The REAL Reason Why Paul Bearer Was Buried In Cement
I have always been totally upfront and completely truthful about my battle with obesity, and the gastric bypass surgery that World Wrestling Entertainment assisted me with in November 2003. If you haven’t read my stories regarding this subject, they are available in the STORYTIME ARCHIVES of my website, and are titled: “How Paul Bearer Saved Bill Moody’s Life”, and “One Year Surgery Anniversary Update.”

On May 24, 2004, one year ago today, I underwent a cholecystectomy, a surgical procedure for the removal of the gallbladder. I had just returned from a WWE tour with The Undertaker in California and Las Vegas, and was sitting at this very computer keyboard in my home office. Suddenly, I felt as if someone had stuck a flaming pitchfork into my right side. The pain was excruciating, to say the least. I was in denial for a couple of hours, but I knew it was my gallbladder. Cholecystitis is a significant complication of gastric bypass surgery. After a call to my physician and a trip to the emergency room, I found myself back “under the knife” once again.

Gastric bypass is not an easy way to get control over weight problems. The surgery is not a solution in and of itself. There is a difficult recovery that is very painful. Aside from the pain of surgery, patients may experience nausea or severe gastric distress and the recovery time is extremely long. Many patients may not be able to return to work or normal pursuits for months, with frequent incidents of vomiting to identify unsuitable foods and to learn the new limits of their reduced stomachs and digestive systems.

When I signed a new deal with WWE in October 2003, the weight loss surgery was in the plan, which resulted in my return with The Undertaker at WRESTLEMANIA-XX. Four months after my body altering operation, I was walking down that proverbial aisle of Madison Square Gardens. I was losing weight at an unbelievable rate. In fact, I had lost 120 pounds in the 4-months prior to my reunion with “The Deadman.” That’s one pound per day!

Although it differs from patient to patient, rapid weight loss following gastric bypass surgery results in many possible physiological problems. My primary complaint was a generalized weakness, especially in the legs. This is directly contributed to the lack of the ability to consume and digest adequate amounts of protein. The weakness is expected, and passes with time. However, time is not on your side when traveling with the premier sports Entertainment Company in the genre.

City to city, airports, rental car companies, hotels, arenas, personal appearances, interviews, etc., it is the nature of the beast. I was fooling myself trying to think that I could continue such a grueling schedule, while literally melting away my morbid obesity. It was a major chore for me to walk to the ring, especially climbing the steel stairs and stepping between the ropes. I took note of fan’s comments, some saying that I was seen tripping over the ropes. The truth being that I could hardly muster the strength to left my legs to step over them.

I continued to travel, dealing privately with my physical problems, until the gallbladder attack. Hindsight being 20/20, the cholecystectomy was a blessing in disguise for Bill Moody, but not for the Paul Bearer character. While I was convalescing, Paul Bearer’s absence had to be explained on television. Thus the kidnapping of Bearer by Paul Heyman and The Dudleys, including The Undertaker “doing the right thing” storyline. I was flabbergasted by the news that my character was going to be buried in a crypt of concrete.

Notwithstanding the pleas from my supporters within the company to the contrary, Mr. McMahon was determined that The Great American Bash would mark the end of Paul Bearer. I had no choice but to follow the script, even though at the time I was blind to the fact that it was all happening for my personal well being. Being such a successful businessman that he is, Vince McMahon truly cares for his faithful employees. That fact has been proven with many talents through the years, over and over again. He was concerned that something might happen to me on the road while I was struggling to regain a normal life during my weight loss. After an almost 14-year relationship, Vince knew me better than I was willing to admit.

I returned home from Norfolk, Virginia after Paul Bearer’s career was cemented, and my health continued to improve daily. Although the call from John Laurinaitis on April 8th caught me by surprise, it certainly was expected. WWE decided to exercise it’s right to terminate my contract with a fair 90-day notice. I understand that it is completely about business, and my current agreement with the company will end on July 10, 2005.

Will I return with WWE in any capacity? Will I join the ranks of the independent scene? Will write a book? Will I leave pro wrestling completely? Will I continue with my website? What does the future hold in store for me? I read these questions in emails from concerned fans everyday. However, I hold fast to that time proven wrestling adage, “never say never.”

Once again, I would like to thank you for your support through the years, and I will continue to update my BLOG as often as possible. Although I have reached an anticipated plateau the past couple of months as far as my weight loss is concerned, my general health is excellent. I am satisfied knowing that even if I don’t lose another ounce, gastric bypass surgery definitely saved my life. I’m enjoying being called Grandpa, and excited about what the future may hold in store for me.

Until Next Time!

~Percy


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