I recently spoke with Wildkat Sports CEO and independent wrestler Luke Hawx. In the second and final part of the interview below, discussed talks working with WWE, his fight scene with The Rock in The Fate of the Furious, interacting with The Rock off-camera and his big event in Philadelphia this Saturday featuring Hawx, Stevie Richards, Homicide and many others. You can purchase tickets for the show at WildKatWrestling.com.
When you started WildKat, what drew you to that - from being a Wrestler to running behind the scenes of running the entire show?
"Well, when I came up. I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. The Wrestling in the South was really popular. I grew up in the WWF era; so I grew up watching Hogan, Warrior and the Macho Man, because Mid-South kind of faded out when I was old enough to get into it, but I had to move for Wrestling. I had to travel around and chase my dream. There was nothing here; nothing remotely close to this area that had anything to offer this area. I knew how big it was back in the day, so my goal was to build it back up here. For anyone that wanted to learn to Wrestle, I didn't want them to move to Philadelphia, move to Florida. I knew that I had the qualifications to start a Wrestling school because I am highly qualified to teach something. Unfortunately, in Pro Wrestling, anyone can claim that they can train someone to be a Pro Wrestler. There's really no pre-qualifications to teach someone. To be a Professional Football Player, you have to look at their track record and see where they played, but Pro Wrestling, you can just go, I bought a Wrestling ring and I'm a Pro Wrestler so there's really no pre-qualifications. I really wanted to make sure the qualifications were there in order for me to start a Pro Wrestling school. I hate that there are 'turds' out there that have barely done anything and want to start training other people. They too haven't been properly trained, so I wanted to make sure that I had the right skills to teach."
You've also done some matches for WWE.
"Yeah, and I still do. I don't as much as I used to because I want to give the spots to my students because my goal is not to go to WWE. My goal 10 years ago was to be in WWE, but now that I have started my own successful business, create my own career, I wanted to focus more on my students because I am living my dream, at my pace to do what I want to do. I'm always busy though and my head is always spinning with different markets with fitness and movies, so I have a lot of different things going on. I get to spend more time with my kids and go to their wrestling events, but if I was in WWE, I would be on the road 300 days a year. If I did, I would of had to take a paycut and move to Florida, so that wasn't something that I was interested in doing this point in my career. Don't get me wrong; it always has its setbacks; people will say, well, if you are so good, then why aren't you in WWE? The average person really doesn't understand that."
Do you have some interesting stories from working there?
"I always had a good time there. I still have a good time there. I take my guys there a lot for tryouts, but one thing I can say about WWE is where it is different, different locker rooms - even when I went to TNA and stuff; WWE is always professional, you're treated well, so when you go into an Indy locker room, they have a bunch of guys there who think that they are better than everybody. Some people are just kissing your ass because they know you run a promotion so they want you to book them, but the best thing that I love about WWE is that it is a grind, and if you can't make that grind, you don't last long there, so stories, I can tell you stories for days, there are millions of stories I have told in other interviews - not to cut this one short but there's been so many times that I have been up there, I just really enjoy coming up there and bringing a new student, and their eyes light up when you tell them that they have been working really hard, WWE is coming to town soon and we are going to have you get looked at. I can't explain at how joyful that makes someone feel."
You were part of blockbusters like Logan and Fate of the Furious; how did those come about?
"Well, I've been doing stunts since 2007, but got SAG in 2009. I have been in about 70-80 TV shows. I work pretty frequently doing that. I just lucked out with those big roles in those big movies. You never know; I've been in several films where you never know how it is going to play out, what will cut and what will be kept. When I filmed them you know they were going to be big movies, but you never know what you are going to get out of it, but man, it has been tremendous. The marketability that I got from that has been crazy. I received a decent role in Fate of the Furious. It's a small minor role, but it is such a big movie and was typecasted that the feedback I have been receiving is crazy. It's awesome too, but the problem is, where do you go from there? I have an episode of Preacher on AMC coming out in June, but you know, I will work more, but you don't know. You work in such a big blockbuster, it is hard to trump that, but I just want to work and support my family."
You had a scene with The Rock, right?
"I fought The Rock in that movie. We had a scene where we go back and forth and then of course, I put him over, i did the job."
Did you get to talk to him much off camera?
"Yeah, we had a chance to talk for a bit. Like I said, I have been around the greats, all the big timers, but he was the busiest person I have ever seen in my life. I don't know how he remains sane. We would only talk when we were rolling the film, like we'd be getting lined up for our scene and would get ready to film our scene, but he knows me from GI Joe, and from Wrestling as well, so we would catch up a little bit, but every time the Director would yell 'cut,' his Assistant would come over to him, the Director is coming over. Somebody is feeding him; this person needs that. He is being pulled in 100 different directions. I have no idea how he stays sane or how he sleeps. I don't even think it is possible that he sleeps. Everyone is clawing at him."
Did he give you any advice?
"I didn't ask for any, we just mainly caught up, asking how each other has been. We talked about Lifting because I run with the Bell Brothers a lot; with Mark Bell, Chris Bell and Rock knows them from Wrestling because 'Smelly' was a Wrestler, and Mad Dog had passed away, so we talked about them; pretty much some of our similar interests."
Tell us about your debut in Philly on June 10th.
"Yeah, we have a huge show in Philly on June 10th, taking a huge risk going out of our area to put on a show. We have put a show on before in San Diego, border towns of Mexico and Mississippi, some of those shows were bought shows or co-promoted, but we have never broken out and performed our own shows, so I figure, if you are going to go out and market it in the area, we need to do it in an area with a lot of history and the majority of my Wrestling history, a lot has happened in Philadelphia. Me and Matt Hardy sold out The Arena in a Cage Match in 2013 because The Arena was closed for a few years, so I figured that if we were going to branch out we were going to do it in Philadelphia."
You have some big names booked for the show.
"Scott Hall, Blue Meanie and all the Wild Kat guys like J Spade, Matt Lancie, Danny Flamingo, so many guys, ZZ from Tough Enough is out training with us now at WildKat, so he's part of the Mobilehome Mob. We have a lot of really good talented guys that haven't been part of the East Coast Market. Some of the guys have Wrestled for MCW the night before our show on June 9th, so we have a good relationship with them. I want them to gain that experience working on the East Coast and I want the fans of the East Coast to see how talented the guys down South are. They are used to seeing some of the same ol' thing, month after month, year after year. So it's all about expanding. If you are not going to take a risk, you'll never expand, right?"
Click here for part one of the interview where Hawx discussed starting Wildkat, his feud with Matt Hardy, Hardy's run in WWE, Randy Orton's comments about independent wrestling and more. You can purchase tickets for this Saturday's big Wild Kat Wrestling event at WildKatWrestling.com.