11. Paul Bearer’s Death
WWE has form on inappropriate creative. CM Punk shouting about Jerry Lawler’s heart attack in 2012 springs to mind. It was Punk’s exploitation of Paul Bearer’s death in 2013 that really stood out as sickening creative this year. Not that Punk was to blame. He was just doing his job, the responsibility for the ill advised Bearer angle was down to WWE creative. Following William Moody’s March 5th death, the writing team and the McMahon’s enthusiastically set to work looking to use the tragedy as a heat generator for their Punk vs Undertaker feud. WWE pulled the trigger on the angle when they had Paul Heyman mockingly dress up as Bearer, followed by Punk attacking Undertaker with Bearer’s urn … and shockingly proceeding to pour Bearer’s ashes on Taker and himself.
It was bad taste and got the WWE a fair amount of criticism. Worse still, despite having had Moody’s family approval, this was rescinded when the family came out to say they were upset by how far the WWE had taken the angle. It was plainly insensitive. Bearer’s son, Michael Moody, released this statement – “The way it was presented to us was ok. Seeing it on screen was a different story. I don’t even know what to say.”
For upsetting a grieving family, this creative catastrophe has to be in the list as one of the biggest mistakes of the year.
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This article was first posted on December 13, 2013