Given the fact that the Moody portrayed Paul Bearer, a character that was so close to Undertaker, many figured that WWE would find some way to work it in. The only question though was whether or not using Bearer was going to be viewed as crossing a line. Having an on-screen character exploit the real life death of a legend or anyone for that matter is risky business.
As the WWE Universe tuned into the March 11 edition of Monday Night Raw, they witnessed exactly how Punk was going to use the passing of Bearer. After interrupting the tribute at the top of the show, Punk would end the show by stealing the urn and using it as a weapon against Kane.
According to a recent article on TMZ.com, it turns out that the entire angle was pre-approved by the Moody family. The article goes on to state the WWE officials spoke to Moody's son Michael prior to green lighting the angle. In regards to the angle Michael had the following to say:
"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.”
Although the reaction to the use of Bearer wasn't overly negative, some pundits didn't agree with it. As seen here on this blog, some WWE fans felt that using Bearer was in bad taste.
I have no issue with the way WWE incorporated the death in the Punk and Undertaker feud. The tribute to open that edition of Raw was done very well. The stealing of the urn fits the Punk character perfectly. The mentioning of Bearer by Punk to gain him over-the-top heat is fantastic.
The fact that WWE went to the Moody family first shows that they understand this was a delicate situation. The fact that the Moody family signed off on it shows that this is what Moody would have wanted, thus meaning that the fans should also be okay with it.