Get ready, Greektown Wrestling fans. This Sunday marks perhaps the biggest day for the popular event yet.
The promotion has come a long way since it began about six and a half years ago, according to Greektown Wrestling founder Channing Decker.
“We started off running shows at legions in front of 150 to 200 people,” he says.
After the wrestling promotion moved to the Danforth Avenue area, those numbers increased to 600 and are expected to be much higher after moving downtown this year.
Decker says one of the keys to the promotion’s success has been the quality of the live experience.
“It’s grassroots, but it’s also just absolute top-flight wrestling,” he says.
Decker also credits the wrestling fans of Greektown with making the event what it is today.
“It’s the real people in the community buying tickets to come out to local entertainment,” he says.
The main attraction is the matchup of Rob Van Dam and Decker himself, who is also a wrestler.
Van Dam is one of the most notable names in wrestling to ever grace the promotion.
He doesn’t take part in independent wrestling very often, so it’s a big deal when he does, Decker says.
Decker is enthusiastic about the match, noting Van Dam’s appearance could mark the start of a “new chapter” for Greektown Wrestling.
“It’s exciting for me to see a lot of the social media press and hype happening stateside and across Canada for this event,” he says.
Decker is proud of the wide variety of other talent on display as well, including Sonny Kiss, RJ City, Serpentico, Santino Marella and Jock Samson.
“I like to think that everyone who comes through the doors at Greektown has something very unique about them,” he says.
Loud, energetic crowds
Perhaps one of the most interesting wrestlers taking part this weekend is Space Monkey.
Never breaking character as “a monkey trained to wrestle in space by NASA,” he is not hesitant to share what he loves about the promotion.
“The crowd is always loud and full of energy. No matter how I’m feeling by match time, they always give me extra energy,” Space Monkey says.
As for what fans can expect from him next Sunday, he sums it up in one word: “Fun!”
Space Monkey says, “I like to start off silly in the ring, annoy my opponent, and use some agility but as the match goes on, it’ll turn into more of a fight.”
Greektown Wrestling has a lineup that is proudly diverse and inclusive.
“It’s important for me that people in the community paying their hard-earned money to come to the show are seeing themselves represented,” Decker says.
When Decker first started wrestling 10 years ago, he noticed wrestling was a sport that attracted all different types.
“You’re gonna see children, you’re gonna see old people, you’re gonna see people in wheelchairs, you’re gonna see LGBTQ,” he says. “I think it’s the creativity and the craziness of it all that maybe speaks to a little bit in all of us.”
This weekend’s Greektown Wrestling event takes place on April 10, at 6 p.m.