R.I.P. Paul Bearer, 1954-2013: The Definitive Video Anthology of His WWE Career
In news that when transcribed sounds like some sort of weird mix between a scene from Inception and a Webcam installed in Vince McMahon's brain, William Moody, an actual trained mortician turned wrestling manager by the name of "Paul Bearer" and longtime WWE manager of the legendary Undertaker, died on Tuesday night at the age of 58.
Ten videos to celebrate the dignified career of Paul Bearer.
Fans of the Von Erich-led World Class Championship Wrestling organization back in the 1980's will also remember Moody (perhaps even more fondly) as heel manager Percy Pringle, a character under which he guided the careers of, among others, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Lex Luger and a young "Stone Cold" (then "Stunning") Steve Austin.
Under the recommendation of Rude in late 1990, then-WWF owner McMahon brought Moody to the WWF to manage the burgeoning in-ring career of his next great creation, the ominous Undertaker (Mark Calaway). (Conveniently enough, Moody had actually managed Calloway previously in Texas.)
That's where our trip down YouTube memory lane begins...
10. Paul Bearer Debuts On The Brother Love Show, February 1991
The Undertaker debuted at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in 1990. Unveiled by his benefactor Ted DiBiase and managed at first by the conniving televangelist Brother Love, it was clear from jump that the Undertaker would be a major player in the WWF for years to come. (I refuse to refer to the company in the `90s as "WWE".)
In early 1991, Brother Love decided that apparently there weren't enough hours in the day to both manage the Undertaker and piss off the rest of the babyface roster in the WWF, so he handed the reins of the phenom over to a ghastly, pale-faced mortician of a newcomer whose name, conveniently enough, was Paul Bearer:
9. Paul Bearer Gets His Own Talk Show, Summer 1991
When you have a character whose voice sounds like a cross between a police siren and a Scooby-Doo villain, you don't walk, you run to give him his own interview segment, and that's precisely what the WWF did with Paul Bearer in 1991, giving him his own platform (the "Funeral Parlor") to advance storylines, both involving the Undertaker and involving other WWF superstars, like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair:
(I'm giving serious thought to conducting all interviews on my radio talk show in "Paul Bearer voice" on April Fool's Day this year. Be prepared, John Granato.)