IYH Paul Bearer Interview Recap
Reported by Neal Jones
Paul Bearer was the guest on the October 23rd edition of the In Your Head Wrestling Online show, hosted by Jack, One Inch Biceps and Barbie Richards at http://www.inyourheadonline.com
Paul was welcomed back to InYourHead. Paul jokingly gives IYH hell for not bringing him back for over 2 years. Paul tells everyone he is doing well, and is about have his 2nd grandchild.
Paul talks about people coming up to him and asking him to do the “Paul Bearer” voice. When wrestling is the furthest thing from his mind, fans will bring it up.
Jack asks about the urn. Paul says old time managers always need an object to hit someone with. Managers should be sissy’s and need something to hit people with, plus it feels good to have something in your hand at ringside.
Paul talks about his time in Florida and living with the Freebirds. He and Michael Hayes started as friends before they were in wrestling with Hollywood John Tatum. They all lived in Jimmy Garvin’s house while wrestling in Florida.
Paul talks about The Iron Sheik, and he was always fun to watch, he never had any problems with him.
Paul says he gets asked a lot what he misses most about being in wrestling. He misses traveling around the world. He still has friends in England who still email him. He talks about the big Summerslam PPV from England where Undertaker wrestled Kamala. Paul says he loved the food in Europe, and was always a guy to go site seeing in new countries.
Jack asks about a story from Percy’s site where Kamala’s wife pulled a shotgun on him before he smartened her up. Paul said he would never get near that woman. He was a long time friend with Kamala and his first manager, they all started in the same territory in 1978.
Paul talks about his “son” Kane and how it is like his sons doing well when he sees Taker or Kane do well. He thought See No Evil was the “f**ing sh*ts”. Kane wasn’t upset he told him that, he always says what he thinks.
Jack asks if any fans ever tried to get physical with him for being a good heel. Paul says a lot of the hillbilly towns it wasn’t unusual for them to chse them out of town with shotguns or slash your tires. He never got hurt but was scared many times. People believed then but not now, Paul says it’s more fun to suspend your disbelief and enjoy wrestling or a movie. Now many fans worry about “work rate” and “drug tests”.
Caller Ashley calls in to enter the IYH contest. She mentions she is 14, and Paul says that makes her old enough for the Jerry “The King” Lawler fan club.
Caller “Swax” asks what Paul thinks of managers today. Paul says there aren’t any old school managers like him, Jim Cornette, Jimmy Hart or Bobby Heenan today. The only one he can think of is James Mitchell, and he considers him old school.
Paul says just because he has some grandbabies doesn’t mean he isn’t queer. Jack asks Percy if he is a homosexual. Paul jokes that just because you blow one guy that doesn’t make you a queer. He jokes about all the guys in wrestling do nothing but do steroids, drugs and suck d***. This segment has to be heard to truly be appreciated for it’s comedy. Paul then says no he isn’t, he’s been married for 30 years.
Jack asks seriously if that is ever a problem, if guys were gay like Pat Patterson. Jack mentions Chris Kanyon recently claiming WWE fired him for being gay. Percy says he didn’t know that or he would have drilled a “glory hole” in the wall when he was next to him in a hotel. Paul says seriously Pat Patterson has one of the greatest minds for the business, and is well respected. Paul considers him a close friend. Paul says when people get fired they come up with excuses, like himself being fat.
Caller Jason says he is a big World Class fan and what was it like the night Paul and Eric Embry tore down the World Class sign in the Sportatorium. Paul says he was a fan before he worked there, it had such an ambiance in the building. Some of the stories you hear about the Von Erichs is true some aren’t but he loved the family. Paul says that night tearing down the banner was one of the most emotional nights for him in the business. Jack asks how he would compare the building to other ones he has performed. Paul says it was so unique even in the way it was built like a pit. Paul says it was brutal in the summer time because it wasn’t air conditioned, but you got used to it. He says it is sad it is torn down.
Paul says he liked the World Class DVD from Big Vision but there should be much more on it that he would have liked to seen. Paul mentions WWE putting their own version out.
