Prior to its capture, Hawlucha was the champion of a forest, where it helped maintain peace. Hawlucha gained this title after defeating the previous champion, a Machamp. After developing a rivalry with Hawlucha, Machamp retreated to some mountains so that it could train to become stronger.
Hawlucha made its first appearance in The Forest Champion!, where it battles an Ursaring that stole food from a group of Pokémon. Although it easily got the upper hand, Hawlucha missed its attempt to finish Ursaring off with Flying Press, leaving it open to attack. Ursaring was stopped by Ash and Pikachu, who scared it off. Ash offered to help Hawlucha perfect Flying Press, which eventually ended in success after countless failed attempts. They are interrupted by the Ursaring from before, who teamed up with a Conkeldurr so that they could trick the previous champion, Machamp, into believing that Hawlucha was the one terrorizing the forest Pokémon.
Machamp challenged Hawlucha to battle, and despite Hawlucha's power, it managed to easily take Hawlucha's attacks. Ursaring and Conkeldurr then stepped in and began double-teaming Hawlucha. Although reluctant at first, Machamp realized who the real villain was and defeated Ursaring and Conkeldurr. Machamp carried the two away and said its goodbyes to Hawlucha. Later, Ash challenged Hawlucha to battle with the condition that if he wins, Hawlucha will join his team. Despite the speed of Ash's Froakie, it was easily able to outmaneuver it avoiding its Water Pulse and Bubble attacks; despite this, the battle ended in a tie when Froakie's Pound collided with its Flying Press. Although Hawlucha didn't lose the battle, it decided to join Ash's team.
In XY036, Hawlucha was used in a Sky Battle against Nami's Talonflame. Hawlucha was quickly outmatched due to Flying Press being ineffective and Talonflame easily dodging all of Hawlucha's attacks due to being in the air. Hawlucha was defeated after missing with its Karate Chop and being hit by Steel Wing.
Hawlucha appeared in PK26, as well as in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction.
Hawlucha takes great pride in its own battle style, preferring flashy, speedy moves, and insisting on finishing its opponents with a Flying Press. It is shown to be cool, calm, and collected; similar to Sceptile, Buizel and Snivy. Hawlucha is very determined in battle and never gives up, no matter how bad the situation may look and is always ready to improve itself. It has been shown to be quite powerful, as it was called the champion of the forest. Hawlucha is also shown to be kind and protective when it defended the smaller Pokémon's food from an Ursaring.