He was one of the most recognizable voices of wrestling, and today we learnt that we’ll never hear it ever again. WWF, WCW and WWE announcer and interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund, a nickname he was given by Jessie “The Body” Ventura”, passed away at 76.
After studying journalism and working for local radio and TV stations, “Mean” Gene became an interviewer in the American Wrestling Association in 1970. He would stay with the AWA until the end of 1983 when he was one of many AWA personnel to join the expanding World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
He would stay with the WWF for 9 years as their top interviewer and was the host of such WWF shows as All-American Wrestling and Tuesday Night Titans. But he was mostly the man who was asking the toughest questions to he asked the tough questions to “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan.
He left WWF in 1993 to join WCW, just a few months before Hogan and Savage did. He witnessed the debut of legends like Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg or Booker T. Shortly before WWF’s purchase of WCW in 2001, Okerlund came back to WWE. He would host some shows like WWE Confidential or WWE Vintage Collection. He would make sporadic appearances, at WrestleMania, or on special editions of RAW or SmackDown Live.
“Mean” Gene was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006 by his old friend Hulk Hogan. In 2014, he would be the man who inducted Mr T into the same Hall of Fame. Last time we had the chance to hear his voice was on January 22, 2018, on RAW 25, when he interviewed then-WWE Champion AJ Styles.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE.com