WWE Legend “Mean” Gene Okerlund, has passed away, WWE.com has confirmed. he was 76 years old.
Okerlund served as the then-WWF’s backstage interviewer on-air, providing some of the most memorable moments in what is still arguably WWE’s most memorable era. He started his wrestling career in 1970 with the American Wrestling Association (AWA) before joining WWF in 1984, just in time for the industry’s explosion in popularity with the first WrestleMania and and the rise of Hulkamania.
Okerlund, like many former WWF talents, eventually joined rival promotion WCW in the early 90s, where he would remain until the promotion’s closure in 2001.
Since then, “Mean” Gene had been welcomed back into the WWE family, commentating at WrestleMania X-Seven during the Gimmick Battle Royal, making sporadic appearances, and starring in one of WWE Network’s first original series, Legends House. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006.
AiPT! extends its deepest condolences to the friends, family and fans of “Mean” Gene Okerlund.
“Mean” Gene was nearly universally liked within the wrestling business. WWE Superstars have taken to Twitter to express their thoughts about the Hall of Famer:
— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) January 2, 2019
Mean Gene I love you my brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 2, 2019
Of the very few regrets I harbor in my career, one was never getting to scream "Mean Gene" when answering the queries of a man who presence was larger than life and ingrained in the better memories of my childhood.
RIP Mean Gene.
My condolences to the Okerlund family.
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) January 2, 2019
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 2, 2019