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‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund, iconic pro wrestling announcer, RIP

Mean Gene in-between Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Andre The Giant
Mean Gene in between Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan and Andre The Giant

We were sad to hear iconic pro wrestling announcer “Mean” Gene Okerlund died today at age 76. He was as recognizable a face — and voice — as any of the wrestlers he interviewed. From the WWE:

“Mean Gene,” as he was named by fellow Minnesotan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, first came to prominence as an interviewer in the American Wrestling Association. In 1984, Okerlund made the move to WWE where he became as recognizable as the Superstars he asked the tough questions to, including “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and, perhaps Okerlund’s greatest guest, Hulk Hogan. Countless Hulkster interviews included the indelible phrase, “Well you know something ‘Mean’ Gene!”

As the respected and reliable man behind the microphone in WWE, Okerlund branched out from interviewing and provided ringside commentary and hosted several shows, including All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, Wrestling Challenge and Prime Time Wrestling.

Gene was an early rock n’ roller, fronting Gene Carrol & The Shades in the late ’50s, who released two singles. Rest in peace, Gene. Watch a few classic “Mean Gene” clips, and read tributes from fellow wrestling stars and more, below.

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