So, we were recently hit with the surprising news that Bill Moody, best known as Paul Bearer or Percy Pringle is no longer with us. I was also shocked to hear of the passing of revolutionary leader Hugo Chavez. this week. A lot to take in, and I’m back at my day job. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve followed the man through his entire career. I can’t offer you an entire history of his life. I’m not going to record a tearful goodbye video and post it on YouTube. Nonetheless, this man played a pivotal role in something I loved as a child, and left a legacy which still has an impact today. He deserves to be acknowledged and respected by fans of the wrestling business. So, here goes.
I don’t know much about his Percy Pringle days, so I will focus on what I know best, and that’s Paul Bearer. The demonic and despicable man who helped to make The Undertaker what he is today. Not to take anything away from the pure talent and hard work of Mark Callaway, but I’m sure he would agree himself that a degree of credit for his success should go to his on-screen mentor. The man who carried ‘the urn’ which Taker could call on for the power and will to fight during his matches. The cult-like leader for a powerful and destructive evil.
Growing up on the Attitude Era, Bill Moody has certainly left a lasting impression on my mind. Even in those days when I loved to cheer for the good guys, and hate on the bad guys, it was still impossible not to be in awe of the phenom. I think a lot of that has to do with the mystique and grandeur that just exuded from everything about The Undertaker. His entrance, his Ministry of Darkness, his sheer power in the ring and in my opinion, equally importantly, his right hand man, Paul Bearer.
Paul did not only manage The Undertaker. He also worked with Mankind during the 1990s, but instead of drawing intense, unexplainable power from the urn, Mick just rocked back and forth hugging it like the loveable lunatic he is/was. A few years later, Bearer introduced to the world, The Undertaker’s half brother and his own son, Kane. In controversial, scandalous and outrageous scenes, the three of them played out some of the most memorable and insane storylines of that era. Koko B. Ware and Lex Luger also surprisingly had stints under the tutelage of the most evil manager in the history of wrestling.
As I said before, I can’t pretend that it’s the same as The Undertaker dying, but it’s still a big deal. As a man, Moody is survived by his two sons. He was a real life father of two, and a friend to many. He will be sorely missed in that regard. To me, and many like me, he will be remembered as a great performer, and someone who helped to shape and craft the grand picture of what we all know and love as wrestling. Everyone plays a part, and looking towards next month and the huge Wrestlemania match between The Undertaker and CM Punk, it’s important to remember how big a role Bill Moody has played. He will be missed by wrestling fans.
I will be very surprised if he isn’t inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame either this year or next year by either The Undertaker or Kane. Let me know your thoughts on the man, and some of your favourite memories.
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