Bushwhacker Luke On His WWE Hall of Fame Induction
WWE Hall Of Famer Bushwhacker Luke recently spoke with the folks at The Two Man Power Trip Of Wrestling podcast about his induction this year and more. Below are some highlights from the interview.
On whether he ever expected to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame: “Never would have thought we would end up in that. When we started there was no wrestling on television in New Zealand. I’m not just talking wrestling on television but television itself. On Saturday or Sunday night you would sit and listen to the Soap Operas on the radio. To promote a wrestling show you would actually go down to a radio station and promote it there or just put posters around town so when you walk the streets at lunch time, the main streets of town is where everyone congregated. It has really all come a long way. When we walked out on that stage, I looked out and saw some of our friends from 1970s in the audience like Roddy Piper, it was just so great to be on that stage. At last we are on the biggest platform in sports entertainment.”
On if he spoke to Vince McMahon prior to his speech: “No, no we only talked to Jimmy (Hart) and Terry (Hulk Hogan) in the morning. When we first went in the back we were just going over old times and BS’ing like it was in the ’80s. It’s a completely different ballgame today.”
On what caused the switch from the villainous Sheepherders to the lovable Bushwhackers: “When we first went up there and met with Vinny (Vince McMahon) he said to us that he wanted to make us “good guys” and Butch got up on Vince’s desk and his nose was about fifth teen inches from Vince’s nose and said; “If you can make these faces good-guys then go ahead”. Vince turned around and said check out the mugs on my top baby faces; Hogan, Jake (Roberts), Hacksaw Jim Duggan they aren’t the prettiest. He said I want you guys to be between the Moondogs and the Sheepherders but I want you as good guys. Butch said to me afterwards, that the Moondogs have been on the USA Network for five years, we were on Ted Turner’s WTBS off and on for ten years so let’s create something different. Hence, what we came up with. The marching and the licking and all of that BS. Vince gave us a new name but we came up with the characters.”
On the creativity of the team and the origin of the infamous Bushwhackers’ march: “I’ve got to give it to Butch. He came up with that. We were always creative, when we first came over to North America in 1972, we were Sweet William and The Brute but he (Butch) had to change his name because the Brute here was Brute Bernard. He had been all over Canada and the States so they changed his name to Crazy Nick Carter, so it was Sweet William and Crazy Nick Carter and I led him around on a chain. I was doing that from around (19)69 to 73-74, we were doing the Beauty and the Beast gimmick at the time and we constantly changed our gimmicks. When we went back to New Zealand in the mid-70s to do the first television shows we went back as The Dream Team which later on in life I saw Vince had Greg Valentine and Brutus the Barber as the Dream Team. When we were the Sheepherders we would go to the outside and when we were out on the floor we would go “WHOA” to the people. That was the Whoa and Yay. We had done that before as heels swinging our arms in the air to sort of scare the people at ringside at the barrier. So we decided to put that into our baby face thing, knees up high and swinging the arms.”