Kayfabe Commentaries Timeline Series: 1988 WWE as told by Jim Duggan

This was released in 2010

The interview was conducted by Sean Oliver

It runs for two hours and four minutes long


Duggan is asked about all of the animal mascots in the company and how miserable the guys who had them would be as they had to handle them on the road. Duggan said that he recalled one of the British Bulldogs yelling at the dog to take a dump while outside in the freezing cold then talks about how the Bulldogs gave the dog beer and also some “downers” when it was barking to loud then talks about how the dog also probably got a few steroid injections from them as well. He then talks about how Jake had a few different snakes play Damien and recalled one night they partied all night at a few strip clubs in Detriot. First, Duggan tells the joke about wrestlers and strippers by saying that strippers are wrestling fans, have good drugs, and a bisexual, which are three things that wrestlers always looked for back then. After a night of partying, they woke up and there was 4-5 inches of snow on the ground and they opened the trunk where Damien was frozen to death as Jake forgot to take him out of the trunk. Duggan also said that a lot of guys disliked Jake and would purposely fuck with his snakes by abusing them.

He is asked about battle royals and Duggan said he enjoyed them. Duggan tells a story about being in one with Curt Hennig, Big Boss Man, and the Ultimate Warrior. Boss Man and Duggan beat on Warrior in the corner while Hennig slides out and ties Warrior’s tassles to the top rope. Warrior tries to leave the corner but can’t break free so Chief Jay Strongbow came out and had to cut them off with a knife. Duggan then said Boss Man, Hennig, and himself had to go up to see Vince after that. Oliver then asks Duggan about ribs they pulled. Duggan said the guys know travel by themselves and use laptops where as they would travel 4-5 in a car and would split hotel rooms.

When asked about the Royal Rumble and how the concept was created Duggan said that he believes it was Pat Patterson who started it and calls him a genius. He then talks about how he can hang his hat on being the first ever winner of the Rumble and how fans today still talk to him about that. He then discusses the differences between how he cut promos back then and the way it is done today. Duggan said the way they did promos were all different and today it feels homogenized as everything is scripted by the same people.

Duggan is asked about the Dynamite Kid as he had a seizure on January 30th. He said that he was a bully, as was his partner Davey, and hated that. Duggan puts him over as a wrestler. He said that guys like the Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage got lost in their characters to the point that they became them outside of the ring.

Oliver asks Duggan about the WWF issuing a fine policy for certain things like throwing your opponent into the guardrail. Duggan said that was true as it was a liability issue because fans were starting to sue as the guardrails moved and could hit fans. He said that they did issue a dress code but that they only had to dress up “a little bit.”


When asked about Andre the Giant, Duggan said that he met him early in his career while in World Class in 1979. He said that he got along well with him but others didn’t and noted how he could be irritable. Duggan tells a story about Andre and how he sometimes had poor hygiene. During their match, Andre told him to come closer and they were about to do a spot where Andre choked him out with the strap of his singlet but instead Andre put the strap around Duggan’s mouth and squeezed it as the sweat was going into Duggan’s mouth and laughing. Duggan said that he actually vomited after that. He also said that he would sometimes step on your hair then pull you up by the arms and how he did that a lot when he wrestled Jake Roberts.

Duggan is asked about Honky Tonk Man refusing to drop the Intercontinental Title to Randy Savage at “Saturday Night’s Main Event.” Duggan said that Honky could be tough to do business with and while he didn’t need a belt, some guys started to become obsessed with the belt, like Terry Taylor. He then tells a story about Savage and how overprotective he was of Elizabeth, even writing down the mileage on her car when he went out and checking it again when he returned. Anyway, they were in Europe at the airport when a fan wanted a picture. Jerry Sags then walked by and ripped a huge fart as Savage went off on him for doing that in front of his wife then put Elizabeth on a plane back home. Blackjack Lanza, who was an agent, told Vince that Savage sent her back home so Vince then put her on a plane to take her back over to Europe and reportedly told Sags that was the most expensive gas he has ever passed.

