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The 'Progressive Liberal' Is The Most Hated Villain In Wrestling

10 months ago

One of the more interesting things about the times in which we live is that the line between politics and entertainment is completely blurred. I can turn on any TV show and know exactly how it feels about the current political climate. 

Even local entertainment seems to have blurred that line. Meet Dan Richards, aka, "The Progressive Liberal." He is a wrestler in Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountain Wrestling (AMW), and is without a doubt, the villain of the league. 

Posted by The Progressive Liberal Daniel Richards on Tuesday, January 10, 2017

While wrestling has always had villains, or heels, they are normally some evil looking giant, not a guy a wearing a Hillary t-shirt.  He'll call the audience "Fox News Maggots" and smugly lecture them about why they are wrong. That's his whole schtick.

During his first appearance, which took place in West Virginia, he grabbed the mic and said of then-candidate Donald Trump, "If he’s elected president, I hope Trump doesn’t build a wall around Mexico. Instead I hope he builds it around this town so none of you people can infiltrate the population." That made the crowd furious, which is exactly what Richards wanted. 

What's interesting, though, is that Richards isn't really playing a character. He agrees with most of what he is saying. In an interview with Sports Illustrated he said, "It’s not like I’m pretending to be something I’m not. I’m just turning it up. I hear Trump chants everywhere I go now, as soon as I walk out.”

Wrestling fans love to have someone to hate so it's no surprise this character took off. Still, sometimes the audience hates him a little too much. According to Deadspin, in 2016 he threatened to take away everyone's guns. The crowd booed, as expected, but one audience member began showing off and rubbing his holstered pistol. 

Even with these threats against him, Richards plans to continue doing the character, if only because it's how he thinks Democrats should really act. In an interview with The Washington Post he said, "I wish Democrats would be as unapologetic as Republicans are. Just be unapologetic with your policies and who you are. That’s how the Progressive Liberal is. I’m unapologetic.”

[h/t Deadspin]