RIP Paul Bearer

34 Submitted by on Wed, 06 March 2013, 08:00



We’ll leave the Curtain Jerker title off today, and instead give full billing to a man who’s had quite a career in professional wrestling. William Moody, either as Paul Bearer or Percy Pringle III, was a unique character in a business full of them, standing out even when surrounded by larger-than-life monsters.

Feel free to share some of your memories of Mr. Moody as we remember one of wrestling’s most colorful gentlemen.

Written by

Justin Henry is WrestleCrap's inquiring newsman, thirsting for knowledge always. He enjoys the art of satire, as you'll find in many of his works here at WrestleCrap. Drop him a line on Facebook ( and Twitter (
34 Responses to "RIP Paul Bearer"
  1. ReReallyrPeteGasW says:

    Remember being legitimately shocked when he hit the Undertaker with the urn and started managing Mankind… in a time when i was already jaded in the world of wrestling, RIP Paul.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      Oh yeah! That really surprised me, too. I wasn’t expecting it, that’s for sure.

  2. patricko says:

    Good and not-so-good memories of him.

    First – proof that a good mouthpiece helps get a wrestler over. Undertaker barely spoke, Bearer was perfect for him.

    His delivery to me, as someone who was already well into his 20’s when they showed up, was over-the-top campy, but it was effective.

    Not so good – bad skits on monday night shows, prior to Raw starting. I recall he was giving embalming instructions once, and the always terrible Lord Alfred Hayes was under a sheet, and he obviously was sportin’ wood, and it made for really, REALLY bad tv……

  3. Jim says:

    My all time Paul Bearer moment happened at a house show in Providence RI when he was managing Kane. There was a large lady in the front row who was harrassing him about being fat. He grabbed the house mike and told her “Lady your almost as fat as me and at least on me, these(grabbing his chest) are real.” Everybody got a good chuckle and the lady shut up real quick. Later I related to him on his website that I remembered and he actually e-mailed me back that he remembered the incident himself. What a nice guy to actually take the time to respond personally to a fan. A true legend who will be sorely missed. RIP Paul

  4. Joseph S. Hasan says:

    I remember a RAW that took place sometime after Paul turned on Undertaker (could have been during the Mankind feud, or could have even been during the first Taker-Kane feud). Paul was at home, and Undertaker arrived to confront him, and he just flopped like a jellyfish everytime Taker hit him. Whether it was supposed to be funny or not, I will always remember his selling of that beating.

    Also, anytime he returned in recent years was a lot of fun for a fan from his era.

    One of the best managers, for whose loss the wrestling world is lesser.

  5. The Gold Standard says:

    My most and least favorite moments were when he was in WCCW…he was great as Percy Pringle doing the manager who wrestles thing. Then he got saddled with working with Chris Von Erich. Paul was all business and did his best

  6. TV's Mr. Neil says:

    Why is it that the first memory that popped into my head was the urn flashlight from Summerslam 94?

    Actually, I remember the guy most fondly for The Funeral Parlor. Truly the last great interview segment in wrestling.

    I would just love to have that set on display somewhere. WWE really should open a wrestling museum.

    • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

      The Urn Flashlight with its beam of light breaking through the clouds of smoke in the arena was a great visual! Simple, but effective.

  7. Alan says:

    I’ve always thought the moment on Raw in late 1998 when Kane & Austin dumped Paul into a sewer. One of the funniest & most forgotten moments of the Attitude Era.

  8. Brian says:

    Always loved Undertaker’s promos with Paul going over-the-top like no one else could. I can recall at least one instance where right after Paul spoke (as Taker turned it into all business with his cold, deep delivery) he nearly broke out into laughter. Usually hard to tell as the camera zooms in on Taker, but you have to remember that Paul seemed to do most of those promos with the intention of getting him to corpse (no pun intended).

    To hell with being a ham, Paul Bearer was the whole damn deli. He will be missed.

  9. Ed says:

    One of the all-time great managers. My favorite thing about Bearer was that in a world of ridiculous characters he managed to go above and beyond everyone else, while still getting the Undertaker character over. Always loved the character and in interviews he seemed like a really nice, witty guy. He will be missed.

  10. Down With OPC says:

    I’ll always remember him at WrestleMania XIV, “Damn you deadman! Damn you t o Hell!” Then another time, Stone Cold gave him a stunner, and Paul just sort of rolled away like he ate the blue candy in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He will be missed.

