Wrestlingfever.de interview with Luke In Germany!

Posted in Appearances, Interviews on January 6, 2011 by bushwhackerluke

Wrestlingfever interview:

WF: Hello Luke. First of all: thanks a lot for taking your time for Wrestlingfever.de.
It is an honour for us, and we all hope, you are well.

WF: It was back in 1964, that you started to wrestle. Shortly after you were already working for Stu Harts “Stampede Wrestling“, with your friend Butch at your side.
Which memories do you have, regarding that time in general and about Stu Hart particularly?

Luke:

Mate, we first came over to North America in 1972 and worked for Grand Prix Office in Montreal which ran 3 shows a night around Quebec, Ontario and Burlington in the US. Mid 1973 we made our way to Calgary and started working for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. I have many stories to tell from that promotion but this interview would become a Bible as this was the Territory of “RIBS”. And some real notorious ones that are told all over the world. Stu and the Dungeon was also notorious as he would get the boys to get on there hands and knees, then he would apply the hold and tell them to fight out of it. He was a strong salty bastard and Butch and myself loved him. We had many Sunday dinners at his home.

WF: You, being from Australia, were being named “The Kiwis“. Who in the blue hell was so “creative“ to come up with that name?

Luke:

Mate, We are from New Zealand and the nickname for people from there is “KIWI’S”. Got that mate.  It comes from a bird in New Zealand that lays the biggest egg for its size and there is not many of them left.  I don’t want to give you a history lesson mate.

WF: In the mid-70´s, you won your first gold in Stampede Wrestling. Something, you never accomplished in WWE. What do you think were the reasons for that? The Fans really loved you, and winning the Tag-Team Titles is something that sure should have been possible during your WWE stint.

Luke:

Mate, here we go again with history. Before winning the Stampede World Belts in 1973 we had numerous Tag Titles strapped around our waist. New Zealand, Australasian, Singapore, South East Asian and the list goes on. 37 different Tag Titles mate. Now to your question.  We were such characters that we didn’t need titles to get over with the fans. Titles go around waists of wrestlers who need them to catch the public eye and also give them that extra push.

WF: A little later, about 1989, you finally were to be seen at WWE. This meant an international TV-Spot, and a high level of awareness. How did you guys handle it? Suddenly being famous?

Luke:

Mate, It was around Sept 1988 that we made the transition from NWA to WWE (then WWF) We had been on Ted Turners Satellite TV, TBS since around 1981 so most of the US who had TBS in there cable package had seen us as the hard core heel team of “THE SHEEPHERDERS“. NWA was a Wrestling Company where as Vince McMahon (WWE) made you into Celebrities.  It was a monster change for us as we went from the Bad Guys to the Comical Loved Ones which were seen all over the World. We took advantage of this and created a new gimmick which the fans loved and we moved forward. A lot of the USA fans didn’t recognize us at first as they were used to seeing us as the anti American Bad Guys and couldn’t believe the change in our personalities.

WF: In the 90´s, you were to be found on the midcard. That led to matches that sometimes were more of a comedy act, than actual wrestling. How did you handle that?

Luke:

Mate, a good card is made up from many different characters. You have a wrestling Title match, A rugged semi hardcore match. Your Xtreme guys who are lighter and do all the high flying matches, an exceptional character match (A gay gimmick or the other extreme, Jim Duggan for example) your Diva’s match and your comical match and that’s was where we came in. A card like this doesn’t bore the fans.

WF: Didn’t you sometimes have the desire to work as a heel?

Luke:

Mate, heeling is what we did best but Vince wouldn’t change us back to the Bad Guys

WF: Looking back… would you have preferred some more serious matches?

Luke:

Mate, we had a good run in WWE as what we were doing as they had a lot of serious wrestlers and i wouldn’t be still remembered as well as i am now. The Tag Team that “Marched” around and “Licked” peoples heads and ate Sardines

WF: 1994 was the last time, you worked for WWE. Did you and WWE both agree on that, or have you been fired?

