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Interview Recap - Paul Bearer

Posted in Interview Recaps by Jack at 08:02, Jul 21 2005

by Neal Jones

Percy Pringle aka Paul Bearer was welcomed to In Your Head. Percy says he is doing great health wise, its the first time in years he's been under 300 lbs. He also tells us his wife is much better and cancer free. And everyone can find out more at www.percypringle.com. Percy talks about the fantastic art work on his site.

Percy talks about being at this year's Cauliflower Alley Club, and hoping to be there next year. He says its something every wrestling fan should experience at least one time. For more information please visit http://www.caulifloweralleyclub.org/

Jack asks Percy if he is retired. Percy says if you read his website you know he's not retired. His talent contract with WWE expired this year. And he signed a legends contract with WWE. So they are allowed to use his Paul Bearer name, and has an upcoming autobiography coming out. And hopes to be in the WWE Hall of Fame soon.

Percy talks about what he is doing now. He is making some Indy appearances and just announced he will be at Legends of the Ring 3 Saturday October 1st in Edison, NJ. for more information please visit www.legendsofthering.com

Jack asks if he was surprised WWE brought him back for the rebirth of the deadman gimmick for Undertaker. Paul says yes he was, and it saved his life. At the time he was up to 525 lbs. And knew he could never go back into the business. He got a call from Jim Ross about coming back. Which sent him into deeper depression because he knew he wasn't able to do it. Ross got concerned because he never called back. Percy finally told Jim his health wouldn't allow it. Jim asked what they could do to have him come back. He told Jim about his weight and he needed the gastro bypass surgery or he was going to die. Jim went to Vince McMahon and they decided to help Percy with the finances for the surgery. The checks started coming as soon as he signed, 2 months before he got the surgery. Percy explains he losr weight rapidly, but he was very weak due to lack of protein. Percy tells the fans they can read the entire story at www.percypringle.com Percy says he was having problems on the road because of his health. So Vince wanted to take him off the road. So they did the angle where he was kidnapped and buried in concrete.

Paul talks about his views on Vince McMahon. He says he cant say anything bad about him, he saved his life twice. He says he was on the payroll for 14 years. And if you do a good job for him he always takes care of them. He is a fantastic business man. And he has helped a lot of other guys, some you have heard of like William Regal, some you never heard of. Percy says the internet is hard on him about his feelings on Vince. If he says something good they say he is kissing butt, if he says bad things they say he is bitter.

Percy talks about fulfilling all his dreams in wrestling. He's worked in Madison Square Garden, he has had action figures, he's been on the covers of magazines.

Jack asks if it was a good ending for the Paul Bearer character. Paul says it wast killed, it was left over for him to return. Percy says with the history with Undertaker and Kane there will always be ties for him to come back. He says it was emotional and sad at the time.

Percy talks about being proud of Undertaker and all he has accomplished in wrestling. He is like family to him. And he doesn't have the words to express how he feels. He says he hated the American Biker gimmick, because he got kicked to the back. And kind of hurt his feelings. And he saw the Taker character he knew change so much. But he understood why they did it, to give the character longevity.

Percy says he also proud of Glen Jacobs aka Kane. They had the idea for Kane, but needed someone to play it. They first saw him in SMW as Unabomb and they knew he had it. WWE brought him in as Isaac Yankem and as the fake Diesel before going with the Kane gimmick that stuck. Jack says a bad gimmick isn't always the end for a guy, if he has "it" Percy explains they will keep trying until they find the right fit for him.

Barbie asks if he was worried when Kane lost the mask. Percy says at first he was, but it all worked out for the best. And Kane is better than ever.

Percy cant understand why creative couldn't think of anything for the Paul Bearer character.

Percy talks about managing other guys in WWE such as Mick Foley as Mankind, Vader and Terry Gordy as the Executioner.

Jack asks if they could still use managers. Percy says yes, a lot of the young guys have great bodies, but just need someone to talk for them. Back in the day in the territories you had to be able to talk to survive or have a good manager to do it for you. And no promos were ever scripted. Paul says almost all interviews are scripted now by writers. He says he never had a scripted promo, just bullet points. Percy says its not the same memorizing a script. No one knows your character better than yourself.

Jack asks what he thought of the Paul Bearer character when he was presented with it. He said he really was scared but excited as well. He signed his first contract in 1990. He had bleached blonde hair at the time, and wanted him to dye all his hair black. He is a legit mortician. He never thought it would get over like it did, and it just got better and better and went by so quick. He remembers the big run with Hulk Hogan at a time Hogan never lost. And the runs with Warrior, Kamala, Yokozuna etc. They were always in the main events and if he never did anything else he will always remember those good times.

Percy talks about managing as Percy Pringle. He came up with a list of about 40 guys on his site www.percypringle.com He managed the Dingo Warrior who became the Ultimate Warrior, a young red headed guy Texas Red who became Undertaker, Steve Williams who became Stone cold, and a young Mick Foley as Cactus Jack.

Percy talks about managing Ric Rude in Florida as part of the Pringle Dynasty. Then moving to Dallas with such guys as Tim Brooks, Missing Link, Jos Le Duc and many others.

Jack asks if he ever thought Dallas would go down. He talks about Florida being a great old school territory with Gordon Solie as commentator. Then he moved up to Dallas which was a national wrestling company with World Class. And having all the big sell outs, and it was really hot. People lined up to get into the Sportatrium. He came in right after David Von Erich died. Then all the tragedies of the Von Erichs kept happening. And it took a toll on the business, then Jerry Jarrett came in in 1989 and renamed it USWA. Percy remembers tearing the banners down in the Sportatorium with Eric Embry. It was another highlight for him, and he cried when it happened.