  11. Frozen Banana Expert says:

    I remember Paul as being one of the people in wrestling who genuinely scared the shit out of me as a child. The Undertaker was creepy and all and he did give me nightmares, but not as much as his creepy-ass manager.

    I also found it hysterical that in WWF Attitude, Paul Bearer’s finisher was a 450 Splash (Buffet Buster).

    While his capacity of late has been a bit hokey (seriously, how many times are his children going to kill him?) but nonetheless he is a legend and his passing will be felt.

  12. Matt Soileau says:

    RIP, Purse. I wish I had met you. You had some of the best facial expressions and acting skills in the business. You were also, from most accounts, a really nice man. Godspeed, Purse…

  13. Andy says:

    So I wake up to a bunch of texts about how wrestling legend Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle has passed away. I won’t lie, I’m pretty bummed out. The man was incredibly talented on the mic, and helped establish the careers of three men who were really floundering before they paired up (Undertaker, Kane, Mick Foley). Three men who owe at least a piece of their fame and fortune to Bearer.

    As a kid, I went to a handful of WWF house shows at the Nassau Coliseum. I remember only a few things about those shows now, one of them being the Paul Bearer lookalike contests. Even though the contests always came down to who could to Bearer’s “Ohhhh Yeeeeeesssssssssssss” catchphrase the best.

    It feels weird saying it, since it was always a part of their gimmick, but Paul Bearer… rest in peace.

  14. Sir Thomas says:

    A lot of my fondest Paul Bearer moments were during the first Taker-Kane rivalry. That, and the video games always had a fat joke to lay on him. Pretty sure his weight in No Mercy was listed as a series of exclamation marks, which always made me laugh for some reason.

  15. bret_owen99 says:

    While I loved all of his moments (have been watching since he started with the Undertaker), I think the thing I love most is that he still contributed to the business today. Working all over the Country, not to mention on the latest THQ games (WWE 13 included).

    I have a 3 year old little girl, and when I play WWE ALL Stars, if I play the Undertaker’s Storyline, she huddles next to me on the couch, afraid of Paul Bearer and the Undertaker. It’s good to know that his impact can be passed on to a different generation, who never got to see him in person.

  16. Gabe says:

    Just remeber seeing him down in Dallas in the WCCW days as Percival Pringle III “Percy Pringle” and managing the young Rick Rude there. Frickin awesome gimmick. He annoyed the crap out of those Dallas Rasslin’ fans for sure. He got over big time in WWF with Paul Bearer, but I think they guy could get over anyone including the mop that wrestled Ric Flair. RIP

  17. Raven7309 says:

    The peanut butter to UT’s chocolate. He and UT just complimented each other perfectly. It was a real treat to see him in WWE All Stars cutting promos with UT. RIP Paul/Percy.

  18. Shawn Doc Girt says:

    it waz something i didnt want to believe. i just saw this headline earlier today that read “Remembering Paul Bearer” n all i could think waz no way he died. i scrolled down n there it waz n i waz just shocked. oddly enuff tho i waz going to put some more picturez of wrestlerz n managerz n promoterz on my facebook page n i had one spot left. i guess now i know why there waz a spot left. n it breaks my heart now that it doez. God bless you Mr Moody n may you rest in Godz handz n find eternal happiness in Heaven.

  19. Lyle says:

    I think my favourite was a promo he cut before Royal Rumble 1992 which was along the lines of “ohhhhhhhh, what a busy afternoon it’s going to be at my funeral parlor, 29 hearses have allllllready been prepared, 29 bodies, 29 caskets!” Keep in mind that as he says this, his voice steadily gets higher pitched and more excited. He wasn’t a talker at the level of, say, Steve Austin, but he was absolutely perfect in the role he was given.

    Here is the video. Bearer’s promo starts at around the 4:40 mark.

    Another favourite is his return at WMXX. They kept cutting to shots of him during Undertaker’s entrance and they were all pretty funny.

  20. JimbolianJimJimbJolianbJiSmbJimJim says:

    Very upsetting to hear about his death since I was a fan of his. Even though that he was 58, that’s still early to pass away.

    I say my favorite Paul Bearer moment was when he turned heel and became the mouthpiece for Kane when Kane debuted in ’97. Seeing him belittle Taker for most of 1998 was an awesome heel moment. It’s like the perfect combination of the Percy Pringle and Paul Bearer characters.

