feeling it and I liked a different sort of storytelling here—these guys are just going to keep knocking each other out of the ring until, dammit, it works for one of them.
-Next feud to recap: Duggan vs. Andre. Andre’s interference cost Duggan the title at Wrestlemania IV, and Duggan got his revenge the following weekend by knocking him the fuck out with the 2×4.
HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs ANDRE THE GIANT
-Commentary team actually refers to the Giant as “Andre Rousimoff” during the intros. Speaking of which, your play-by-play guy tonight is Roger Kent, freshly ship-jumped from the AWA. Andre STALLS, and I mean STALLS. Like, actually causing me to doze off.
-Contact is finally made at the 4:50 mark, and it’s a clothesline…which gets Andre tangled in the ropes. Well, that was fun while it lasted. Good night, everybody!
-Oh, no, wait, he gets loose eventually. Chops and headbutts by Andre. He tries to use the 2×4, but a Duggan charge causes him to drop it. Andre goes back on the offense, ramming Duggan into the turnbuckle ten times just to prove that yes, you can do that move to a face if you BELIEVE you can. Andre gets his version of the surfboard clamped on and chokes him with the singlet strap. Duggan makes a comeback and charges in the corner, but Andre raises his boot and pins Hacksaw with both feet on the ropes to get the win. 2 for 4. Just awful.
-We get an exclusive interview with Hacksaw, who accuses Dino Bravo and Brother Love of holding each other and whispering.
-Onto Summerslam ’88, where Brother Love dares to insinuate that Dino Bravo is a greater patriot than Jim Duggan. We follow that with another Brother Love segment, where Dino and Frenchy Martin show up to annoy Hacksaw by waving the Fleur De Lis. You know, it actually is a rather pretty flag, to be honest.
FLAG MATCH: HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN vs. DINO BRAVO (with Frenchy Martin)
-Your commentary team: Rod Trongard, Hillbilly Jim, and Lord Alfred Hayes. Alfred gets us rolling by noting that Dino is from “Quee-bec” and that he’s a very proud Queebecausian.
-Duggan knocks Dino straight out of the ring to start. Back in, Duggan works the arm with a hammerlock. Dino puts up no fight, but Duggan breaks the hold anyway to stare at Frenchy Martin. Duggan charges in the corner and eats a boot. Inverted atomic drop by Dino and we go to the headlock. They don’t just lay around either, Duggan stays in motion, trying to get free from the hold and going for the hair before Dino wears him down. Duggan gets a second wind and breaks free.
-Duggan rams Dino in the corner and punches. Clothesline by Duggan and he goes for the three-point stance, but Frenchy hooks the leg, allowing Dino to sneak up with a knee to the back. Only gets two. Bodyslam and an elbow by Dino for another two. Side suplex looks to finish, but Duggan gets a foot on the ropes and the referee interrupts the victory celebration to tell Dino that the match is still going on. Dino shoves him aside and Frenchy goes for a cheapshot with the flag to finish, but Frenchy misses and knocks out Dino, letting Duggan get the pin. 3 for 5. This is as good a match between these two as you can hope for.
The 411: What you see is what you get. It’s a Jim Duggan compilation with no real surprises with regards to what’s highlighted or what turns out to be good and bad. Perfectly acceptable tape this time around and easy to find. WWE uploaded the whole thing on their YouTube page if you want to go find it.
-Originally aired August 25, 1984. -Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Tony Garea. WILD SAMOANS vs ROBBIE PARLIAMENT & RENE GOULET -Afa stars with Rene Goulet. Goulet complains about hair-pulling. Goulet sends Afa into the ropes and leapfrogs him, but