RIP: “Mean” Gene Okerlund… 1942 – 2019

geneo

There have been many wrestler interviewers in the WWF/WWE over the years. At the top of my head, I can think of other wrestler interviewers such as Kevin Kelly, Jonathan Coachman, Michael Cole, Jim Ross, Vince McMahon Jr. (Vinnie Mac started out as an interviewer/color commentator before becoming a full time performer) and many others but none of them could top what “Mean” Gene Okerlund did.

Mean Gene was the best backstage and in ring interviewer of all time. Without him then WWE/WWF and WCW wouldn’t have gotten so huge in the industry. He was the one who helped get people interested in professional wrestling. That’s what a backstage/in ring interviewer’s job is supposed to do, get people interested and draw in viewers. Gene was the best at that. I’ve always loved to hear his fast-talking voice and the way he spoke. He was enjoyable to listen to when he interviewed wrestlers.

In WWF/WWE, he interviewed everyone on TV from Hulk Hogan to Ultimate Warrior to Macho Man to Roddy Piper to Ric Flair to Bret the Hitman Hart and the list goes on. In WCW, Gene interviewed pretty much all the stars there on TV too: Sting, Lex Luger, DDP, Eric Bischoff and the list goes on.

Even if all wrestlers didn’t get to be interviewed by Gene on TV, they were inspired by him in some way. Mean Gene was an important figure in professional wrestling. All of us looked up to him like a father even the fans. We all watch wrestling and support wrestling ’cause of Mean Gene. “Wrestlemania” wouldn’t have continued on if it wasn’t for this guy.

Mean Gene was the voice of wrestling. Each time you heard him on TV, you can’t help but listen to him. He was that enjoyable. That man was such a professional interviewer. All he would do is just ask the wrestlers the questions and he would let them talk and just listen. Mean Gene was one of the few who helped popularized professional wrestling, there’s no denying that at all. There’s no other interviewer/announcer like him.

Mean Gene certainly loved the business and he loved his wrestlers, you can tell when he does his interviews over the years.

Kev

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