Luke:

Mate, we were off WWE tv doing promotional pre-tour work Internationally for the Company and then working on these tours.  Our last matches for the WWE were in late 1996-7.  We came back in 2001 for the Gimmick Battle Royal at Wrestlemania in Houston.

WF: In 2007, The Bushwhackers were back on the TV-Screen, this time, working for TNA. This product now is existing for a couple of years, and we would like to hear your opinion about TNA and your time in that federation.

Luke:

I worked for TNA in a Christmas Skit as an uncle for Eric Young. I was hoping that when Hulk came aboard TNA, the company would get a shot in the Arse but it just fizzled. WWE has the biggest stage in the world in the wrestling industry and to me and i would say most of the fans out there, it would take a major disaster to knock Vince from the Top spot in this market as there is no one near him on that ladder.

WF: Then, in 2008, you were working for one of the most popular Indy-Promotions, “Ring of Honor“. We saw you in a rumble, from which you have been eliminated by the Necro Butcher. What are your memories about that Event?

Luke:

Mate, I have worked numerous times in 2008-9 for that company and think they have a great product in there niche. A very exciting company that in time will have the second slot in the USA market. As you can see, most of the top TNA Stars come from ROH and also WWE is taking there talent now. CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and Tyler Black.
As for that Battle Royal, I was topped by their Hard Core Brute, Necro Butcher. Nothing more i can say to that.

WF: Butch had to end his career for health reasons. Are you guys still having contact? How is he, and what is he doing nowadays?

Luke:

Due to a bad staph infection, the Tag Team of the Bushwhackers ended in mid 2001, Butch retired and went home to New Zealand to be with his daughters and grand children. I try to talk to him every month if not weekly. He’s retired, remarried and living in a beach township just outside of the capital city Wellington where we were both born.

WF: If you look back at your career… is there anything, you would have done differently, if you had the chance, or would you do everything just the way you did?

Luke:

Mate, as you grow older you grow wiser. I didn’t fully understand the USA wrestling market as I was from a little Island in the southern part of the South Pacific with a population of only 3 million people. Next minute I am living in a country USA with over 3 hundred million people. I made a lot of mistakes down that road. For example, in 1981 leaving NWA office in Charlotte after only being there for 4 or 5 months and we were getting a heavy push, not realizing that we were on National TV, (TBS) which would help us to get a household name, but being green to the promotional side of the business we left to go to Puerto Rico to only work 4 days a week with an 8th of the travel. In NWA we were working 7 and sometimes 8 times a week, doing approx. 3,000 miles a week in a car.

WF: Luke, I guess there were plenty of funny road stories during your time in WWE. Would you mind telling us one or two?

Luke:

Mate, The Marble Rib which i think started in the Hart’s Territory and this incident happened while i was there. A guy came into the promotion and had a bit of an attitude. One of the Hart Brothers set up a party after one of there shows on the road. We all went back to this house which was plentiful of woman. One of these charming ladies came onto the dude with the attitude and split the party room for a room more intimate (bedroom). The dude thought he was into the ride of his life and she had him down to his birthday suit (nude) when a guy burst into the room with a gun in his hand, claiming the woman to be his wife. The gun went off, whether a blank or real bullet and the dude in the nude high tailed it leaving most of his clothes there. He was never seen again in the promotion.

WF: Finally, I´d like to give you a few names of co-workers, colleagues or friends of yours, and I would like you to give a brief comment on them.

– Roddy Piper:
Great guy as Butch and my self spent a year working against him and his partner and were in many promotions with him.

– Jerry Lawler
Was around him in the Mid South Promotion (Jerry Jarrett) and did some great business with him. Also in WWE where he is the one of the commentators and does a bloody good job. Humorous and a good Artist.

– Mean Gene Okerlund
He is the best at what he does. Interveiws and skits. Very witty and sharp. If you are lost for words, Gene is right there for you.

– Bam Bam Bigelow
Didn’t have much to do with Bammer RIP. He was easy to get along with, a hard worker, one of the boys and had a great match with Football Star Lawrence Taylor at a Wrestlemania in New York City.

