Nothing irritates people more than a “progressive liberal”.
But imagine a smug, liberal elitist wrestler who is condescending towards his audience, and uses pro-Hillary Clinton, pro-Bernie Sanders, and anti-Fox News sentiments before fights.
Well this is exactly who wrestling’s newest villain is – and it’s hilarious.
Daniel Richards portrays the “Progressive Liberal” character – hailing from D.C., his shorts bear the Democratic donkey logo, and his t-shirt has nothing but Hillary Clinton faces on it.
Richards’ signature “moves” include smugness, condescension, and whining.
But it’s hysterical because the crowds completely despise him.
“Regardless of how much Richards plays up the left-wing politics to crowds in Kentucky and nearby states, it works. Look no further than the videos to see that those crowds despise him.
There’s a kid in the crowd telling him to shut up, and relentless jeers, or Trump masks worn by attendees.
And even the occasional death threat, according to Tennessee-based wrestler and booker Beau James, who met Richards in 2003 and has served as something like a mentor.
As James and Richards tell it, at a 2016 show in West Virginia, where Richards spoke about taking everyone’s guns, a patron displayed a pistol in a holster on his right hip and started rubbing it.”
Richards concocted this hilarious character in 2015, only a few months into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
And his liberal-elite smugness shtick is a fresh take because wrestling always needs villains and heroes.
It’s no wonder they vilify Richards.
But Richards impressively plays it straight and serious the whole time, with some of his expressions penetrating like TV-rhetoric daggers.
“Kentucky-based Appalachian Mountain Wrestling has graced the world with the presence of ‘Progressive Liberal’ Dan Richards. He definitely isn’t a face.
During a ring appearance earlier this year, Richards cut an in-ring promo in which he praised Hillary, and was interrupted by attendees chanting ‘Feel the Bern!’
At about the 2:08 mark, some little kid yelled, ‘You better shut up,’ always a mark of decent heat.
‘You know what, I think Bernie Sanders would make a great Secretary of State,’ Richards said before being jeered.
Later on, he tried to persuade the crowd. ‘I want to exchange your bullets for bullet points. Bullet points of knowledge.’
A few minutes later, Timmy Lou Retton came out to wrestle. (Richards lost. You know who would have won, though?)
The Progressive Liberal is a solid character. He strikes the right level of condescension and punchable smugness.
His line delivery’s a little suspect and his actual wrestling leaves something to be desired, but those can be remedied. At its root, this is a good gimmick.’
If you’re in Kentucky and free on Friday, watch Richards against some guy in a sleeveless shirt in a ‘Crybaby Match,’ where the loser ‘will have to wear a diaper and suck on a bottle.’”
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) June 27, 2017
Here are a few of Richards other gimmicky rhetorical phrases as reported by Breitbart:
“’You people need to be reprogrammed,’ the Progressive Liberal lectures Eastern Kentucky wrestling fans. ‘You continually vote against your own interests.’
He wears a ‘Not My President’ shirt, corrects the pronunciation (‘creek’ and not ‘crick’) of Appalachians, and refers to people he dislikes as ‘Fox News maggots.’
He informs Kentuckians that they need to reject coal in favor of clean energy. He tells them to trade in their ‘bullets’ for his ‘bullet points of knowledge.’
On Friday, the Progressive Liberal fights at the Wolfe County High School basketball court in a ‘Crybaby’ match.
One senses the Progressive Liberal receives as much support in that gymnasium on a Friday night in June as progressive liberals do in other Eastern Kentucky high school gyms that double as polling places on a Tuesday afternoon in November.”
If you do catch one of these wrestling matches, you might be in for a wild entertaining night of simultaneous booing and laughter when the “Progressive Liberal” shows his Hillary-loving face.