Paul talks about getting the Percy Pringle name from the Great Mephisto, who also started Michael Hayes, Gordy and Kamala. He told Paul to try and get a job in the office wherever you work. The entire 6 years in World Class he worked in the office.
Jason asks if territories could work today. Paul says he doesn’t know if it’s the old school in him but he thinks they could. Everything would have to be right though, the money, the station the talent.
Incher asks if Paul has seen Big Daddy V on TV and if he could have a good feud with Undertaker or Kane. Paul says he is a good dude but people wouldn’t want to pay to see that. Jack asks if people want to see big man vs. big man. Paul says it depends on the big guy. He says what an abortion Undertaker vs. Khali was. He says it gave him nightmares of Undertaker vs. Giant Gonzalez. He and Taker were so happy when they finally had the blow off match for their feud with Gonzalez. Paul says he has asked some folks in WWE and they have said Khali is much better than Giant Gonzalez. Jack asks if Paul at least liked the Gonzalez was suit. Paul said no, the angle was horrible, the suit was horrible, the matches were horrible the whole thing was the sh*ts.
Barbie asks what would Percy Pringle say to Paul Bearer if they met. Percy would love Paul Bearer for buying his clothes, house etc. Paul Bearer was the one who made all the money.
Jack asks if the internet fans talk too negatively about wrestling. Paul says yes, but he is aware of how the industry has changed and changed with it. He believes the internet has it’s place. He says it’s so much fun to just watch wrestling and get into the wrestlers and storylines without dissecting everything and worrying about drugs etc. Just enjoy it, but that’s the way it is.
El TNA Fan calls from Portugal, Paul corrects him on saying WWE was only in Portugal once. Paul talks about doing 2 shows in Barcelona in the early 90’s. El TNA Fan asks what Paul thought of Vader. Paul says Vader was “the f’ing sh*ts”, “Giant Gonzalez was the drizzling sh*ts and Vader was the f’ing sh*ts”. He tells the story of Vader getting arrested in Kuwait. Vader tore the set up when the interviewer asked if wrestling was fake, he was a total idiot and did bs like that.
Paul says besides WWE, World Class was his favorite place to work, he talks about loving Gary Hart.
OIB asks if Paul is surprised by Kane and Undertaker’s longevity. Paul says if you asked in 1991 he would have been, but after working with him so long he isn’t surprised.
Jack asks what Paul thinks of people saying Undertaker was just a gimmick. Paul says everyone in wrestling is a gimmick, he’s a gimmick, the IYH hosts are gimmicks, “Pope Dave Meltzer” is a gimmick. Paul goes on about Dave Meltzer and his Hall of Fame, he says Meltzer can do no wrong, who has he beat, how many “d****” has he sucked.
Jack asks about the WWE hall of fame and who would he like to induct him. Paul says the Undertaker.
Paul talks about seeing his action figures, and mentions an upcoming Percy Pringle action figure by WWE.
OIB asks about Buzz Sawyer and Matt Bourne. Paul says they were fantastic but all they did was fight ALL the time. If they could have gotten along better they could have been big stars.
OIB asks Paul what it was like wrestling Mike Von Erich. Paul says he never did, but he helped break Chris in. Paul has a deep respect for all the Von Erichs. Paul says they were Gods and could walk on water, and maybe that is part of the reason they aren’t here anymore. They were born in the business and lived their whole life behind that curtain, at teenagers they had all the women they could want. He misses all of them and hopes they are all resting in peace.
IYH fan Mrs. Big Red Machine asks if Undertaker will be retiring any time soon. Paul says when Taker wants to, he doesn’t have the superstar attitude. He is a first class guy and a dear friend.
Paul says he really didn’t have a problem with Tony Schiavone, that TNA promo was all scripted by Vince Russo. Paul never had a problem with Vince and knew him since he was a young mark hanging outside in the parking lot.
Paul says most of his and Undertaker’s segments were never written or scripted. Vince believed in them enough to let them do their own stuff. Paul says that is bad today they script so much. If you are given a gimmick you become that gimmick. Paul tells a story of seeing Ric Flair memorizing a script last time he was backstage in WWE.