– The Moondogs
Mate, only ran against them once as a team in the Memphis Coliseum and that was a Hardcore Battle.

– Butch
Mate , we were more than brothers as we left New Zealand as a Tag Team in 1969 the first time and i would say spent 25 years or more on the road together. We had our differences a couple of times but were always in the ring working as a team.

WF: Thank you very much for your interview, Luke! Take Care and be safe!

WrestleRage interview with Bushwhacker Luke

Posted in Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , on November 12, 2010 by bushwhackerluke

Hosts: Corey, Stan, and Mike
Available at WrestleRage.com.

Q: In 1964, you started out in New Zealand with NWA New Zealand. Tell us a bit about how you broke into the business seeing as the business was so protected so long ago.

A: “Well my next door neighbor was a body builder. He won Mr. New Zealand in 1950 and then became a wrestling promoter. My neighbor was in the body building contest and was invited to come to his gym in Wellington, the capital city. And my neighbor started going to this gym. It was an old gym with a wrestling ring and a boxing ring and a steam room.

“It was a real old gym like the ones in the old time movies, with the old steam rooms, it was one of those gyms. Of course I started going to the gym with my neighbor and I was about 170 pounds. In those days, mate, promotions would only open up when they brought an American or European wrestler over. I had never been in a wrestling match, but the first time I went, I was in the ring. And I can’t even remember the match, mate. It was European style wrestling: no kicking and punching. It was forearms and uppercuts, the English style.

Q: What was your first impression of Stu Hart when you met him? And could you tell us about your time working for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling?

A: “I had heard of Stu Hart. I knew he had 12 kids, but that was it. The first night, we were at the taping. The first night, we worked against the tag champions and got disqualified. Next minute, these kids were getting thrown in the ring. Some were bloody and some weren’t. They were from the ages of 10 or 12 to about 16. We didn’t know who they were. We were told to kick the hell out of them. Ya know, it was our first night there so we kicked the hell out of them cause we wanted to get over as fast as possible.

“We came back to the dressing room. Stu, I had only met him an hour and a half or two hours ago, and he’s asking me ‘what the hell are ya doing?’ I said, ‘They threw us these kids and told us to beat em up.’ Then I found out these were Stu Hart’s sons. Keith, one of the oldest, wasn’t there. It was all the other ones: Owen, Bret, Ross and the rest of the kids. They were sitting in the ring and we just took the boot to them. And on Sunday, we came back in the Corral, the bigger arena. It was a double shot weekend: TV on Friday and back on the Corral Sunday. We came out Sunday to instant heat after only three days in the territory.

Q: You went from working with Stampede to working in the Mid-Atlantic territory. Tell us about your time there and working with Stan Stasiak.

A: That was my next move. The first tag team we worked with there was Dutch Savage and Stan Stasiak who had won the belts in Madison Square Garden. I guess Stan was nearing the end of his career. It was completely different than working in the Hart territory. Stan was about 6’3 and Dutch was about 6’6. It was a different style of working altogether. It was a hell of a territory. Most of the crew made it all the way to WWE. For over a year, we worked with Rick Martel and Roddy Piper. Jimmy Snuka was on his way out as we came in. Everyone in that territory made it all the way to WWE at that time.

These questions make up the first 15 minutes of the 50 minute interview with Bushwhacker Luke. Other topics include comparing his days teaming with cousin Butch as the Sheepherders vs. the Bushwhackers, transitioning from the territories to the national stage of the WWE, his more recent work with ROH, and much more. Visit http://www.wrestlerage.com for the full 50-plus minute interview. Tune in every Sunday night at 11 p.m. ET for more exclusive WrestleRage Radio interviews.

INTERNET WRESTLING WARS.

Posted in Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 by bushwhackerluke

INTERNET WRESTLING WARS.

