The "Progressive Liberal" is maybe the perfect wrestling heel
June 26, 2017 12:48 PM   Subscribe

 
"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."

This guy is great. It's unfortunate he's pretty bad at wrestling, but the gimmick has a lot of potential.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:50 PM on June 26, 2017 [14 favorites]


Clicked for the Progressive Liberal, stayed for the intro production values that belied my expectations from "Appalachian Mountain Wrestling," carried on with curiosity to see what "Stan Lee" meant in the video description, was not surprised but nevertheless a touch disappointed at who Stan Lee turned out to be, and then noped out.
posted by Shepherd at 12:58 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I mean, I would get het up about this, but anyone whose main source of propaganda is the local wrestling circuit...
posted by Sys Rq at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


a “Crybaby Match,” where the loser “will have to wear a diaper and suck on a bottle.”

I can almost hear this lost track from The Mountain Goats' Beat the Champ.
posted by munchingzombie at 1:01 PM on June 26, 2017 [10 favorites]




I'm down but only if he gets the crap beat out of him by a Bolshevik wrestler.

okay so the Bolshevik wrestler should wrestle under the name Leningrad, with his backstory being that he's a grad student who sorta looks like Lenin.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:02 PM on June 26, 2017 [27 favorites]


Well, he'll have to succeed where Tiger Philanthropist couldn't.
posted by pwnguin at 1:03 PM on June 26, 2017 [12 favorites]


Amusing Ourselves to Death was written as a warning, not an instruction manual, FFS
posted by ocschwar at 1:04 PM on June 26, 2017 [15 favorites]


Futurama did it, kinda.
posted by tau_ceti at 1:05 PM on June 26, 2017 [5 favorites]


"America is already great!"
posted by indubitable at 1:19 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


If I was a wrestler, I would call myself The Social Justice Warrior.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:23 PM on June 26, 2017 [33 favorites]


Daniel Bryan played around with this a little.
posted by StopMakingSense at 1:29 PM on June 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


If I was a wrestler, I would call myself The Social Justice Warrior.

*in extreme Progressive Liberal voice*

Don't you mean if you WERE a wrestler?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:30 PM on June 26, 2017 [25 favorites]


Up here in Canada? I'd just call myself "The Prime Administer", and get a full-body tattoo of Justin Trudeau. I mean, I was going to get one anyway
posted by Quindar Beep at 1:32 PM on June 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Eh. Living well (and significantly longer) is the best revenge.
posted by Naberius at 1:33 PM on June 26, 2017


Some good stuff in the comments:

This schtick could be milked for so much. He could challenge the women’s champion to a match because he doesn’t see gender. He could steal the belt and give it to some other heel loser to “redistribute” the wealth. Every time he loses a match, he could appeal it to some fake wrestling governing body and get the match turned over to him. I think instead of being antagonistic with the crowd, he should always say that they only boo him because they haven’t been properly educated. He could refuse to recognize the refs authority because refereees are a symptom of systemic oppression. He could be a vegan and blame gluten-allergies on why his opponents lose to him. When he wins, he could give the loser gift-certificates to Whole Foods and yoga sessions. He could refuse to fight championship matches unless assured that the ring is carbon neutral. I think if done right, this character could be one of the all-time great heels.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:45 PM on June 26, 2017 [57 favorites]


Up here in Canada? I'd just call myself "The Prime Administer", and get a full-body tattoo of Justin Trudeau. I mean, I was going to get one anyway

I'd pay to see you go up against beady-eyed Steve "The Pro Rogue" Harper, in his sweater vest singlet.
posted by Kabanos at 1:52 PM on June 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


yeah but both the Prime Administer and Steve Pro Rogue Harper would get crushed by Le Bon Cyberjack.

who is of course Jack Layton brought back to life as a half-machine half-human wrestling powerhouse. watch out for his signature left hook it's unstoppable.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:57 PM on June 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


I've seen Sam Adonis wrestle live a few times, and it's amazing how good he is at getting the crowd riled up. There are a lot of hated heels down here, but an American flag with Trump's face on it plus a douchey slicked-back bleached blonde do sets people off like nobody's business. It's invariably a great show.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 2:02 PM on June 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised CJ Parker hasn't been brought up yet.
posted by Eikonaut at 2:05 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


This is Leon Scott, the Social Justice Warrior, who wrestles in leagues in Central Florida. I've never wanted to have so much in common with a wrestler before: patches include Eat the Rich and Black Lives Matter, as well as anti-fascist and pro-trans messages. His Twitter account even reposts anti-fascist/anti-racist memes of the current administration.

Am I supposed to love a heel?
posted by opinions at 2:35 PM on June 26, 2017 [17 favorites]


In his first match, he goes head to head with the Centrist Liberal, while the other wrestlers stand around and laugh...LLLLET'S GET READY TO RRRRRELITIGATE 2016!

