The Wrestling World lost a legend March 5th 2012 when news started to leak about the passing of William Moody, better known as WWE’s Paul Bearer. TMZ is reporting he suffered from a blog clot. Long before his career started with the WWE, Percy Pringle III was the manager of champions in Florida Championship Wrestling, World Class Championship Wrestling and later the USWA. It was this time that the Pringle Dynasty first flourished. Pringle would manage Rick Rude, The Missing Link, and countless others to championships in the area. Percy Pringle would get the call to work for the WWE managing the Undertaker. It was in the WWE as Paul Bearer where he would achieve the most notoriety managing also Kane and Mankind. Bearer would appear on and off over the years for the WWE.
Locally, we knew him as Percy Pringle III. The antagonist to Championship Wrestling of Hollywood, manager of Shaun Ricker, and one of the highlights of the monthly television taping. I recall a conversation I had with CWF Hollywood Promoter David Marquez about use inclusion of Percy on his shows. I remember telling Marquez that I thought using Percy was a waste of money. I was 100% wrong. David only reply was, “Just watch.” On March 22nd 2010, I attend what would be the precursor to the CWF Hollywood Program, the NWA Pro Tour. At Orange High School, Percy Pringle would accompany Shaun Ricker and Brian Cage the Natural Selection for their match. I studied Pringle in the corner, more so then I would previously, waiting for that “Just Watch” moment that David promised me. It hit me like a ton of bricks, how could I have been so ignorant, his mannerisms, the way he connected with the crowd, Percy Pringle was a Professional Wrestling Manager, and he was the perfect addition to Natural Selection. I would later call David Marquez and apologize.
While on the independents, Percy Pringle spent time managing wrestlers all across the country. Donning the name Uncle Paul, he would manage former NWA National Champion Chance Prophet in a Casket Match for All Star Wrestling. Prophet would say later that “One of the true highlights in my career was just meeting you.” In Mississippi, Percy Pringle III would be an ambassador for the National Wrestling Alliance presenting “The Modern Day Hero” Kevin Douglas with the newly finished NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship Belt. Kevin Douglas would say “He really made a mark on me as a Wrestler & as a Person.” Percy would manage him that night and again for Wildkat Wrestling in Louisiana. “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce probably said it best with this about Percy, “You were a Hall of Famer. You were a legend. You were a mentor. Most importantly, you were my friend.” Percy Pringle III honored Pearce by managing him multiple times most recently in WCWC Oregon as the NWA World Champion defended his title in the Pacific Northwest. But also in 2010 for the NWA Pro Tour in San Bernardino as part of a six man tag with Shaun Ricker, Brian Cage, and Pearce taking on Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, Joey Ryan, and Scorpio Sky.
At CWF Hollywood, Shaun Ricker and Percy Pringle would become one of the best tandems in all of Wrestling. The smooth talking Ricker mixed in with the Southern Sass of Percy Pringle was an unmatched dynamic on the Independent Scene. The dynamic between Percy and Ricker helped transition Ricker from a tag team wrestler, to a serious contender to the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.
Jay Stone, host of the popular MPW Radio will be hosting an hour long tribute to Percy Pringle III tonight March 6th at 7PM. If anyone would like to call in and share their memory of Percy, they can call in at (646) 478-5966.
Many people will remember Percy for the “Oh Yes!” and “Well well well” catch phrases when he was the top manager in the WWE. I will remember Percy and the kind Southern Gentlemen back stage at CWF Hollywood, telling jokes and making faces and Marquez getting someone to get Percy a subway sandwich. But my most cherished memory of Percy Pringle was sitting down backstage talking NWA with David Marquez about whom we thought could be next World Champion. At the table was Percy, Marquez, and the promoter for WCWC Oregon Jeff Manning. I have to admit, I was a little intimidated joining the group at the table, with wrestling royalty at the table. I would mention names like Damien Wayne and Chance Prophet to Marquez as suitors to the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. And Percy would chime in with “I know him and I’ve worked with him.” It was the most access I had ever had to the legendary manager and outside of exchanging pleasantries, the only conversation I’ve ever had with him. Percy was more than an amazing talent, he was an amazing person. His presence in the CWF Hollywood locker room will be missed. Thank you Percy, you are gone, but never forgotten.