Brian Wickens (January 8, 1947) is a professional wrestler best known as Luke Williams, one half of the tag team known as "The Sheepherders" on the independent scene and in the National Wrestling Alliance and as The Bushwhackers in the WWF.
Luke Williams started wrestling for NWA New Zealand (later known as All-Star Pro Wrestling) in 1964 where he achieved a great deal of regional success. Williams, along with his friend Butch Miller, were brought to America in 1965 by fellow New Zealander Steve Rickard, who was also the booker for “NWA Hawaii”. Luke and Butch initially worked in Canada for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling billed as The Kiwis (Butch was known as “Nick Carter” and Luke was known as “Sweet Williams”). The first recorded title that the Kiwis won was in 1974, when the duo beat Bob Pringle and Bill Cody for the Stampede International Tag Team Championship on January 6, 1974. The Kiwis lost the titles to Tokyo Joe and the Great Saki, only to regain them a short time later. The Kiwis lost the titles for good when Stan Kowalski and Duke Savage defeated them and kept the titles away from them in subsequent rematches.
After leaving Stampede Wrestling, the Kiwis began doing double duty in NWA Pacific Northwest as well as the Canadian-based International All-Star Wrestling around 1979-1980 as "the Kiwi Sheepherders". In 1979, the team won the NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship on three occasions between 21 July and 5 August 1980, before they left the territory. On 22 September, the Sheepherders lost the gold to Dutch Savage and Stan Stasiak, only to regain them a week later. On 11 February 1980, the Sheepherders became double champions when they downed Dutch Savage and Stan Stasiak once again, this time for the NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship. Top faces Rick Martel and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper teamed up in May, to take the NWA Canadian tag title from the Sheepherders and, in effect, run the duo out of the Northwest region by August, gaining the NWA Pacific Northwest tag titles when the Sheepherders left the promotion.
The next stop for the Sheepherders was a brief stay in the Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling territory run by Jim Crockett. In MACW, the two won the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship by beating Matt Borne and Buzz Sawyer for the gold. The Sheepherders held onto the gold for close to three months before dropping it to Dewey Robertson and George Wells on 12 December. After losing the titles, Luke and Butch headed for warmer weather as they traveled to Puerto Rico and began working for the World Wrestling Council as Los Pastores. While in Puerto Rico, the team won the WWC North American Tag Team Championship twice while touring the island.
The New Sheepherder
After the team left WWC, Butch decided that he wanted to return closer to home and went to Australia to wrestle. Luke remained in the United States determined to keep the “Sheepherders” name on everyone’s lips by teaming up with “Lord” Jonathan Boyd (formerly of the Royal Kangaroos). The duo of Williams and Boyd quickly gained a reputation of one of the most violent, hard hitting teams in the business. One of the first people to feel the wrath of the “new and improved” Sheepherders was Robert Fuller in South Eastern Championship Wrestling. In December 1981, the Sheepherders won the NWA Southeast Tag Team Championship that had been vacated when Robert Fuller and Jos LeDuc split. After winning the title, Boyd and Williams became embroiled in a bitter feud with Robert Fuller and various partners including his brother Ron Fuller and his cousin Jimmy Golden (later known as Bunkhouse Buck). One act that made the Sheepherders the most hated men in SECW for a while was when the duo kayfabe attacked and injured Jimmy’s father Billy Golden. After almost 10 months with the title, the Sheepherders were finally defeated by Fuller and Golden; this ended the feud on a high note for the face duo, as the Sheepherders were “run out” of the territory.
Boyd and Williams moved slightly more north as they began to work in the Memphis based promotion Continental Wrestling Association owned and operated by Jerry Jarrett and Jerry Lawler. In the CWA, the Sheepherders would start a feud that stood as their most memorable, bloody, and brutal as the team kicked off a long running feud with The Fabulous Ones (Stan Lane and Steve Keirn). The “pretty boy”, well polished Fabulous Ones and the ugly, brawling savage Sheepherders were the perfect opponents and repeatedly drew big gates all over the country. The matches started out pretty evenly, but soon turned brutal and often without a definite winner. In late 1982, the Sheepherders won the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship from Lane and Keirn, which only turned the intensity of the matches up a notch. Between late December and mid-February, the two teams traded the belts back and forth 4 times with the Fabulous Ones ending up with possession of them in the end. On 28 March, the Sheepherders wrestled their last match in the Mid-South Coliseum before leaving the CWA.
Boyd and Williams resurfaced in Southwest Championship Wrestling only weeks later, continuing their brutal and destructive ways. Their first target was the reigning Southwest Tag Team Champions “The Grapplers” (Len Denton and Tony Anthony). In May, the Sheepherders won the gold from the duo through nefarious means; before the match Williams and Boyd had bribed the Grapplers’ manager Don Carson and promised he would become a tag team champion, Carson turned on the Grapplers mid match to ensure the Sheepherders’ victory. The Sheepherders run with the gold was short lived; Jonathan Boyd legitimately broke his leg in a car accident in June which forced the SWCW to name Bobby Jaggers as a replacement. After Williams and Jagger lost a non-title match to Bob Sweetan and Sweet Brown Sugar, Williams turned on Jaggers and the titles were vacated. While Boyd was out with the broken leg, Williams was reunited with his old tag-team partner, Butch straight from Australia.
Championships and accomplishments
- NWA Florida Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Butch Miller
- NWA United States Tag Team Championship (Florida version) ( 1 time) - with Butch Miller
- AWA Southern Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Jonathan Boyd
- NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Butch Miller
- NWA Canadian Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (1 time) - with Butch Miller
- NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Championship (3 times) - with Butch Miller
- NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Jonathan Boyd
- NWA Southeastern United States Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA International Tag Team Championship (Calgary version) (2 times) - with Butch Miller
- UCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with The Honky Tonk Man
- WWWA Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Butch Miller
- WWE Hall of Fame (Class of 2015)