Online World of Wrestling DVD Review
Timeline – History of the WWE 1988
As told by HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
Available at www.KayfabeCommentaries.com
Reviewed By: Brad Dykens
If you’ve tuned into WWE television any time in the last 10 years, you’ve probably done your fair share of moaning and groaning about how much better the good old days were, compared to the crap Vince McMahon shoves down our throats these days. If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with your passion for professional wrestling, and actively searched for outlets that embrace the rich history that professional wrestling has left behind as it sails off into a smelly state of boring repetitiveness. Well I am here to tell you that your search is over. Let me introduce you to my friend, Kayfabe Commentaries, a company that releases regular DVD’s that bring the good old days of wrestling back to life with unique ground-breaking concepts like Guest Booker, YouShoot Interviews, Ring Roasts, and Timeline. Put that crying towel away and learn to love wrestling again by welcoming Kayfabe Commentaries into your life!
On the latest episode of “Timeline,” KC director Sean Oliver enlisted the services of “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan to travel back in time and relive the year that was 1988 – arguably one of the most tumultuous years in WWE history. This was the year of the Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage), as well the year that “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase made his mark on the business. Andre The Giant was nearing the end of his run, and everybody seemed to making good money. Good ol’ Hacksaw was right in the middle of it, launching the biggest push of his career in January by winning the first ever Royal Rumble! Duggan also addressed the embarrassment of being arrested along side the Iron Sheik in 1987 as well as the fallout from that incident. Outside the walls of the WWF, Ted Turner’s WCW was revving its engines threatening to join the race. There was a lot going on in 1988, and Duggan provided insight into things like WrestleMania 4, Jesse Ventura, Adrian Adonis’ death, the locker room situation, the Rougeaus/Bulldogs situation, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, SummerSlam, Survivor Series, Saturday Night’s Main Event, and a whole lot more controversial subjects.
Go to www.KayfabeCommantaries.com and start shopping now!
Timeline – History of the WWE 1988
As told by HACKSAW JIM DUGGAN
Available at www.KayfabeCommentaries.com
Reviewed By: Alan J. Wojcik from www.owwradio.com
1988 was a great time to be a wrestling fan. Jim Crockett Promotions was still part of the NWA. The Von Erich run World Class still existed in Texas. Verne Gagne’s AWA was still alive. Hulk Hogan didn’t need crutches to get to a ring. Jeff Jarrett & Jerry Lawler were still working in Memphis. The only Dixie Carter the world knew of was a Nielsen ratings darling as a member of Designing Women on CBS. The WWF was coming off their Thanksgiving Survivor Series PPV event in 1987 that financially crippled the Crockett’s who ran their traditional Starrcade the same day. 1988 would bring a temporary exit from Hulk Hogan, the emergence of Randy Savage as a champion and the continuing of great tag team wrestling.
Former Mid-South star “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan was coming off his own personal and legal issues stemming from a still infamous trip on the roadways of New Jersey with an unlikely passenger. Mr. Duggan is the newest person to join Sean Oliver on the set of Timeline: History of the WWE 1988.
If you missed the other DVD’s in this series I will wait here for you to see who else has done the series and what years were covered. Seriously I will wait go to www.kayfabecommentaries.com. Great welcome back and now we’re back to the regular DVD review already in progress. Yes Duggan backtracks and covers his 1987 arrest in NJ with the Iron Sheik which cost both men their jobs (temporarily) and exposed the business like never before. Duggan is a gifted talker and he is honest in his own in-ring abilities while giving some great stories about traveling with Jake “the Snake” Roberts, witnessing backstage politics by Ultimate Warrior & Honky Tonk Man, the ribs on the road, his former co-workers who have passed away, his wife wrestling Sensational Sherri, fighting between the Rougeau Brothers and the British Bulldogs, his feelings on TV wrestling writers, winning the initial Royal Rumble, the Main Event TV show where Andre/Hogan set up WrestleMania IV in Atlantic City, his feuds with Andre the Giant & Dino Bravo, the initial Summerslam in NYC with Mega Powers vs. Mega Bucks plus the talent who joined and left WWF during the year.
