Thursday, March 19, 2015

RF Video Shoot Interview with Percy Pringle (Paul Bearer), Disc One

This was filmed on February 17th, 2006

The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein and Doug Gentry

Disc One runs at one hour and twenty-nine minutes long

Disc Two will be recapped tomorrow.




Pringle jokes that he was a wrestling fan at birth. His parents would take him to the matches as young as 3 years old in Alabama. His names off some of the regional guys at that time then said when he got a bit older he was a fan of Cowboy Bob Kelly and Ken Lucas. He talks about how he loved the territory system and how you didn't know about other territories until you got the Bill Apter magazines. He says that fans today missed out on that.



He decided that he wanted to be one of either two things in high school: a mortician or involved in wrestling. Pringle said that he worked for an ambulance company while in high school and was intrigued at the thought of being a mortician.



On how he got smartened up to the business, he became a ringside photographer after meeting Ricky Gibson. He tells a story of how he got right up in the face of Gorgeous George Jr. during a match and before he snapped the photo he saw him blade his forehead and couldn't believe what he saw and that smartened him up.



Pringle talks about how he was friends with Michael Hayes in Pensacola and was the shits then and the shits now. He remembered Hayes constantly telling him about the Freebird team as Pringle blew him off as Hayes would talk constantly and sure enough the team came true. Pringle considers Hayes a dear friend.



He talks about working as an enhancement talent, usually under a mask. Pringle then  talks about how his best attributes were the gift of gab and his facial expressions.



His first real break was with International Championship Wrestling in Mississippi. He was with Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, Jim Harris (Kamala), Troy Graham, and Rip Rogers. It was here that he was given the Percy Pringle name. They asked him if he wanted to be a manager as that never crossed his mind and he thought the Pringle name was wacky. He came out with a team called the Mongolians and it stuck since. When asked, Pringle said that no one ever really took him under his wing as far as managers were concerned. He does say he stole some parts of the act from a guy who wrestled in another terriroty then a few years later saw Jim Cornette say some of the same stuff and thought he was stealing his stuff. Pringle said the money was not good as a manager and would still wrestle or doing anything they asked, even some of the office work.



When asked about how he developed his promos, Pringle said he never had to work hard as he was born with the ability to talk and would never think of what to say before hand as he would just react to what was happening.



He goes ahead to speak about how at one point he had to be a "fucking stooge" for the WWE as he would report to all of the "farm teams" like OVW, HWA, UPW, Memphis, and Puerto Rico and report on everyone and said he did that because he needed a job as his wife had breast cancer but they saw he loathed that job and was made an agent. Pringle said that he was meant to be an on-air talent.



After ICW he went to work in Florida in 1985. Pringle jokes that he never slept for eight months as it was party central. He had the Pringle Dynasty which included Rick Rude, Missing Link, PYT's (Koko Ware & Norvell Austin), and Jack Hart (Barry Horowitz). He cracks a joke about Hart and how he still "shaves his legs." He also said that the Missing Link lived with his family in a nudist colony. He was invited with Rick Rude one day and couldnt believe how everyone their was naked. He jokes that if he was naked there the whole place would clear out.



In Florida, Pringle was living with the Freebirds and talks about their partying. He says his favorite Freebird story took place one morning when he woke up in the house to smell smoke. He looked around for the fire and saw smoke coming up from downstairs and tried to wake up Hayes, who didnt even bother to get up and asked Pringle to check it out. Pringle went outside and saw smoke pour out of the room and saw Buddy Roberts and his wife sitting in bed. Pringle asked Roberts what was going on as Roberts nonchalantly told him the house was on fire as he was drinking a cup of coffee and smoking a cigarette. Pringle went to the front of the house and saw Terry Gordy standing their with a garden hose trying to put out a recliner that was fire. Pringle asked him what happened as Gordy told him the house was on fire. Gordy apparently caused the fire when he fell asleep smoking a cigarette and it set the carpet and drapes on fire.



Pringle talks about being in the Florida Territory when Eddie Graham committed suicide. He found out when he pulled in the driveway with the Freebirds where Buddy Roberts' wife told them. Pringle said that about 20 people owned a piece of the territory and they all came out of the woodwork at the funeral.



On Lex Luger in Florida, Pringle said that he is a good guy but is as bad now as he was back then as he just never had it, comparing him to the Ultimate Warrior. He only managed him briefly as he left for World Class.



He got a call from Ken Mantell in World Class and went over there with Rick Rude. He shared an apartment with Rude and talks about how he cannot believe that he is gone and puts him over as a great guy. Pringle then said that Rude loved to fight and would go to bars with his girlfriend and sit away from her then beat up guys that would hit on her just because he loved to fight so much and Pringle said that got old after a while.



Pringle is asked about the fan reaction towards the Von Erich's. He said it was unbelievable and how they were perceived as gods in Dallas but unfortunately they believed what the press was saying about them and self-destructed as a result.



He also talks about how Matt Borne & Buzz Sawyer were a great team but that they would constantly fight each other. Pringle said that he would ride with them and they would stop the car and step outside so they could fight.



When asked about guys having heat with Sawyer, Pringle talked about how Sawyer opened up a wrestling school and instead of teaching guys to wrestle in a ring they were taught in his living room where Sawyer would smash them through the sheet rock. Pringle also said that the Undertaker was taught by Sawyer and one day went up to Bruiser Brody, who was booking World Class at the time, and asked for a chance, saying he was trained by Sawyer. Brody blew him off then a few weeks later the Undertaker came back so they gave him a mask and called him "Texas Red" then he had a match against Brody, who beat the living shit out of the Undertaker. Pringle said that he was the manager for the Undertaker in his first match and was basically there to help him find his way back to the dressing room after the beating he took.



