Bruce Prichard Discusses WWE’s Decision to Write Out Paul Bearer Using Concrete Crypt Scenario

Bruce Prichard Discusses WWE’s Decision to Write Out Paul Bearer Using Concrete Crypt Scenario
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On a recent episode of his podcast “Something To Wrestle With”, WWE executive Bruce Prichard discussed the company’s choice to remove Paul Bearer from the storyline in 2004. This was done by incorporating a concrete crypt at the Great American Bash during a match between The Undertaker and The Dudley Boyz.

Some key points from the podcast are below:

On the reasoning behind Paul Bearer’s storyline departure, Prichard said: “Traveling had become increasingly difficult for Paul due to his health and weight issues. He was not in good health and needed a break to focus on getting better. This led to the idea of writing him off the show altogether. The idea of ‘killing’ him off was taken quite literally with a proposal for a concrete crypt”. This seemingly extreme idea was well-received. Prichard noted that the challenge lay in making it a reality.

In terms of arranging the segment, they had to pre-record everything with Paul due to his health condition. An actor was used to replace Paul during the live match. There were some hiccups along the way, but they managed to play pre-recorded footage when needed. Prichard shared his frustration with these technical difficulties.

The executive admitted that the segment did not roll out as planned: “It was an awful idea and poorly executed. It was a difficult situation when it came to deciding when to cut off air after the ‘burial’. There were challenges related to the actor’s safety as well, given he was supposed to be covered in a cement-like substance. Despite assurances from the actor that he could hold his breath, the crew had to hurry to get him out when he hit the panic button just three seconds in.”

Prichard felt sorry for all the WWE superstars involved, including The Undertaker, The Dudley Boyz, and Paul Bearer himself. He admitted that there was no good excuse nor positive outcome of that particular segment.

Regarding the storyline coherence, he confessed: “None of it made sense; Paul Heyman’s motive to kill Paul Bearer, or The Undertaker’s actions to rescue and then ‘kill’ him. There was no explanation, and the episode was so terrible that I hoped people would forget it ever happened.”

Discussing how bad the idea was for The Undertaker’s character, Prichard added: “It’s among the worst, easily in the top two or five. Thankfully, The Undertaker knew this idea didn’t originate from me.”

A recording of the podcast can be viewed below.