Jack asks if the closing of all the territories and WCW is bad for wrestling. Percy says of course, comparing it to if they only had one restaurant to go to. Even thought WWE is great you dont want to eat it every day, we need a variety. He's sad the new fans cant experience what the old days used to be like.

Jack asks for some road stories. Percy says he cant tell the real juicy ones. You cant point fingers or throw dirt because fingers will point back and dirt will be thrown back. Percy tells a very funny story about Undertaker and himself traveling to Canada right after they won the title from Hogan. Percy says they had the best strip clubs in Montreal, so they were trying to get there before last call. So they were going 120 miles an hour behind Davey Boy Smith. And they ran out of gas. So the world champion and his manager were stuck on the side of the road with no gas.

Jack asks how it was working for TNA. Percy says it was during a rough time for him personally. He was always a friend of Jerry Jarrett's. He worked for him back in the early 70's. Percy was in bad health and felt horrible. He hopes they make it for the good of the fans and the boys looking for work. Jack asks if Russo was there. Percy says he was and he never had a problem with Vince. He remembers him trying to get interviews for his radio show before he worked for WWE. He never had to tell him no since his interviews weren't scripted. And he still hears from him to this day.

Percy says he was always a wrestling fan since he was a little kid. He was meant to be in the business and he will die in the business.

Percy talks about the Indy scene. And there are a lot of young guys who have a lot of potential. And his time as a talent scout for WWE. Going to the different WWE farm leagues and seeing the young talent. Jack asks if WWE needs more than OVW. He says yes they need more than one with out a doubt. Percy talks about the firing of Jim Cornette. He has been a long time friend of Cornette's. He says Jim is still a part of OVW, even though he was fired from WWE.

Percy talks about being in Barbie's home country of England. And he loved traveling the world. Jack asked about the long plane flights. He says they were brutal for the big guys. But for overseas they usually booked them in 1st class or business class. And all the boys would have their share of cocktails. He says a lot of guys hated it, but he loved it. Percy says he loved going to all the counties. He says even though he was happy to see India it was really bad, they had no air conditioning and the food was horrible. And it was really hot in Kuwait. But they had a pretty decent hotel there. Percy talks about being the manager for Vader when he got in trouble in Kuwait. He knew something bad was going on, and it was a scary situation. And Vader was lucky he got out of it.

Barbie asks questions from the IYH interactive message board at www.audiowrestling.com Percy says he used to have a message board and it would ruin his day reading it so he got rid of it. Duckman asks who does the most drugs in the wrestling business these days. Percy says he wont say he's a saint, but its very different in wrestling now than when he was young. After the steroid scandals he failed 3 drug tests all from smoking pot. That WWE would test sometimes every day. He says if drug use is going on its very limited and kept more secret. Angry Hero asks what it was like being hung from the arena in a cage at the 1996 Survivor Series. Percy says he wanted to work there so bad he could of retired after it. It's the Mecca of the business. He felt like the center of attention and it was fun he loved it. Wildcatoman asks if there was one person he wished he worked with. Percy says the original Gorgeous George. He never met him, but he was the man who turned the industry around in his day. It would be fantastic just to meet him and walk to the ring with him, he was his hero. WildCatWoman asks if there's anything else he wants to do in his career. Percy says no, but he's not done yet in wrestling. Duckman asks if he ever told Mick Foley jumping off big things was a dumb idea. Percy says he remembers telling Mick "are you crazy ?" over and over again to him. Percy talks about Mick Foley wrestling in a scaffold match in Dallas vs Eric Embry also involving him and Skandar Akbar. And the big bump Foley took hurt his wrist and still gives him problems today. Duckman asks what it takes to be a manager now. Percy tells a funny story about the first time someone saw him wrestle they told him "Percy did you ever think about being a manager ?". Duckman asks about Kane. Percy says if theres anything negative is Glen is a too nice of a guy. The Flea asks what's his favorite place for ribs. Percy tells a story about a topless BBQ ribs place in Omaha. And says needless to say there were a few nipples dipped in the BBQ sauce back in the day.

Jack asks if he still watched wrestling. Percy says he watches it if there's something he wants to see, but doesn't watch it ever week. At one time he did he never missed it, but things have changed. But he does like watched tapes and DVD's of the old stuff.

Percy says he wasn't a fan of Tough Enough. He is just too old school.

Percy says his all time idol manager is Bobby Heenan, he dyed his hair like him and wore suits like him. He also likes Jim Cornette.

Percy tells all his fans thank you, and the hosts thank you, for years of support and to check out his website www.percypringle.com

Jack asks if the Paul Bearer voice hurt his voice. Percy says it did, especially when they did the local market interviews, they would do sometimes 40 a day. And it strained his voice sometimes, but he had so much fun doing it. Jack asks if his fans do the voice, he says all the time.

Barbie asks one last question. How many people has he seen come dressed as Paul Bearer to the shows. Percy says that Undertaker character brought out some freaks. He saw people come dressed as him and the Taker and stand outside their hotel room all night long. And some were scary, but they took it as flattery.

Percy in closing thanks the IYH crew for being respectful, and they have a good style, and gives his best to Barbie and his friends in England.

The Angry Hero from www.mondaynightmayhem.com also joined In Your Head this week in their post show.

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