Add this to the collection because each guest Sean Oliver and his crew book into this series keeps getting better. Sean visited Online World of Wrestling Radio recently and told us that the next guest in the series will be former Diva Lisa Moretti AKA Ivory who will talk about 2001. Log onto www.owwradio.com to hear the interview where Sean outlines this weekend’s Ring Roast with Jim Cornette. Log onto www.kayfabecommentaries.com to purchase this disc and pre-order the Ring Roast III plus YouShoot: Sean Waltman. Log onto www.ringroast.com to buy tickets for this Friday’s Ring Roast event sponsored by Legends of the Ring who is holding a convention in Monroe, NJ.
Monday Night Mayhem DVD Review
“Timeline: The History Of WWE 1988
As Told By ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan”
Produced By Kayfabe Commentaries
Written By: Shawn “The Angry Hero” Marek
I would just like to take the opportunity to thank The Big Mosh, “The Chairman of the Board” Todd Vincent, & the rest of the Monday Night Mayhem crew for allowing me the opportunity to do DVD reviews for the flagship website of “Your Home of Wrestling Radio.” I have some pretty big shoes to fill in taking this spot over from “Wild” Bill Brown, but I can assure you I will do my best.
That being said, my style is a bit more thorough & a lot more critical in the sense that I tend to overanalyze things way more than they actually need to be. So, without any more stalling…
I have to admit that I was slightly skeptical when I heard that Duggan was going to be the “shepherd in this installment of the “Timeline” series. I’ve always pegged “Hacksaw” as one of those old-school guys who never really broke kayfabe, and if paid to do so would perpetrate all the smoke & mirrors he could to frustrate the viewer. It’s no secret that Duggan was front & center for the ’80’s excess heyday of the WWE. I’m sure there are a handful of incredulous rat stories floating around about him. One of my personal favorites was the tale of how he used to make wrestling groupies sit on a household blender with a sex toy sticking out of it. Anyway, “Hacksaw” has done a few RF Videos in the past, so I was on board.
If you’ve never been privy to “Timeline” videos from Kayfabe Commentaries, it’s a pretty simple concept. The host, Sean Oliver, goes through a year’s worth of wrestling occurrences, some notorious, others innocuous, and gets insight from his guest who had lived through it all. For the sake of marketing and having a reason to buy the DVD, I’m going to leave out certain items to spend more time commenting on others. Duggan was firmly entrenched in the WWE roster, having returned from his 1987 drug bust & subsequent firing.
– Sean Oliver & “Hacksaw” welcomed us to the festivities with a thumbs up and hearty “HOOO!!!”
January 5, 1988: Bad News Brown Debuts (Defeating Brady Boone)
– Even though they wrestled at WrestleMania V, Duggan wasn’t that close to Bad News. “Hacksaw” also talked up Brady Boone a bit, who was best known as a glorified jobber (ala Lanny Poffo). Boone was a cut above, however, with a great build & even greater agility. He went on to become Battle Kat in the ’90’s and then WCW referee, passing away in 1998 from injuries suffered in a car accident.
January 23, 1988: The “Get Well Matilda” Campaign Starts
– So, The Islanders & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan “dognapped” The British Bulldogs’ mascot (Matilda), and supposedly violated her doggy psyche, making her all withdrawn once the Bulldogs got her back. Hence, beleaguered WWE pet lovers were urged to drop postage on letters to a dog who could not read.
– Duggan was relieved that he didn’t have a gimmick that was alive, unlike Matilda or Damien. He recalls how much The British Bulldogs resented Matilda, feeding her beer (amongst other substances)
January 23, 1988: Bunkhouse Brawl Battle Royal In Landover, MD (Won By Don Muraco)
– To compete with NWA’s Bunkhouse Stampede (presumably), the WWE ran a “Street Fight” Battle Royal, complete with weapons & stuff. I remember reading in an old WWF Magazine about this aberration of a match, accompanied by pics of Lanny Poffo in the match wearing a suit of armor. Also, Sika brought his bone. Butch Reed brought a dumbbell. You know…for bludgeoning.
– “Hacksaw” went on record that he liked working battle royals. This led to a rib story, where Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) tied The Ultimate Warrior’s nylon tassels to the ring ropes one night, and “Chief” Jay Strongbow had to come down and cut him free.
