Butch Miller Death – Undisclosed Causes
1944-2023 (Age 78)
Butch Miller was another example of a successful wrestler reinventing himself to even greater success. Miller spent the first 25 years of his career as a wrestling villain who terrified fans by beating their beloved babyfaces to a bloody pulp.
However, a sudden shift to a lovable oaf turned him into one of the WWF’s favorite comedy characters in the late 80s and 90s, exposing him to a new generation of fans.
From Heels to Heroes
Robert Miller was born on October 21, 1944 in Auckland, New Zealand. He began wrestling in 1964 but his tag team with Luke Williams (aka Brian Wickens) would transform his career.
Butch and Luke first teamed up in the mid-1960s, working as “The Kiwis” and later as “The Sheepherders.” The Sheepherders worked in a variety of territories around the world. Along the way, they rose to the top of various territories, capturing tag team gold.
Whether it was Championship Wrestling from Florida, Memphis’ Championship Wrestling Association, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, or Pacific Northwest Wrestling, no title was safe from the hated duo.
Miller and Williams became known for their violent matches and blood-soaked feuds. The Sheepherders battled some of the best babyface teams in the 80s, including The Fabulous Ones and the double-tough team of Steve “Dr. Death” Williams and Ted DiBiase.
The Sheepherders had a particularly nasty feud with The Fantastics (Tommy Rogers and Bobby Fulton) in Bill Watts’ Universal Wrestling Federation.
In 1989 Butch and Luke came to the WWF where they transformed from one of wrestling’s most feared duos into one of its funniest. People.com described the duo’s dynamic transformation:
They immediately became one of Vince McMahon’s most beloved acts with their signature entrance march as their arms moved back and forth over their heads, yelling “Whoooaaa!,” their camo hats, biting opponents, and licking each other and fans.
While some fans and wrestling fans scoffed at The Bushwhackers’ metamorphosis, the team found themselves in front of some of the biggest crowds ever. They also enjoyed the interaction with the fans and the chance to entertain them in a new way.
A New Generation of Fans
The Bushwhackers scrapped with tag teams including Money Inc.,The Natural Disasters, and The Nasty Boys. During their WWF career, Butch and Luke’s antics made them fan favorites whether they won or lost. In 1994, they appeared on the sitcom Family Matters.
Although The Bushwhackers never captured championship gold in the WWF, the company honored their contributions to the industry by inducting them into its Hall of Fame in In 2015.
The Death of Butch Miller
Butch and Luke reunited in Los Angeles for WrestleMania XXXIX. Luke would write on his Instagram page:
This past weekend in Los Angeles, Bob flew in from New Zealand to join me for Wrestlemania weekend and the related festivities, neither of us knowing it would be our last days together and his last days of life.
Other pro wrestlers who died in 2023 include Jerry Jarrett and Lanny Poffo.
What are your favorite memories of Butch Miller? Let us know in the comments below.