Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Don't Look Now, but the Progressive Liberal Is Moving On Up

Coming to the DC Area...
Photo Credit: Brendon Miller/Bluegrass Sports Nation
"The Progressive Liberal" Daniel Richards might be the hottest independent wrestling act in the country right now, and it has nothing to do with the promotions he's worked. Richards caught the eye of Street Fight Radio co-host Bryan Quinby, whose raising awareness caused Deadspin to run a piece on him. Next thing you know, the Hillary Clinton-loving, Appalachian-antagonizing, neoliberalism-defending arch-villain of podunk shindie promotions in West Virginia and Kentucky is getting features in VICE Sports and National Public Radio.

The obvious next step for Richards is to move on up in the indie world. Enter NOVA Pro Wrestling, Washington DC's most prominent independent wrestling promotion. Based in Fairfax, VA, a town nestled in the sprawling suburban tangle emanating from the nation's capital, NOVA has risen in prominence since its founding in 2015 to attract some heavy hitters in the super indie world. The list of talent that has appeared in the promotion has drawn from places like North Carolina, Cleveland, St. Louis, and even the East Coast; Fred Yehi, Joey Janela, Veda Scott, Arik Royal, Angelus Layne, the Carnies, and Donovan Dijak have all made appearances this year, among others. And now, NOVA Pro Wrestling will be the first promotion to cash in on Richards' newfound fame.
It makes all the sense in the world for Richards to make NOVA his first stop on his current tour. It's in close proximity to his normal stomping grounds, and it's in the Capital's gravity, which means he might have extra cache for casuals or newly interested fans to stop on by, given how the local economy is driven by politics.

Of course, whether this bout of fame is more than fleeting or if the features in the online magazine circuit only clicked the stopwatch on his 15 minutes of fame remains to be seen, and is wholly dependent on how his small town shtick plays in front of a different, more plugged into the mainstream crowd. Some of those little podunk promotions draw like gangbusters as they're both the only game in town sometimes and also way more affordable than the places like Chikara and EVOLVE and NOVA that book name talent. The crowd may or may not be larger at NOVA, but one thing is for certain; it'll have far more eyes in the industry on it than his regular rutting grounds. Richards has a real opportunity here, but even if it fizzles out, one has to commend the guy for turning a timely grab for cheap heat into something that could actually make him a star. That's called being a fuckin' worker, man.