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Interview with Percy Pringle III (aka Paul Bearer) - By Gery Roif

Israeli Wrestling fans have seen his face ever since we started watching wrestling, back to the Von Erich days as Percy Pringle III, to his World Wrestling Federation days as Paul Bearer, to currently working in NWA TNA(we`ll see his debut in about 6 months on Star World) back as Percy Pringle III! Below an interview with one of the greatest managers of all time!

GR: How came about the heel turn, where you turned on Kerry Von Erich during his match with "Maniac" Matt Borne? PP3: It was time for me to return to the "baby face" side.

GR: You managed Steve Williams(Austin), Texas Red(Undertaker) and The Dingo Warrior(Ultimate one) who would later go on to become 3 of the hottest superstars in wrestling, did you know or think they would become what they became back then? PP3: I never had a clue that any of the three would ever reach the heights that they did. I knew that they all had tremendous talent, but never saw them as the top man in the game.

GR: What are your thoughts on Jim Hellwig, then and today? PP3: Hellwig has never changed. He is a very unique individual, who lives in his own little world.

GR: You were very close to the Von Erich family, many have speculated that after David`s death, the Von Erich brothers were not the same, how different was the place after David`s death and why no attempts helped to prevent the same from happening to Mike, Chris and Kerry? PP3: I did not go to work for World Class Wrestling until almost two years after David's death. So, I cannot comment on your first question. However, Mike, Chris and Kerry were all adults. They certainly couldn't lock them up. Who would had ever thought that all three would evenetually kill themselves? I didn't.

GR: I was always wondering, Taker had a part in Hogan`s Suburban Commando movie which was taped before Summer Slam 90, while Taker debuted couple of months later, did Hogan have any part in helping Taker get to the Federation or was Taker already signed before the film? PP3: I believe that they (WWF & Taker) were already talking as "Commando" was being filmed.

GR: Both Brother Love and Ted DiBiase managed Taker at first but only when you came, Taker seemed to be complete, did the fact of you being a licensed Embalmer help get you the Paul Bearer role? PP3: I don't think it hurt at all.

GR: Were you surprised that you received such a fitting role? PP3: I didn't have any idea that WWF was looking for a manager for The Undertaker during my first meeting with McMahon. Nor did Vince know that I was a legit licenses mortician until he read my resume. GR: You visited Israel in october 93 in Yad Eliyahu Stadium in Tel-Aviv, what was your impression of the Israeli crowd and their reactions? PP3: They treated us so well, and made us feel right at home.

GR: Did you have a positive impression of our country? PP3: I loved the visit, and had an opportunity to walk around Tel-Aviv to see the city. Americans have a lot of misconceptions about your country. All we see on TV here are the bombings and such. I was blessed to see much more, and I love to tell my friends about my short time there. I want to return.

GR: You`ve managed the Undertaker for about 6 years, for those six years you were associated with each other, what went through your mind when they(WWF) presented you with the idea of turning against him at Summer Slam 96? PP3: I was all for it. It was time for a change.

GR: I think you/they made the best choice of bringing in Glen Jacobs as Kane, however I remember rumors on the net that Dan Spivey was considered for the "Kane" character, I was wondering, who else was considered for that role? PP3: Glen was always the #1 prospect.

GR: How scared were you guys backstage at KOTR 98 when Foley took that bump off the cage? PP3: We weren't really scared. We just all hoped that Mick was alright.

GR: Did someone try to stop Foley from doing the bump and what happened with that Choke Slam on the top of the cage, how come the cage broke? PP3: It was all Mick's ideas from the start. He was asked several times if he was sure he wanted to do it.The cage broke because too much weight.

GR: Was Foley`s sacrifice worth it in your opinion? PP3: Sure it was. He made a tremendous amount of money from it. That's one of the main reasons why we are in the business, for money. GR: In 1998 you were deservingly named Manager of the Year by Pro Wrestling Illustrated magazine, how important was that award and what did it mean to you? PP3: I always wanted that award to hang in my home office. I am forever listed along with the top managers in our industry.

GR: What are your favorite memories from World Class and the World Wrestling Federation? PP3: I spent 6 years in World Class, and 12 years in The WWF. There are so many memories. It's so hard to pick just one. But if you pin me down, I must say in World Class the first time I appeared at The Sportatorium is a favorite memory.For The WWF, It has to be the night I appeared in Madison Square Gardens for the first time.

GR: As a fan yourself, what do you consider to be the best match of all time and what do you consider to be the greatest? PP3: That's a tough one. I have seen thousands of matches. I don't think I can single out just one for you. Kerry Von Erich beating Ric Flair for The NWA title was a classic, in my opinion.

GR: Israeli fans will watch you in couple of months via Star World that airs NWA TNA, what can we expect from Percy Pringle III in the NWA?

GR: If you ever saw the "old" Percy from the World Class days, you will be seeing the same guy. I never change.

GR: Word association, Hulk Hogan - PP3: a legend in our business.

GR: Kerry Von Erich - PP3: a dear friend.

GR: AJ Styles - PP3: one of the top young talents of today.

GR: The Undertaker - PP3: a phenom.

GR: Bret Hart - PP3: a friend and a true professional.

GR: Jeff Jarrett - PP3: deserves The NWA Championship.

GR: Any final words to your fans here in Israel? PP3: I appreciate you taking the time to interview me. I know many of my answers are brief, but that's the way I am. To the point. I hope to visit your beautiful country again one day. Peace my friends.

GR: Thank you very much for your time. For More on Percy Pringle III, visit him at his official website, percypringle.com

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