While attending the funeral of his great uncle today, longtime wrestling fans and self-described “smart mark” Todd Greer had the sudden realization that the name of late WWE manager Paul Bearer was a play on words.
“Wait… a… second,” 42-year-old Greer mused aloud, prompting his grandmother to shush him from the pew behind him.
“Paul… Bearer,” he whispered to himself. “Pallbearer. Well I’ll be damned.”
Greer was just an adolescent Hulkamaniac when Paul Bearer, a pasty-faced mortician who controlled the Undertaker with a magical urn, arrived in WWE.
For most of his life, Greer assumed that Bearer was just an surname common among residents of Death Valley, and did not realize that it was a silly joke Vince McMahon made up while drunk on gin and ICO PRO.
Paul Bearer (real name Percy Pringle III) was indeed a professional mortician who transitioned into the wrestling business following a mysterious fire at his family-run funeral home, which may or may not have left one of his sons badly burned (the details remain unclear).
Bearer’s real-life son, Kane Pringle, also rose to fame in WWE as a pyromaniac-necrophiliac former-dentist-turned-corporate-executive-turned-demon-turned-mayor. As one does.