The Hawx wrestlers will come to Philly this Saturday.
Professional wrestlers love to find a good tag team partner.
P.J. Hawx is less than a year into his career, and he knows he already has one who will never let him down.
His father, Luke Hawx, is a veteran professional wrestler who has been there for his son in every way possible.
He did all the fatherly things good dads do, but he also did his best to help P.J. with his high school wrestling career, where P.J. placed fourth during his sophomore and junior years and third in his senior year in the Louisiana state wrestling tournament. He also won multiple Greco Roman and Freestyle state championships.
His dad served as the strength and conditioning coach, and whenever his son needed some support, he was one of the loudest people in the gym.
And he’s been the perfect mentor now that he’s in the professional ranks.
“P.J. wants it and he’s willing to work for it,” Luke said. “I never pushed him into wrestling, this is something he wants and he’s out there every day busting his (butt) to get it done. I love my son, but if he wants this, he needs to work for it. And he’s working for it, he’s putting in all the work.”
He learned it by watching dad.
Hawx has wrestled all over the world and has competed for WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor and just about every other promotion you can think of. But his true passion is WildKat Sports, a promotion he founded and runs in New Orleans.
Luke is one of the top wrestlers in the promotion, but he also does everything else you can imagine. He books the venues, the wrestlers, produces the weekly television shows and also runs a training school where he teaches his guys how to compete and then, if they make the cut, gives them a chance to show their stuff in his promotion.
“WildKat is everything to me, it’s my baby,” Luke said. “I want to give these kids a chance to learn how to wrestle and give them a chance to make it. I love that my guys, including P.J., have a spot to wrestle where they’re not going to get screwed over. They’re going to get a professional place that does things the way they’re supposed to be done.”
Philadelphia fans will have a chance to see WildKat on Saturday, June 2, when it returns to the 2300 Arena, 2300 S. Swanson St. in South Philadelphia, for a loaded show. Bouts begin at 7 p.m.
It’s the second straight year the promotion is running in Philadelphia, and both Hawx men are prominently featured on the card against wrestlers with ties to the city.
P.J., who is making his debut in the famous arena, will meet Northeast High School grad Rory Gulak. Like P.J., Gulak has great amateur credentials, not only starring at Northeast, but also coaching at various schools in the city including his alma mater and Southern.
“I’m excited because it’s a great chance to wrestle in that building,” P.J. said. “I know all about the building and its history with everything from ECW. I’m excited to go there.”
While the younger Hawx’s match will be a great one for fans of technical wrestling, if you like crazy brawls and fights, you’ll want to stick around for the main event.
Luke has a date with former ECW champion Shane Douglas in a dog collar match. This match features two guys who simply don’t like each other and that’s not a wrestling storyline. Search Luke Hawx-Shane Douglas on YouTube if you want to find out for yourselves.
“When I started in wrestling, Shane Douglas was a hero,” said Luke, who won the King of Deathmatch Championship in XPW at the ECW Arena in 2002. “But as I got to know him, I found out he was a hypocrite. This is a match I’ve wanted forever. This is his building, he thinks, because he was in ECW, but we’ll see.”
Last year, Luke expected to be booed out of the building when he wrestled Philly native Stevie Richards, who also made his name in ECW before going on to wrestle everywhere. But the Philadelphia fans sided with Hawx in the big match.
“I think I have a lot in common with the Philly fans,” Luke said. “I love coming there, it’s something we do because the fans are great and our wrestlers deserve a chance to wrestle in that building.”
Luke is mostly excited about getting his hands on Douglas, but he’s also excited his son is going to get a chance to show Philadelphia what he can do.
“As a wrestler, simply as a wrestler, he’s like a Kurt Angle or Chris Benoit-type wrestler,” Luke said of P.J. “He’s doing great. This is his dream and as a dad, it’s great to see what he’s doing, especially because he’s earning it.”
P.J.’s goal is to become the best wrestler in the world. But he’s also taking care of business in college, where he is studying kinesiology and physical therapy. Wrestling is a tough sport, but he’s ready to put in the work needed, while also staying in school so he has options.
“It’s a lot, but I’m having so much fun,” P.J. said. “I’ve had a lot of great matches. Wrestling here during Wrestlemania week was great. I’ve been in a tag team with my dad, and that was so much fun. I definitely look at what he does differently now. When I was a kid, I would have fun, but be a little afraid, but now I see what he does and I know he’s one of the best.”
P.J. puts in a lot of work, but so does dad.
When he’s not spending time with his sons, including 6-year-old Kali, he’s putting everything he has into WildKat.
But when time permits, he works as an actor and a stuntman, having starred in the Fate of the Furious and various other movies and TV shows.
But the passion is wrestling.
“To be a wrestler, you have to work and you have to sacrifice,” Luke said. “It’s not all glamour, it’s about getting in the ring and busting your (butt). You have to want it more than anything. I try and give my guys everything because I demand that of them.
“It is fun to watch your son do it because you know he loves it. He’s outworking everyone because he wants it. I can’t make him want it. I didn’t push him toward this. He’s doing it because he loves it.”
He’s also doing it because he sees the great work his dad has accomplished.
“He’s worked very hard for this,” P.J. said of his dad. “I’ve learned a lot from him. He’s helped me so much, but he’s been working hard for me my whole life.”
Sounds like the perfect tag team.
WildKat comes to the 2300 Arena on Saturday. Also appearing are Richards, ECW star Sabu and WCW’s Crowbar as well as all of the stars of WildKat Sports. For Sabu and Douglas, this is a chance to see them in the building they made famous. For details, visit wildkatwrestling.com