Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan reveals cancer returned: ‘Very terrifying time’. Hacksaw jim duggan wwe

‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan reveals cancer returned: ‘Very terrifying time’

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WWE, AEW fans about to deal with massive wrestling TV time crunch

WWE legend “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan revealed in an Instagram video Sunday that his cancer has returned.

Duggan, who had his prostate removed last October, began treatment this week.

The WWE Hall of Famer said he is preparing to begin radiation treatment five days a week over the course of eight weeks.

Duggan, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2011, said, “The doctors are very optimistic that they caught it early, but still, it’s a very terrifying time for me and my family.”

The 68-year-old Duggan has been documenting his recent travels around the country with his wife Debra, and said the couple will continue to do so.

“The doctors also said to go ahead and live life, which we’re gonna do,” Duggan said in the clip, with his wife sitting beside him. “So, I’m afraid I’m gonna make most shows, but some shows, I’m gonna have to postpone or cancel. And I’m sorry about that, but that’s the way it’s got to be.”

Duggan went on to thank this fans and supporters, urging them not to feel sorry him.

“You folks have helped me through an awful, awful lot over the years, many times before, and sharing this with you is gonna help me get through this,” he said. “So thank you. And please don’t feel sorry for me. Be thankful that they caught it early. Thoughts and prayers are more than welcome. And remember, I’ll get through this. Thanks very much folks.”

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Duggan said he will continue to document his health journey in hopes that it will help others in similar situations.

The 1980s WWE wrestling star will appear in St. John’s on Friday night

When he started on the pro-wrestling circuit they called him “Big Jim” Duggan, but it never really stuck.

“Then I wore a mask and I wrestled as a convict and that didn’t work. And then I tried a fur and I was ‘Wild Man Duggan’ and that didn’t work,” he recalled.

Ahead of an appearance in St. John’s Friday night, Duggan — who describes the 1980s as the “golden age” of wrestling — told CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show about his storied career before, during and after the glory days.

His signature two-by-four, Duggan said, was a prop born out of necessity. In his early wrestling days, rowdy spectators with something to prove brutalized the performers, hoping to show off their own feats of strength.

“Getting back and forth from the ring was very dangerous, you know, the people would spit on you and punch at you and kick you,” he said.

“I’m sitting back in the dressing room, all covered with loogies and bruises and my mentor, ‘Bruiser’ Brody, he looks at me and he says, ‘Duggan … if you carry something to the ring, carry something you can use.'”

Strutting through the crowd, lumber in hand, Duggan’s fortunes quickly changed. “It was like parting the Red Sea,” he laughed.

Rock star livin’

Professional wrestling was massively popular in the 1980s, with prime-time events, music videos, action figures, peanut butter jars, and tons of other promotional tie-ins.

We have a high drug and alcoholism rate, a high divorce rate and a high death rate. It’s a tough racket ‘Hacksaw‘ Jim Duggan

In the years before drug testing, the industry’s stars had more in common with hardy partying musicians than athletes, Duggan said.

“Our generation of guys, we were more like a rock ‘n’ roll Band,” he said.

“There’s women, there’s drugs, there’s booze. A lot of guys get caught up in that lifestyle.”

In 1987, Duggan was ticketed for drinking and driving, as well as marijuana possession, which he described as a “huge shot to my career.”

Duggan admits he indulged, but said he never became addicted to drugs or alcohol.

“We have a high drug and alcoholism rate, a high divorce rate, and a high death rate. It’s a tough racket,” he said of the profession.

Family first

Despite those trends, Duggan himself has been married more than 30 years. What sets their relationship apart from others in the wrestling world is trust, said his wife Debra Duggan.

“You’ve got to trust your husband,” she said, “that he’s going to come back home to you.”

Family came into sharp FOCUS in 1998, when Duggan was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

“I had two young girls, I was devastated. I spent the time before my surgery in their room crying and praying. I just wanted to survive the ordeal. I didn’t care about wrestling,” he said.

“A health issue puts everything else in perspective.”

Now 65, Duggan is in good health, touring the world and wrestling again. His two daughters are grown, and his wife Debra travels with him.

