Monday, June 6th, 2005 * 4:37PM

Percy Pringle III (also known as Paul Bearer from his time in WWE) spoke his mind about the needless tragedy that took place last Saturday when "Spider" Daniel Quirk lost his life while wrestling in Taunton, MA on his web-site, - take the time to visit his site.  Our own Dan Mirade wrote a similar column hours after learning about his passing.  Below are Pringle's comments on the problems facing independent wrestling present day, something that should be read and given deep thought by everyone that's involved or would like to be:

The following ramble and rant has been on my mind for about a week now. When I feel that I must speak out on a subject, I usually do my best not to talk business in a public forum such as this. However, in this case it cannot be avoided. I am speaking directly to all of you guys and gals out there that call yourselves professional wrestlers, and those of you that want to be called by that moniker.

It doesn't matter if you are a Plumber, Dentist, Candle Maker, or Indian Chief, after 30-years in any business you develop a sort of wisdom for your trade. It is your obligation to pass on this "wisdom" to those that you meet climbing the ladder, as you climb your way back down from the top. The following news story is what prompted my homily here today.

The Associated Press Tuesday, May 31, 2005
TAUNTON, Mass. - A 22-year-old professional wrestler has died after he landed on his head during a match at an American Legion post here. Authorities said Daniel Quirk, of Shelton, Conn., was outside the ring when he attempted to catch another wrestler diving from the top rope. Quirk was knocked off his feet and hit his head on the floor.

This young man's death was totally unnecessary. It is so surprising to me that this type of horrible accident doesn't happen more often, considering the state of independent wrestling today. I don't care what part of the country you live in, you can witness these accidents about to happen virtually everyday. Friday night, one week ago, I saw it again for myself. There were three kids, and yes they were kids dressed up like wrestlers, in an opening match of a gulf coast independent promoter. As soon as the bell rang, there they went into a so called "three-way dance." They did everything but the proverbial kitchen sink. At one point, one of them executed the same move that killed Daniel Quirk. This idiot, yes there's is no other term to use and I do not apologize, went to the top rope and turned a complete 360 degree flip not into the ring but outside onto the concrete floor! Thank The Dear Lord his friends were there to break his fall this time. I almost had a heart attack.

First of all, you don't open the show with a match such as that. I am not going into the reasons why here, because we would be here the rest of the day. Just because you can get yourself a wrestling outfit, and find somebody that will allow you on their show and perform for free, you call yourself a "wrestler." Do you think that promoter would take care of you and your family if you got hurt or killed? Please... let's wake up.

Just because I can go out and buy myself a white coat and a stethoscope, doesn't allow me to call myself a Doctor. I may have a box of tools, and my ass crack my show above my blue jeans, but I'm certainly not a plumber. Do you follow my reasoning? The promoters are just as much to blame as the "wrestlers." If I was running a show and someone told me that they would wrestle for free, I would tell them to find the door. You get what you pay for.

You all point your finger towards Stamford, CT. Look at your hand when you point, as you have three fingers pointing right back at yourself. Independent wrestling is the grass roots of our industry. It must be protected. Where will the next superstars come from?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not writing about all independent promoters. There are many good ones out there that respect our business and it's performers. They know who they are. It's the bad ones out there, that find a ring, put it in a high school gym or such, and sell tickets to their "professional wrestling" show. Buyer Beware!

I think I will stop now, my blood pressure is high enough. If just one of you young ring stars out there gets the picture that I am trying to paint for you, this tirade has been worth it. If wrestling is for you, hang in there and reach for the stars. Get the proper training from a legit professional, and NEVER put your life on the line to benefit anybody, especially a self-proclaimed "rasslin" promoter.

My thoughts go out to the family and friends of Daniel Quirk. May God Bless his soul.

Take care, my friends.