    • JimbolianJimJimbJolianbJiSmbJimJim says:

      BTW, can someone check into the comments section because it doesn’t let you type out your name and e-mail in the textbox anymore and any reply ends up in all caps.

      Just wanna let people know I don’t have a stuttering problem even when I type.

      • "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

        Yeah, I’m sorry about that. We know about the problem. It’s some kind of bug in WordPress and I don’t think we can do anything about it. ūüôĀ I’ve let R.D know about it. I hope it gets fixed, too. The “all caps” thing has happened to me, too. It’s really annoying.

  21. Jimmy W says:

    My thoughts just echo what everybody here says. Everybody gives the Undertaker credit for turning a surefire “Wrestlecrap” gimmick into the most enduring persona in wwf/e history, and rightfully so, he’s one of the all time legends. Paul Moody, though, was able to take what amounts to just a barnacle, a cling-on, to that gimmick, and make himself one of the most unforgettable characters of all time. I’m 29, and I dare sure say fans within 3-5 years of me either way look at him as a major cog in their wwe past.

    I’ve spent a lot of today debating a question in my head; Was Paul Bearer the last of his kind? I can’t think of any manager to really have a collection of no-goodnicks after him. I wouldn’t count Bischoff in the NWO, and I damn sure wouldn’t count Vickie when she had Swagger/Ziggler, they weren’t together long enough and didn’t have enough of an impact. From the time he turned on taker in mid 96, until really mid 99, Bearer managed a LOT of the major heel players in the company, the last in a line of men like Hennan, Aakbar, Heart, Blassy, etc, who were a MAJOR stable of their era.

    I know this has been wordy, but one last thing. I really cannot wait, now, for the conclusion of the “rewriting the book” about HBK. Paul has played a major part, and I am sure reading the rest of his exploits will lift my spirits.

    • Raven7309 says:

      Definitely the”Last of his kind” for sure. The whole art of managing in pro wrestling has, unfortunately, fallen by the waysid in this day and age.

  22. MrMaddog says:

    My favorite Paul Bearer memories…

    – The Funeral Parlor where Paul and Undertaker locked Warrior in a casket, and later on when Jake Roberts slams the casket lid shut on Taker’s hand who kept coming after him.

    – Him bringing Kane out to the ring on Raw and having him show off his “magic powers” by casting staged lighting bolts. One of the stage hands got caught on fire from one of them, yeah it looked hokey even back then.

    – Paul’s burial in concrete at Great American Bash. Just when Taker was gonna save him, he poured more of it in to bury Paul in order to be free from the urn’s control. Had more of the stage lighting that knocked Paul Heyman on his ass. ūüôā

    Good bye Paul/Percy and thanks for everything. As Undertaker had said, “Rest…in…peace…”

  23. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    I won’t forget his surprise return at Wrestlemania XX. Just that voice.

    RIP William Moody. May you rest in peace.

  24. John Q Occupier says:

    My first wrestling memory is the Funeral Parlour segment when Undertaker locked the Warrior into the casket. I remember being horrified. RIP, Paul Bearer- you made it real to me.

  25. simongr81 says:

    RIP Paul Bearer. What a manager!

  26. WC Fan says:

    Paul Bearer was one of the greatest managers of all time. He was the one that made the storylines related to The Undertaker, Mankind, and Kane work so well. What a shame that he passed away. RIP Paul. You will be missed.

  27. Chris D says:

    I’ll never forget Wrestlemania XX. I was watching it with a friend, and we jumped out of our seats when the lights when off and we heard “OOOHHHH YEEEEESSSS!!” come out of the darkness. When I got to school the next day, everyone asked me about Taker’s return, and when they found out about Paul’s surprise, it was the talk of the school for the rest of the day. The man certainly knew how to cause quite the stir. I’ll miss him so much, RIP Paul Bearer.

  28. Lee W says:

    The one thing about Paul Bearer that really stuck out to me was that for the time it was quite unusual for a good guy wrestler to have a manager in the then WWF and yet the Undertaker enjoyed immense popularity with Paul Bearer at his side for all those years which to me speaks volumes about how much Paul Bearer was loved by colleagues and fans alike and I’ll certainly miss him

leave a comment