In the world of professional wrestling, there is one role that, until recently, had become a vanishing art form, as many bookers (the folks who write the shows) had seemed to feel that they have not been needed. However recently these folks have been making a comeback in the business as more bookers see the advantage of having these folks back at their old roles.
I’m speaking of the managers of specific wrestlers, who have had a unique role in the business for as long as I can remember. They are not managers as one would think of the job. They do not manage their wrestler’s business affairs. Instead, they assist the wrestler in the crowd’s reaction to him or her. If their wrestler is a face or a “good guy,” the manager helps what they can without breaking the rules too badly, and encourages the crowd to cheer for his wrestler. If the wrestler is a heel or “bad guy,” the manager follows this timeless guideline: “Win if you can, lose if you must, but cheat at all costs!”
There have been many managers over the years who have left their mark on the business. However, there is one man who took the role of manager and raised the bar like never before. The gentleman’s name is William Moody, but he was better known by the two names of his wrestling alter-egos. In WCCW (World Class Championship Wrestling) he was known as Percy Pringle III. Pringle was truly a colorful character. He wore extremely loud outfits, had a voice that grated nerves, had an ego as big of Texas, and a group of wrestlers to back him up.
However, it was in the WWE that Moody rose to the call of his profession and took on the persona that would rise to legendary heights. It was the role of a funeral director turned pro wrestling manager. That was not a problem for Moody, who in real life held a degree in mortuary science and was certified as a funeral director and embalmer. He appeared in a black suit, and hair. His complexion would be very pale and pasty, and his face was able to display every emotion in the spectrum, including a few that, to this day, I’ve not figured out. That new WWE manager’s name was Paul Bearer.