It’s a life the wrestler says he is grateful for. He is scheduled to appear Friday night in St. John’s at Dusk Ultra Lounge, telling stories from his career.

“It’s humbling that folks remember you this well, 30-plus years after your heyday.”

When Hacksaw Jim Duggan Broke the Hearts of Millions

“Hooooooooooo!” and “USA! USA!” – chants synonymous with the 2×4 brandishing, thumb-wielding, red, white, and blue-wearing, stars and stripes saluting Hacksaw Jim Duggan. But did you know there was a time when Duggan broke the heart of his adoring fans? This is the tale of that strange and almost forgotten saga!

Hacksaw Jim Duggan Breaks Hearts

Yes, there was a time when the beloved Hacksaw Jim Duggan broke the heart of his adoring fans and followers.

No, we’re not talking about when Duggan was pulled over on the side of the highway, spliff in hand, with The Iron Sheik back in ‘87 (you can learn more about that here).

Instead, cast your minds back to the near end of WCW in 2000.

Team Canada and the Misfits in Action were at war (lest we forget the name of the leader of the M.I.A., General Hugh G. Rection, aka Bill DeMott).

Other Misfit members included G.I. Bro (Booker T), Major Stash (Van Hammer), Major Gunns, Lieutenant Loco (Chavo Guerrero), Sargent AWOL (The Wall– they must have been running low on Army puns), and Corporal Cajun (Lash LeRoux).

The Misfits were indeed at war with The Canadians, though we’re not talking about The Hart Foundation. We’re talking about the REAL Team Canada, led by one-half of the former Impact Players: Lance Storm.

Other members of The Canadian crew included the future TNA cage-walking Elix Skipper, Carl Ouellet (the ageless PCO of Impact Wrestling), and ECW alumnus Mike Awesome.

Jim Duggan and WCW Fall Brawl

It all took place at WCW Fall Brawl on September 17th, 2000.

Rection had vowed to take the United States Championship and the ‘possession’ of Major Gunns back into American hands from the dastardly Lance Storm.

The special ring enforcer is– cue your best ‘’Hoooooo!’’– Mr. America himself, Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Now, when a professional wrestler is shoehorned in as a ref or special enforcer, it will most certainly go south later on for someone involved in the match.

You just knew that the writing was on the wall from the get-go when Storm and crew were blessed to hear the Canadian anthem played out in its entirety before the bell.

Meanwhile, Duggan was continuously serenading the New York crowd with chants of “USA!”

Little did the audience realize what would happen after six minutes and forty-eight seconds of wrestling action.

Rection was readying to hit his finisher from the top rope. However, Uncle Sam’s favorite nephew, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, struck him across his back with the patented 2×4.

Storm covered for the win, retaining both the Canadian (well, U.S.) title and the services of Major Gunns.

Yes, Duggan had suddenly and shockingly turned heel.

Fans will always talk about Hulk Hogan, the man who told us to drink our milk and say our prayers, turning heel in ‘96, thus breaking the hearts of Hulkamaniacs worldwide.

However, many fans may not realize that Hacksaw, the man who had been a hot patriotic babyface most of his career, turned his back on the USA and sided with Canada.

Duggan had become a heel and was now aligned with Team Canada. At this point in his career, Hacksaw decided to ditch the long hair and beard to morph into this new anti-American persona.

Referencing the US elections on November 6th, 2000’s WCW broadcast, Hacksaw gave the following heel holler:

“They always say the best way to get someone’s attention is to whisper. But that ain’t Hacksaw Jim Duggan’s way. I go up to the front door. I kick it open. And I say what I’m going to say. That’s why I’m here tonight to tell you what’s wrong with America.”

Wrestling fans had never dreamt of these kinds of words leaving Duggan’s lips at this point in his career.

“Now I don’t have ten days, so I can’t talk about the lost respect for elders. I can’t talk about when a handshake meant something. I can’t talk about when an honest day’s work makes an honest day’s pay.

hacksaw, duggan, reveals, cancer, returned

“But here on Election Day Eve, what I will talk about is something you proud– you proud– Americans may not know. Only 30% of you big old proud folk will pull yourself out of your big old easy chairs and drag your freight down to the polling place to cast a vote. And you call yourselves true Americans!

