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Paul Bearer

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The Beginning:


William A. Moody was born on April 10, 1954 in Mobile, Alabama. After graduating from high school, he joined the US Air Force. He got his start in the wrestling business as a fan of Gulf Coast Championship Wrestling where he would meet Michael Hayes, another fan aspiring to become a professional wrestler. He would get his first break in the business as a photographer for the company. For several years, he would wrestle occasionally and eventually returned to school and became a licensed mortician.

Percy Pringle III:


In 1985, he got a call from Michael Hayes to become a manager in Florida Championship Wrestling. William Moody managed in that territory under the name of Percy Pringle III and managed a group of wrestlers, most notably Rick Rude. In stark contrast to the look he would become most famous for, Percy was blonde and a flashy dresser. The following year, thanks to Freebird Michael Hayes again, he entered World Class Championship Wrestling. He managed in that territory and its successor, the USWA, for several years. Most notably, at one point he was the manager of the Dingo Warrior, who would later go on to become known as the Ultimate Warrior. He also was the manager for Mark Calloway in Mark's first match at the famous Sportatorium which was against the late Bruiser Brody.

Paul Bearer:


In 1990, Mark Calloway made his WWE debut as The Undertaker. Undertaker was originally managed by Brother Love. In early-2001, Paul Bearer made his WWE debut as the new manager of Undertaker. No longer blonde or wearing fancy clothes he was known for as Percy Pringle III, he instead dressed in a black suit and dyed his hair the same color. In addition to managing Undertaker, he was also the host of The Funeral Parlor. This weekly television segment featured several famous moments that started some famous feuds for Undertaker against the top stars in the company. In November of 1991, Undertaker sneak attacked Hulk Hogan on the set would carry that momentum into a WWE Championship victory against the Hulkster a few weeks later. The following year, Undertaker locked Ultimate Warrior in a casket on the show.

Betrayal:


Originally hated heels, both Undertaker and Paul Bearer became fan favorites in 1992 when Undertaker stopped Jake Roberts from smashing Miss Elizabeth with a steel chair. Their relationship came to an end in 1996 when Paul Bearer betrayed Undertaker and joined forces with Mankind to destroy Undertaker. Paul Bearer also managed Vader and Executioner during this time but when they all failed to destroy Undertaker, Paul hatched a dastardly plan. He blackmailed Undertaker into working for him again by threatening to reveal a secret.

Kane:


In 1997, it was finally revealed that Undertaker accidentally set a fire that killed his parents and badly disfigured his brother, Kane - a brother which Undertaker thought perished in the fire. It was then later revealed that Paul had an affair with Undertaker's mother and that Kane was really Paul's son. In October 1997, Kane made his debut by interfering in a Hell in a Cell Match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels. In a rematch against Shawn a few months later, Kane put his half-brother in a casket and set it on fire. That eventually led to a match between the two at WrestleMania 14 which was won by Undertaker. A year later, he would betray Kane to manage Undertaker once again. In 1999, Undertaker suffered an injury which would result in Paul briefly managing Kane again as a good guy. Shortly after WrestleMania 2000, Paul worked for the company behind-the-scenes until leaving in 2002.

The Return of Paul Bearer:


During his time off of television, he became morbidly obese and at one point weighed 525 pounds. In 2003, WWE paid for him to have gastric bypass surgery. The following year, Paul Bearer returned to WWE at WrestleMania XX as the manager of Undertaker in a rematch against Kane. Undertaker won that match and would go onto feud with Paul Heyman. During that feud, Paul Heyman had The Dudley Boyz kidnap Paul Bearer. At Great American Bash 2004, The Dudley Boyz fought Undertaker in a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. To make the odds even worse for him, Paul Bearer was trapped in a crypt that would fill up with concrete whenever Undertaker did something good in the match. Undertaker eventually won that match but then decided to fill the crypt up with concrete himself because he was a liability.

Two More Kidnappings:


In 2010, Paul Bearer returned to television as the manager of Undertaker who was feuding with Kane at the time. During a Hell in a Cell Match between the brothers, Paul turned on Undertaker to finally get his revenge for being buried in the concrete. At the time, Kane was the World Heavyweight Champion and his next challenger for the belt was Edge. Edge would kidnap Paul and then played tricks on Kane by making it appear that he injured him but in reality he was using dummies. Kane saw his father on top of two ladders, and thinking it was another dummy, he tipped them over causing his father to be injured. Two years later, Paul returned to manage Kane again and during a feud with Randy Orton he was kidnapped yet again. Randy locked him in a freezer. Kane saved him but then moments later decided to lock his dad back in the freezer.

The Passings of Mr. and Mrs. Moody:


In real-life, he suffered a major tragedy in 1999 when his wife of over 30 years, Dianna Moody, died at the age of 47 from cancer. On March 5, 2013, William Moody passed away at the age of 58. They have left behind two children, Michael and Daniel.  In 2014, he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

 

(Sources used include: WWE.com, Slam Sports.com, onlineworldofwrestling.com, and percypringle.com)

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