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“The Progressive Liberal”: Wrestling’s new left-wing villain

“The Progressive Liberal” loves clean energy and Hillary Clinton. But audiences in Coal Country love to hate him.

by Oliver Noble
Jul 13 2017, 2:59am

There’s a popular new villain in regional pro wrestling, but he’s not an Iranian sheik, a creepy mortician, or a flamboyant millionaire. He’s known as the Progressive Liberal, and he loves clean energy and Hillary Clinton. Audiences in Coal Country love to hate him.

Daniel Harnsberger, the real estate agent who moonlights as “The Progressive Liberal Daniel Richards,” gave VICE News a lesson in politics and headlocks at the School of Morton wrestling academy in Chuckey, Tennessee.

“It’s the hypocrisy of the right that I can’t stand,” he said. “I think the people’s narrow-minded view gives me a platform to troll them.”

Richards’s mentor, Beau James, a kind of Yoda of pro wrestling, explained how wrestlers craft a narrative and then tell the story with their bodies. The next day the duo put it all together in a Friday night fight in Campton, Kentucky.

This segment originally aired July 6, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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