Two pro wrestlers developed 'The Progressive Liberal' to be the bad guy at matches. Then the atmosphere turned far darker

November 22, 2022 at 15:37

James enjoyed being the hero but it was nothing compared to playing the bad guy.
But the 2016 presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparked an idea between James and wrestler Dan Harnsberger.
Together they developed “The Progressive Liberal” Dan Richards, often the bad guy at the matches in the Republican-voting mining towns of Appalachia and some southern states.
The Liberal would get a hearing and even some cheers as crowds watch the staged violence at a night of pro wrestling.
Over the past five years, however, that atmosphere has turned far darker, James and Harnsberger said this month.
“The crowd has taken on a more violent approach towards me,” said Harnsberger, who plays the Progressive Liberal in the ring.
The two came together to create and promote the Progressive Liberal.
‘Let’s get him’In 2022, the Hillary trunks have been replaced by a pair saying, “Riding with Biden.”The Progressive Liberal is still the bad guy, but Harnsberger and James said the audiences have changed.
And the Progressive Liberal offers an outlet for that built-up energy.
And while most politicians aren’t coming to these little towns, the Progressive Liberal does.
They don’t agree much on politics and don’t talk about it outside the ring, except to work on their act.
“It got beyond the point of heat to it’s dangerous,” James said, explaining why they cut the bout short.
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