BIO: Percy Pringle III

Real Name: William Moody
Hometown: Mobile, AL

Notable WCCW Feuds: Iceman Parsons, the Von Erichs, the Dingo Warrior, Chris Adams, Devastation Inc.

Need to Know Facts: Born William Alvin Moody in Mobile, Alabama on April 10, 1954, Percival (Percy) Pringle III was every bit as much a wrestling fan as he was a wrestling legend. Percy "got his foot in the door" via the Gulf Coast Wrestling promotion, where he served as a photographer during his high school years.

Upon his high school graduation, Percy joined the U.S. Air Force. While in the service (during which he had debuted as “Mr. X”), he developed an interest in the funeral industry in addition to his growing enthusiasm for pro wrestling.

In early 1978, while working at a funeral home during the day and attending school at night, Percy somehow managed to lay the foundation for a remarkable managing career when he was named as a last minute replacement by Mississippi promoters George Culkin and Frankie Cain (the latter better known to wrestling fans as the legendary Great Mephisto). Being thrust into a prominent position on a wrestling card seemingly convinced Percy to put his mortuary career and education on hold for the time being.

Percy would take a lengthy leave of absence from wrestling after the birth of his first son, returning to the funeral profession and college. He would go on to receive a degree in Mortuary Science and earned his Funeral Director and Embalmer’s Certification from San Antonio College -- licenses he maintained until his death.

In 1984 the wrestling bug bit Percy once again and he returned to the sport full time. Florida is where fans caught up with the flamboyant manager, as he managed “Ravishing” Rick Rude to the region’s top singles title. Percy also managed a rookie by the name of Lex Luger, who was to serve as Percy’s bodyguard briefly in Florida, in Luger’s first professional match.

Pringle and Rude left the Florida region for World Class in 1985, and just as he had done in the Sunshine State, Pringle led Rude to World Class’ top title, the NWA American Heavyweight Championship. Rude would eventually become the first WCWA World Heavyweight champ when World Class withdrew its membership from the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in February 1986.

Throughout his WCCW career Percy would go on to manage numerous stars including not only Rude, but also the Dingo Warrior (Jim Hellwig, who would later go on to worldwide stardom in the World Wrestling Federation as The Ultimate Warrior) and one of the most underrated tag teams of the 1980’s, Buzz Sawyer and Matt Borne, a team Percy led to the WCCW World Tag Team titles.

Though known primarily through his career as a heel, Percy suddenly began to hear cheers for the first time in Texas in early 1989, when he chose to stand up against General Skandor Akbar’s attempted takeover of World Class. Pringle enlisted the help of an unlikely ally, “suspended” wrestler Eric Embry. So confident was Percy in Embry’s abilities that he organized a write-in campaign to have Embry reinstated. It is believed that the reinstatement campaign drew over 25,000 legitimate responses from wrestling fans throughout the world.

On Friday, August 4, 1989, newfound WCCW hero Embry, seconded by manager Pringle, defeated Devastation Inc. member P.Y. Chu-Hi in a steel cage main event at the Dallas Sportatorium to gain controllership of the promotion, the majority of which was “owned” by General Skandor Akbar and his evil associates. With this victory, World Class Championship Wrestling officially became the Dallas branch of the Memphis-based United States Wrestling Association (USWA). The subsequent removal of the WCCW banner from the wall of the Sportatorium by Embry and Percy is one of the most legendary moments in Texas wrestling history.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know that Percy went on to become the WWF's Paul Bearer in late 1990. He guided such icons as the Undertaker, Kane, and Mick Foley to WWF championship gold, had his own interview segment (The Funeral Parlor) on the federation's weekly programming, and could rival any former World Class superstar -- including the Ultimate Warrior and the Von Erichs -- for having the most merchandise available with his likeness on it.

Signed to a legends contract by the WWE in 2005, Bearer would go on to work occasionally as manager of Undertaker and Kane  He made a short-lived attempt at promoting with the Gulf South Wrestling fed from 2005 to 2007, while returning to his former career as a mortician full-time in 2006.  His beloved wife Dianna passed away due to breast cancer and chemotherapy complications in January 2009, and on March 5, 2013, Percy himself died shortly after attending a Gulf Coast Wrestlers Reunion in Mobile.  Percy and Dianna had two sons, Michael and Daniel (who now wrestles as D.J. Pringle).