January 24, 1988: The First Royal Rumble Event (Won By “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan)
January 25, 1988: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Defeats Harley Race On A WWE House Show
– Harley used to like to carry guns everywhere. A great man…
January 27, 1988: The Ultimate Warrior/Hercules Feud Kicks Off
– “Hacksaw” lamented Warrior’s tremendous ego, bolstered by the fact that he legally changed his name from Jim Hellwig to Warrior. This led to discussion of how putting up the front of glitz & glamour does not compensate for wrestling ability, using Glacier as an example. Yeah, it’s really no surprise that a buzz-cut dude from Georgia pretending to be an ice ninja didn’t get over.
January 30, 1988: The Dynamite Kid Has A Seizure And Passes Out At An Airport In San Francisco, CA
– Originally believed to be a heart attack but, as Duggan speculated, it might have had something to do with the liberal amounts of prescription drugs The Dynamite Kid was taking. “Hacksaw” remembered how both Bulldogs were locker room bullies & malicious ribbers.
January 1988: The WWE Starts To Impose “Finable Restrictions” On Certain Actions & Protocols
– One of these infractions was whipping another wrestler into the steel guardrail. Even back in 1988 there was a dress code in place, although given the amount of dates you worked back then, wearing sweats to the airport wasn’t that big of a deal. Sometimes, you just gotta wear the Zubaz…
February 5, 1988: Andre The Giant Defeats Hulk Hogan For The WWE Championship (Via Crooked Referee Shenanigans) On NBC’s The Main Event
– Duggan recalled when he first met Andre when he was just starting out in Hawaii wrestling under a mask, working as The Convict. He remembered Andre having poor hygiene due to his hugeness and how bad his ring gear could reek from drinking. In regards to the secret Hebner twins finish getting out, “Hacksaw” derides the fact that computers & the Internet ruin kayfabe for everyone. Yeah, I’d say so. If not for the Internet, I’d probably watch WWE SmackDown & TNA iMPACT more often than not.
February 5, 1988: “The Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth) Defeats The Honky Tonk Man (Via Count-Out)
– This played into the story that HTM refused to drop the WWE Intercontinental Title to Savage, threatening to jump to the NWA with the belt. Vince then promised Savage the WWE Championship, thus screwing “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase out of his promised title run.
– Duggan concluded that The Honky Tonk Man was hard to work with because of his obsession over having a belt. I guess this was common for a lot of wrestlers (Terry Taylor is mentioned) who would rather have the strap than take a pay raise.
– Talk of Savage led to talk of ‘Liz, as “Hacksaw” buries Lex Luger for Elizabeth’s death and seems skeptical of his innocence. He lightened the mood with a story about Jerry Sags (of The Nasty Boys) farting in front of Elizabeth while on a tour of Europe and Savage freaking the f*ck out.
February 13, 1988: WWE President Jack Tunney Announces The WWE Championship Tournament At WrestleMania IV
February 16, 1988: David Sierra (The Cuban Assassin), While Looking For Work Backstage At A WWE Television Taping, Is Run Out Of The Arena By Bad News Brown With A Steel Chair
– The incident stemmed from heat between Brown & Sierra dating back to their days in Calgary. I have never heard of this incident, but I find it interesting since Bad News was only a few months into his WWF tenure and did not get fired for his outburst. This would be the equivalent of Vance Archer flipping out on Jimmy Rave if he showed up backstage at a SmackDown. Duggan recalled the legit toughness of the locker rooms back in the old days, stating that guys like Evan Bourne would not last if it was like that today.
February 16, 1988: Bruno Sammartino Gives The WWE His Notice As An Announcer, Quitting The Company After This Night’s Set Of Television Tapings
– In a viewpoint that I wholeheartedly support, “Hacksaw” thinks Bruno has no reason to be bitter since without wrestling, he would have been nothing. I respect Bruno for all of his accomplishments (I’m sure Duggan does too), but just because the business evolves with times, it doesn’t make sense to fight the change and be angry & critical.
February 18, 1988: The Iron Sheik, After Being Fired In Mid-1987 For Drug Possession, Returns For A Brief Stint In The WWE
– I will always remember this story, reading about it in the “Year-End Awards” issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and noticing that of all days, it happened on my birthday. “Hacksaw” was/is convinced that he will never live it down, even more notorious than the Benoit family tragedy (I doubt that).