“Sure the choices may not be too good, but they’re the best that you’ve got. You’re the ones that they came from and you’ve got to make the choice. So let me regain my composure, like a true Canadian should, and tell you what’s wrong with America. It’s you!”

Unfortunately for Duggan and the wrestling audience, this anti-American persona was not long for the world. It lasted all of three months to the day, to be exact. He was soon booted out of the group and returned to American soil, where he belonged.

Duggan Opens Up About the Debacle

Hacksaw Jim Duggan later claimed this whole heel turn debacle in WCW was a Vince Russo idea.

“WCW was going under,” Duggan explained in a shoot interview with JOB’D Out Wrestling. “It was obvious business-wise.”

“I was on an extended contract, and they were trying to push me out of it. First of all, they did the janitor deal at WCW. They were like, ‘You’re going to have to clean Vince Russo’s toilet with a toothbrush.’

He made that work by cleaning Russo’s toilet with gusto, with water flying everywhere.

“I made it work. Put me on camera, I’ll get my stuff over. And people embraced the gimmick.

“Then they flew me out to Atlanta for another big meeting. They were like, ‘Duggan, okay, we’re going to turn you against America.

“They replied, ‘You’re going to be part of Team Canada.

“I said, ‘There’s a lot of heat there!’ I’ve spent more time in Canada besides the US, you know?”

“They put me with Lance Storm,” Duggan continued. “And Lance, he’s a great technical wrestler, but he’s as exciting as this wall!”

Duggan later explained that at one point, he was asked to ‘turn it down’ for the cameras to allow Lance Storm to shine more.

“They were like, ‘Hacksaw, you want to tune your s down a little bit. We’re trying to push the kid [Lance Storm].

“I’m like, ‘Tune my stuff down? Tell the young boy to turn his stuff up! This is the professional league. It’s one of the most competitive businesses in the world.”


Hacksaw Jim Duggan would only have one more match in WCW after his fling with Canada. In a losing effort on Thunder, he faced Mike Awesome on December 22nd, 2000.

The good news was that Duggan finished up with WCW the way he started: flying the old red, white, and blue. importantly, he was back in Uncle Sam’s good graces!

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Mike Gentry

Mike Gentry is a lifelong professional wrestling fan who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and Directing. In recent years, Mike has taken his hand at writing. In recent years, Mike wrote, edited, and produced an online production raising money for a local amateur theatre. This work caught media attention and was featured on BBC South East Today, KMTV, Kent Online, and BBC Radio Kent. He received an Accolade of Excellence for the 2020/2021 National Operatic and Dramatic Association. South East Awards for this accomplishment. He can be reached on Instagram @mikeyguk85 and by e-mail at michaeljgentry@hotmail.co.uk.

Wrestling ‘tough guy’ Hacksaw Jim Duggan battling cancer for 3rd time

Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “America’s tough guy,” is fighting cancer for the third time.

The WWE Hall of Famer, who battled prostate cancer late last year, announced last month that his cancer had returned and that eight weeks of radiotherapy had been scheduled to deal with his latest health setback.

The 68-year-old Duggan said that while “it’s still a very terrifying time for me and my family,” doctors were optimistic that they caught the cancer early and about the potential results of the treatments.

Duggan was scheduled to begin his treatments last week.

“Hang on, we’re going to go through this together,” he said in a video message on social media. “Hopefully it’ll help somebody out there, because we’re going to go through this together.”

Duggan said he planned on making most of his scheduled weekend shows over the next couple of months, but he would have to postpone or cancel some events.

hacksaw, duggan, reveals, cancer, returned

While he isn’t out of the woods, Duggan remains upbeat. “He is saying that he is not going to let it (cancer) dictate his life,” said a friend. “He is gonna keep on pushing on.”

Duggan, who lives in the Kershaw County town of Lugoff, S.C., has been documenting his recent travels around the country with his wife Debra, and said the couple will continue to do so.