Paul says Ric Flair was the epitome of a world champion. If he wants to keep going more power to him, if he wants to quit he deserves it. Paul isn’t sure if Ric Flair as world champion would work today, none of us are what we were 15 or 20 years ago.
Barbie asks if there is anyone he managed as Percy that would have been better with Paul Bearer. Paul says that is interesting, he isn’t sure.
Paul talks about his territory Gulf South Wrestling he ran for 2 years.. He ran several shows a month, then had the opportunity of going back into the funeral business full time. He runs a “Wal-Mart” of death care. He still does some Indy shows when he has time, and his son DJ Pringle wrestles and is doing well. Paul says he has a good time working Indy shows here and there that are close to home.
Paul talks about his wife’s breast cancer coming back a year ago. Paul reminds everyone this is Cancer Awareness month, he lost his little brother a year ago this week. He tells everyone to please take their monthly breast exams or to remind their wives or girlfriends to do so. Paul says catching it early is a matter of life and death.
Brian Jones asks for Eric Embry stories and how did he lose all his weight. Paul says his surgery saved his life, he was up to 525 lbs at one time. He has lost almost 240 lbs. Paul says Eric Embry was a character and is well known for his big member between his leg. Jack asks Mick Foley talked about that in his book, Paul says if you saw it you’d talk about it too. Paul doesn’t know how Eric wrestled with such a large member, how he put it up in his tights. He thinks Eric rolled it and put a rubber band around it, Eric is a blessed man. Paul says now he is a good family man and lives in a small town and ran for Sheriff. Brian says Eric Embry’s feud with Skandar Akbar was very memorable. Paul says his time with Eric was his first time as a baby face. Paul is naturally a heel, he had to work at being a baby face.
Paul brings up he is going to be managing The Honky Tonk Man this Saturday. He hasn’t seen Honky Tonk Man in years and is looking forward to it. Paul says it is a lot of fun doing the small arenas because there is no pressure, and he can just relax.
Jack asks about Wrestling Fan Fests. Paul says he has fun doing those, but he can’t do too many because he can’t travel around too much. Paul mentions having a picture there with Sherri Martel he took at the Capital Legends Fanfest.
Paul talks about all the lost brothers and sisters. He praises Vince McMahon for reaching out and helping those who need it now and offer rehab. Paul says he partied and was not a saint but he never got hooked on anything.
Jack asks what changed with WWE or Vince McMahon to recognize the past now with WWE 24/7 and the Hall of Fame. Paul says back when he started they never acknowledged anyone’s past in any other company, you only mentioned WWE. Jack asks if WWE being the only company left is the reason they try to keep an archive of all the other federations. Paul talks about his memorabilia he has kept through out the years. He says he isn’t close to Jim Cornette though.
Barbie asks if any wrestling fans have come into his funeral home and just thought they were out of their minds. Paul says all the time. Down south many people are or were wrestling fans. Paul says he gets recognized all the time and he will get “I can’t wait til I get home and tell everyone Paul Bearer buried grandma”. Paul says it helps make it easier, since it’s such a heavy business and people know him.
Paul tells a great story about a young man of 29 who was dying of cancer and his wife setting up his funeral arraignments. His wife asked for an autograph for Doug who was a huge wrestling fan, Paul signed a picture for him. A few days later Doug died at home, when Paul got there to pick up the body Paul’s picture was at the bedside table. Paul says that was pretty heavy. Doug’s widow told Paul he was so happy, he called his friends laughing that Paul Bearer was making his funeral arrangements. Paul said in his business as a wrestler if he could put a smile on someone’s face it made him a success, and in the funeral business if you can ease the pain you are a success.
Percy thanks the IYH guys, and tells everyone to check out his website http://www.percypringle.com
You can listen to the full-length 90 minute interview at http://www.inyourheadonline.com and new live episodes on Wednesdays at 8e/11c PM including this week with Chris Jericho. Plus FREE Rey Mysterio masks all October long.