RIP "Mean Gene" Okerlund
Unfortunately, my first post of 2019 is a sad one.
WWE Legend and Hall of Famer "Mean Gene" Okurlund has passed away. He was 76.
"Mean Gene" was the first wrestling personality, besides Hulk Hogan, I came to recognize as a kid of the 1980s, who didn't watch wrestling regularly, He was everywhere in the wrestling world at that time, conducting interviews with everyone. Interviewing was a role perfect for him. He had great looks for the job. He was smaller, obviously older, and balding. I considered his looks to be distinguished rather than handsome, so he was always a strong contrast to bigger, younger, more outrageous men he was interviewing. He had a confident and trust-inspiring tone that brought out the best in his subjects. And that voice, that clear, golden voice, I would kill for something like that.
I paid the most attention to wrestling in the 90s, and "Mean Gene" kept going strong, over at WCW. It was he who first talked to Hogan after his infamous heel turn and the creation of the nWo, bravely continuing although he was [inadvertently] getting pelted with concessions and trash that was aimed at Hogan, and Scott Hall and Kevin Nash.
Good-bye, Mr. Okerlund, thanks for the memories, and may you continue conducting interviews to each wrestler who joins who at the pearly gates.
"Mean Gene" interviews Hogan after his heel turn:
Another of my favorites, with Jake the Snake