When asked about Bruno Sammartino leaving the company, Duggan said that he never understood where Bruno was coming from when he was complaining about the company’s direction as if it was not for wrestling he would have probably been working at a steel mill. Duggan said that he made more money wrestling than he would have at anything else before talking about himself and how an investment in a pair of boots and wrestling trunks led to a 31 year career that allowed him to put his kids through school.

Duggan is asked about the Iron Sheik returning and the incident in which they both got arrested together. Duggan tells the arrest story. He just came into the company and the Sheik came up to him and asked for a ride because he forgot his credit card. Duggan agreed and during the drive Sheik had him stop over for beer. Duggan said that he was not a big beer drinker but had a bag that consisted of 3-4 joints and they smoked that then Duggan cracked open a beer and they drove by a state trooper who pulled them over. Duggan said that he was used to living in Louisiana and their almost non-existent open container laws so didn’t think anything of it at all. The cop asked if they had anything in the car so Duggan said that he had a few joints, expecting the trooper to take it then give him a ticket or tell him to leave but the trooper ordered him out of the car and frisked him. More cops arrived on the scene as they put Duggan and Sheik in separate cars and took them to the station. When they pulled out the Sheik’s wallet, they found cocaine so he went in front of the judge and they let them off and they went back to the car and went to drive to the show. Duggan then called his wife to tell her that he got arrested and didn’t think anyone knew about it but the next morning she called him back and said that everyone knows about the arrest. He said that his dad, the Chief of Police in Glens Falls, NY, got a lot of shit from people about his arrest After calling his dad, he called Vince and immediately got through to him. Vince asked “What have you done to us” then told Duggan to turn in his plane tickets and go home as he was fired. He reports that someone told him about Vince telling the talent that he would never work there again as the business was bigger than a “six pack and a blow job.” Duggan said that he hung out at home for a few weeks and was going to have a meeting with Dusty Rhodes but Bruce Prichard called him up and told him to hang tight and not sign anywhere and sure enough he got hired back. Duggan talks about all of his success and how that he still believes he has never recovered from the arrest on a professional level.


He is asked about the TV angle that kicked off his feud with Andre the Giant. Duggan said that Andre accidentally jabbed his thumb in his lip and busted him open. Duggan said that she still has the scar to this day. He said that elevated him from a midcarder to a main event talent.

When asked about the Jake Roberts/Rick Rude feud and how bringing in your wife or girlfriend never ends up well, Duggan joked that Rude wasn’t the only one in the locker room kissing Cheryl then talks about her wife had been on camera a few times and even once beat Sensational Sherri in a match when Sherri was the champ. Velvet McIntyre missed the show due to a blizzard so Lanza asked him if his wife would fill in because she had been in the ring a few times in Mid-South.

Duggan is asked about WrestleMania IV and goes on about how the event has evolved into a whole weekend then talks about how WCW turned him into a janitor but he did not care as he was on TV. Duggan then said that they wanted him out and was surprised that got over so decided to turn him against America to join Team Canada. Nothing at all to do with 1988 WWF.

On interactions with the celebrities at WrestleMania, Duggan said they had little interaction with them but said hi to Donald Trump a few times, who knew the wrestlers but the rest usually sat in their own dressing rooms. He said the celebrities were usually respectable expect for Mickey Rourke at WrestleMania 25. Duggan tells the story of how he was at the hotel the night before the show and went upstairs to check on his daughter and said after a few drinks and without his glasses he saw three guys walking towards him and figured they were all WWE people as the floors were secured and he brushed by them then joked if they had enough room. Well, Rourke got heated and yelled at him so Duggan called him an “asshole” then after that realized it was Rourke. Duggan said he told Rourke to stand up when he talks to him, which is something he claims to say to short people who confront him, but Frank Shamrock and some other UFC guy were there with Rourke and calmed things down. Duggan then said that most of the celebs are respectful, especially the ones who bring their kids to the shows.


