Paul Bearer is dead.
Not just the character Paul Bearer (who has already been murdered multiple times on WWE television), but the man who played the character, William Moody.
He’s gone and won’t ever be appearing on TV again.
On Monday’s Raw, WWE started off the show with a very well done video tribute to his memory. Sadly, so many others over the years haven’t had their death even addressed on TV. It was refreshing to see WWE acknowledge the loss of one of their members.
Then to get rid of the speculation as to how The Undertaker would react, he immediately kicked off the show. Inside the ring, he bowed to the urn that was the focal point of his relationship with Paul for years.
The announcers were completely silent as a photo of Moody was then shown on the screen. It was a cool moment.
If only they’d gone to the show intro right there, it would have been a touching moment to remember for years.
WWE, not being able to help itself without exploiting a real life tragedy, had CM Punk interrupt. It was truly one of those “only in wrestling” moments.
Sure, it wasn’t as tasteless as Randy Orton telling Rey Mysterio that Eddie Guerrero was in hell. It wasn’t as cringe-worthy as Vince McMahon interviewing Brian Pillman’s widow the day after his death. And yes, The Undertaker surely thought the angle was okay, otherwise he wouldn’t have done it.
Does that mean it was still a good decision?
A few months ago we nearly saw Jerry Lawler die on live TV. It was a horrible night to have to sit through as a fan, and we were left wondering if we’d ever see The King again.
Thankfully he pulled through, and WWE started to build up his return weeks ahead of time. When Lawler returned, it was a great moment in WWE. Of course, this was also interrupted by CM Punk, who threatened to beat Lawler to death if he didn’t leave the ring.
In a sport filled with Eddie Guerroros, Chris Benoits and British Bulldogs, and others struggling with addiction, like Scott Hall, Jake the Snake and Tammy Lynn Sytch, a true feel good moment every now and then wouldn’t be a bad idea.
A moment we can watch and for once say, "that was classy," is needed now and then so we can feel pride in our decision to watch. This was a chance to just pay tribute to Bearer together, and then we can all move on.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not offended. I'm not threatening to stop watching their program.
Many others probably weren’t offended either, but some fans just don’t care to see real-life deaths turned into storylines. WWE should at least be asking themselves what the benefit of mixing storyline and real life is.
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker just didn't need to involve Paul Bearer's death. But it looks like that's exactly where we're headed.
All we needed was the streak on the line and Punk's quest to end it, anything else can just complicate the matters. It would also have done away with the awkwardness of Kane hitting on Halle Berry in one segment and having him morose over the loss of his father in the next.
It was just truly bizarre to see an urn on TV, essentially representing a man who in reality just died days before, stolen from his storyline son by a villain to promote a fake fight against his son's half brother.
Only in wrestling. But maybe it shouldn’t even happen in wrestling.
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