Profiles‎ > ‎profiles‎ > ‎

Paul Bearer / Percy Pringle (1954-2013)


Real Name - William Alvin “Bill” Moody

Birthdate - 4/10/1954 - 3/5/2013

Mobile, AL

Athletic Background - n/a

Teacher(s) - n/a

Professional Background - Indies(`74-`76), Gulf Coast(`76-), Florida(`76,`84-`85), WCCW/USWA(`86-`89), WWF/WWE(`90-`02), TNA(`02-`03), WWE(`04-`05), Indies(`05-`13)

Aliases - Mr. X, The Masked Enbalmer, Percival Pringle III, Percy Pringle III

Peak Years - `87-`97

Groups - Pringle Dynasty

Wrestlers - The Assassin, Ted Arcidi, Matt Borne, Dingo Warrior, Eric Embry, The Executioner (Terry Gordy), The Grappler, The Great Kabuki, Sugar Bear Harris (Kamala), Jack Hart (Barry Horowitz), Kane, Lex Luger, Mankind, Missing Link, The Mongolians, Blackjack Mulligan, Rip Oliver,Buddy Rose, Rick Rude, Buzz Sawyer, Oki Shikina, The Spoiler (Don Jardine), The Undertaker, Vader, Jack Victory, Kobo B. Ware
  
Place in History - Bill Moody is one of many individuals who lived several lives in the world of pro-wrestling.  Many remember him as a goofy bleach blonde manager whose fast-talking in his thick Southern accent drew some good heat as Percy Pringle.  Most remember him as a black haired, ghoulish-looking handler of the Undertaker whose over-the-top personality perfectly contrasted with his emotionless charge.  Either way, Bill Moody was a great manager in either role and the fact he did both so well shows the range of his abilities.  A fan since childhood, Moody served in the Air Force and pursued a career as a mortician, all while maintaining an interest in the sport.  Like many, he took photographers at ringside and trained to wrestle, but it was as a manager that he found his true place.  He struggled early on in the financially unstable pro-wrestling scene, but eventually caught a break in Florida.  During that time period, managers were of the utmost importance in helping, establishing and directing heel characters.  He developed his act, which borrowed from the managers that had been successful before him.  Some might peg him wrongly as a ripoff of Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette, but Percy Pringle was very much his own man.  Successful managers often seem very similar because it is such a specific role, but it is not a role that just anyone can fill.  Percy was able to do it.  He was successful in the dying days of Florida and World Class, which allowed him to standout and gain recognition by the WWF.  The WWF presented a very new opportunity.  It was going to be financially rewarding, it would make him a household name and it would allow him to ply his skills on the biggest stage, but he needed to take on a brand new person.  Renamed “Paul Bearer,” he dyed his hair and mustache black, he put on a black suit, he put on heavy makeup and he completely altered his voice.  Replacing Brother Love as the manager of the Undertaker, Paul Bearer became one of the WWF’s most unforgettable characters.  The Undertaker, an undead monster with powers drawn from an urn, got over so strongly he turned face.  Paul Bearer now had the almost impossible task of being a relevant babyface manager, but for nearly five years, he did.  As the keeper of the Undertaker’s urn and his mouthpiece, the act worked and the Undertaker battled and defeated a series of monsters.  Inevitably, Paul Bearer turned on the Undertaker and he spent the next several years leading the monsters against his former charge.  During the Attitude Era and beyond, the Paul Bearer character became involved in some outrageous angles including the Undertaker-Kane feud, the satanic Ministry alongside the Undertaker and being killed off on-screen several times.  Behind the scenes, Bill Moody worked in every conceivable position from scouting talent and helping with creative to working in production and as a road agent.  His and his wife’s health problems became more and more of a stressor in recent years.  While attending the Gulf Coast Wrestlers’ Reunion in 2013, Moody was in very poor shape and passed.  He was by some estimation the last great manager, a holdover from the territorial era who lasted into the Attitude Era of the WWF.

Comments