“Excuse me. Excuse me. What in the world are you thinking?”
“Mean Gene, the first thing you need to do, is to tell these people to shut up if you want to hear what I got to say.”
“I have been with you for so many years. For you to join up with the likes of these two men absolutely makes me sick to my stomach.”
Those are some of the words from the legendary betrayal of Hulk Hogan joining the New World Order. The man speaking to Hulk Hogan is the iconic “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Born Eugene Arthur Okerlund from South Dakota in 1942, “Mean” Gene became a staple of everything professional wrestling. He worked in the World Wrestling Federation from 1984 to 1993, rising through the ranks as an in-ring announcer and wrestling personality. He joined World Championship Wrestling from 1993 until 2001, and then returned to the WWF through 2018.
“Well, you know something Mean Gene?”
When we think about the world of professional wrestling, our mind often goes directly to the wrestlers, and rightfully so. The announcers, referees, and other auxiliary people simply made it easier for us to focus on the action in the middle. Rarely does someone outside the ring own a spot in our hearts. “Mean” Gene Okerlund carved out a placed in the professional wrestling business with his great interviews, memorable voice, and his consistency. People come and go all the time, but “Mean” Gene was there from the start.
Today, the world lost Eugene Oklerund at the age of 76. Gene holds a place throughout my childhood and youth as a fanatic wrestling fan. I can picture his voice ringing through every interview with Hulk or whatever superstar joined him in the ring. Triple H’s tweet about “Mean” Gene could not have said it any better:
A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of @WWE’s most memorable segments. “Mean Gene” was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. (Triple H Twitter Feed)
You know something “Mean” Gene? Rest in peace. You are the best.
Opening dialogue found here:
A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of @WWE’s most memorable segments. “Mean Gene” was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. https://t.co/9ddj6372eE
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 2, 2019