A stroke of genius, they wanted a heel (a bad guy wrestler) who would piss off everyone in wrestling audiences. Beau James came up with “The Progressive Liberal.” They were universally hated.

“They introduced me and the people booed me for almost two straight minutes. … It’s a high. … And I’ve been there in the same situation where they love me – I don’t think it compares to the high of the hatred.”

But it worked a little too well. Wrestling audiences all know that wrestling is just a show, that they are not really fighting. But their ability to suspend belief is powerful.

“The crowd has taken on a more violent approach towards me,” said Harnsberger, who plays the Progressive Liberal in the ring. “I had rocks thrown at me. A lady pulled out a lighter, tried to light my trunks on fire while they are on me. And had someone else pull out a switchblade.”

Hmmm. Some things are just too close to home.

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