Robert Miller who performed as Bushwhacker Butch among his monikers has died after a brief illness.
The Auckland, New Zealand traveler spent his career teaming with friend Luke Williams (Brian Wickens) under various names but most remembered as The Bushwhackers and The Sheepherders.
Miller’s career dates to 1964 when he started wrestling in New Zealand and was brought to the U.S. by Steve Rickard alongside Luke.
The duo traveled all over the U.S. with stops in tons of territories and making Puerto Rico a regular stop throughout their careers.
The two wrestled and won the tag titles in Portland, Mid-Atlantic, Championship Wrestling from Florida, Memphis, Southwest Championship Wrestling, Mid-South, Stampede Wrestling in Canada, and the World Wrestling Council (WWC) in Puerto Rico.
There was a brief period where Jonathan Boyd stepped in to replace Miller, who traveled back home and Luke continued with the makeshift partner. After a car accident injured Boyd while the two were wrestling in Southwest for Joe Blanchard, Miller reunited with Luke.
They worked as The Kiwis in Stampede and then, the Kiwi Sheepherders in Portland.
In 1986, they joined Bill Watts’ Mid-South and had a big program winning the group’s tag titles from Dr. Death Steve Williams and Ted DiBiase, who were big stars in the territory.
During the Sheepherders’ second run as Mid-South tag champions, the UWF/Mid-South was purchased by Jim Crockett Promotions with the two becoming the final team to hold the belts before they were dropped.
They went to JCP and wrestled with the promotion throughout 1988 before leaving for the WWF and being rechristened ‘The Bushwhackers’ and presented as a comedy duo that would lick the fans at ringside and got over with their antics in the ring and unique promos.
As a comedy team, they had their place on the card and worked with the company on and off through 1996. They returned for the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-7 in 2001 and were inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2015 by John Laurinaitis.
Miller traveled from Auckland to Los Angeles last week and was hospitalized last Friday after arriving for WrestleMania Weekend. TMZ is listing his hospitalization as due to a “situation with medication”
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to assist with Miller’s medical expenses.