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“The doctors also said to go ahead and live life, which we’re gonna do,” said Duggan.

Much like his “tough guy” ring image, overcoming obstacles isn’t new to the New York native.

Duggan was diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer in 1998 while working for the now defunct World Championship Wrestling. Within a week of the diagnosis, he was on the operating table. Forcing him to temporarily put his career on hold, he returned to WCW the following year with a clean bill of health.

“I had two young girls, I was devastated,” Duggan at the time told Canada’s CBC News. “I spent the time before my surgery in their room crying and praying. I just wanted to survive the ordeal. I didn’t care about wrestling.”

“I’m a cancer survivor,” Duggan told the Des Moines (Iowa) Register in a 2020 interview. “Almost 20 years ago I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, but with the grace of God and the doctors, they saved my life. Just this past year I had a heart issue, but they got that back under control. I take my heart medication and everything’s good. I joke when I say, ‘I’m the last of the old-timers with all my original body parts.’ Everybody else has had a new knee or a new hip. Hacksaw comes in the original package.”

hacksaw, duggan, reveals, cancer, returned

Duggan would go on to battle prostate cancer last year, and had his prostate removed in October. Duggan said he was declared cancer-free in December.

All-American Hero

Duggan, who broke into wrestling in 1979, was one of the most feared and respected men in the business working for Cowboy Bill Watts’ Mid South and UWF promotions during the early and mid-’80s.

Rising to fame in the Cold War–era 1980s, Duggan immediately put himself at odds with anti-American heels, defending the country’s honor in legendary feuds with the likes of The Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff and even Andre The Giant.

That popularity followed him to WWE (then WWF) where he made history by becoming the first wrestler to win the inaugural Royal Rumble event in 1988. Entering at No. 13, Duggan outlasted 19 other stars, including Bret Hart and The Ultimate Warrior, and eliminated One Man Gang to win the match.

One of WWE’s top babyfaces during the promotion’s 1980’s boom, the flag-waving, two-by-four-carrying patriot became a fan favorite who led the crowd in “U-S-A!” chants.

Duggan’s career took an unfortunate turn, however, when he and passenger The Iron Sheik were pulled over during a routine stop while traveling on the New Jersey Turnpike. Duggan had marijuana in the car, and Sheik – allegedly unbeknownst to Duggan – had three grams of cocaine. Both were subsequently arrested and charged.

What made matters even worse was that Duggan, a beloved babyface, and Sheik, a hated heel, were involved in a high-profile program at the time. Both men were fired, but Duggan was later rehired.

Duggan would describe the incident as a “huge shot to my career.” Even though he would go on to win the 1988 Royal Rumble match, Duggan’s big push never happened and he never regained the momentum he had before the arrest.

While he indulged, says Duggan, he never became addicted to alcohol or drugs.

“We have a high drug and alcoholism rate, a high divorce rate and a high death rate. It’s a tough racket,” he said of the wrestling business.

Duggan would leave WWE in 1994 and join WCW where he defeated “Stunning” Steve Austin to win the U.S. heavyweight title at the Fall Brawl pay-per-view on his first night in the company. The future “Stone Cold,” who had previously been awarded the belt after Ricky Steamboat was forced to forfeit the title due to a career-ending injury, dropped the match to Duggan in half a minute. Austin, less than pleased with the company, would get a pink slip from WCW boss Eric Bischoff just a few months later in a move that would change the wrestling industry forever.

Duggan, meanwhile, would go on to win several titles working with the Atlanta-based promotion, a feat he was never able to achieve in WWE.

He made a brief comeback in WWE several years later, and would be signed for a final run in the latter half of the 2000s. Duggan set a record for most years between Royal Rumble appearances when he appeared in the 2009 Royal Rumble, entering at No. 29 and eliminated by Big Show.

Duggan, who worked in 22 countries and every state in the Union, was inducted into the company’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and signed to a Legends contract.

Standout athlete

Duggan grew up in Glens Falls, N.Y., where he became a star athlete in high school and where his father was the city’s chief of police.

