Full Career Retrospective and Greatest Moments for the Bushwhackers

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2015

Credit: WWE.com

The February 23 episode of Monday Night Raw featured the latest Hall of Fame induction announcement, revealing to the entire world that The Bushwhackers would join "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rikishi in the class of 2015.

Butch Miller and Luke Williams entertained audiences across the globe as the fun-loving tandem from New Zealand, waving their arms in the air and finishing opponents off with a double-team maneuver known as the Battering Ram.

But not everyone knows about the origin of the team. While Vince McMahon took the performers and turned them into a comedy act that would better fit the mood of his product, Miller and Williams gained notoriety in the NWA, UWF and their native land as The Sheepherders, a violent team whose wars with The Fantastics are the stuff of legend, especially for those fans who witnessed them play out before their very eyes.

Whether they were spilling blood across continents and in various territories or finishing off Jacques and Raymond Rougeau with their famed Battering Ram finisher, Miller and Williams have earned the honor of joining the Hall.

Now, in honor of their latest achievement, here is a look back at the The Bushwhackers' legendary careers, told through their finest matches and moments.

Beginnings

Unknown to most fans is just how long Butch Miller and Luke Williams had been in the industry by the time Vince McMahon came calling in the 1980s.

They arrived to the United States in 1965, working for the NWA Hawaii promotion. It was not until they made their way up north to Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling that the duo began to perfect their act.

As The Kiwis, they captured tag titles and laid the groundwork for everything they would accomplish after that.

They eventually moved on to Puerto Rico, where they continued to learn and grow as performers, capturing even more tag titles and establishing themselves as one of the most noteworthy teams in the industry.

Unfortunately, Miller opted to return to Australia to compete, temporarily splitting the team.

When he returned, the duo would achieve their first real success in the United States.

Portland

The allure of tag team championships in America led to Miller and Williams debuting in Portland.

Originally aligned with the hated Buddy Rose and the Rose Army, the team quickly found itself at odds with the great "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, the legendary Red Bastien and the double-tough Sam Bass. The trios would wage war all over the Pacific Northwest.

Then, Miller and Williams became wise to the fact that Rose was using them. The leader of the hated faction was responsible for the Sheepherders loss in a Hair vs. Hair match. When Williams was left bloodied and unable to stand on his own, the duo could take no more, completing a babyface turn that saw them vow to avenge their treatment at the hands of Rose.

One of the most popular teams in the business, the Sheepherders ultimately chose to return to their native land of New Zealand.

They would be back, though, and several teams, including the Fantastics, would regret their comeback.

The Sheepherders vs. The Fantastics

As mentioned above, arguably the greatest rivalry Luke and Butch competed in was their war with The Fantastics, which stretched across various promotions.

They brawled with each other every time, trading wins and tag team championships everywhere they went. While Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton were more of a traditional, pretty-boy tag team, the tough, rough Sheepherders proved to be the perfect compliment, their ground-and-pound style complimenting the flashier, dynamic style of the babyfaces.

No matter where they went, regardless of which promotion it was, the teams captivated audiences with one of the most heated rivalries at every show in which they competed. That the two teams could have that much success, that they could keep their program that hot, is a testament to all involved and their ability to change things up just enough to make it work.

The Bushwhackers

Williams and Miller achieved their greatest notoriety when they arrived in Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation in 1989.

No longer the mean-spirited, evil villains that they had been previously, they were simple, fun-loving competitors who enjoyed eating and dishing out beatings to the most disliked midcard teams in the company.

The first team the newcomers found themselves at odds with was Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov, known collectively as the Bolsheviks. The Russians were hardly top contenders to the tag titles, but their status as anti-American heels ensured that they would be over no matter what.

As it turned out, they were the perfect first opponents for the Bushwhackers in that the program allowed Miller and Williams to pick up a series of wins while the Bolsheviks lost nothing because they really were not relevant in the grand scheme of things anyway.

After dispatching of Zhukov and Volkoff, the Bushwhackers found themselves on a collision course with Jacques and Raymond Rougeau, leading to an encounter at WrestleMania V. In what would be the first of a never-ending series of matches against the brothers, the Bushwhackers picked up their biggest win to date, in their first appearance on the grandest stage in the sport.

The team became a comedy act, more or less, engaging in skits with Gene Okerlund that would air on syndicated programming and home-video releases. It was their fun-loving attitude and selflessness when it came to entertaining the fans and putting other teams over that endeared them to the audience and made them such an effective act for McMahon throughout the late '80s and early '90s.

On September 14, 1996, the Bushwhackers made their final appearance for WWE, ending seven years of loyalty to the company that made them household names.

The team remained active on the independent scene before Miller retired in 2001.

On February 23, it was announced on Monday Night Raw that after a career spanning three decades, in various promotions across the globe, the Bushwhackers would take their rightful place in WWE's Hall of Fame—a fitting conclusion to their legendary careers.

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