– People like to think that he & The Iron Sheik are good friends, but nope…not really.
– Duggan’s side: He was new to the Fed and wanted to make allies, so he took the Sheik up on an offer to rent a car with him. Well, actually the Sheik didn’t have good credit, so “Hacksaw” had to rent it. They stopped for some beer & weed, and shortly afterwards, Duggan was caught drinking while driving, and was pulled over in the process. He came clean about the weed, but when the cops searched “Sheiky,” he was found to have cocaine in his wallet. “Hacksaw” received a misdemeanor, while Sheik was booked for a felony.
Duggan hoped to keep the arrest on the DL, but the local media spread the story, eventually getting back to his father in Glen Falls, who was the Chief of Police. “Hacksaw” called Vince, who asked “Jim, what have you done to us?” and fired him.
– While laying low in Louisiana, Duggan was all set to meet with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes & the NWA, when Bruce Prichard called him and told him to not do anything drastic, since they wanted to bring him back. Daniel Bryan anyone?
– “Hacksaw” was eventually brought back in late-1987, but the momentum & big plans they had for him initially are now toast. If anything, Vince was most upset over him & The Iron Sheik, two mortal wrestling enemies, getting caught together in a car rather than getting busted for drugs.
March 1, 1988: Hulk Hogan Is Named “Favorite Male Athlete” At The 1988 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.
– Was Bo Jackson busy?
March 7, 1988: Harley Race, In The Midst Of His Match With Hulk Hogan on NBC’s Saturday Night’s Main Event, Seriously Injures His Abdomen After A Table Spot Gone Awry
– Race unfortunately spent the bulk of 1988 on the sidelines recovering.
March 8, 1988: At A WWE Television Taping, The Islanders Defeat Two Enhancement Talents, One Of Whom Is Mark Young (Mark Scarpa), The Son Of Chief Jay Strongbow
– Scarpa did wrestle a handful of matches before quitting. If anything, this would make a great trivia question. The Islanders had a knack for being connected to wrestling trivia notes (heel Sivi Afi, early Steve Blackman appearances).
– Despite his pedigree, Duggan didn’t see any reason why Mark’s career should have taken off. All you’re given is a shot, and it’s what you make of it that defines you.
– The talk turned to ’80’s road agents like Chief Jay Strongbow (who “Hacksaw” got along with), in addition to Rene Goulet (who busted him a few times for chicanery).
March 9, 1988: The “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan/Andre The Giant Feud Begins
– Duggan felt he got fed to the giants his whole career, so him against Andre was a formality. The angle was hot and helped elevate the status of “Hacksaw,” thanks in part to the accidental drawing of Duggan’s blood by Andre.
March 9, 1988: David Sammartino, Bruno’s Son (And Future WCW Footnote), Attacks A Fan At A WWE Live Event
March 13, 1988: “Luscious” Johnny Valiant Wrestles His Last Match For The WWE, Losing To S.D. Jones
– Valiant would go on to manage in the AWA before retiring.
March 19, 1988: The Jake “The Snake” Roberts/”Ravishing” Rick Rude Feud Kicks Off, When Rude Makes The Moves On Jake’s Wife (Cheryl) After A Match
– Apparently, Rude wasn’t the only one locking lips with Cheryl, per the blatant assumption from “Hacksaw” himself. While not a fan of involving spouses in the business, Duggan gave his own wife of twenty-seven years props for being able to hang in the ring. She participated in angles when they were dating in Mid-South, and she even has a disqualification victory over Sensational Sherri as a last-minute replacement.
March 27, 1988: WWE Magazine Ruins “The Macho Man” Randy Savage’s Title Win By Running A Picture Of Savage & Miss Elizabeth, With A Caption Labeling Him As WWE Champion PRIOR To WrestleMania IX
– “Hacksaw” never had much involvement with the magazine, aside from whatever articles they interviewed him for. He does regret, for whatever reason, not being more integrated with the WWE office operations. So…he wanted to sign new talent? Be a road agent?
March 27, 1988: A Bunch Of Celebrities Hang Out At WrestleMania IV
– Stuff happens…
– The wrestlers never had much interaction with the celebrities at “The Showcase of the Immortals.” For the most part everyone was nice & respectful to each other.
