Wrestling By The Numbers: William ‘Paul Bearer’ Moody
Mar 11, 2014 - by staff
World Wrestling Entertainment has announced the newest inductee joining the 2014 WWE Hall Of Fame Class will be the late legendary manager William ‘Paul Bearer’ Moody. The Mobile Alabama native whose impressive 40-plus years in the wrestling industry first became involved as a teenager working as a ringside photographer. After completing high school Moody spent 4-years serving with the United States Air Force and during this time he started working as a wrestler for various Indian Coast independent promotions competing as Mr. X. and Dr. Rigor Mortis. From 1974-1976 he worked as Percy Pringle and was a regular performer with Central States Wrestling. Moody transitioned to managing in 1979 and became Percival Pringle III and worked mostly for southeastern independent promotions. It was during this time he obtained a degree in mortuary science and became a certified embalmer and mortician.
William Moody returned to wrestling full-time in 1984 and his managing career took off working for promotions including Florida Championship Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling and the United States Wrestling Association. His stable of wrestlers included Rick Rude, ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin, ‘Mean’ Mark Calaway, Lex Luger, The Dingo Warrior and others. Moody signed with World Wrestling Entertainment in 1990 and spent the next 12-years with the company as Paul Bearer. The memorable character was an integral part of The Undertaker’s persona and his interview segment The Funeral Parlor became a main event stage. Bearer would also manage Vader, The Executioner, Kane and Mankind before retiring as a television performer in the year 2000. Moody worked as a producer / road agent, stage manager and talent scout before leaving the company in October of 2002.
Returning as Percy Pringle III he then spent a year with TNA Wrestling and again started hosting an interview segment. Moody was having major health issues during this period as he was suffering from extreme obesity and depression related issues. He returned to the WWE in 2003 after the company offered to and paid for him to undergo gastric bypass surgery. He returned to television as Paul Bearer managing The Undertaker at Wrestlemania XX. He remained on television for 2-months and then began working backstage as a booker. He remained with the company full-time until 2005 when his contract was restructured with a part-time deal which included occasional television and promotional appearances and promotional work. In addition to being able to work for independent promotions with his new deal he was also able to run his own promotion Gulf South Wrestling which promoted shows from 2005-2007. William Moody passed away on March 5th 2013 after suffering a heart attack caused by an untreated rapid heart rate. He had attended the annual Gulf Coast Wrestling Reunion days prior to his death and had been suffering from respiratory issues and was treated after the event for a blood clot.
Below we look at the televised professional wrestling career of William ‘Paul Bearer’ Moody by the numbers…
World Wrestling Entertainment:
* 56 Matches Managed ( 2nd Most All-Time ) on WWE Pay-Per-View. (First Pay-Per-View Event: Wrestlemania VI Last Pay-Per-View Event: 2010 Breaking Point (Wrestlers Managed: The Undertaker, Mankind, The Executioner, Vader, Kane & The Big Show)
* 1 Match on WWE Raw.