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Paul Bearer: The Undertaker's iconic sidekick and weirdo wing man

Paul Bearer was hands down the best character on WWE... "Ohhh yyyes!"

Some things are best in twos, gin and tonic; cheese and onion; The Undertaker and Paul Bearer. For WWF fans of a certain age, they were the ultimate dastardly duo - and as Mark Calaway retires from the ring after a 30 year career, we pay tribute to his freaky friend.

A ghostly pallor, imposing eyebrows and a powerful enchanted urn under one arm, Paul Bearer was never far from The Undertaker... or the drama.

As the 'Deadman' retires from WWE after 30 years, here's all you need to know about wrestling icon William Moody.

Who was Paul Bearer?

Paul Bearer was inducted to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2014, a year after his death

Paul Bearer was The Undertaker's manager, and was best known for following him around with a golden urn, egging him on from the side of the ring while gurning manically.

The pair terrorised the WWE (then World Wrestling Federation, WWF) with their occult-based ramblings, going as far as trying to embalm their enemy Stone Cold Steve Austin while he was still alive.

Paul Bearer was also buried alive in cement (he died and came back to life), and kidnapped by Edge, who strapped him to a wheelchair. There were also multiple times his precious urn was stolen.

Their storylines were absolutely ridiculous, but it wasn't all acting for William Moody, who played the gruesome grave botherer. Paul Bearer wasn't his real name, but Moody was a real life mortician.

Edge gets to grips with the Deadman's master

Pre-Paul Bearer days, Moody had been involved in the wrestling scene as a manager, but after the birth of his daughter, went back to university to study for a degree in mortuary science.

Later Vince McMahon invented his Paul Bearer persona based on his real life job, and Paul Bearer made his first appearance with The Undertaker on Monday Night Raw in early 1993.

Paul Bearer also sometimes drove The Undertaker to fight in a hearse
One of their bonkers storylines involved an Undertaker doppelganger

USA Today reported Moody's telling of how Paul Bearer came about. He said: “Vince is laughing like, ‘Ho ho ho ho!’— you know, that trademark Vince McMahon laugh.

“So that moment there when we all realised that they were looking for a manager for Taker and that I was a real mortician … It was a moment in time that I will never forget, and I will take to my grave with me.”

Was Paul Bearer Kane and The Undertaker's dad?

Paul Bearer with his mysterious urn, The Undertaker and his secret son, Kane

WWE has been (unkindly) compared to a soap opera, and one storyline that was incredibly OTT was the discovery that Paul Bearer had a secret illegitimate son, monstrous adult baby Kane.

Kane and his dad's pet The Undertaker absolutely loathed one another, but then there was another twist... Kane and The Undertaker were half-brothers, sharing a mum!

Paul Bearer was 5"10, but was dwarfed by 'son' Kane
To start with Kane and The Undertaker were mortal enemies

Like any normal siblings, Kane and The Undertaker would regularly fall out - but they would try and bury each other alive or kill one another. Eventually they found a common ground and became a successful tag team, the Brothers of Destruction.

What was in Paul Bearer's urn?

The urn seemed to have special powers that could control The Undertaker

Paul Bearer carried a mysterious urn that contained an unknown enchanted substance that was able to energise the Undertaker when he was in trouble in the ring.

He appeared to be able to control the 6"10 monster fighter by using it to raise him up when he was floundering on the mat, or grab his attention and guide him around.

Paul Bearer and The Undertaker were always up to something a bit dodgy
He first joined WWE in 1990, and always had his urn as a prop
After his sad death, his sons agreed to a storyline where his 'ashes' would be centre stage

The urn was opened on a couple of occasions, and green smoke came out.

Some wrestling fans argue that The Undertaker's soul is in the urn, and the man fighting in the ring is some sort of zombie caught in limbo.

How did Paul Bearer die?

Fans saw Paul Bearer die after being encased in cement (it was actually a stunt man being soaked with porridge) in a 2004 match, only to reappear the next week.

However, in real life, William Moody passed away in his home town of Mobile, Alabama on March 5 2013, aged just 58. He had suffered a heart attack.

Shortly afterwards, he posthumously made a return to the WWE ring when his ashes became the centre of a controversial storyline.

The urn was stolen from The Undertaker by CM Punk, who ended up spreading them all over himself and the Deadman as their feud boiled over.

Moody's family released a statement about the plot shortly after it aired - and quite rightly, drew the ire of distressed fans.

It read: "We felt that dad would have wanted us at RAW last week and agreed to the angle. We knew Dad wouldn't have wanted it any other way.”

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