– There was an incident at WrestleMania XXV, where he physically bumped into Mickey Rourke in the hotel hallway, almost leading to a fight. Later on at the ‘Mania after-party, Steve Lombardi attempted to get Duggan & Mickey to make peace, but ultimately decided that Rourke is, in fact, a dick.
– In regards to Lombardi, Oliver asked if the rumors of the Brawler being an AC/DC are true. “He works hard,” said “Hacksaw.”
April 1988: The WWE Tours Europe, Not Holding An Event Stateside For About A Month
– Duggan talked about needing the sleeping pills (or as Curt Hennig called it, “rainbow stew”) to get through the long flights overseas. Lots of ribs went down on these flights, perpetrated usually by Mr. Perfect & Brian Knobs (of The Nasty Boys). Knobs once got a taste of own medicine after falling asleep on a flight, as he was ambushed with lipstick & lewd sayings on his face.
April 22, 1988: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Defeats Hercules On NBC’s Saturday Night’s Main Event
– “Hacksaw” was friends with Hercules from back in the territories, and for years, Herc had his “personal demons.” He had a tendency to get mixed up in destructive or odd behavior choices, including transvestites. Yep, even the gods are not immune to a “looker” wearing a mini-skirt and having an Adam’s apple.
April 27, 1988: Legendary Axe-Wielding Tough Guy, Jos LeDuc, Make his WWE Debut And Leaves Shortly Afterwards
– I did not know this, but LeDuc was also known as “The Headbanger” for a match before his departure. Maybe Vince assumed Jos’ “axe” was really a guitar.
– Duggan speculated that his short tenure had to do with the company’s push for more attractive, crowd-pleasing talent. Seeing how older wrestlers like Harley Race & “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin were eventually phased out, I’d say that was accurate.
April 1988: Lanny Poffo Writes His First Poetry Book (Wrestling With Rhyme)
– He then gave himself fellatio. Hogan said it, not me…
May 3, 1988: Brooke Hogan Is Born
The “reality show Gods” rejoice!
May 7, 1988: The Big Boss Man Makes His WWE Debut
May 11, 1988: At A WWE Television Taping, Vince McMahon Gives A Big “Steroids Are Evil” Speech
– Since there was no drug testing back then, most of the wrestlers blew it off. Oddly enough, the subsequent taping featured a tug of war segment between Ken Patera & Dino Bravo.
– “Hacksaw” recalled his steroid usage and how he was deposed for the 1994 trial proceedings. He did partake, although not to the extent some of the others did. Duggan does attribute his steroid usage, along with his drinking, as possible causes for his kidney cancer back in 2000.
May 22, 1988: George “The Animal” Steele Defeats Mr. Fuji In A Match That Saw A Table Thrown Into The Ring
– Going back to an earlier discussion about crowd work, “Hacksaw” was not there, but he can guarantee that the crowd was way more into Fuji & Steele’s antics than just a bunch of flashy holds. As far as Duggan was concerned, the real wrestling marks are in the locker room planning their high spots. Take that, Evan Bourne! Use a sloppy kneedrop instead of a Shooting Star Press for your finisher, you mark!
May 31, 1988: The Brother Love Show Debuts On WWE Television, Thus Giving Bruce Prichard His Greatest Role
– It’s possible to make the transition from behind-the-scenes to on-screen like Bruce did; you just have kiss the right ass and put up with the right bullsh*t. “Hacksaw” gave props to Prichard for sticking it out (and developing a great tan in the process), remembering him from his days fetching coffee for wrestlers back in the Houston territory.
June 1, 1988: Bobby “The Brain” Heenan Holds A “Moment Of Silence” For Harley Race, Who Must Relinquish His “King Of Wrestling” Crown (Due To Injury)
June 8, 1988: The Glamour Girls Defeat The Jumping Bomb Angels For The WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles In Japan
June 18, 1988: George “The Animal” Steele Introduces The “Mine” Doll
– There’s speculation from Sean Oliver that the doll may have been meant as a rib. Duggan said that he would not doubt that, since Vince McMahon was a big ribber in the most professional sense. Prime example: Taking a well-dressed & handsome Terry Taylor and making him into The Red Rooster.
