Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dr. Tom Prichard Remembers Percy Pringle III/Paul Bearer


The following was written by Dr. Tom Prichard for his website:

I have too much to do here. I’ll go next year. Man, I’ll probably see him at PWS or sometime over WrestleMania weekend. If not, he’ll understand. I have too much on my plate right now…

I saw pictures of him sitting down by the stage. I didn’t know he was in a wheelchair. I’d read on Facebook that he hasn’t been feeling well, but it has been chilly and the flu’s been going around. I will make it NEXT year!

Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle/Bill Moody sent me an application last year to attend the Gulf Coast Wrestle Reunion. I wanted to go. It’s been a hectic couple of months and I was unable to make the trip. Life got in the way. The Gulf Coast reunion will never be the same. Even moreso, the many lives Percy touched will never be the same. He was the Undertaker’s manager, Paul Bearer. But before that he was known as Percy Pringle III. I called him Percy and occasionally, Pooh Bear. I saw him last October at a PWS show and autograph signing in New Jersey. I rode with him to the show and afterwards we went back to the hotel and asked about a restaurant nearby. The people at the front desk seemed confused giving directions. There was a lot of road construction and they weren’t sure about the twists and turns. We ventured out anyway and after 20 minutes of dark roads we gave up and I ordered a pizza that would be delivered by the time we got back to our rooms.

Earlier we followed the Iron Sheik’s manager through crazy NJ traffic and Percy was raising hell along the way as this genius weaved in and out of rush hour northeast traffic! It was a fun (but dangerous) drive to the building.

We talked about old times, new times and good times. My wife and he exchanged FB messages long before I entertained the thought. Both are from Alabama and he was always quick to remind me I married a ”nice ‘Bama girl” and I needed to treat her right!

He also talked about the Gulf Coast reunion and what a great time it was. I’d heard the same from others and I really wanted to attend. We’re not getting any younger…

And now he’s gone. I have to admit I heard about Percy’s death Wednesday morning when my wife woke me up telling me it was all over Facebook. I couldn’t believe it. There’s no way! He’s too important to too many people. This can’t be happening! All the good guys are leaving.

I was warned. “This may be the last time to get to see some of these guys.” But certainly I’ll see Percy again! He’s getting the Lou Thesz award at the Cauliflower Alley club next month!

I texted a friend to find out if he knew what happened. Seems a blood clot was the cause. I was still in a state of shock. He just had the flu. We can’t lose another one. There’s not many left who loved the business the same way. Percy was a fan growing up watching and dreaming. His dreams became a reality and surpassed anything anyone could imagine. He was a great guy with a great heart.

His wife Dianna had passed away years ago and by his posts and messages it was obvious he loved and missed her dearly. I don’t know where or what brings some people to have such strong faith but it was evident with Percy. There are more than enough people who profess one thing and do another but William Moody practiced what he preached. He didn’t beat you over the head with his beliefs but he did walk the walk.

It’s funny and enlightening at times when I encounter people I worked with or had an acquaintance with over the years. We seem to have that unspoken bond of going through the same experiences in different ways. We traveled the same roads but had different spots on the card. Some guys liked to segregate then as well as now, while others understood we all traveled the same distance to get where we are and there was no reason to be a dick about it! Percy and the Undertaker were always class acts.

Percy understood the changes taking place in the business and accepted it. Change is inevitable. Paul Bearer with the Undertaker is timeless. They are a team. I’m sure all of Percy’s friends are feeling a void right now. I know his family is missing him terribly…

Death is a part of life. That doesn’t make it any easier when someone you care about passes away. I regret not going to the Gulf Coast Reunion. Ron and Robert Fuller attended for the first time. I owe both a lot for what they did to help me. I didn’t get a chance to thank them. I didn’t get a chance to see a lot of the guys who helped me or I just missed. I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to one of the good guys in this business.

Goodbye Percy. You were a good and decent man. I’m going to miss you. I know you’re happy and reunited with Dianna. Rest in Peace my friend.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for your remembrance. Percy wholeheartedly believed that he and the Mrs. would be reunited in Heaven. I hope he got his wish, because right now, my heart is killing me.

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    1. Amen. He was a really nice and kind man, an excellent actor, and a great friend.

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