Thursday, May 14, 2009
HitTheRopes.com Interviews Bushwhacker Luke
HitTheRopes.com: Guys, I’d like to welcome to the show, former WWE star, Bushwhacker Luke. Bushwhacker Luke, how ya doing?
Bushwhacker Luke: Whooa, Good day maties it’s bloody good to be with ya. You’re looking good but you’re not smelling to right mate.
Bushwhacker Luke: I’m lookin’ to give ya a good lickin’ I’ll do the kickin’ later.
HitTheRopes.com: Ah man, no licking please.
Bushwhacker Luke: No lickin’? Alright, I just had a big bucket of sardines before I came on the radio so I’m all pumped up and ready with all the energy. So what do you got to say guys? So I hear there are three of yous taking me on tonight. I’ve got you coming from behind, the right and the left. By golly, what am I going to do? I’m going to go right down under.
HitTheRopes.com: Yeah you’re facing the triangle of terror. Well, we were just talking about your time down in Memphis and your take names later attitude. Can you tell us about your time in that territory?
Bushwhacker Luke: Well me and my cousin Butch were in Memphis. Earlier on Butch had to head home due to family problems and that. And I had one of the Royal Kangaroos Jonathan Boyd as my partner. When I first went into that area. The Memphis, Tennessee, Nashville, Kentucky, Tennessee area.
We had a major feud there. Jackie Fargo just put together a new tag team of Stan Lane and Steve Kern, and they were the Fabulous Ones. And Fargo was in there corner. Hence, the battle became between the good ol’ southern boys and the two boys from down under, The Sheepherders. That battle went on for maybe, continuously, for maybe four months or five months every night all over that state. Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky and a bit of Indiana.
HitTheRopes.com: Right. Now you were pretty hated during that time. Did any fans take it personal what you were doing to the Fabulous Ones? Because we hear stories of fans attacking wrestlers with knives and throwing stuff, did any of that happen to you?
Bushwhacker Luke: Hey, I came out. In my career in the states when I come here we first came out with the New Zealand flag. Before we became the Bushwhackers we were most hated teams around the country, The Sheepherders. We carried the New Zealand flag and we told the people they had air conditioned homes, air conditioned cars, and their women were even air conditioned. And you know what I mean when I say that. I don’t want to say the word, but women of the night.
Anyhow, many a night we’d come out to the car, especially in the south, the car was down on the rim. All the tires were slashed. A few times we had to drive a hundred, a hundred fifty, miles without a windshield. A windscreen. They had knocked the front windscreen out. In the winter time do you know how cold it is driving without the front windshield?
HitTheRopes.com: I can imagine.
Bushwhacker Luke: We had some real battles with these Fabulous Ones, they were loved by everyone. Jarrett made these two kids the first to have videos. They had music videos. They had the girls and family people around them heavily. They were two good ol’ southern boys; well they were sort of GQ, gentlemanly quarterly, guys at the time. Good bodies, good looks and a hell of a fan base. Of course we were bloodying them up every night and beating them up, and we were getting beaten up too. But the fans didn’t take that. Many of times we had police come into the arena to get us to our car so we can get out of the town. A lot of those towns, especially those southern towns, they were wild.
HitTheRopes.com: Right, now I heard a story about you and the Fabulous ones in a cage match. Supposedly they tore the cage down to get away from you, is that true?
Bushwhacker Luke: Going back to those matches, I think we had about twelve in a row, cage matches with them all over the place. And one night the cage came down. That might be the night you’re talking about. But I can’t remember the town but the cage came down in the corner. It was wild and wooly matches mate.
And one night Steve Kern had to get about 80 stitches, he nearly bled to death. We hit him in the head so hard with the flag pole that split him right above the brow going towards the ear with one of those major veins. At the time we didn’t mean for that to happen that bad. They couldn’t stop the blood and he had to get external stitching.
HitTheRopes.com: Someone in the chat room asks if you remember the old Sheepherder’s poem, do you remember it?
Bushwhacker Luke: No I don’t mate. I don’t know what she’s talking about. I used to say the 37 countries in 37 titles.
HitTheRopes.com: Okay, well this is Shane. Uh…
Bushwhacker Luke: How the bloody hell are ya Shane? Ya haven’t got a bit of McMahon in ya have ya?
HitTheRopes.com: Uh, I’m gonna have to say no.
Bushwhacker Luke: Oh, ‘cause I was going to hit you up for a loan. (laughing)
HitTheRopes.com: I remember seeing the Bushwhackers on Family Matters a couple years ago. Well a while ago. How was the whole acting experience?
Bushwhacker Luke: Ah it was great mate. What a group those people were. Steve Urkel what a great guy he was. And Darius, one of the guys was named Darius too believe it or not he was a real wrestling fan. He was jumping off the ropes, and wanted to jump off the ropes while we were putting the show together. It was a great show.
And the other night, a week and a half ago it’s still playing late at night when they’re doing the reruns of Family Matters. That was taped in 1994, 15 years ago mate. They’re all grown up now. They’re not kids anymore.
HitTheRopes.com: I remember the Bushwhackers from the old WWF days when ya’ll come down waving the arms and licking the fans, who came up with that gimmick?
Bushwhacker Luke: We came up to Vince McMahon, and he pulled us into his office, he said to us at the time we just finished with the Bulldogs so we’re looking for a British group or down under. Something different again. So we came up there and he said to us, do you mind being the good guys? We said we don’t care. Money is what counts.
Speak of that, Butch said if you can make these faces loved by everyone go to it. And he said well Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Jake are my top good guys and they’re not the greatest to look at. The next minute we got the contract in the mail and we didn’t know the name. And Butch rang me up and said I’ve got a contract here for the Bushwhackers. They put the name together and that and we put the gimmick together. We did the arm swinging.