June 21, 1988: The Crowning Of King Haku
– It was an odd choice to pick Haku, a wrestler not known for his personality or promos. Sadly, “Hacksaw” did not take the time to share Haku stories, thus neglecting to add to Haku’s legendary status as the toughest & most legitimately dangerous man in professional wrestling.
July 4, 1988: Adrian Adonis Is Killed In A Van Accident In Newfoundland, Canada
July 10, 1988: Terry Taylor, Fresh Off A Run In World Class, Makes His WWE Debut
July 13, 1988: The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & “The Macho Man” Randy Savage) Are Born!
– Hogan has just come back from filming a movie, and just like John Cena today, he quickly regained his top spot. Duggan always saw it that whenever Hogan would return from time away, everyone on the roster got bumped down a peg in terms of importance. He always respected Hogan’s accomplishments, even throwing in a plug for TNA (which sounds more like a plea for employment).
– As a side note, I would have loved to have seen “Hacksaw” & Hogan mix it up when both were in their primes. They teased it briefly back in WCW, when Hogan first joined the nWo. I’m dead serious…this would have rocked.
July 17, 1988: Bruiser Brody Is Murdered In Puerto Rico
– Brody was huge influence on Duggan’s career, spending significant time working with him in the San Antonio region. Given the brawling style of “Hacksaw,” it’s not hard to see why. The story goes that Brody suggested Duggan use the 2×4 as a gimmick, since unlike a pet or sequined robe, it was something you could hit an opponent with.
July 25, 1988: Andre The Giant Defeats “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan In A Lumberjack Match At Madison Square Garden In The Main Event Of The Night
– Without a doubt, “Hacksaw” deemed this moment as the greatest of his career. His reverence of Andre throughout the DVD is quite poignant.
July 29, 1988: Curt Hennig Makes His WWE debut
– Curt was a great friend to Duggan, along with being quite the well-known ribber amongst the wrestlers. “Hacksaw” remembered Curt calling him in the hospital when he had cancer, and Curt wondered aloud if he could catch cancer over the phone.
August 23, 1988: Baron Von Raschke (Known Simply As “The Baron”) Makes His WWE Debut As The Manager Of The Powers Of Pain (The Warlord & The Barbarian)
– Just like Jos LeDuc, “The Baron,” in the twilight of his career, was not a good fit for the younger slant the WWE was seeking at the time.
– Duggan talked about how hard it is to stay relevant & popular as you get older. He’s been very fortunate to do that, and credits the current independent wrestling scene for allowing him to bring the old-school back every now & again.
August 24, 1988: George “The Animal” Steele Wrestles His Last WWE Match
August 24, 1988: Owen Hart (As The Blue Blazer) Makes His WWE Debut, Defeating Former NWA Jobber George South
August 29, 1988: SummerSlam ’88: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Is A Special Guest On The Brother Love Show
– “Hacksaw” lamented on the lost art of the wrestling promo. For segments such as The Brother Love show, you had bullet points to hit, but the rest was all the wrestler’s own words. You just follow the lead and see where it takes you.
August 29, 1988: SummerSlam ’88: The Ultimate Warrior (Officially) Defeats The Honky Tonk Man For The WWE Intercontinental Championship
August 29, 1988: SummerSlam ’88: The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan & “The Macho Man” Randy Savage) Defeat The Mega Bucks (“The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase & Andre The Giant) In The Main Event Of The Pay-Per-View
– Jesse “The Body” Ventura served as the special guest referee that night at Madison Square Garden. Duggan got along with Jesse, and was particularly proud of him when he won the 1998 election to become the Governor of Minnesota.
September 13, 1988: Terry Taylor Begins “The Red Rooster” Gimmick
– “Hacksaw” felt that Terry was extremely talented, but he had a habit of putting his foot in his mouth way too often. Had he fully embraced The Red Rooster role with confidence & flair, he might not have been as maligned by the fans.
September 24, 1988: The One Man Gang Transforms Into “The African Dream” Akeem
– Originally this was believed to be another one of Vince’s “ribs.” What really happened was Gang wanted some time off, but Vince wanted him for a run with Hulk Hogan. Gang got his vacation, and he was welcomed back with an absurd new gimmick of a white man who rediscovered his African roots.
