While the WWE in recent years has made a running gag of the Undertaker's former manager, Paul Bearer, being killed off in storyline, this sadly has happened in real life.
The WWE posted tonight on its web site that Bearer passed away just tonight at 58 years old.
While the circumstances surrounding his passing have yet to be publicly revealed, this is a very sad turn of events for wrestling fans.
Being known as William Moody away from the ring, Bearer used his real-life profession as the owner of a funeral parlor as part of his mortician gimmick, serving as the Undertaker's on-and-off manager for over 20 years in the 1990s and 2000s.
Besides the Deadman, Bearer has also served as the manager of Kane, Mankind and Vader during his time with the WWE. Bearer is also known for being the kayfabe father of Kane.
His last appearance on WWE television was during an angle on an April 2012 episode of Raw when he was involved in the ongoing rivalry between Kane and Randy Orton. Orton took Bearer hostage, which led to Kane locking Bearer in a meat locker.
Before the WWE, Bearer was a manager in various wrestling organizations such as WCCW, USWA and Florida Championship Wrestling; where he managed wrestling legends like Rick Rude, Steve Austin and the Ultimate Warrior.
Our prayers go out to the loss of this legendary manager.