Oh Yessss... Paul Bearer, one of the
greatest managers of all time
Known to fans worldwide as the iconic chaperone to his hired muscle The Undertaker, William Moody came to light from the dark depths of the WWE as manager Paul Bearer. Debuting in December 1990 the chilling, spooky manager became an instant favourite in dark appeal. Possessing an enchanted gold urn, filled with an unknown power controlling the Deadman, The Undertaker, to he who holds the soul of ashes contained inside, was able to revive strength to his beloved superstar in matches giving him a deadly edge besting his rivals.
After thirteen years managing The Undertaker, Bearer even undid his favourite star’s tie, hat and coat. He went on to present a darkly enriched Funeral Parlour talk show surrounded by caskets, dark smoke and eerie undertones. On this show his most memorable moment came when Undertaker appeared from inside a casket to creep up on adversary Hulk Hogan in just one of many fantastic segments to deliver talent and storylines further.
However, Bearer’s loyalties waivered at the 1996 Summerslam event where he turned on The Undertaker, joining rival Mankind instead. Paul would also pair with Vader along the way also.
The plot soon thickened in the form of bloodline. Bearer revealed a moment of Undertaker’s chilling past where his mother committed adultery and spawned an illegitimate half-brother out of wedlock called Kane. His new offspring joined the WWF at In Your House Badd Blood in October ’97 costing Undertaker a crucial Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels. A red hot feud began in which the first ever Inferno match made a scheduled appearance in April 1998. It would be a scorching feud in which Bearer held the glue tremendously for both siblings’ rivalry.
Plans soon changed, as they often do in WWE and the manager rejoiced in partnership with Undertaker once more to build the mega stable Ministry of Darkness taking on Chairman Vince McMahon’s The Corporation and dominating WWF programming perfectly with a new and valid dark themed interest. The mannerisms of Bearer and his cohorts was perfection added with key vocals and interactions of emotion.
Bearer later had a brief stint in Total Non-stop Action in the early 2000s as Percy Pringle III before returning to WWE working backstage and with ‘Taker once more. The June 2004 pay per view, The Great American Bash became a monumental storyline where Bearer was kidnapped by devilish Paul Heyman and trapped him inside a concrete crypt. Seated, tied and gagged in a perspex box, Undertaker looked on as instructed to lose the match to Heyman’s stars The Dudley Boyz. Undertaker won the match and managed to save Bearer from being encased in cement by Heyman. The shock horror would continue. As Undertaker looked on, rescuing the hope of Bearer, ‘Taker himself pulled the lever to fill the concrete tomb on Bearer. It was an excellent display still fresh in viewer's minds giving Undertaker a huge endorsement and audience shock with emotional connection. Bearer’s on-screen portrayal as a trapped, doomed man eventually encased in the grey moulding muck still rings true as testament today.
Bearer would make further appearances from 2010 – 2012 for WWE while supporting the independent circuits from 2005-2013 managing stars such as Kamala.
Moody passed on March 5th 2013 aged 58. He was said to be suffering breathing difficulties and sought help soon after an independent show, treated for a blood clot. He later died of a heart attack following.
Whilst Moody’s sudden death was a surprise by all fans and insiders, his commitment and skills are unchallenged. Able to deliver expert vignettes, talk shows and manage stars to their best potential and stand firm as a force on his own with immense respect from his peers all over, Paul Bearer’s eerie, chilling sound will never be cast astray.
You can see the Funeral Parlour episode on our YouTube page here - http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZw5p97DFi1LcyRI4NUQPvw
© Max Waltham 05th April 2013
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