– Unlike Terry Taylor, Duggan commended Gang for taking the ball and running with it. He had fun and played Akeem to the hilt, thus cementing his reputation with the fans and gaining their acceptance in a roundabout way.
October 5, 1988: In One Of Professional Wrestling’s Most Memorable Backstage Brawls, Jacques Rougeau Blindsides The Dynamite Kid With A Fistful of Quarters, Knocking Out A Bunch Of DK’s Teeth
– According to “Hacksaw,” The British Bulldogs would go out of their way to rib The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. After one too many incidents, Jacques picked his spot and hit Dynamite in the face as he was carrying two cups of coffee (and unable to defend himself).
– Duggan recounted how other wrestlers cracked under pressure, particularly Outback Jack, who was run out of the WWE by the Bulldogs.
October 5, 1988: Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard Make Their WWE Debut As The Brain Busters (With Bobby “The Brain” Heenan As Their Manager)
– “Hacksaw” talked about Tully & his ministry in particular. Usually, the born-again Christian thing feels like a gimmick (Jake “The Snake” Roberts comes to mind), although Duggan knows for certain that Ted DiBiase is legit & better off for it.
October 7, 1988: Andre The Giant Defeats The Junkyard Dog In JYD’s Last Ever Match With The WWE
– “Hacksaw” remembered how JYD’s departure from Mid-South was fortuitous for his career, as it opened up spots for him to shine. He talked about working for “Cowboy” Bill Watts and the relatively fair treatment he got, mainly because of his amateur wrestling background.
– Just a quick note about JYD: did it ever occur to anyone how little The Junkyard Dog contributed to the WWE? I mean, he never really wrestled in main events or in title matches, and his WWF prime lasted the first two years of his tenure. He was an eternal mid-carder by early 1986. Did he really draw or even matter at all into the whole wrestling boom in early 1985?
November 1988: Ted Turner Buys Jim Crockett Promotions And Renames It World Championship Wrestling
November 4, 1988: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper Stars In John Carpenter’s Cult Classic They Live! And Does Pretty Well For Himself. Hell Comes To Frogtown Follows And Wins “Hot Rod” An Academy Award. At Least It Should Have…
November 7, 1988: Titan Sports Promotes A Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing Pay-Per-View Event
– Nothing about the fight, but Duggan talked about the World Bodybuilding Federation and how much they resented the bodybuilders for making more money than them.
November 24, 1988: Survivor Series ’88: Andre The Giant, Dino Bravo, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Harley Race, & Mr. Perfect Defeat “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Tito Santana, Ken Patera, & Scott Casey
– All I remember about this match from when I was a kid was “Hacksaw” getting pinned and yelled “F*ck!” real loud. Swearing on WWE TV when you’re eight years old: priceless.
December 4, 1988: Haku Defeats S.D. Jones In Jones’ Last WWE Match
– Duggan once again gave the jobbers their due, since without squashes, there wouldn’t be any “Hacksaw,” or Bret “The Hitman” Hart, or Lex Luger, and so on.
– The talk shifted to how Duggan thinks that the independent scene is in trouble, since the recent generation of wrestlers make or made enough money when they were young, hence they don’t need to supplant their income with independent bookings.
December 7, 1988: Big John Studd Makes His WWE Return On The Brother Love Show, Dumping Bobby “The Brain” Heenan And Turning Face
– There was some friction between Studd & Andre The Giant, as “Hacksaw” remembered matches where he tagged with Studd against Andre & Haku, and there were tense moments between the two giants.
December 7, 1988: After Months Of Being Badgered By “The Brain,” The Red Rooster Finally Turns Face And Enthralls Dozens
December 30, 1988: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan Defeats Dino Bravo In A Flag Match
– Duggan closes out 1988 on a high note with a win. He believes that had a great run and has no regrets or bitterness from his years in the business. And with that, we are done.
Overall Recommendation & Final Thoughts: Well, color me surprised! “Hacksaw” was definitely more liberal with some of the sleaze, although he did not go too far. Overall, a lot of fun, as Duggan was never bitter, or crazy, or in an altered state (where you have no idea what he’s talking about). He has a decent memory and has a friendly rapport with Sean Oliver throughout the DVD. If you’re looking for a lively, unapologetic perspective on the success (and excess) of the WWE in 1988, then pick this up.