Then, in his second match, he goes head to head with the Centrist Liberal, while the other wrestlers stand around and laugh...LLLLET'S GET READY TO RRRRRELITIGATE 2016!

Then, in his third match...
posted by PlusDistance at 3:12 PM on June 26, 2017 [31 favorites]


This is the best illustration of the failure of the democratic party that I've ever seen. The talking down, the white board, the smugness. This is truly amazing satire. I wish I could show this to every host on msnbc.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 3:35 PM on June 26, 2017 [8 favorites]


I'm down but only if he gets the crap beat out of him by a Bolshevik wrestler.

okay so the Bolshevik wrestler should wrestle under the name Leningrad, with his backstory being that he's a grad student who sorta looks like Lenin.


The Bolsheviks were a late 80s tag team consisting of Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov who played the Soviet national anthem before their bouts.


This is the best illustration of the failure of the democratic party that I've ever seen.


It really isn't.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 6:04 PM on June 26, 2017 [4 favorites]


I'm down but only if he gets the crap beat out of him by a Bolshevik wrestler.

I assume that would be his tag team partner.
posted by jpe at 7:27 PM on June 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


It really isn't.

Oh. Well, in that case.
posted by R.F.Simpson at 9:03 PM on June 26, 2017 [7 favorites]


This is the best illustration of the failure of the democratic party that I've ever seen. The talking down, the white board, the smugness. This is truly amazing satire. I wish I could show this to every host on msnbc.

Totally. It's very well done!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 11:31 PM on June 26, 2017


If memory serves, wrestler Mick 'Mankind' Foley is actually a progressive liberal.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 AM on June 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


If memory serves, wrestler Mick 'Mankind' Foley is actually a progressive liberal.

A lot of wrestlers are. They just know that certain segments of the audience are a lot more likely to dislike them if they say it out loud, and they're not likely to pick up as many fans from the other side.
posted by Etrigan at 10:23 AM on June 27, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is the best illustration of the failure of the democratic party that I've ever seen. The talking down, the white board, the smugness. This is truly amazing satire. I wish I could show this to every host on msnbc.

I was going to say the same, except more "Chapo Trap House & Co" then the Dems. But each to their own!
posted by Anonymous at 3:57 PM on June 27, 2017


I don't think distinctions between centrist neoliberal and radical socialist mean so much for a heel character on a deep red state wrestling circuit. He seems to just represent the left side of the spectrum for an audience that is going to lean pretty hard right and not really see much difference between a Democrat or a DSA member.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:16 PM on June 27, 2017


How do you interpret the part where the crowd chanted "Feel the Bern!" at him? (I genuinely think it's a little ambiguous.)
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.
Here's a Sports Illustrated interview with Richards, by the way:
What’s your finishing move?

I call it the Liberal Agenda. It’s just a cross-arm neckbreaker, so if I’m standing in front of you, I’m grabbing each of your wrists, crossing your arms, then twisting you for a standard neckbreaker. I call that the Liberal Agenda so then the announcer says, “Oh, he hit him with his Liberal Agenda!”
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:02 PM on June 27, 2017 [1 favorite]


I don't think distinctions between centrist neoliberal and radical socialist mean so much for a heel character on a deep red state wrestling circuit.

Yes, but one has to feel there's a difference due to this country's obsession with identifying as members of the deep red state population in order to signify "authenticity". So whether the argument is Left vs. Right, or Left #1 vs. Left #2, one must always tell themselves that their side is what represents this "real" America--even when the actual people in question don't give a shit.
posted by Anonymous at 10:24 PM on June 27, 2017


> How do you interpret the part where the crowd chanted "Feel the Bern!" at him? (I genuinely think it's a little ambiguous.)

I think that lefties in red regions skew heavily toward Bernie supporters, and Richards was playing off of their energy with a good joke line in response.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:38 PM on June 27, 2017


Interviewed on the CBC here in Canadiania tonight.

- Claims to be a genuine left-winger, who plays it up for laughs/wrestling fun but genuinely wants to get some of these points into the audience's head (if not winning them over right away)
- Has had guns pointed at him by audience members
- Seemed like a genuinely nice fella with a solid sense of humour
posted by Shepherd at 5:58 PM on June 28, 2017 [6 favorites]


On Canada Day, some friends in Edmonton went to see a match where the villain was Americado, "from Bangkok in the foothills of Kentucky" (though he appears more Asian than Bluegrass to me). Anyhow, he entered the ring draped in an American flag. His opponent borrowed a Canadian flag from the audience and was cheered before tossing Americado out of the ring. I'd tell you the hero's name but he was too modest to make a big deal out of it, so anonymous Canadian. Also, the referee was an Asian woman, which really made this a multi-cultural Canadian event.
posted by CCBC at 2:32 PM on July 3, 2017 [1 favorite]




The Progressive Liberal is the first segment on this week's Hang Up & Listen.
posted by Etrigan at 7:36 PM on July 10, 2017


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