G’day mates, In my entire career i never let myself get hooked on wrestling scoop sheets (websites) but in the last two months these internet wrestling wars have taped my interest just as TMZ did 18 months ago with Hollywood Bad Girls (party animals) Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. First feud ignited over Jakks Toys contract which Honky Tonk Man lead people to believe that he was talking to TNA. Eric Bischoffwho has no love for HTM read the message from another angle and HTM played the situation. Next was Jim Cornette’s email about Vince Russo where Eric Bischoff, being in TNA management came firing back at him. Now that has died. Who is next. Somebody please put some fuel on the fire before it dies out as these inside scoops have been hot.

MIA in the OUTBACK!!!

Posted in Uncategorized on April 17, 2010 by bushwhackerluke

G’day mates, Been missing in action again as this kiwi always gets lost marching around the outback. Its bloody huge piece of estate mates. When you go AWOL, time flies as wasn’t Christmas just the other day.

February worked for Auto Rama Conventions in Indianapolis and Dallas. Big star on these shows was the Asian girl from the Disney Channel Zack and Cody : Brenda Song (“London Tipton” TV name) WWE legends were Greg The Hammer Valentine, Honky Tonk Man,Virgil and of course yours truly.

March was very hectic as I started off in Winnipeg for WFX first TV taping. They had a cavalcade of stars, Kevin Thorn, Gangel, Eugene, Daivari, Keith Walker from Japan NOAH and Billy Gun. Also from Survivor Series, Johnny FairPlay. 48 hours later I was on road in Manitoba and Saskatchewan for 6 days. The cold white north. Thank God for Billy Gun keeping me sane.

The following week shows in New Jersey were cancelled due to heavy rain and flooding.

Back home in sunny Puerto Rico for a week then back up North to Ontario Canada. This was the hectic weekend as Thursday night did a double header, wrestled first in Oshawa Ontario with HTM as my partner then to Toronto for a six man tag. Next three days worked Toronto Comic Con. Late Sunday HTM and myself had an appearance at mall outside St Catherine and signed non stop for 2 hours.

April started off with a bang in San Francisco for Wonder Con on Easter weekend. They had some mega stars from TV/Movies and approx 70,000 went through the doors.

Next weekend off to NJ for IWF in West Patterson Fri. 23 and Sat. 24 and then Thurs. April 29 I started in Halifax Nova Scotia for a 6 day run, UCW Bushwhacked II tour. A bonanza card mates, featuring Marty Jannetty, Robbie McAllister, HTM, myself and the one and only Jake The Snake Roberts plus all UCW Stars.
Last night of this tour is May 4th in New Brunswick. Then may 7th i will be in Winnipeg for WFX TV taping. Woooh mates, I feel I’m back in my “PRIME”.

Bushwhackers Manchester Nitemare

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2, 2010 by bushwhackerluke

After being in UK numerous times for WWE and also independent promoters in the last 20 years, I was refused entry at Manchester International Airport on Friday the 29th of Jan. 2010.

This was an embarrassing situation for me as I have been traveling all over the world for the last 40 years for work and charity organizations.
This is the bloody story mates:

I arrived at Manchester airport at 10am Fri morning and didn’t know that Molly Holly was on the plane till I was held up at immigration. I was one of the last to go through immigration. They read a letter that I had from UK promoter about me doing wrestling clinics throughout UK and I also told them that I was doing a autograph signing. That’s when the immigration woman said she rang the promoter and that he told her that he was picking me up on Sunday. She asked me what I was doing till then and I told her about the signing on Saturday.
At this time I did not know that they were holding Barbarian, Mr. Fuji, Tugboat and Nikolai Vollkoff in a room for the last 2 hours. Their plane arrived from Philadelphia at 8am. What this immigration woman was ticked off about, was she had let Warlord through and he had said nothing about an autograph signing.

By now she knew about WrestleSlam on Saturday in Manchester and was asking about event pay. I told them that I had been paid before hand in USa when promoter was over in here last Oct., which was true. I was held in a room for 7 hours. They went through my bags with a magnifying glass and I mean that as they went through my calendar book and all other paperwork I had there for other promoters in US and Canada. All my packed clothing was thoroughly checked and they even went into the pockets of shirts and jeans which was a first for me. I had a stack of photos to give to fans and they checked them out as if I had hidden drugs or contraband there.

