Legendary professional wrestling ringside interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund has died, World Wrestling Entertainment, WWE announced Wednesday. He was 76.
Gene Okerlund joined the WWE in 1984 as a regular correspondent, In addition to interviewing, he also spent his career providing ringside commentary, as well as hosting several WWE events.
In addition, Okerlund occasionally entered the ring himself, teaming up with Hogan in 1984 to defeat Mr. Fuji and George “The Animal” Steele. He wouldn’t return to the ring until 2012, when he beat Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan on a “Blast From the Past” edition of “SmackDown.”
“We lost a wrestling legend on the microphone. The incomparable “Mean Gene” Okerlund,” wrote The Rock.
“What an iconic career and extremely distinct voice of the squared circle during distinct eras of the smart/cool sounding “neutral” wrestling commentator … RIP legend, strength to your Okerlund ohana and thanks for the awesome memories.”
“Mean Gene was the voice of millions of childhoods. Mine certainly,” added current ring warrior Ettore “Big E” Ewen. “An honour to meet him.”