– Kurt “Plowboy” Nielsen, a friend of the late Bill Moody (a/k/a Paul Bearer and Percy Pringle III) has released a column on SLAM! Wrestling paying tribute to the legendary manager one year after his death.
Nielsen became acquainted with Moody during the last decade of his life as he ran his official website, PercyPringle.com. In October 2002, Moody parted ways with WWE to take care of his wife Dianna, who was stricken with cancer. However, when he was home, he became depressed over his situation, and his weight, which he had often battled, grew even further out of control. The cancer treatments exhausted his savings, he was on the verge of losing his Mobile, Alabama home, and he was often housebound due to his escalating weight, which had ballooned to over 500 pounds.
“Due to his weight, and all of the stresses in his life, he was pretty much ready to die at this point,” Nielsen wrote. “A lot of people don’t know how bad it really was. He would tell me little things, and it tore me apart knowing my friend was in such agony. WWE wanted to bring him back several times, but he always turned them down. Mentally and physically, he could not do it. Finally, when asked what WWE could do to make his life better, so he could come back to the wrestling business that he loved so much, Bill told them he had only one thing that could save him: gastric bypass surgery. WWE gave that to Bill as a gift.”
He continued, “I want to stress this fact: WWE did save Bill Moody’s life. They will never truly get the credit they deserve for all the good that they have done for people over the years. The surgery changed everything for him and made him a brand new person, inside and out. I can never thank WWE enough for what they did for Bill. Vince McMahon, Jim Ross, Undertaker and all of WWE treated him as family, with genuine love, care and respect. Placing him in the WWE Hall of Fame is just another example of how highly they thought of him.”