'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan Compares Wrestling In The '80s To Being In A Rock 'N' Roll Band

'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan spent more than 30 years in the ring, and now he's regaling fans with tales from his Hall of Fame career.

While making an appearance in Canada's most easterly Province, the WWE Hall of Famer took time to speak with CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show about what he considers the "golden age" of professional wrestling.

Even though the 1980s saw the industry's mainstream popularity explode, Duggan is quick to remind people of the professions grueling nature.

"We have a high drug and alcoholism rate, a high divorce rate and a high death rate. It's a tough racket."

Before drug testing became commonplace, hard partying was the flavor du jour, Duggan admits.

"Our generation of guys, we were more like a rock 'n' roll band.There's women, there's drugs, there's booze. A lot of guys get caught up in that lifestyle."

This is not a foreign concept to the former WCW United States Champion. In 1987, he was pulled over for drinking and driving, as well as marijuana possession. Duggan was eventually granted a conditional release, but described the incident as a "huge shot to my career."

For as scary as a lifetime of addiction could have been, of which he is thankful to have avoided, Duggan's most trying time came in 1998 when he 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."

Health issues weren't over for Duggan as he underwent a successful heart procedure in late March. Now 65 and in better health, the 2-by-4 wielding patriot tours the world with his wife, Debra, who credits "trust" as the key to success in their now 30-year marriage.

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