On Wednesday morning, WWE announced that Hall of Fame interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund had passed away at the age of 76.
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76. https://t.co/DyPiEiVLoV
— WWE (@WWE) January 2, 2019
Mean Gene was an icon in the sports entertainment industry, working in WWE (then WWF) from 1984 to 1993, when he joined WCW until its acquisition by WWE in 2001. He was the perfect foil for so many wrestlers during his years with both companies (and prior to the WWF, AWA in Minnesota), and became one of the most recognizable faces and voices in the industry. Okerlund was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2006, and occasionally showed up on WWE Network programming in recent years.
Okerlund showed up on Raw 25 last January to interview then WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Here’s another great interview from Mean Gene, featuring him and the “Macho Man” Randy Savage, with Okerlund letting Savage shine in a typically unhinged promo.
In the grand scheme of absurdity, this one is up there – Okerlund, Hulk Hogan, and Mr. T prior to WrestleMania.
And just for the hell of it, here’s Mean Gene at Bash at the Beach 1996, interviewing a freshly turned Hulk Hogan while the crowd pelts him, Kevin Nash, and Scott Hall with trash.
There really will never be another Mean Gene. RIP.