Originally when we were The Sheepherders we swung our arms around a lot. When we were taping in WTBS, that was Ted Turner’s studio, they started using us as heels. They took as characters then. We used to swing our arms around and saying WHOOA and that just made noise and that in the studio. Hence, Butch said let’s start swinging our arms on the way to the ring. It was Butch’s idea and grabbing people heads. We both sorta got the swinging arms together because we always done that. But not the matches so much.
And then he got the licking together. He said I’m a grab a head and give them a lick. The funny part was people were sticking their heads out to give it a lick. That was the sick part about it. I would grab their head and I would lick the back of my hand. I think Butch got a thrill out of licking the grime off of them.
HitTheRopes.com: Now let me ask you this. A lot of people only know you from the WWE, the happy go lucky deal. They don’t know your hardcore edges. Does that bother you?
Bushwhacker Luke: No, no. A lot of people up north now, see when first came invaded the USA we were up in the north west with Don Owens. And that was jammed up and they didn’t get much cable up there. Our next step was the NWA, Crockets in the Carolinas. We did a lot of coverage.
Actually we were so… not green but green to television industry. We walked out on the Crocket after 3-4 months and went to Puerto Rico for the first time not realizing that we were on WTBS and it was covering most of the country. It was a cable station, a satellite station. And we didn’t later on until we came back the second time we realized about a year after we left, we heard that TBS was all over the country. We realize what a mistake we made.
Getting back to the subject that you just said, when Vince bought out Turner in 2000, he bought the NWA library. On that 24/7 channel of Vince’s, they play a lot of Sheepherders stuff now.
For seven years I never went in the ring. I was in the offices of Puerto Rico six years. And last year, I ventured out and went in the Manhattan Center, the ballroom in New York where Vince used to tape Raw at the start. I went out there and did a little thing for ROH and in the arena all the people started chanting Sheepherders. It was funny. In a New York area where the Bushwhackers were so strong, the people were watching The Sheepherders.
The ROH crowd is like an old ECW crowd. They love that hardcore stuff. I had fans yelling out Sheepherders. I was so surprise and then they told me they see a lot of old stuff from NWA, The Sheepherders. Because we worked for NWA. We worked for Bill Watts’ territory which was bought out by the NWA. We worked there and then we worked there for about 4 years, so they got a lot of Sheepherders footage.
HitTheRopes.com: (Caller) Do you talk to your opponents before or after the matches?
Bushwhacker Luke: No... I’ve been in the ring so many times. I run into my opponents all over the country. I may wrestle on the independents now and I may see them in the next town here and there. So I run into them all over the country.
There’s a lot of people I used to wrestle that I actually tag with now that my partner’s back in New Zealand. Butch is back in New Zealand. So I’ve been working singles and just last week and a half I’ve been on the road with Honky Tonk Man and Al Snow. And Honkey Tonk, going back some time ago, at a
PPV Wrestlemaina out of Toronto Honky Tonk hit me over the head with a guitar. Now here I am in the ring with as a tag partner.
HitTheRopes.com: (caller) Right, now do leave that alone even though he hit you in the head with guitar? Is that in the past?
Bushwhacker Luke: Mate that was in the 90s, this is the 2000s. that’s gone, happened and we drew some big money at the time. It was Rhythm and Blues against the Bushwhackers. He had Greg Valentine as his partner. If you remember the Rhythm and Blues? (yea) And I had Greg as my partner. About six months ago I was in a town where they put Greg and me together as a tag team. It’s show biz. You know you move on. You have your grudges at the time, but it’s buried and you move on.
HitTheRopes.com: Now we’re running out of time here, but before we let you go we have to put you in the Hot Seat. Can you handle that?
Bushwhacker Luke: Can handle the hot seat? When you’re hot you’re hot, when you’re not you’re not. And the Bushwhackers hot now mate.
HitTheRopes.com: This is a series of rapid fire questions and you just answer with the first thing that comes to your head…
Bushwhacker Luke: And you know the Bushwhackers are a bit wacky, so there might some whacky answers.
HitTheRopes.com: Ok. If you were starting a wrestling promotion tomorrow, who’d be the first person you’d sign?
Bushwhacker Luke: Because of my gimmick I’d have to bring in Eugene. (wow) That’s as a tag partner because we are a bit goofy there.
HitTheRopes.com: Who’s your favorite opponent all-time?
Bushwhacker Luke: All-time? I’d say Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard were one of the greatest tag teams we worked with. But we’ve worked with a lot. But that was one of the greatest tag teams we worked with.
HitTheRopes.com: If they made a movie of your life, who’d play you and you’re surrounding cast?
Bushwhacker Luke: Oh I don’t know who would play me mate. I don’t have much time to watch movies today. There are so many people out there I’d have to give that a wink mate. Mickey Rourke did one hell of a job, and I was there for that taping. I can’t think of anyone who can fit my position, my personality right now.
HitTheRopes.com: If you can go one-on-one with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
Bushwhacker Luke: One-on-one? George Steinbrenner. There’s a hard one isn’t it?
HitTheRopes.com: Is that for positive or negative reasons?
Bushwhacker Luke: No, no, he’s a good guy. I know the guy, he’s good. And he likes wrestling too.
HitTheRopes.com: Alright, well, we’ll let you go…
Bushwhacker Luke: All you fans of Hit the Ropes, and you want to hear from the old Bushwhacker go to BushwhackerLuke.net and you’ll hear my podcast. And I’ll have Hit The Ropes there too.
HitTheRopes.com: Alright, well we thank you for coming on…
Bushwhacker Luke: Whooa good day maties.