At this time the immigration woman’s shift was over and a male agent took over asking me to do a question and answer test. After answering the questions he thought it was a kind of joke as we had come to do a meet and greet for the wrestling fans of UK and the kids were going to be very disappointed. I got out of there at 5pm and wouldn’t have if Anthony (promoter) hadn’t got a lawyer as they wanted to impound all of us till our flights left on Sat morn. I was finger printed and a mug shot was taken. Did the UK Immigration think that all of us WWE Legends were TERRORISTS? To top this off, I am a British subject.
When i got back to New York i had an immigration problem here too as i had only been gone 24 hours and had a UK visa with a cross through it. I was held up for about an hour or so and had to go into a holding room with a league of nations waiting to explain there situations. I showed them the UK immigration paperwork and they stamped my passport and let me through.
This whole situation was out of my control.

I am appealing the UK immigration charge, as it is suppose to be on file for 10 years. The story out there was that we were terrorists. Look at the size of all other guys who are well known characters and we were all known to some of Immigration agents. I think that some other promoter was the informant, as he did not want Wrestleslam to be a success.

WAR between companies (WWE and TNA)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7, 2010 by bushwhackerluke

G’day Mates:

Being in the wrestling scene for numerous decades I don’t tune into RAW or TNA very often unless a friend calls and tells me to watch something special happening. Last Monday January 4th I watch both USA and Spike to see what was going down. When both companies have same time slot on different networks, the war begging’s.

In the mid to late 90’s when Ted Turner had paid big money for ex WWE talent WCW (TBS) had a run of 64 weeks as the number one wrestling show. Then WWE brought in Mike Tyson to Ref a match with Shawn Michaels, thus turning the tables and putting WWE back on top of the ratings game.

During that period the wrestling business flourished and also independent shows around the country thrived on the publicity and did great business too. This takes me back to when I was in Southwest office for Joe Blanchard in San Antonio in the early 80’s. Then Texas was a hot bed for wrestling. World Class office was in Dallas and they had a cavalcade of talent; The Von Eric’s, Bruiser Brody, Jimmy Gavin, The FreeBirds, Kamala, Missing Link, King Kong Bundy which and this guys were selling out most of the venues.

Southwest didn’t have the depth in talent but we created a couple of monsters and followed in World Class path and also did great business. This goes to show that good opposition can only help the business, so in the next weeks we will see what Vince will pull out of his hat.

This celebrity gimmick that WWE is doing creates a new stream of viewers so lets see what the next step for TNA (Hulk and Dixie Carter) is.

My thoughts:

TNA should have created some outlandish characters’ (monsters) and introduced them last Monday instead of bringing back all ex WWE talent, Orlando Jordan, Val Venis, Scott Hall, X Pac and Nasty Boys who are all excellent talent, but could have been threaded through the shows in the next few weeks. The wrestling fans in general are waiting for new creations as WWE have given them the same 8 guys in PPV’s for the last year or so. Cena, Batista, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, Randy Orton, Jerico and Big Show.

Elevating Shamus was a blessing even though fans say who is this guy. He is a big intense athletic bloke who has a killer instinct and is a foreigner.

Bushwhacker back on track!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 6, 2010 by bushwhackerluke

G’day Mates:

This has been overdrew as many months since my last blog. And in that time, this kiwi (New Zealander) has marched his legs off. Gone from height of 6’2 to 5’11.

Did a 10-day stint in the Maritimes in Canada along with my good friend Hacksaw Jim Duggan (WWE) and then off to Germany where I was with some of my old WWF mates TugBoat, Justin Credible and the one and only “Original” Slim Shady “Marty Janetty”.

Will get to all this in a moment.

As you know my home is in Puerto Rico and on Sunday before going on UWF 10-day Canada tour, we dodged “Hurricane Bill” Just got heavy rain but the following Saturday while I was in Nova Scotia Canada i got caught in “Hurricane Bill” causing shows to be canceled there and 2 more in New Foundland. The hilite of this tour, was the boat trip back to nova Scotia from New Foundland which was about a six hour ride on a 300 to 400 foot boat that carries trucks, cars and of course passengers, all 300 to 400 of us.

