Inside the Ropes is sad to report that WWE Hall of Famer Butch Miller, better known to wrestling fans as Bushwhacker Butch, has passed away at the age of 78.
The news was broken on social media by Butch’s longtime tag team partner Luke Williams, better known as Bushwhacker Luke.
A New Zealand native and resident, Butch was in Los Angeles for WrestleMania weekend and was set to be part of Wrestlecon before suffering a medical emergency over the weekend. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance for treatment but sadly passed away some time later. The star had dealt with a number of health complications for many years prior to his passing.
Butch began his professional wrestling career in New Zealand in 1964, and he began teaming with Luke as The Kiwis in 1965. The pair’s first recorded instance of capturing tag team gold came in 1974 in Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. The two teamed as The Sheepherders in various promotions before moving to WWE in 1988, where they took on their identities as The Bushwhackers.
The Bushwhackers were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by John Laurinaitis as part of the class of 2015.
Bushwhacker Luke Paid Tribute To Bushwhacker Butch Following His Passing
In an emotional post on Instagram, Bushwhacker Luke gave an emotional tribute to Butch, detailing their history together and sending love to Butch’s family.
“Late last night, I lost my friend, brother and tag team partner of over 50 years with the passing of Bob ‘Butch’ Miller. My heart goes out to his wife Helen, his lovely daughters Sharon and Kirsten and all of his grandchildren. From the early-1970s when we were young mates wrestling for John da Silva in New Zealand, my first impression of Bob ‘The Chest’ Miller (as he was called in those days) was that he was a first-class redneck, and what bloody redneck he was! But he was also an all-around good guy and a great friend.
“By the time we reached our mid-20s, we found ourselves traveling the world together, from New Zealand to Australia to Malaysia, Singapore and Japan, before ‘invading’ the North American territories in Canada and the United States as The Sheepherders.
“In 1988 we were in our 40s and still at the top of our game when we got a call from the offices in Connecticut with an offer to join the largest and fastest growing wrestling promotion in the world, the WWF/E- The Bushwhackers were born! As The Bushwhackers we appeared in the largest venues in the world, in front the the biggest crowds professional wrestling had ever seen! And we were eventually honored by our fans and peers with our inclusion in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2020.
“We did it all, we saw it all, and we accomplished it all together. 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. If you were to read the story of my life it would say that I am only child, but it would be wrong. In life I had a brother and his name was Bob Miller. I love you, Bob. Until I see you again, WOOOOAHH YEEEEAAHH!”
Everyone at Inside the Ropes sends our deepest condolences to Bushwhacker Butch’s family and friends at this difficult time.