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Wrestling / Paul Bearer

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Paul Bearer (real name William Alvin Moody, April 10, 1954 – March 5, 2013) was a WWE manager and former wrestler, best known for his years managing The Undertaker. During the course of his tenure at WWE, he also managed Mankind, Vader and Kane. In kayfabe, his character was portrayed as a funeral director with certain mystical powers centered around an urn that he carried with him that seemed to empower whoever he managed. He was also later revealed to be the biological father of Undertaker's half-brother Kane.

He had also been a funeral director and mortician in Real Life, which was the inspiration for the gimmick.

He passed away due to complications from a blood clot on March 5, 2013. This didn't stop WWE from using his (supposed) ashes as a gimmick in various matches. The next year, Paul Bearer would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

"You can read my tropes, Ooooh YEEESSS!":

  • Acrofatic: He actually took some impressive bumps every now and then, and could dart away pretty quick when it looked like he was going to be attacked at ringside.
  • Action Survivor: Had been a wrestler under the names the Embalmer, the Mortician and Dr. X before settling into his role as a manager.
  • Affably Evil: Just a doughy man who runs a funeral home, and gets excited when talking about his work. Sure, he made some mistakes (like reanimating dead bodies to serve as wrestlers).
  • Alliterative Name: As Percy Pringle
  • Amplifier Artifact: The urn.
  • Arch-Enemy: (In Florida as Percy Pringle): The Fabulous Freebirds
    • (From 1991-1996): Anyone The Undertaker was feuding with at the time.
    • Later, Undertaker himself, also Kane here and there.
  • The Artifact: By the end of the 1990s, as a manager, he was basically the Last of His Kind.
  • Big "YES!": His Character Catch Phrase.
  • The Bus Came Back: Had surprise returns in 2004, 2010, and 2012... Only to become a Body in a Breadbox by Randy Orton in 2012.
  • Character Catch Phrase: OOOOOOHHH YEEEESSSS!!
    • When being interviewed: Oooooohhh, Mr. (surname of interviewer)...
  • Composite Character: Starting around early 1997 he was less kindly, raving like a firebrand preacher. He also shared a bit more in common with Pringle.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Tended to get very into his character.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ever since SummerSlam 1996 when he betrayed the Undertaker for Mankind.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: Bearer used a very high-pitched voice for the role.
    • Which was doubly enhanced by his already high tenor natural speaking voice.
  • Creepy Mortician: That's assuming the funeral home itself isn't a front for...other illicit activities.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: Well, just Creepy Shadowed Eyesockets, until 1997 after Undertaker burnt his face.
    • Came back when he returned in 2004.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Is on the receiving end of one by the Big Show when forced to fight by Commissioner Shawn Michaels with Bearer’s “defence” consisting of him cowering in fear and begging the Big Show not to hurt him, to no avail.
  • Distressed Dude: Was always getting kidnapped, at least since Paul Heyman and The Dudley Boys first kidnapped him in 2004.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: He eventually lost the pancake makeup, along with a few pants sizes.
    • He started wearing makeup again when he returned in 2004.
  • Eviler than Thou: After Yokozuna dispelled the Undertaker at the '94 Royal Rumble, the Million Dollar Man and others scrambled around for months trying to find his body, eager to control him just as Bearer did. At last, DiBiase wheeled out a fake Undertaker (actually Brian Lee) to throw everyone off the track. This is one of the few times Black-haired Bearer got furious: he promised to make DiBiase suffer for hijacking his creation.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Whether he was talking in soft falsetto, or blowing the roof off the arena with his voice, Paul was a gurning, bug-eyed, living cartoon.
  • Evil Redhead: When he stopped dyeing his hair through 1997-1998.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Completely inverted with his high-pitched voice.
  • Fanboy: Of George Jones. Would refer to himself as "The Possum Fan."
  • Fat Bastard: Perhaps one of the biggest in all of the WWE, matching fairly closely with Yokozuna — only without the muscle. He eventually shed a good deal of weight after undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Fulfils this role for the Undertaker, being a fat mortician with a high pitched voice.
