In light of the recent passing of Paul Bearer this week, we have gone back in the Wrestleview.com archives to run our interview with Bearer back in 2002. On behalf the entire Wrestleview.com staff, we wish to send our condolences to the Moody family during this very hard time.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Paul Bearer, which I might add, is one of the nicest people you could ever talk to. In the following interview, Paul Bearer gives us an update on his wife’s condition, talks about his WCCW days, the Undertaker, Kane vs. Undertaker storyline, funniest moment, his position with the WWF after he was off television, his upcoming site PercyPringle.com, and much more.
How is your wife Dianna doing?
Dianna is doing very well, thank you. Her breast cancer is in remission. She has regained her strength, as well as her hair. Please make sure that all the special ladies in your lives get their annual mammograms. And you ladies reading this, don’t let your regular examinations pass you by. It could be a matter of life and death.
Being that you spent three decades in the business, and took part in some of the most exciting and edgy storylines, which would you say was your favorite or most interesting?
The angle, early in our WWF career where we locked The Ultimate Warrior inside the casket was one that stands out in my mind. In the early 90’s we were certainly pushing the envelope with an angle like that, however it turned out to be a very successful run for us. We worked with Warrior all around the world for about a year and a half.
What was your fondest memory from WCCW?
When Fritz Von Erich pulled out of The NWA and made Rick Rude the first WCCW World Champion. Rick defended the belt against Bruiser Brody in Texas Stadium, now that was a classic.
What did you do before working in WCCW?
Before WCCW, I was in Championship Wrestling From Florida. That is where I was first paired with Rude, we had perfect chemistry right away.
Once you were no longer on WWF Television, what was your position with the WWF?
I worked backstage during television events as an agent and stage manager of sorts. Eventually I moved into the talent development area, where I scouted future ring talent and monitored guys and girls that we already had under contract. Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, and Dave Bautista, just to name three, were some of the young talent I scouted back then.
How did the Kane vs Undertaker storyline come about?
The key to Taker’s longevity was that he was always refreshing his character.
Kane was created to add another dimension to our storyline. Needless to say it worked. Glen Jacobs is an outstanding athlete and family man. He is a very dear friend of mine, a class act.
Any thoughts on the Undertaker’s current character?
It certainly isn’t the way he began in the darkside. However, it is closer to Mark Calaway’s real personality than anything. He loves motorcycles, and dresses very similar to today’s UT in real life.
Would you consider coming back to the WWE, or that’s it, you are definitely through with them?
You never say never in this business. At this point in time I cannot see anything in The WWE for me.
In your opinion, what would you consider the best wrestling match of all time?
What a question that is. I really don’t know if I can answer that one. I don’t know if you mean a match that I saw in person, or a match that I know about from wrestling history. Nail me down, and I will have to say Undertaker and Mick Foley’s first hell in a cell match. That cannot be followed.
Out of all the wrestlers you’ve managed throughout your illustrious career, who would you say you had the most fun managing?
Of course I would have to say The Undertaker. However, I really had a lot of fun with Mick Foley, when he was Mankind. Our characters really meshed out there. Every time we were together it was fun, a laugh all the time.
What would you consider the funniest moment in wrestling, of course with you being involved?
Wow! Got me again. There’s so many. I have had so much fun in my career. Without a doubt, our business is one that you cannot stay in for as many years as I have without having fun. What’s funny to me, probably won’t even make your readers laugh. Most of my good stories are those kind that you just had to be there to understand them. Taker wrestled the late “Freebird” Terry Gordy in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in one of the first In Your House Pay-Per-Views. I was managing Terry, who was wrestling under a mask as The Executioner. They fought out of the building, and rolled down an embankment into a small lake. When they made their way back into the ring, UT picked Gordy up for the tombstone, water just poured out of Terry’s boots all over The Undertaker. I cried. See … you had to be there.
Ok, there is this thing, I heard and I am not too sure when it happened, but many consider this a funny, embarassing and disgusting moment.. The Undertaker was facing Sid in a match and Sid crapped in his pants, any truth to that. **laughs**
To tell you the truth, I don’t remember that one. However, I am not saying it didn’t happen. I have lost a lot of brain cells during the past 12 years.
Tell us a little about your upcoming site (PercyPringle.com), what should fans expect to see on the site?
Well, for those of you that don’t remember Percy, Percy is basically a cartoon character more or less. He wears the flashy, colorful outfits, making those familiar faces, etc. So PercyPringle.com will be very unique just like Percy himself. In fact a very talented animator that has worked for Disney, is helping me out a lot. There will be a lot of pictures that I took personally through the years, combined with my biography, and a lot of great stories that I have to tell. There will also be a message board, where fans can come and share their memories, and ask anything they want too.
Name Association..I’ll just give a few names and just say a few words that come to mind.
Paul Nemer: Bruiser Brody
Paul Bearer: His own man.
Paul Nemer: Fritz Von Erich
Paul Bearer: A creator of a Dynasty.
Paul Nemer: Bobby Heenan
Paul Bearer: My hero.
Paul Nemer: Rick Rude
Paul Bearer: Fantastic talent, my friend.
Paul Nemer: Ric Flair
Paul Bearer: The last of the “real” world champions.
Paul Nemer: Hulk Hogan
Paul Bearer: A legend in his own time.
Paul Nemer: Vader
Paul Bearer: A big, strong, teddy bear.
Paul Nemer: Undertaker
Paul Bearer: What you see is what you get.
Paul Nemer: Finally, William Moody (Percy Pringle, Paul Bearer)
Paul Bearer: A husband, father, performer, and a friend.
Paul Nemer: Thank you for your time. It was a pleasure.
Paul Bearer: No, thank you. It was my pleasure.