The wrestling world and millions of fans lost a legend. William Alvin Moody better known as Paul Bearer passed away and that sucks.I know that may not sound like the best way to describe his passing but its how I honestly feel. I grew up knowing him as Percy Pringle so when he showed up in WWF I was weirded out seeing him without blond hair. Before he managed Undertaker he wrestled himself. In one of my first articles for Tha O Show I mentioned how much managers were needed in the business and Bearer was one of the reasons I believed this.
Can you imagine Taker without him at his side? We would not be wondering if Taker would be wrestling this year at Wrestlemania were it not for Bearer getting that crazy ass character over. Yes, the WWF was strange at the time but the idea of a “dead man” wrestling? Please. Paul Bearer with his creepy ass voice and segments made what could have been a trivia question into one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
Without Bearer there is no Taker. Its that simple. Taker didn't used to say shit back in the day! “Rest...in...peace.” That's it! Bearer did all the talking and there are millions of adults who were children creeped right the hell out by him.
This was a guy that was so damned good at his job that when he was buried alive in wet cement and returned no one asked “Uh, wasn't he...?” Doesn't matter. It's Paul Bearer. If you tell me that he can survive that I'll believe you because he was that damned good at his job. He made you believe that by raising an urn brought to ringside he could power up his wrestler that had gotten his ass beat. No one else can do that.
Years later he introduced Kane and brought an even more twisted element to his character. Yeah, managers had character but he was a character. Throughout his career he managed Mankind, Lex Luger, Rick Rude, and even Blackjack Mulligan. A lot of managers stay the same throughout their careers. Check out some old footage of Percy Pringle here if you feel like blowing your mind. If you've never seen him he's the opposite of the Paul Bearer you grew up with.
I was shocked to find out he passed away at the age of 58 but not so much that he was an actual funeral director. Makes perfect sense even though it would make me think I was being Punk'd if I saw him there. Paul Bearer was truly an original in every sense of the word. There will never be another manager like him. From interviews like in Episode 208 of Tha O Show he comes across as funny and a genuinely sweet guy. Years from now when I hear someone say “Oh, no...” I'll continue to respond with “Ooooohhh, yeeessss...!”