Iconic WWE announcer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund dead at 76.
2019 has not started on the right note when it comes to bodybuilding and fitness.
First, the news about the death of bodybuilding legend Ed Corney on 1 January, 2019 at the age of 85 shocked the bodybuilding world.
Now, a day after we were notified about the death of the legendary WWE announcer ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund at the age of 76.
Gene Okerlund was not a bodybuilder, but whoever loves the sport of bodybuilding surely watched some wrestling at one point in their life. The fantastic physiques of some of the wrestlers fit in easily with the bodybuilding industry.
WWE.com, the official website of the World Wrestling Federation released a press release to announce the death of Gene Okerlund.
WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76.
“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.
Announcing wasn’t all that Okerlund could do with a microphone, as he performed the National Anthem at the first WrestleMania in 1985. Later that year, Okerlund would sing “Tutti Frutti” on WWE’s The Wrestling Album.
Okerlund returned to WWE in 2001 to call the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania 17 along with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and continued to appear on WWE television programming, including as a cast member on WWE Network’s Legends’ House.
WWE extends its condolences to Okerlund’s family, friends and fans.
Okerlund battled kidney issues during his adult life, eventually needing to undergo two transplants, one in 1995 and another in 2004.
News of Okerlund’s death sparked an outpouring of condolences and memories on social media Wednesday morning.
The tributes from WWE stars are already pouring in …
Stone Cold Steve Austin — “Just heard Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away. As an interviewer, pitch man, announcer, or host, he was untouchable. Simply the best. Total professional with quick wit, sarcasm, humor, and that golden voice.”
Triple H — “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.”
Big E — “Mean Gene was the voice of millions of childhoods. Mine certainly. An honor to meet him. Condolences to his family.”
Mustafa Ali — “The voice of my youth. Condolences to his friends and family.”
Ligero — “Extremely sad news to hear of the unfortunate passing of Mean Gene Okerlund. One of the most iconic interviewers and personalities of my childhood, and one of the very best in the business.”
Charles Robinson (famous WWE ref) — “So sad to hear of the passing of one of the greatest voices in wrestling. Mean Gene you will be missed and we will continue to love you. What a true class act. I am very fortunate to work with you.”
Bully Ray — “RIP “Mean” Gene. Thanks for the memories and being a Gentleman. God Bless.”
Hulk Hogan also commented … saying, “Mean Gene I love you my brother.”
Evolutionofbodybuilding.net extends its condolences to Okerlund’s family, friends and fans.