Gene Okerlund, one of the more memorable figures in pro wrestling history has died. He was 76.
The news was confirmed by the WWE who called Okerlund “the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history.” Okerlund worked for the WWE (then WWF) from 1984 to 1993 then returned in 2001.
Okerlund’s no nonsense style played off well in legendary segments with greats such as Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, Ric Flair, Ultimate Warrior, Andre The Giant, Ricky Steamboat and Hulk Hogan.
Classic wrestling fans will recall Hogan saying, “Let me tell you something Mean Gene!” or Flair opening any interview with Okerlund with a giant “Whooo!” in front.
Okerlund had battled previous health issues in the past. He was the recipient of two kidney transplants, one in 1995 and a second in 2004.
Wrestlers and personalities took to social media to pay their condolences to the late interviewer.
RIP MY BROTHER GENE MEAN. YOU PUT ME OVER LIKE NOBODY. I LOVE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY SINCE THE MINNESOTA. GIVE MY BROTHER NIKOLAI BUG HUG. GOD BLESS YOU. CAMERA MAN ZOOM IT. pic.twitter.com/5k0VRXbKMI
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 2, 2019
A voice of my childhood and a legend. Rest In Peace to the greatest to ever do it, Mean Gene. pic.twitter.com/gyVgKcNpCl
— Kazeem Famuyide (@RealLifeKaz) January 2, 2019
Mean Gene I love you my brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 2, 2019