The Bushwackers

The Bushwhackers made their WWF in-ring debut on 3 January 1989 at a WWF Superstars of Wrestling taping.

Only a few days into their run with the WWF, the Bushwhackers had their first match with a team they would encounter repeatedly over the next year and a half, The Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov & Nikolai Volkoff). In February the Bushwhackers began a feud with The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, the first feud to really feature the Bushwhackers on WWF television. The two teams would take their conflict to WrestleMania V which saw the Bushwhackers victorious in their WWF Pay Per View debut as a team. The WrestleMania match was not the end of the Bushwhackers/Rougeau feud as the teams clashed again on the 14 October edition of Saturday Night's Main Event (taped 21 September), once again the Bushwhackers were victorious. The Bushwhackers and the Rougeaus would clash twice more, first at the 1989 Survivor Series and again at the 1990 Royal Rumble both times with the Bushwhackers getting the best of the Rougeau brothers.

During this time the Bushwhackers began to feature in a long series of comedic vignettes, usually subjecting ”Mean” Gene Okerlund to their wild and wacky ways (and sardine eating antics).

The Bushwhackers quickly became one of the most popular duos among the viewers, chiefly due to the wildly comedic nature of their antics (including their trademark "Bushwhacker Walk"), their catchy faux-Australian musical theme, and the high level of their friendly interaction with the audience. By 1990 the Bushwhackers were established as a solid mid-card comedy act feuding with the newly establish heel team known as Rhythm and Blues (The Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine). The Bushwhackers’ WrestleMania VI appearance came at the expense of Rhythm and Blues as they showed up during a segment, attacked Honky Tonk Man and Valentine and then broke R & B’s guitars to the delight of the crowd. Later on the team would be used to help establish newcomers The Orient Express (Pat Tanaka and Akio Sato). The feud with the Orient Express culminated at Survivor Series 1990 where The Bushwhackers teamed up with Nikolai Volkoff and Tito Santana to form “The Alliance” and take on Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov and the Orient Express team dubbed “The Mercenaries”. The Bushwhackers eliminated the Orient Express but were eliminated themselves as well.

At the 1991 Royal Rumble, Luke set a rather unfortunate record as he lasted a total of 4 seconds. Using the trademark arm-swing walk, he climbed into the ring, was immediately grabbed by Earthquake, dragged across the ring in a straight line and thrown over the top rope, and proceeded to leave the arena—without missing a beat—using the trademark arm-swing walk. The Bushwhackers received a shot at the WWF World Tag Team Title on the 27 April edition of Saturday Night's Main Event against The Nasty Boys, but the Nasty Boys retained their titles through underhanded tactics. In a televised 6 man tag-team match the Bushwhackers teamed with Tugboat against Earthquake and the Nasty Boys, Tugboat turned on his partners after a few minutes of action and joined Earthquake in laying the two New Zealanders out cold.[39] After the heel turn Tugboat changed his name to Typhoon and together they became known as “The Natural Disasters”, one of the heaviest tag-teams in the world. The Bushwhackers demanded a chance to get even with the big team but were easily defeated at the 1991 SummerSlam PPV. After destroying the Bushwhackers the Disasters targeted André the Giant who was at ringside on crutches due to an earlier attack from Earthquake. The assault was stopped by the Legion of Doom who ran off the Natural Disasters.

After the Natural Disasters began feuding with the Legion of Doom the Bushwhackers came across a team that was the total opposite of what they were. Luke and Butch, the fun loving, “working class” guys started a feud with the rich, snobby bratty Beverly Brothers (Blake and Beau). The two teams first clashed at the 1991 Survivor Series where they were on opposite sides in a 4 on 4 elimination match. On the night the Beverly Brothers got the upper hand and eliminated both Butch and Luke. The Beverly Brothers’ manager The Genius kept interfering in the matches so the Bushwhackers brought in a manager of their own, the nerdy Jamison. Despite the addition of Jamison, the Beverly Brothers defeated the Bushwhackers at Royal Rumble 1992. The Bushwhackers did gain some small measure of revenge on the Beverly Brothers when they defeated the team in a “dark match” at WrestleMania VIII. The Bushwhackers’ next PPV was at Summer Slam 1992 where they teamed up with Jim Duggan to defeat “The Mountie” Jacques Rougeau and the Nasty Boys in a dark match.

In 1993, the Bushwhackers were used to “put over” the newly signed team the Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu)[46] and made a few appearances in comedy matches alongside midget “Tiger” Jackson (later “Dink The Clown”) against the Beverly Brothers and “Little” Louie.

Luke and Butch helped Doink the Clown in the clown’s feud with Bam Bam Bigelow. Williams and Miller, as well as Mo and Mabel, all appeared at Survivor Series 1993 wearing the trademark green wig and face paint associated with Doink the Clown. The Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission defeated Bigelow, Bastion Booger and the Headshrinkers in a match that played more for laughs than serious wrestling. In 1994, the Bushwhackers started feuding with The Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray), losing to the team in a dark match at WrestleMania X. The team also faced another recently signed team: Steven Dunn and Timothy Well also known as Well Dunn. By 1995, the Bushwhackers were used almost exclusively to put over teams such as The Blu Twins.

In March 1996, the Bushwhackers returned to the WWF after a 6 month hiatus to participate in a tournament to crown new tag team champions. The Bushwhackers were beaten in the first round by eventual winners The Bodydonnas (Skip and Zip). When the Bushwhackers returned in 1996 it was a slightly revamped version that ignored the fact that both members were from New Zealand as they displayed traditional Australian Stereotypes, including being accompanied to the ring by a giant kangaroo mascot. On 14 September, the Bushwhackers made their last appearance while under contract with the WWF.

Luke and Butch made one of their last appearances as active wrestlers on 1 April 2001 when they participated in the WrestleMania X-Seven ”Gimmick Battle Royal”.

In June 2008, WWE's SmackDown and ECW brands returned to New Zealand (Auckland and Christchurch). WWE Superstar MVP guested Butch from the Bushwhackers and Tony Garea on his international edition of the VIP Lounge.

On 23 February 2015, it was announced by WWE that The Bushwhackers would be 2015 inductees into the WWE Hall of Fame. On 28 March 2015, they both attended the event to accept their induction.

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