Duggan is asked about touring overseas. He talks about the plane rides and recalls a trip where Ric Flair said he had a big day and did not want any ribs or anything other pranks being pulled so when everyone woke up, their eyebrows were partially shaved by Brian Knobbs, who shaved off his own to sell the prank. Duggan said they got Knobbs back on a red eye flight where they tied cans to his shoes and painted his fingernails with Steve Keirn writing “I’m a dick” on his forehead with lipstick.

He is asked about wrestling Hercules and Duggan said that he always a troubled soul who got into a lot of fights. He then tells a story while in Europe when a bartender approached him so say that Hercules was hitting on a transvestite and Duggan told him that Hercules probably didn’t care.


On whether or not families were allowed in the locker room back then, Duggan said that they were and how wrestlers generally accepted other people’s families.

When asked about Vince’s locker room speech on the dangers of steroids, Duggan said that guys were going to do what they wanted to do without testing and how Dr. Zahorian was giving out steroids. Even when asked by the FBI during McMahon’s trial, Duggan said that he told them he was young and naive and the doctor was handing them out. Duggan did admit that the steroid use was rampant back then.

Duggan says that now the biggest marks in wrestling are the wrestlers themselves as they believe if you are not going all out with cool moves then you are not doing anything. He said that he could start a few chants and have the whole place cheering.


He is asked about Haku being crowned King. Duggan said that he is one of the toughest and how he would grab guys trying to fuck with him by saying he would first kill them then eat them afterwards.


Hogan returned to team with Savage to face off against Andre the Giant and Ted DiBiase. Duggan said that he always got along with Hogan even though they were never very close.

On July 25th Duggan wrestled against Andre the Giant in a Lumberjack Match at Madison Square Garden in the main event. Duggan said that was the pinnacle of his career.

Duggan talks about Curt Hennig, who made his debut at the WWF in July. He said that Hennig took the best bump he ever saw during a hockey game in Minnesota. The crowd booed him and he walked on the ice and slipped then fell as the crowd went nuts.


He is asked about the talk show segments and if they are scripted or done on the fly. Duggan said that you would follow the host’s lead most of the time then talks about promo skills are a lost art today.


Duggan talks about Terry Taylor, who made his debut as the Red Rooster. Duggan said that he was talented but always ran his mouth and thinks the gimmick was a rib on him but also said that Taylor half-assed the gimmick and could have gotten it over if he took it over the top.

On the Akeem character, Duggan believes it was created as the One Man Gang wanted to take time off but was going to have a feud with Hogan. Gang went home and came back then Duggan believes that the gimmick was punishment for that but also said that Gang embraced the Akeem gimmick and that is why it got over.


Duggan is asked about the Jacques Rougeau/Dynamite Kid confrontation. Duggan said that the Bulldogs picked their spots and thought that Dynamite had it coming because he always fucked with people.When asked, Duggan said the Bulldogs never fucked with him then said that they an Outback Jack out of the company.


In November, Ted Turner bought out Crockett Promotions and renamed the company “World Championship Wrestling.” Duggan said that they were not getting offers right away and he did not get one himself until Hogan signed with them.


Big John Studd returned to the WWF. Duggan said that he teamed with Studd against Haku & Andre the Giant, who did not like Studd. Duggan said that Studd was leery of Andre and there was a lot of friction there.

Duggan closes by saying a lot of guys are bitter about the business and how people remember the bad stuff from wrestlers but that he is not bitter and wants to be a reminder of how guys like him, Bob Backlund and Tito Santana saved their money and do not hold any resentment.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed the stories that Duggan told here. He is an engaging storyteller who is not bitter at all and has a great sense of humor. And Duggan did go off topic a ton in this interview but luckily he was entertaining a majority of the time. But one complaint I have is that you didnt learn much of anything that took place in 1988. This was one of the earlier timelines and interviewer Sean Oliver was not as polished as he is now so he just let Duggan talk and had little command of the interview. Oliver also seemed to be in awe of Duggan’s presence too. They might want to revisit this year in the future.

In closing I recommend this interview but for those you want to specifically learn about 1988 WWF, you might be disappointed. If you want to be entertained, then by all means watch this interview.

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