Starz’s upcoming wrestling drama Heels is a new wrestling series that stars Stephen Amell and even CM Punk has a role in the show.
Luke Hawx, veteran grappler, trainer, and promoter, signed on to serve as the show’s wrestling coordinator. Hawx spoke with TV Insider to promote the premiere of the show this Sunday. Here are some of the highlights:
What was the training regimen like for the cast?
“Stephen had a wrestling background, but he didn’t have a full training background. For the rest of the guys, I didn’t know their level of wrestling experience or expertise. We built this wonderful gym [we] called the Heels Gymnasium. We had a full gymnasium and wrestling ring. One half was dedicated to wrestling and the other side was dedicated to fitness stuff. We had two workouts each day. My job was to train the cast not to wrestle fully, so to speak, but wrestle for the script because the timing was the big issue, especially with Alexander and Stephen. They are filming all the time. They had to fit in training and wrestling training. It was a lot. Everyone worked hard and got it done.”
Is there anyone, in particular, you can see as a legit wrestler if they wanted to pursue this as a career?
“I got to give a shoutout to Allen Maldonado, a.k.a. Rooster. Rooster is a naturally gifted athlete who is very hard-working. Rooster has that personality on the big stage and is also super athletic and high flying. I’m a Rooster fan. James Harrison [Apocalypse] is a professional athlete and can pick everything up quickly.”
How was it to coordinate with real wrestlers:
“It was cool because I was in charge of hiring those guys. Of course, I had to get it approved by the producers. But I was the one who suggested who we hired for each scene. A lot of them were my students from WildKat Sports. I had guys like the “Wild Card” J. Spade, my son, Stevie Richards, Luke Gallows, Chuck Devine, Danny Flamingo. Many wrestlers who wrestled for WildKat Sports. Then there are guys like Nick Mondo, who had a background in stunt work. It gave a lot of guys jobs when they weren’t working due to the pandemic. It was good to have those guys around because they are these experienced wrestlers.”
Working with CM Punk:
“He is a good friend of mine. I’ve known him for over 20 years. It was wonderful to have him on set. He is one of the top stars in wrestling and always has a good attitude. It gives credibility to a show like Heels when you can have a guy like him on it. We were lucky to have him.”