NWA Wrestler Luke Hawx Talks Playing Steve Austin on ‘Young Rock’ & Working ‘Heels’

Young Rock - Luke Hawx - Season 3
Q&A
Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Luke Hawx is getting the best of both worlds. First, as a pro wrestling veteran who performs regularly with his son PJ as Hawx Aerie on shows for the NWA and his own company New Orleans WildKat Wrestling. And then continuing to build his acting profile on TV programs such as Heels and Young Rock. In the latter the 41-year-old portrays WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Hawx, who also popped up on Cobra Kai during season 5, is grateful for every opportunity.

“Whenever you can take wrestling and put it on that mainstream entertainment scale, it’s a positive thing for everyone involved,” he told TV Insider.

The star has managed to juggle all his commitments inside and outside the ring. Next up comes the NWA Hard Times pay-per-view followed by Revolution Rumble, which is in partnership with Hawx’s own company WildKat Wrestling. He managed to carve out some time in the midst of it all to chat to us.

How did the opportunity to portray Steve Austin on Young Rock come about?

Luke Hawx: Originally I was going to come in and coordinate because Chavo Guerrero Jr. had another project he was scheduled to do, and he didn’t think he was going to be able to finish Young Rock season 2. Chavo ended up working it out to stay, but a week later they contacted my agent to see if I can audition for Steve Austin. I was very on the fence about doing it because I never tried to act as Steve Austin. He is so iconic. I appreciate everything about him…I did such a good job with my audition I beat out thousands of people. I have a strong belief that anything we get depends on our work ethic. It’s nice to know my work paid off.

Young Rock - Season 2

Photo by: Mark Taylor/NBC

What did you do to perfect that Texas drawl?

A lot of practice. I’ll talk to myself and be in my own space, which makes me look like I’m psycho when I’m doing it at the gym or grocery store. But I’m actually just perfecting my craft.

Have you gotten any feedback from Steve?

I talked to Steve before we shot the second season. We probably had a 20-minute phone call. He just told me I’ve been in the business a long time and worked hard and that he knew I would do a good job. I told him I just wanted to make him proud. This is the first acting job where I had to be someone else. I know it’s not a biography and a family comedy, but I wanted to be true to the character and bring as much Austin to the screen as I can.

What are you most excited about this season?

They are going to get into a lot of Rock’s story. I will say though is this past week I shot something that I never in a million years did I think I would do. It was very special and sentimental to me. I grew up in a boys’ home and was adopted at 15 and come from the streets. I had this rough life that was supposed to never give me an opportunity to be successful. I come from a hard lifestyle, so to be able to shoot what I shot recently. I’m trying to fight back tears because it’s very important to me.

On Heels you are the wrestling coordinator and onscreen play “The Hole.” How was filming season 2?

You’ll see a lot more guys as wrestlers. What I really want to do with anything I do is try to give hardworking wrestlers the opportunity. On season 2, wait until you see all the surprise special guests we have. You’ll see Nick Aldis, Aron Stevens, Jordynne Grace, Savannah Evans, and many of the guys from last year. These are people in Heels I was able to give the opportunity to and fit the description of what we were looking for. Here they have a chance to break off into a new field.

Luke Hawx and PJ Hawx

Hiban Huerta/NWA

You worked with CM Punk on the show. Do you see him in the ring again?

I think Punk has the wrestling itch again. He and I talked about this many times throughout Heels. He was having so much fun. I love Punk. My son Perry loves Punk. I’ve known him for years and he has always been good to me. He has always been good to my son. Punk is very adamant about what he wants. He is very protective of what he does because why wouldn’t he be? All the mainstream top-of-the-top guys are like that. Punk is adamant about what he does and speaking up for himself. There are always going to be issues no matter what company. Whenever you speak from the heart and say something about somebody else, someone is going to have a problem with it. I think it is unfortunate what is going on with him and AEW and the Young Bucks because everyone in the situation is super talented. AEW has a lot of things going on. But I think if we don’t see CM Punk wrestle anymore, that is a loss for the wrestling community because he has so much to offer.

You’re wrestling with your son in the NWA. He is acting, following in your footsteps. How does that make you feel?

My children are my life. My love of wrestling and film and fitness just happened to transfer over to my children. There is a great quote “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” That was from James Baldwin and is true. I know they have watched my hard work through the years and have come from nothing and continue to level up because of my attitude and work ethic. My son was a state-champion amateur wrestler. My youngest in sixth grade just started wrestling in middle school. When I shot the audition for Young Rock, I didn’t have anyone to shoot that for me. My son who was 10 at the time learned to shoot and read an audition. I didn’t have to teach it to him. When I pulled out the script, this dude nailed it I know I did a good job but I think his energy and how well he did really made me step up.

NWA - HARD TIMES 3 MATCHES (TWITTER) - LA REBELION vs HAWX AERIE

Hiban Huerta/NWA

NWA is running shows in your neck of the woods in the New Orleans area. What does that mean to you?

I appreciate the NWA. It’s my favorite locker room to wrestle in and be a part of. We just have a lot of good talent including WildKat guys. Not only has Billy [Corgan] done a good job putting that roster together, but he is doing a phenomenal of rebuilding and rebranding the NWA. With my film schedule, it’s really difficult. I love wrestling and want to wrestle and love teaming with my son and traveling the world. But I also love filming, which is on a much broader scale than wrestling is. Long-term I can’t wrestle forever. I feel I haven’t hit my prime yet and am in great shape, but one day I’m not going to be able to wrestle. I can act forever. I’ve been acting since 2006 when I did my first role. To be able to juggle, fitness, wrestling, and film and be part of the NWA full-time is special to me.

Tell me about the Revolution Rumble.

The Revolution Rumble is WildKat Sports’ 11-year anniversary show. We didn’t get to have a 9 or 10 because of COVID. We’re still in the process of rebuilding, but we wanted to go hard. The cool thing about this is it’s not just your WildKat guys, but now we get to put those local guys on a national scale with some very well-known performers like Tyrus, Matt Cardona, Chelsea Green, and Trevor Murdoch. These guys are going to level up, which is very important to the local guys. To team up with the NWA and make it a bigger event than it normally is means a lot to me. We want to spotlight our talent here. Getting eyes on you is hard, so giving them the opportunity to perform on a national and worldwide scale. What more can they ask for?

NWA POWERRR, Tuesdays, 6:05/5:05c, FITE TV

NWA USA, Saturdays, Noon/11c, FITE TV

NWA Hard Times 3, November 12, 7/6c, FITE TV and Pay-Per-View

The Revolution Rumble television taping is November 13. Tickets are available now.

Heels season 2, TBA, 2023

Young Rock, Fridays, 8/7c, NBC