His cut-through-noise voice, biting humor, and storyline stewardship helped bring the biggest pro wrestling characters out of their musclebound shells and into may fan’s hearts. ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund passed away this week at the age of 76 according to a statement by WWE. Okerlund got his wrestling hosting career started in the Midwest with the American Wrestling Association, before leaving for the WWE in 1984.
During his first run with WWE, the company exploded as an international sensation with Okerlund on-camera wrangling the larger-than-life personas of Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savages and many more. Okerlund continued to be a player on-camera for WCW before returning home to WWE in 2001. Hogan would induct Okerlund in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
Here are some of Okerlund’s best performances including this gem with the Nature Boy Ric Flair where he hilariously snaps at someone to put out a cigarette off-camera.
Okerlund’s on-screen appearances lessened as the years went on, but his last cameo in WWE was memorable with AJ Styles.