The Bushwhackers Explain Why Vince McMahon Refused To Turn Them Heel, What Their Legacy Is
The Bushwhackers were perennial babyfaces in the WWF, but had been known as a violent heel team prior to their arrival. When asked by WrestleZone if they ever pitched the idea of turning heel in the company, Butch said they asked about it towards the end of their run but Vince McMahon didn’t think they could do it because of how popular they were.
Butch: “We suggested to Vince a couple of times, especially near the end of our run, we suggested to Vince, ‘Why don’t you turn us heel?’ And he said, ‘I can’t turn you guys heel.’ He said, ‘Most guys, I could turn from face to heel, from heel to face, but you guys, the people love you guys. I’ve never seen the love that the people are showing for you guys and what we’re seeing… I can’t do that.’”
“But don’t forget, it was our experience, where we’d been, as Luke has told you, we’d been through quite a few eras, being in main events around the world at that stage, wrestling in about over 60 different countries, main event in all of them, but it wasn’t just our ability. It was also Vince’s ability and credit as well for seeing in us something that a lot of other people couldn’t see. We didn’t even see ourselves. To tell you the truth, if before we met Vince and somebody had said, ‘I’m gonna bring you guys in as…’ that, we would have laughed at them. And we would have said, ‘Oh don’t be stupid’, you know? But because it was Vince, because it was the WWE, because he had made so many wrestlers and talents and because he was so experienced and because he had learned of his dad and blah blah blah, you could not say no to the guy.”
“He never double-crossed Luke and I. We never double-crossed him. We never had a bad word to say about Vince. He never said anything bad about us, and to be honest with, the love that he showed us, we showed that love back to Vince. There has been a great, great run and everybody who was involved, you can only just thank them. It’s been great and it still is.”
Luke: Vince gave us the car to drive. He changed the name to ‘The Bushwhackers’ but the gimmick came between us. Butch with the arms and all that sort of stuff, [Vince] never created the gimmick. We came up, we’d been around the block enough and Butch tried a movement and the fans bought it and we got into it, and we pushed it and pushed it and within two weeks of being on television with the marching and that, the flipping arenas, everyone was marching, you know. The fans just caught on like that.”
When asked about The Bushwhackers’ legacy in wrestling and how they want to be remembered, Butch said he just wants to know they gave everything they had no matter how many people were in the crowd. He says all of their dreams came true and they always got along from the start, and now it’s time to give back to the fans.
Butch: “We just want the wrestling fans and they already know, that we want to show them what we were before the Bushwhackers and we want them to know, and I think they do, that everything, every dream that Luke and I ever had, had came true. We were in a tiny little country like New Zealand,” Butch explained, “only five million people, we started wrestling, we’d never seen a professional wrestling match on TV. We’d never seen live wrestling until we went to one in our capital city. And we never ever dreamt then that we would one day be standing in the WWE Hall of Fame getting inducted. And it’s just been a great run. We’ve given 110% and we feel like we now want the fans to see the other side if they’ve seen the Bushwhackers. Let them have a little look at the Sheepherders or vice versa.”
“And I do think that very, very few fans out there know that there’s not a match we were in whether it was 100 people, and trust me, we had some houses in some places with 100 people as the Sheepherders, or whether it was 96,000 people as at Wembley Stadium, we gave 110 every time. We made it into an entertaining night, regardless of we’re the heels with blood and guts or with babyfaces as the Bushwhackers with licking heads and licking faces. I feel so proud of what we’ve achieved and as I said before, we certainly would not have achieved it without each other. Of that, we’re certain. I was a little more crazy than Luke. Luke was a better businessman than me, so between the two of us,” Butch explained, “we were just an ideal two. We got on from the start. We very rarely ever had an argument, not as much as I even had with any of my wives. So I’m just grateful for the whole thing, and let’s give some back to the fans.”
Butch also revealed they have a new book coming out later this year called “The Bushwhackers: Blood, Sweat and Cheers” and joked that it features some stories “that you wouldn’t want your mother to hear.”