Toronto’s decorated tradition of professional wrestling will continue on Saturday when Greektown Wrestling returns for its first show of 2023 on March 18 — in the church basement where it all started.
Greektown Wrestling is based out the Eastminster United Church building at 310 Danforth Ave. Founded in 2015 by “Hardcore” Channing Decker, a professional wrestler and promoter, it’s been home to many current and future stars and provides fans with an intimate experience that makes independent wrestling special.
“It’s really like getting sucked down into a special little portal for an evening, an escapism at its finest,” said Decker. “You go down these little stairs into this wonderful, epic church basement that is all exposed brick and two stories and the atmosphere off the bat is amazing.”
Steve Argintaru, Greektown Wrestling’s ring announcer, said part of the reason its fans are so passionate is because it’s so unique.
“The fans are as into it as I’ve seen at an indie show,” he said.
“I think it starts with being willing to be different, being willing to do something that’s not being done right now. That’s how you create new — anything. That’s been the modus operandi from Day One.”
Greektown Wrestling’s match cards are different from the top down. “The card provides something for everybody,” said Decker.
“You’re gonna have your cruiserweights, you’re gonna have your hardcore brawls, you’re gonna have your Big Hoss fights, you’re gonna have your ladies’ matches. That’s the beauty of Greektown. There’s something for everyone.”
Greektown has had many current and future stars in the wrestling business walk through its brick wall entrance and into the ring, including industry legends like Bret “Hitman” Hart and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. March 18 will be no different.
“Evil Uno was in the main event against Jon Moxley on AEW Dynamite and he’s gonna walk right into a Greektown ring and wrestle Trent Gibson on the 18 of March, so it’s a pretty unique opportunity for fans to see guys of that caliber up close,” Decker told the Toronto Observer.
While Argintaru said that Greektown isn’t a “hardcore promotion” in the same way a promotion like Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) was in the 1990s, fans have become accustomed to Decker’s antics being on display at Greektown shows.
Decker will use the environment around him to his advantage in a match. It becomes must see wrestling because you’ll never know what the promotions champion has up his sleeve for the next show.
Decker’s “Hardcore” nickname stems from his love of ECW and wrestler Rob Van Dam.
“Pro wrestling is a medium that I feel you need to be bold in. So if I was going to go in that lane, I wanted to make it very clear what lane that was,” Decker said.
Decker will be in the ring defending his Greektown Wrestling Championship against Homicide on Saturday as the headliner. Bell time is 6:00 p.m.