Pringle was there when Gino Hernandez died. When asked, he did not believe that foul play was involved as he knew the guys that found him and he was in his underwear holding a glass of orange juice. He also said that the coroner said that Gino had more cocaine in his system than anyone else he has ever performed an autopsy on in Dallas.



He managed the Ultimate Warrior when he was the "Dingo Warrior" and said that he is just not a wrestler. Pringle said he wrestled George Wells in a chain match that was one of the worst he had ever seen but then talks about how he never had problems with him and they made a lot of money together in the WWF.



Pringle also managed Steve Austin when he first started out. He said that Chris Adams ran a wrestling school that Pringle would help out with by teaching promo skills and said that Austin stood out the most by far as he talks about managing the biggest stars in the business when they first broke into the business.



On Fritz Von Erich, Pringle said that he was tenacious on the business side as Vince McMahon. He then talks about how Chris Von Erich really wanted to be a wrestler but had severe asthma go along with other medical issues and said that Fritz asked him to wrestle Chris and they did for about a year. Pringle then talks about Chris's brothers treated him like shit and none of the wrestlers wanted to work with him because he was so small and by doing those matches it got Pringle over with Fritz. Pringle said that he loved Fritz and puts over his toughness, citing an example of when he was on his death bed and was refusing morphine for the pain, saying he didnt need anything.



He talks about Kerry Von Erich and how he was in the locker room in Indianapolis when Jeff Jarrett told them his dad called and said that he had died. Pringle gets sad as he talks about how Kerry told him previously about his troubles and said that Kerry did a lot of charity work with children that people never knew about.



Pringle says that Missy Hyatt was a sweetheart back in the day and when she was dating John Tatum the would invite people to their house where Missy would cook for them all but today she is a totally different person. Pringle then jokes about not getting him started about Tammy Sytch.



He talks about some rivalries with Gary Hart over being the top manager but they maintain a good friendship today. Pringle then mentions some rib in which he was going to get painted yellow but found out about Matt Borne and others pissing into the paint can.



On the Jarrett's coming in to take over World Class, Pringle said it was tough because he had so much loyalty towards the territory.



About how he got into the WWF, Pringle said the USWA was dead and he had his car repossessed and was hurting badly so he decided to move back to Alabama and was going to leave the wrestling business altogether in order to work in the funeral business. However, he called Rick Rude, who was in the WWF at the time, as Rude told him to wait as he would get back to him. Several hours later, Rude gave him the number for Vince McMahon, who wanted Pringle to call him.



Pringle calls Vince and they had a nice conversation that took place just prior to Christmas in 1990. Vince said after the Holidays they would fly him up to Stamford but the next day Pat Patterson called him up as Vince wanted him right away. He got put up in a first-class hotel and was told that Vince would meet with him in the morning and that he could eat or drink whatever he wanted as it would be paid for by the WWF.



Final Thoughts: Disc one was a soild interview. Pringle comes across as a great guy and is pretty funny here too. I will have Disc Two up tomorrow with  more detailed review of the interview itself.


18 comments:

  1. I AM PAUL BEARER AND YOU'RE NOT!

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  2. Bearer is great, his ROH interview with Cornette is still one of my favourites (also showed Cornette is just as entertaining when he's talking about the things he enjoys instead of raging).

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  3. I badly want an explanation for that.

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  4. Champagne B.arry arthurMarch 19, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XsIe00nNrgk

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  5. YankeesHoganTripleHFanMarch 19, 2015 at 12:51 PM

    Well that was kind of a tease. Still, hearing about his time with taker, mankind, and kane should pass time time nicely at work tomorrow. Maybe we will even get a wacky Fuji prank story!

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  6. I was going to do both today but could not find the time.

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  7. The Ghost Of Meekin's MoobsMarch 19, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Other than Bearer and McMahon, almost everyone else mentioned in this shoot comes off as an asshole

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  8. There's a great line in this shoot where Paul Bearer mentions Michael Hayes stopping the car that they were driving in to go look for mushrooms, "and not the kind that you put on pizzas!"


    Also really funny: His impression of Terry Gordy during the fire story. Imagine an ox on a lethal amount of sedatives saying, "PERCY...DA HOUSE IS ON FIRE!"

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  9. YankeesHoganTripleHFanMarch 19, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Your off from work!!!!

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  10. Let's just say that the type of people who become pro wrestlers during the territory days aren't the types who would last in corporate America.

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  11. Cm punk said it too. On his dvd I think. I rolled my eyes and thought "get over yourself". But now I realize he may have said it out of respect for Paul Bearer in which case I was wrong. Who knows?

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  12. Hopefully Part Two has the famous 'Yesss, Kane can driiiiive!' story

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  13. Chevy Chase reference.

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  14. Yes, but why did Bearer start screaming that, of all things, when he turned on Taker?

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  15. Wow. If you read this article I think it makes it clearer about who CM Punk was referencing, and HOLY COW there are so many parallells.

    http://grantland.com/features/chevy-chase-saturday-night-live-career/

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  16. Rick Rude was BAD ASS.

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  17. He did it to be funny though. I think. Paul bearer is a pasty guy that manages the undertaker and is named "paul bearer", I dont know what punk was shooting for.

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  18. Rude left in early Fall 1990. I wonder when he spoke to moody about coming in, as Bearing didn't debut til early 91

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