Bushwhacker Luke - DCP April 2017
Bushwhacker Luke signed on with the WWF in the midst of its aggressive national expansion giving them a national and international exposure unlike anything they had ever had before. The team changed their name to The Bushwhackers and changed their violent style to a comedic style which was an instant hit with the fans. The comedy act involved licking, arm motions, and more. The Bushwhackers made their debut on 3 January 1989 on a WWF Superstars of Wrestling taping.
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 took 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); again, the Bushwhackers were victorious. The Bushwhackers and the Rougeaus clashed twice more, first at the 1989 Survivor Series and again at the 1990 Royal Rumble; the Bushwhackers got the best of the Rougeau brothers both times.
During this time, the Bushwhackers were featured in a long series of comedic vignettes, usually subjecting ”Mean” Gene to their wild and wacky ways (and sardine eating antics). These vignettes were often featured on Coliseum Home Video releases where they served as the “link” between matches.
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. At Survivor Series 1990, Luke and Butch 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 entrance, he climbed into the ring, walked across in a straight path, and was thrown over the top rope by Earthquake. 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. After the heel turn Tugboat changed his name to Typhoon and together they became known as “The Natural Disasters”. 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 injury. 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 that night, the Beverly Brothers got the upper hand and eliminated both Luke and Butch. The Beverly Brothers’ manager The Genius kept interfering in the matches so the Bushwhackers brought in a manager of their own, the nerdy Jamison. Unfortunately even the addition of Jamison was not enough to prevent the Beverly Brothers from winning at Royal Rumble 1992. In 1993, the Bushwhackers were used to “put over” the newly signed team the Headshrinkers (Fatu and Samu) and made a few appearances in comedy matches alongside midget “Tiger” Jackson (later Dink “The Clown”) against the Beverly Brothers and “Little” Louie.
In November, Luke and Butch helped Doink the Clown in the clown’s feud with Bam Bam Bigelow. Luke and Butch, as well as Mo and Mabel, all appeared at Survivor Series 1993 wearing the trademark green wig and facepaint 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. 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 return were beaten in the first round of a tournament for the tag titles 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.
After leaving the WWF, the team made special appearances in the independent circuit. This included a return to WWC for its 24th Anniversary show where they were billed as the Sheepherders and took on old rivals Invaders I & II. They also appeared at a special event in Amarillo to celebrate “50 years of Funk” where they lost to old rivals Mark and Chris Youngblood.
In 1999, the Bushwhackers participated in a “wrestling nostalgia” PPV called Heroes of Wrestling. Luke and Butch took on and defeated former WWF Tag Team Champions The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff. Luke and Butch made one of their last appearances as active wrestlers on 1 April 2001, when they participated in the ”Gimmick Battle Royal” at WrestleMania X-Seven. On 15 June, the team returned to Memphis one last time, fighting The Moondogs to a double Disqualification on a special ”Mid-South Clash of the Legends” show.
In 2002 Luke started working behind the scenes as a booker in IWA Puerto Rico, retiring from active competition.
In December 2007, Wickens again appeared on a wrestling program as Bushwhacker Luke. Wrestler Eric Young hosted a party on the Christmas-themed episode of Impact, and his family turned out to be the Bushwhackers.
On 9 January 2008 in Adrian Michigan Luke made his in ring return after 6 years out of the ring. He teamed with Big Chuck Wagon and lost to the BNU in the first round of a tag team titles tournament for Championship International Wrestling.
It was announced by WWE on 23 February 2015 on Raw and the official website, that the Bushwhackers will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2015.
Ring of Honor and independents
Luke has started making semi regular appearances with Ring of Honor starting with the final two shows of 2007, Rising Above and Final Battle. He mostly signs autographs and takes pictures with fans but has appeared in several angles and matches. Luke now hosts the Luke Williams show for Ring of Honor podcasts where he interviews ROH wrestlers.
On 26 July 2008 in Detroit, Michigan Luke participated in the first ever Honor Rumble where the winner received a future ROH World Title shot. He was eliminated by Necro Butcher.
In September 2013 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada Luke teamed with Odjig Thundercloud and defeated the Royal Guards to capture the Victory Commonwealth Wrestling Tag Team Championships.