Professional wrestling has a knack of tapping into the zeitgeist when dreaming up new villains for their traveling and televised bouts of drama and athleticism. Like ballet, the fights and characters are choreographed, but the moves and the feelings are real.
Enter The Progressive Liberal, wrestling’s latest heel for Kentucky’s Appalachian Mountain Wrestling events. Born Dan Harnsberger, he’s harnessed his genuine political leanings and turned them into a lightning rod gimmick that wrestling fans can love to hate.
Harnsberger told Sports Illustrated, “I hear Trump chants everywhere I go now, as soon as I walk out." He dons a t-shirt covered in former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s face and calls his signature move “The Liberal Agenda.”
He said of the Kentucky audience, “I think even the people that do like The Progressive Liberal, they don’t want their peers and their friends and families to know, so they keep it quiet. No one is cheering for me in Kentucky.”
Mike Opelka was inspired to suggest similar characters for the AMW or the nationwide World Wrestling Entertainment on Thursday’s “Pure Opelka.” He suggested that a heel tag team of hipsters with manbuns called the Enraged Snowflakes might go over well with the audience.