What we learned from: The Bushwhackers on Insight with Chris Van Vliet

WWE Hall of Fame tag team The Bushwhackers appeared on Chris Van Vliet’s podcast Insight. Luke and Butch discussed why they are making a return to the ring in 2021. They also discuss the iconic elimination of Luke from the 1991 Royal Rumble, and one time the face licking went wrong.

On fans thinking they were from Australia:

Luke: “Don’t worry mate, we get that all the time. A lot of Americans and British people that think that New Zealand was part of Australia. They didn’t even know where it was on the map. Being in the wrestling business for over 40 years, at least we have been able to put New Zealand back on the map. After being called Aussies for so long, we just used to say we were The Bushwhackers from down under.”

On why they chose to return to wrestling:

Butch: “The finish wasn’t how we wanted it to go. I was really sick, Luke came back one day and found me on my death bed with septicaemia, blown up like a balloon. Everything inside me was completely poisoned. Luke called me an ambulance, I died a couple of times on the way to the hospital, but they kept bringing me back. The same thing happened in 2008, I had another repeat and down I went. This time it was my wife that rang for the ambulance. They got me back again, woke me up, and pulled me back just as I was going through the heavenly clouds. I’ve been getting nothing but love from the fans. So me and Luke want to give some of that love back, especially with this virus going around. A lot of people know The Bushwhackers, hardly any of them know The Sheepherders, so lets do it all. Lets give them some Bushwhackers, Sheepherders, Bushherders, Sheepwhackers, lets do it all! Whatever they want, we’ll give it to them.”

On if the comeback will be as a tag team:

Luke: “No I’m going to be in the ring, and Butch is going to be on the outside. If it gets out of hand, Butch will be whacking them with the New Zealand flagpole. In our Sheepherder days, we were violent, vicious, and one of the most hated teams in North America. That will be coming too. If our opponents get out of hand, they’ll be getting hit with the flagpole. The pole isn’t wood, it’s made of steam pipe.”

On if the iconic face licking will be coming back in 2021:

Butch: “We will have to put a limit on that!”

Luke:” There’s a joke going around online that our face licking started the spread of the virus (laughs). If you did it today, we would be arrested.”

On their appearance on TV show Family Matters:

Butch: “We had a great time there. They were huge Bushwhackers fans, so they got in touch with the WWF, and arranged for us to go and do a show. We spent around 3 and a half days doing the show. They take you in, and you do rehearsals without an audience. Then they bring in an audience, and then we do it live. The first rehearsal is a stunt woman, she pops up in front of us, and I gave her this licking right on her face. Little did I know she had makeup on. I must have had an allergic reaction, because my throat just closed up. I went outside and was sick. The next day, they bring in the live audience. The music plays and the audience makes a hell of a noise. I get caught up in the moment, and I grab this lady and give her a licking again. I was sick on the spot and fell to my knees. We did that whole match with me like that. But we had a lot of fun, and people absolutely loved that show. Luckily I only had 3 words to say on the show.”

On a potential heel turn in the 90’s:

Luke: “No there wasn’t talk of it, but we did pitch it. When the booking slowed down in 1996, it was suggested we go heel. Vince said that we were so strong as babyfaces, that the fans would not accept it. It was the same with the tag team belts. We were so loved that we didn’t need them to get over.”

On the origins of The Bushwhacker name and walk:

Luke: “Vince gave us the name. When they sent us the contracts, it had the name The Bushwhackers on and we thought they were sent to the wrong people. Vince said he wanted us between The Sheepherders and The Moondogs.”

Butch: “The walk came from me. I’ve always walked a bit strange, I’ve got screwed up feet. If I was a horse they would have shot me! I’ve always swung my arms when I walk.”

On Luke’s elimination at the 1991 Royal Rumble:

Luke: “They said they only wanted me in for a short time. Butch was already out there for 20 minutes. I step in, Earthquake grabs me, and throws me out. I just keep on marching, I was only in the ring for 4 seconds. Butch lasts for another 5 or 6 minutes.”

Butch: “By the time he comes marching out and through the ring, I’m gasping for breath. I’ve been in there for 20 minutes. You can’t stand around during a battle royal, because there are so many cameras on you. You don’t know which camera is on you, so you can’t stand there with your finger up your nose. So Luke comes in, does his thing and gets out. He gets a hell of a pop! No one cares what’s happening to me in the ring. I’m ready to march back, but I can’t because I’ve got another 5 minutes. I was so p*ssed off. When it was my turn to go out, I got to back, grabbed Luke and said “you dirty bugger! You know how long I’ve been out there? You’ve just come in and got your feet wet.” And everyone always remembers what Luke did, they don’t remember what I did. What p*ssed me off the most? We got our pay check a week later we both got the same money for the match! But we’ve had many laughs and drunk many beers about that. The fans have never forgotten it though, and we love them for it.”

On the current tag team wrestling:

Luke: “They haven’t got the teams like when we were there. We had Demolition, The Rockers, The Road warriors, The Brainbusters. Today, there are only a few teams. Vince has never done the emphasis on tag teams like his dad did. Vince would put Hogan with Randy or Warrior for main events. These days, the psychology has gone.”

Butch: “They are amazing athletes, but they don’t have the chance to get the experience like we did. There are no territories anymore, they all work with themselves. They all come from training camps, so they don’t have the opportunity to gain that experience that we had. Some of the moves they do are amazing, they are such good athletes. We couldn’t do those moves. But unfortunately, some of them do these big moves when it is not time for it. But that comes down to the experience.”

For any booking enquiries, contact bushwhackerbrand@gmail.com

Full podcast audio can be found below:

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