Last year, the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) suffered the loss of one of their most iconic managers in the history of their business, William Moody. For most of us who grew up with wrestling, we know Moody by the gimmick he portrayed, Paul Bearer. He first came into the WWE (known as World Wrestling Federation or WWF at the time) in 1991 during the month of February as Brother Love’s replacement for Undertaker’s manager. Since then, he’s been in many angles and is cherished for his contribution to the Undertaker character. He even knew facts about the Undertaker that nobody else knew.
However, did you know that before William Moody was known as Paul Bearer in the WWE, he was a manager for other promotions and even a wrestler? That’s right! Paul Bearer was a wrestler, and a very entertaining one at that!
Back in 1989, just two years before he became Paul Bearer, William Moody was known in the United States Wrestling Association (USWA) as Percival “Percy” Pringle III. Sounds quite contentious, but Percy was a very contentious and obnoxious character. Nevertheless, Percy is known for managing the start of wrestler careers during that time, which includes Stone Cold Steve Austin (Known as “Stunning” Steve Austin), Rick Rude, and — believe it or not — The Undertaker (known as Texas Red). Another fact about the Percy character is that he was a wrestler! He actually fought against Chris Von Erich and tag teamed with Steve Austin, and fortunately, we have videos showing one of Percy’s matches! The first part is above and the second part is below.
Now, to be fair, Percival “Percy” Pringle III wasn’t the most gifted wrestler or even the most technical. What Percy is known for is being an entertainer loaded with a lot of charisma that sold both moves — where he be giving or receiving them. So far, Percy is excellent at selling pain as in how he reacts when he is in a submission move or when he takes a hit. I personally found it hilarious that he turns into a “bobble-head” when he takes a punch from Chris Adams. Let’s not forget the epic facial expressions Percy (or any one of Moody’s gimmicks) makes. Imagine how he’d look taking a punch.
After watching the videos, what are your opinions? Though not the most technical wrestler, would you think the Paul Bearer character would have been fine as a wrestler just for the entertainment factor?