Sanctuary Fight Club is providing metro Detroit with a uniquely enhanced cultural experience — live professional wrestling.
“Some of my earliest and fondest memories from my childhood are of watching live professional wrestling matches with my grandpa, uncle, and dad,” says Richard Saady, a professional wrestler and the founder of Sanctuary Fight Club. “As a five-year-old, I still remember attending and watching my first live professional wrestling show at Cobo Hall in Detroit with my hard-working grandpa.”
As his passion for wrestling grew during his teenage years, Saady eventually decided to train at a couple different wrestling schools in Michigan including House of Truth Pro Wrestling School in Center Line. After stints in personal training and sales, he realized he wanted to start his own live professional wrestling business locally in metro Detroit, and so, Sanctuary Fight Club was born.
Events at Sanctuary Night Club are small and intimate compared to some of the large, televised events with millions of viewers. Outside of the grappling, strikes, and risky, high-flying maneuvers, Sanctuary Fight Club bridges the gap between wrestling, music, and art.
“It is an art form,” says Saady. “Wrestling comes from the carnival circuit, and it is more than two guys in spandex fighting, slapping, and beating the crap out of each other.”
Live professional wrestling is a performance art that requires and involves a unique blend of physical athleticism, storytelling, character development, and audience interaction. Sanctuary Fight Club uses athletic movements in front of their live crowds to tell a story. Their highly skilled athletes execute moves and sequences in a way that is both visually stunning and entertaining for the audience.
Saady says that these moves often require a great deal of strength, agility, and coordination, making it a highly demanding physical activity. Sanctuary Fight Club creates emotion in the wrestling ring. Their wrestlers take on specific roles and develop characters that audiences can connect with and root for.
Wrestling can be viewed in the same manner as a film, album, or novel. Through their performances, wrestlers convey motivations and conflicts, creating a narrative that draws the audience into the story and keeps them engaged.
The story of a wrestling match is told in a way that the audience can get an impression of who these characters are right from the beginning. The audience’s participation is an integral part of wrestling as an art form.
Saady says that the audience can see the feelings wrestlers have towards each other. Fans often have a personal connection to their favorite wrestlers, and they react to the action in the ring with cheers, boos, and chants. This interaction creates a unique energy. The entire live professional wrestling event can be compared to a live music concert where each match represents a song.
Sanctuary Fight Club has garnered a popular underground following. Most of their audience had never seen pro wrestling before. Attending one of their events is a fun and exciting experience, full of energy, drama, and larger-than-life characters. Their last event sold out.
“Preorder ticket sales were through the roof,” says Saady. “We had to turn away walkup customers at the door.”
The next show is Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 6 p.m. at Sanctuary Detroit, a concert venue located at 2932 Caniff St. in Hamtramck. Future event dates include Friday, May 5, 2023, at the historic Garden Theatre, located at 3919 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, and Sunday, June 11, 2023, back at Sanctuary Detroit.
There is no age limit. Saady says that they give their events a PG-13 rating in order to let customers make their own decisions.
Expect to find a variety of merchandise for sale, including t-shirts, hoodies, and hats. General admission tickets cost $25.
For more information on Sanctuary Fight Club and their shows, go to sanctuaryfightclub.com, and find even more Things to Do in metro Detroit, visit HourDetroit.com.