During the first fifteen years of The Undertaker‘s career, Paul Bearer played an integral part for most of that time. The Undertaker and Paul Bearer had one of the most personal relationships on-screen, from Paul Bearer being his closest ally to when he became his worst enemy. When Paul Bearer returned to WWE at WrestleMania 20, it rekindled his alliance with The Undertaker, moving forward into the Ruthless Aggression Era. However, their pairing in mid-2004 didn’t last long when The Undertaker decided to “put an end” to Paul Bearer, writing him off TV for many years.
Paul Bearer And The Undertaker’s Personal Relationship In WWE
The Undertaker and Paul Bearer are one of the most known wrestler-manager pairings in WWE. Not long after The Undertaker made his WWE debut at the Survivor Series 1990, he and Paul Bearer became closely associated with each other, with their pairing running throughout the 1990s.
However, as close as they were, like most on-screen relationships in wrestling, something always goes wrong. Paul Bearer once became The Undertaker’s most hated enemy when he turned on him at SummerSlam 1996. Over the next few years, Paul Bearer aligned with the likes of Mankind and Kane to go after The Undertaker,. And because Paul Bearer managed Mankind and Kane, it was one of the reasons why both men became among The Undertaker’s most personal rivals in his career.
For instance, who could forget the WWE debut of Kane at In Your House: Badd Blood 1997, where he aligned with Paul Bearer and attacked The Undertaker during his Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels? Paul Bearer’s animosity with The Undertaker allowed him to have some of the most memorable moments of his career.
However, as Paul Bearer soon reunited with The Undertaker in 1998 when he turned heel and formed the Ministry of Darkness, The Undertaker and Paul Bearer always had each other’s backs at the end of the day. No matter how much bad blood they may have had on-screen, Paul Bearer and The Undertaker always had a family connection.
Paul Bearer and The Undertaker Reunite In 2004
After being absent from WWE TV for almost four years, Paul Bearer returned to WrestleMania 20 to manage The Undertaker, who had just revised his Deadman persona. After The Undertaker defeated Kane at WrestleMania 20, it appeared that Paul Bearer was becoming an essential part of The Undertaker’s act moving forward during the early years of the Ruthless Aggression With Paul Bearer signing a new deal with WWE in late 2003, he and The Undertaker teaming once again could’ve had potential.
However, not long after reuniting with The Undertaker, Paul Bearer was kidnaped by The Dudley Boyz, who took orders from Paul Heyman. In reality, Paul Bearer had to get written off from SmackDown because of an emergency surgery, which stemmed from having side effects from a gastric bypass surgery. Nonetheless, in the storyline, Paul Bearer’s kidnaping prompted The Undertaker to do Paul Heyman’s dirty work, as he was under his control.
It got to where The Undertaker was doing heel tactics by attacking babyface wrestlers like John Cena and Rob Van Dam. It’s not that The Undertaker himself turned heel, but that he felt he had to do Paul Heyman’s dirty deeds to save Paul Bearer. Fortunately for The Undertaker, he could free Paul Bearer from Paul Heyman’s wrath if he were to lose to The Dudley Boyz in a handicap match at The Great American Bash 2004.
The Undertaker ‘Kills’ Paul Bearer At Great American Bash
Paul Bearer returned to The Great American Bash 2004, stuck in a glass crypt with a cement truck by his head. Despite the main event stipulation that he’d get released upon The Undertaker losing, The Undertaker went on to defeat The Dudley Boyz in that main event match. As Paul Heyman signaled for Paul Bearer to be buried in cement due to The Undertaker’s refusal to lose, he got stopped in his tracks as The Undertaker chased him away.
It seemed at first that The Undertaker was setting Paul Bearer free, with Bearer ecstatic that The Undertaker had come to rescue him. However, feeling he was more of a liability, The Undertaker proceeded to dump cement on him, seemingly putting an end to Paul Bearer.
Although it was revealed for storyline purposes that Paul Bearer didn’t technically die while being buried in cement, it was used as an excuse to write him off the TV. Paul Bearer didn’t appear on WWE TV until returning once more in 2010.