  • Guyliner: It was suggested from the very beginning that Bearer might be immortal or undead himself.
  • Hammy Herald: For Taker.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Amongst other things, he really hammed it up to get The Undertaker to laugh. In one memorable promo, he got the giggles himself.
  • Honorary Uncle: To Mankind for a while.
  • I Have Many Names: The Embalmer, the Mortician, Mr. X, Percival "Percy" Pringle III, Paul Bearer.
  • I Have No Son!: Seemed to go back and forth on this with his kayfabe son Kane.
  • I Love the Dead: Liked to wax poetic about plagues, inquisitions, slaughters in centuries' past. Business was booming for his line of work in those days!
  • I Was Quite the Looker: As Paul Bearer, he mentions this trope after he reveals himself as Kane's real father, having had an affair with the Undertaker's mother at some point decades ago. As those of you who have seen photos of Moody in his younger days, it's basically true.
  • Item Get!: Paul holding the urn aloft like the Holy Grail.
  • Joker Immunity: Hold on, how many times has this guy died? Kane stuffed him headfirst down a real-life manhole. He turned up later in the PPV looking no worse for wear. Not even a grease spot. He (or rather, his stunt double) also survived being buried in cement.
  • Large Ham: And how! I mean, just look at him!
  • Last of His Kind: The last male manager for many years.
  • The Load: The reason Undertaker gave for burying him in cement in 2004. He's also proven to be this to Kane after his 2010 return, which is partly why he didn't rush to save him in 2012 when Orton kidnapped him.
  • Louis Cypher: One possible interpretation, given his sharp suits and father figure role to both Kane and Taker, two wrestlers frequently described as demons from hell.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Revealed that he was Kane's father the day after Unforgiven when Kane's arm was engulfed in flames after the first Inferno match. Later related the entire story in an interview segment with Jerry Lawler.
  • Non-Action Guy: Like most managers in Professional Wrestling, he isn’t that great of a fighter. This was Lampshaded on the May 10, 1999 episode of Raw is War when he was forced by Commissioner Shawn Michaels to wrestle The Big Show.
  • Plot Hole: His claiming to be Kane's "father" created the first problem in Kane's backstory. Paul originally claimed that he first met Kane when he went to work at Kane and Taker's family's funeral home. The only way for all of that to be true would have been if Paul hadn't been told by the mother that he had a "son," and they never resolved that part.
  • Pornstache: He's had until The Undertaker burned his face in 1997. After the surgery he was clean shaven for a bit until he grew it back.
  • Power Stable: (as Percival Pringle III in Florida, Texas and elsewhere): The Pringle Dynasty, which included, among others, Rick Rude, Bad News Harris, Lex Luger, Buzz Sawyer, Matt Borne, Blackjack Mulligan, The Spoiler, The Missing Link and Abdullah the Butcher.
  • Punny Name: Pall-bearer, anyone?
  • Sharp-Dressed Man
  • Sinister Minister: When presiding over Undertaker and Stephanie McMahon's "wedding".
  • Start My Own: In 2005, he started his own promotion, Gulf South Wrestling, which he dissolved in 2007 when his business partners had wanted to continue it without him.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: He was a managing mortician named Paul Bearer.
  • Sweet Home Alabama: He was from Mobile.
  • Talk Show with Fists: "The Funeral Parlor", an interview segment he had with The Undertaker in the early 1990s. His show replaced "The Brother Love Show," which was where he debuted shortly before WrestleMania VII, replacing Brother Love as Taker's manager.
  • Undeathly Pallor: (Probably) not actually undead, but he wore white makeup to give himself a corpse-like look.
  • Voice for the Voiceless: In Undertaker's original gimmick, Paul Bearer did about 90 percent of the talking while Undertaker delivered a short, chilling final line at the end of each promo.
  • Wham Line: "He's alive! Kane is alive, Undertaker!"
  • Wrestling Doesn't Pay: Inverted, as he was actually a certified mortician in real-life, and also operated a funeral home in Mobile, Alabama.
    • In a more literal inversion, his WWE appearances in 2004 provided him the cash he needed to undergo gastric bypass surgery.


Video Example(s):


Stone Cold saves Stephanie

Before the Undertaker could marry Stephanie in a dark wedding, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin arrives and saves her from Taker and the Ministry's clutches.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / BigDamnHeroes

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