The year 2019 did not get off to a great start for wrestling fans, as we had to say goodbye to the greatest professional wrestling interviewer of all time, 'Mean' Gene Okerlund.
'Mean' Gene Okerlund passed away on the morning of January 2, 2019, at the age of 76 in a Florida hospital, with his family by his side. The WWE Hall of Famer had received three kidney transplants and had suffered a fall which caused his health to deteriorate in the weeks leading up to his death.
Over the course of his near 50-year long career, 'Mean' Gene Okerlund was an interviewer for the AWA, WCW and of course, WWE. He was famous among fans for his friendship with Hulk Hogan, where Hogan would give the most famous wrestling interview quote of all time, ''Well let tell you something Mean Gene! ''. Okerlund made his last appearance on WWE TV, appearing on the 25th-anniversary episode of RAW, interviewing then WWE Champion AJ Styles.
Although now gone, 'Mean' Gene Okerlund has left use with a lifetime of memories, and here are what I feel are his top 5 best moments.
#5 'Mean' Gene Okerlund Interviews The NWO
In what is still the most shocking heel turn in history of professional wrestling, Hulk Hogan did the unthinkable at WCW Bash At The Beach in 1996 when he turned his back on WCW and joined forces with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash to form the New World Order.
The post-match interview, conducted by 'mean' Gene Okerlund, is often regarded as one of the best and most important in wrestling history. As incredible as it was, I think one big thing about it that is often overlooked is how important it was that it would be Mean Gene to be the one who interviewed them for it.
I think this plays a highly important part as the fans all knew how close Gene and Hulk Hogan were as friends, and to see Gene in the ring as disgusted as he was with Hogan and telling him so, really brought more emotion to the incredible scene.