The Hacksaw Curse: How Jim Duggan Forever Ruined Entry No. 13 In The Royal Rumble

Did you know that in 1988, the first-ever televised Royal Rumble match was broadcast on the USA Network, not on pay-per-view? And did you know that the match was not even the main event; a 2-out-of-3 falls match between The Islanders and The Young Stallions was?

And did you know that the winner of the first Royal Rumble, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, entered at No. 13, and ever since then has left a curse on every single wrestler who has entered at No. 13? It’s a very real curse, and we have the proof to back it up.

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The curse of entry No. 13 began the very next year, as Bad News Brown entered at No. 13 and only eliminated one person. He lasted a respectable 16 minutes in the match, but he has “bad news” in his name, which likely made the curse much worse for the next six years. That murderer’s row of main eventers included Ax, Jimmy Snuka, Big Bossman, Samu, Crush, and Bushwhacker Luke, who netted a total of six eliminations combined (with Crush being responsible for half of that tally). With all due respect to every person just mentioned, the Hacksaw curse was beginning to take shape.

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1996 saw the first major opportunity to reverse course. Vader came out to “look at this size of this man” and “he’s gonna clean house”-type compliments. He ended up eliminating four wrestlers, but was gone after just 11 minutes, courtesy of the much smaller Shawn Michaels. Getting eliminated by the eventual winner garners a modest amount of respect, but not quite enough to break the streak of the Hacksaw Curse.

The next two years’ No. 13 entrants, Owen Hart and Marc Mero, were also eliminated by the eventual winner of those Rumbles, Stone Cold Steve Austin, but only enjoyed a total of two eliminations. The following years, 1999 and 2000, saw Gangrel and Edge at No. 13, respectively, and a grand total of one (1) elimination. While we don’t know exactly what Hacksaw Jim Duggan did, we know the curse is in full effect. You do not want to draw No. 13.

There was a glimmer of hope in 2001. The Rock drew the Hacksaw number and had the best non-Hacksaw showing of all time. He last until the very end for a grand total of nearly 40 minutes, being eliminated by Kane who went HAM in this one, ruining the nights of 11 hopeful winners and setting a record that would stand until Roman Reigns went Super Saiyan. The Rock should have won in 2001, but it wasn’t in the cards. Because the cards have been cursed by Hacksaw Jim Duggan.

Christian in 2002 was respectable, as was Matt Hardy in 2003. But Spike Dudley was attacked by Kane before entering the ring in 2004, reminding us all that the curse is as real as Hacksaw’s pride in being an American. The curse thickened the following year, when Muhammad Hassan entered at No. 13 and was promptly eliminated by the combined efforts of six Superstars in just 54 seconds.

Booker T lasted 18 seconds in 2006, while the guys on either side of him lasted 30 minutes apiece. If you didn’t believe in the curse before, welcome to the real world. Super Crazy (2007), Cody Rhodes (2008), The Miz (2009), and Cody Rhodes again (2010) were all complete non-threats who eliminated a total of zero (0) people. Combined!

In 2011, Michael McGillicutty did his best to change course, lasting 15 minutes and eliminating four wrestlers. But this was the Rumble with 40 wrestlers, so those statistics are skewed. Plus, Michael McGillicutty ended up having to change his awful name. I blame Duggan.

Ezekiel Jackson (2012) and Brodus Clay (2013) are both large men who entered at No. 13 and should last longer than four minutes. How does one explain that neither of them eliminated a soul, and that their total time in the ring is so eerily similar (3:46 for Jackson and 3:47 for Clay)? There is not a single explanation to be had here, except that this number has been downright toxic since 1988. Was it worth it, Hacksaw?

The last chunk of wrestlers do nothing but strengthen our case here. R-Truth lasted 28 seconds in 2014, barely outlasting The Great Kahli for worst performance of the night. Stardust (2015), Luke Harper (2016), and Baron Corbin (2017) were never taken seriously as potential winners. Why? Because Hacksaw Jim Duggan Three-Point Stance Clothesline’d all future holders of No. 13 like some bizarre, hairy Force Ghost.

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There’s lot of speculation over who’s going to come out on top in 2018. But I personally guarantee that there’s no way in hell whoever drew No. 13 is taking it. Unless they come out with a 2×4 and an American flag, the curse will live on.