Duggan was a letterman in football, track, wrestling and basketball, and won the New York State High School wrestling championship in the unlimited weight class division.

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Duggan was recruited by Ohio State University, but instead choose to play football at Southern Methodist University, where he played both ways and was selected as team captain.

He was signed by the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League after college, but he was cut after being plagued by knee injuries. A brief stint in the Canadian Football League convinced Duggan that another line of work might prove more rewarding.

Football’s loss was wrestling’s gain, as Duggan broke into the mat ranks in 1979, thanks in large part to Texas legend Fritz Von Erich (Jack Adkisson). The two had met while Duggan was on a recruiting trip to SMU, and Von Erich had suggested a possible wrestling career to Duggan, who would later take Von Erich up on his offer.

It would take nearly three years and working in various territories under the aliases of “Big” Jim Duggan, “Wildman” Duggan and The Masked Convict before Duggan would find his footing. Urged by Bruiser Brody to use the “Hacksaw” nickname, along with a suggestion to carry a functional gimmick to the ring (Duggan selected a piece of lumber backstage), a future hall of famer and one of wrestling’s most recognizable figures was born.

Reach Mike Mooneyham at bymikemooneyham@gmail.com, or follow him on at @ByMikeMooneyham and on at com/MikeMooneyham. His latest book — “Final Bell” — is now available at https://evepostbooks.com and on Amazon.com

Did you know …

Pittsburgh native Brittany Rae Steding, better known to fans as Lady Frost, has been gracing the ring for four years. She’s worked for assorted promotions (WWE, AEW and presently with Impact Wrestling), but what many may not be aware of about Lady Frost relates to her wrestling heritage. She is the granddaughter of the late star Tony Marino (Sillipani), who worked territories in the Northeast, Detroit, Buffalo, etc., under the Marino moniker, in the Steel City as Battman, and lastly in Atlanta as Devil Blue. Steding is part of the business in another way, too, as the spouse of wrestler Victor Benjamin.

— Kenneth Mihalik, a retired educator living in Charleston, can be reached on @HoldBackTheNite

Were you there?

Traditionally, the wrestling promotion based in Toronto, one of Canada’s busiest and most populated cities, often invited top stars from the larger organizations – NWA, WWWF and AWA – to perform on their shows. In turn, certain key Canadian names had periodic runs with those companies, particularly in the territory occupied chiefly by Jim Crockett Promotions. And that quid pro quo was evident in this week’s feature, derived from early 1979 at the Maple Leaf Gardens.

The crowd was informed that the scheduled bout between Angelo Mosca and Lord Alfred Hayes would not take place due to a separated shoulder incurred by Mosca. Hayes was accorded a forfeited win. Veteran Steve Bolus used a rolling cradle to pin Nick DeCarlo in 8:34. Another grizzled veteran (literally), John Yachetti, who wrestled for well over a decade as The Beast, went to a 15-minute draw with Joe Marcus. Popular Dewey Robertson, who later found considerable fame in the U.S. as The Missing Link, paired with Johnny Weaver to down the duo of Swede Hanson and Len Denton (working prior to his “Grappler” persona), thanks to Weaver applying his famed sleeper hold on Denton in nearly 10 minutes of action.

‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan Says Heart Medical Scare Was ‘Terrifying’ | TMZ Sports

Canadian Champion Dino Bravo toppled the “Nature Boy,” Ric Flair, on his way to extraordinary world championship prominence, by pinfall after 19 minutes. Meanwhile, the bid by another Toronto favorite, Tiger Jeet Singh, to snare the AWA world title from Nick Bockwinkel failed when Singh threw the wily Bockwinkel over the top rope, resulting in an automatic disqualification victory for the AWA kingpin in just over 20 minutes.

The final matchup pitted the NWA’s U.S. Champion Ricky Steamboat versus a major contender in Greg “The Hammer” Valentine. This, too, ended in a disqualification win, with Steamboat getting the nod in 19:31 because of interference on Valentine’s behalf by his cohort Flair – Steamboat’s long-standing rival.

— Kenneth Mihalik, a retired educator living in Charleston, can be reached on @HoldBackTheNite