Current and former wrestling stars celebrate the life and career of Mean Gene.
WWE has today announced that legendary professional wrestling interviewer, announcer and host "Mean" Gene Okerlund has passed away at the age of 76. At this time, details of Okerlund's death have not yet been revealed.
Okerlund, a WWE Hall of Famer, made the move to the promotion in 1984 where he became a staple in the industry by conducting interviews with the biggest names in sports-entertainment such as Hulk Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant and others. He earned his "Mean Gene" nickname thanks to fellow Minnesotan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura.
As WWE notes, Okerlund branched out from interviewing by providing ringside commentary and hosting several shows, including All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, Wrestling Challenge and Prime Time Wrestling. He also sung the National Anthem at the first WrestleMania in 1985 and sang “Tutti Frutti” on WWE’s The Wrestling Album later that year.
In 1993, Okerlund joined WCW as lead interviewer where he continued to interview many of the legends he had worked with in the AWA and WWE as well as WCW stalwarts, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg and others.
In 2001, Okerlund returned to WWE to call the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania 17 along with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and continued to appear on WWE television programming, including being a cast member on WWE Network’s Legends’ House.
Many current and former wrestling superstars have taken to social media today to celebrate the life and career of Mean Gene.