Only got 20 minutes out and we hit high seas, boat started rolling and passengers started checking out there last meal (throwing up) Puking everywhere. All the hard liquer at the bar smashed as the ship was rocking and causing passenger to slip and fall.

The men’s toilet was a full house (looked like a war zone) with people holding onto anything to stop from falling over. That was the situation all over the boat. Ships personal were handing out puke bags to everyone and the ship smelled of vomit, booze and urine. When we heard the call that we were docking in 20mins we were all relieved and later I heard that over 300 people been sick (thrown up)

This was the trip from HELL, nothing on this 10 day Canadian Tour outshined that boat trip. The attendance was so-so, but the fans were exceptionally great. Spent 26 hrs at home then headed to Bremen Germany for DWA promotion. At Kennedy airport NY ran into old mates, Tugboat and the “Original” Slim Shady” Marty Jannetty.

That nite I worked in a Disco in a town outside Breman. Justin Credible (WWE and ECW Fame) was also on the card. The fans were on fire, chanting at every move you did, like the old ECW and ROH crowd. (“This is awesome”) Next night was DWA’s 10th Anniversary “Rock and Wrestling Show” Headlined with Justin Credible facing Joe Legend (Canada) who is a big fan Favorite in Europe. Justin Credible Valet was ex WWE Diva Teri Runnels and also on card was Marty Jannetty who was teamed up with one half of DWA tag champs Crazy Johnny Tiger, The 400lb Tugboat and yours truly. It was great nite of wrestling for DWA’s 10ths Anniversary of Rock and Wrestling.

Mid October I worked the big Apple comic Con in Manhattan. Got to catch up with some old mates, Iron Shriek and Nicolai Volkoff, Demolition AX and Smash and some of WWE and TNA Divas; Candice Michelle, Molly holly, Christy Hemme and the MC of Monday Nite RAW Lillian Garcia. Now that’s some Sheila’s mate, “WHOOOH”

Also seen 2 great legends, both that held world belts for over a decade Bruno Samartino and the nature Boy Rick Flair. Hadn’t seen these guys for 15 years. Boy time’s fly’s.

Following week I was on the West Coast in San Francisco area with my good friend Honky TonkMan. Worked for Kirk White whose company had its 13 the anniversary and show drew about 800 fans, very good for an Indy promotion. Next nite was in Redding CA. and the fans had one hell of a nite of entertainment.

Next week I headed up stream to the great White north Winnipeg Canada (wasn’t white yet) for the Central Canada Comic Con with the Honky TonkMan. The big attraction there was the Original Batman Adam West. It was a busy two days with autograph hunters but apart from that it was uneventful except for freezing my “A” off.

A few weeks later I was in LA, in the City of Industry. I did an appearance at the Frank and Son Memorabilia, again with my mate The Honky Tonkman. This place is half the size of a football field and every Saturday it has some celebrities there. The weather was in the 40’s but the turnout of people was great.

Back to Puerto Rico for IWA’s show, Christmas in PR. Overall it was a great nite of wrestling with the Return of the Glamor Boy “Shane”. The Original match was Miguel Perez and Diabolico against the two turncoats Savio Vega and Gilbert. Savio and Gilbert ended up sending MP to the hospital for a nite on the 5th of December which caused a major problem .

When the Doctor didn’t give him a clearance to wrestle for Xmas in PR, I had to scratch my brain for a replacement, hence SHANE.

This match brought back memories from the 2004-2006 era. The fans were so involved that some were about to jump the rails but thanks to the security this didn’t happened. This came to a bloody ending with Miguel Perez and myself involved and left bloodied up. Unfortunely Bacano came with a barbwire baseball bat and delivered some blows to my head as I was trying to release “Shane” who was handcuffed to the top rope.

“3 Kings Day” “Jan 6th” “Histeria Boricua” usually the biggest day in PR wrestling lets see what this day brings forth.

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