Originally written March 06, 2013 on cheap-heat:
Today I read the news: Paul Bearer passed away. I remember when I first started watching wrestling was just before Wrestlemania XII. And one of the most unique characters of that time was Paul Bearer. I was a huge Undertaker fan and still am. Out of the wrestlers I mark out for the most-Piper, Double-A, Terry Funk, Tommy Dreamer-few of them compare to the mark-out feeling I get when I see the Undertaker. The Undertaker was unique. He had one of the greatest ring presences to ever grace our screens, with respect to Flair. And when it came to aura and mystique, there were few who could touch The Undertaker, if anyone. So why am I talking about The Undertaker when I’m reflecting on the Life of Paul Bearer? Well, it was hard to separate the two. As imposing and terrifying as the Undertaker was, Paul Bearer was the other half of him. You could not have had the Phenom Undertaker without Paul Bearer in his early days. They tried with Brother Love, but the character just missed something in the early days. It wasn’t until Paul Bearer became part of the Undertaker’s character that the character clicked. Eventually the time came for Paul to break away and the Undertaker soared, but without Paul, I’m not sure we would have seen the Undertaker we have now. One thing that stands out to me is how Paul was able to take anything, no matter how awful and make it into something good. Let’s face it. The Impostor Undertaker storyline in ’94 is one of the cheesiest things I’ve ever seen in wrestling. (And I’ve lived through Katie Vick, Kane-Shane McMahon and The Giant falling off Cobo Hall yet winning the world title.) Yet with all the players involved-Ted DiBiase, Brian Lee, The Undertaker & Paul Bearer-they made my inner kid believe in everything going on. Take the Kane storyline. Out of nowhere Paul Bearer was revealed to be the father. As preposterous as that sounded, through that interview with Jerry Lawler where they didn’t know the camera was running, he put together all the pieces. There was his return in the mid-2000’s that caused him to be buried alive in concrete by the Undertaker himself. With respect to all involved, there wasn’t anyone who could salvage that. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer were something special. How many times has the WWE tried the supernatural thing since then to little or no success? Mordecai? The Boogeyman? Kevin Thorn the Vampire? Countless other names I can’t remember because of their failure? Due to the stage presences of both men, they were able to make this something special and make countless dollars off this. There were so many great memories from him. There was the aforementioned Impostor Undertaker storyline. There was the feud with Diesel where Diesel did the unthinkable. He put his hands on Paul Bearer. That was back in ’96 when things still mattered. There was the Paul Bearer turn that broke my heart for a long time. Kane didn’t have much of a shelf life. Paul helped to give him fuel that kept him around today. There was the surprise appearance at Wrestlemania XX, where I remember marking out like a little kid for seeing him again. In 2010, Undertaker once again feuded with Kane. I remember seeing turning to Smackdown (which is something I never do), and I waited for him to appear from the casket. I was like a little kid watching him over and over again. He had so many signatures. There was the “Ohhhhhh, yyyeeeeeeesssssssss” he was so famous for. I still do that. It’s not at the same level as “Brother” or “What?” but it’s still pretty impactful. When I was telling my wife he had passed away this morning, I described him as the “Oh, yes” guy. (And yes, I did it in his voice, or my feeble attempt at his voice.) I still remember how he would say, “The urn.” Any time I hear the word urn, I immediately think about him. And that voice was so eerie and so spooky. With respect to the Macho Man, it was probably one of the most recognizable voices of his time. I never had the chance to meet Paul Bearer. I swear I had to have seen him live a time or two. (My first ever then-WWF show had a Kane appearance that must have been around Badd Blood ’97, so I think Bearer was there. It was just a long view from where I was.) I used to follow him on Facebook and after the birth of a grandchild, there were comments congratulating him and wishing him well. He took the time to like every one’s comments, including mine. I know it may have been little, but I thought it was pretty awesome. In the pre-Attitude era and in the Attitude era, there were fewer personalities who made a bigger impact. Brother Bearer, Uncle Paul, Mr. Pringle, thank you for your time on this Earth.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

Adam Dunn to retire after 14-year MLB career

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

Tiger Woods to open restaurant in Florida next year

Royals beat A's in extras, win first playoff game since '85

Mark Davis: Raiders head coaching job will be 'enticing'

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

Grading each NFL's team's play at quarter-season mark

MLB.com posts wrong story saying A's won game

Lightning News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Could Jon Gruden return to Oakland?

Marlins: We're not trading Stanton

Study: 76 of 79 deceased NFL players had CTE

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.