WWE fans worldwide love the Royal Rumble event in January since it is the first pay-per-view in the WWE calendar year.
The Royal Rumble is also a key event on the road to Wrestlemania since the winner gets to participate in the main event at the grandest stage of them all and challenge for the World Championship. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, a WWE Hall of Famer, won the first Royal Rumble in 1988. Here are some insights into how Jim Duggan won the Royal Rumble event from the horse’s own mouth.
“Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
The legendary “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan is certainly one of the most underrated professional wrestlers of his time. He is best known for his American patriot gimmick, carrying around a 2 × 4 piece of wood as a weapon, his iconic “Hooooo” battle cry, and “USA!” cheer. The WWE Universe loved the wood-wielding patriot’s infectious spirit, so it’s no surprise that he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, even though he was never really an all-time great. Despite never winning a championship in WWE, he won the inaugural Royal Rumble match in 1988 and rightly earned his place as a legend in the history books.
The 1988 Royal Rumble Match
The 1988 Royal Rumble Match was a star-studded brawl featuring superstars like Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, The Ultimate Warrior, Harley Race, Hillbilly Jim, and Junkyard Dog. The fiercely-contested 20-man melee began with Bret Hart entering the ring. Jim Duggan entered at number 13 and eventually eliminated the One Man Gang after a brief brawl, becoming the first-ever Royal Rumble winner.
Winning The Royal Rumble
- The longevity factor- The Royal Rumble is essentially a last-man-standing event, so Duggan says that “it is all about longevity”. It is critical to remain in the ring for as long as possible, and heading for the turnbuckle area is perhaps the best way to achieve this. According to Jim Duncan, you can stay in the ring for long and boost your chances of winning the event by staying in the corner, where you are not an easy target for elimination.
- The entry number factor- Jim Duggan also cites his entry position as one of the main reasons he won the Royal Rumble event. He entered the brawl at number 13 out of 20, coming in fresh at a time when twelve other guys had spent much of their energy staying alive. Indeed, statistics show that most Royal Rumble winners joined the brawl as the last entrants, or at number 27 and other advantageous numbers. Only Shawn Michaels, Edge, and Chris Benoit have won the event from the number one position. Therefore, luck certainly had something to do with Duggan winning the Rumble.
- The fighting spirit factor- Jim Duggan was not the strongest or most popular contestant in the 1988 Royal Rumble match. However, his tenacity and fighting spirit made him the match-winner. The Royal Rumble allows for anything, giving everyone a shot at glory. Therefore, Jim Duggan went in there with a fighting spirit and a strong mindset of never surrendering. Eventually, he prevailed in a brawl against the One Man Gang, eliminating the giant who entered the match at number 19.