Wrestlers Use Ring as Immigration Platform

The perfect villain has been created in Arizona, and he torments fans by talking about one of the most heated subjects in the state.

The character of RJ Brewer poses as the son of the state’s governor, Jan Brewer, shouting his anti-immigration message to spectators who boo the villain from the stands.

“I come from the greatest city in the United States: Phoenix, Arizona!” the wrestler yelled before a recent match. “Phoenix is the only city with a woman in power with the guts to get into the president’s face and address the real problem in this country!”

RJ Brewer, whose real name is John Stagikas, is a real estate agent who resides in Massachusetts, according to The Associated Press. Stagikas, who has played the villain wrestler before, stated that the anger directed at his current character is near-instantaneous.

“This is different than any other program I’ve been involved with because usually I have to work really hard to get the audience to hate me,” Stagikas told the AP. “With this, I just walk in with the Arizona flag and the audience boos before I even say a word.”

RJ Brewer often faces Blue Demon Jr., a hero who represents the Latino population and immigration rights for all, regardless of citizenship, the AP reported.

The characters were developed by Lucha Libre USA, a  Mexican American wrestling promotion company. The match-up allows individuals to have an outlet for any frustrations they have with the state’s current immigration policies, without having to engage in physical violence themselves.

The use of villains and heros to comment on – and affect – social issues is not a new concept in the world of wrestling, however. According to the AP, Junkyard Dog was a black hero from the south who was used to break down racial tensions in the 1980s.