One of the most accomplished pro-wrestling managers, Paul Bearer was a prominent figure in sports entertainment. He worked with legends like The Undertaker, Kane, and Mankind throughout his tenure at WWE/WWF. At one point, he briefly worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling with the ring name Percy Pringle III. Bearer’s real name was William Alvin “Bill” Moody, and in a fascinating example of fiction imitating life, he was a licensed funeral director. If you are wondering more about his life, we got you covered.
What Happened to Paul Bearer?
Bearer’s first stint with WWF lasted from 1990 to 2002. When he came back in 2003, the promotion had begun using the initials WWE. His first appearance following his return was with The Undertaker in a match against Kane at WrestleMania XX in March 2004. In June 2004, the Paul Bearer character was buried alive in the storyline at the Great American Bash. Moody worked as a booker for the next few months until WWE decided to end his contract in April 2005, as per reports.
For the ensuing seven years, Bearer maintained his association with WWE, lending his voice to his character in video games like ‘WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011,’ ‘WWE All Stars,’ ‘WWE ‘13,’ and ‘WWE 2K14.’ He was also often spotted on the independent scene of sports entertainment. Bearer made another return to the WWE ring in September 2010 in an episode of SmackDown, participating in a feud between two of his most frequent collaborators — The Undertaker and Kane.
Paul made sporadic appearances on WWE for the following two years, still serving as an integral part of the overall storylines. His final appearance on the promotion was in an episode of Raw in April 2012, during a feud between his storyline son Kane and Randy Orton. Bearer was put inside a storage freezer by Orton. Even though Kane found him, he put the older man back into the freezer after declaring, “I’m saving you… from me.”
In July, Bearer was supposed to make an appearance at WWE Raw 1000 along with The Undertaker and Kane but was absent because of issues stemming from scheduling and travel conflicts. He appeared as a manager for Vader in a match against Rikishi at Pro Wrestling Syndicate in New Jersey in October 2012.
How Did Paul Bearer Die?
However, Moody passed away on March 5, 2013, in Mobile, Alabama. For much of his later life, Moody/Bearer struggled with obesity and various complications. Before his return to WWE in 2003, the promotion paid for his life-saving gastric bypass surgery. He later revealed that he managed to lose over 300 pounds after undergoing that operation.
In early March 2012, he was present at the annual Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion in Mobile. At the time, he was using a wheelchair. One of the fellow attendees later revealed that Bearer was experiencing breathing difficulties. Bearer reportedly sought treatment immediately after the event was over. But on March 5, he died of a heart attack. He was 58 years old at the time. It was later deduced that supraventricular tachycardia, which can result in abnormally fast heart rate, was the reason behind his heart attack. In March 2014, Bearer became part of the WWE Hall of Fame.
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