Mean Gene Okerlund, Dead at 76

Mean Gene OkerlundMean Gene Okerlund was 76. He was the wrestling interviewer and announcer best known for his years with the World Wrestling Federation.

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Rob J

Definitely known for his WWF work, but it was his pre-NWO stint in WCW where he really had his ‘working boots’ on. The wrestlers were trash at promos, didn’t know how to get themselves over, and didn’t seem to know match stipulations and story-lines they were a part of. It was Gene who expertly guided the wrestler with a combination of leading questions and statements, and by the end of the interview, the story of the match was told. RIP, Gene!

January 2, 2019 @ 11:29 AM


Some great memories with him. Damn.

January 2, 2019 @ 11:31 AM


The WWF will never be the same. Mean Gene & Jessie the Body Ventura were the best of the best.

McMahon was brilliant in raising the bar on a wrestling show. You had to have all the components in place, including the stiff announcer. Mean Gene played it to a tee.

Go back a read the cast of characters in the glory days. ALL PRO, Baby, ALL PRO.

Was there in Hamilton when the Royal Rumble came to town. All these Lil Hulksters running around. What a blast.

January 2, 2019 @ 2:07 PM

Urooj Islam

It's strange to me how many deaths you commemorate on your website of wrestlers or people who worked in the wrestling industry yet you will never have John Pollock, Wai Ting or anyone who has covered wrestling or its history on your show.

Clearly, you are or were a fan but it's constantly ignored on your show.

January 2, 2019 @ 2:34 PM

Rob J

@Urooj Islam

Be sure to dig into the archives for the Jason Agnew episode.

January 2, 2019 @ 2:48 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Urooj Islam

I got really into WWF shortly after the first Wrestlemania up until 5 or so. I guess my peak was Wrestlemania 3.

Honestly, I do not know the names John Pollock and Wai Ting. This must just be ignorance on my part. but when I don't know someone exists, I don't invite them on my podcast. :)

January 2, 2019 @ 6:14 PM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Very sad, as JJ said, Mean Jean and Jessie The Body Ventura were mainstays for me in the day. A brilliant interviewer who knew how to make the wrestlers shine never making himself the story.

January 3, 2019 @ 12:28 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Don't forget Gorilla Monsoon!

January 3, 2019 @ 9:27 AM

Rob J

In hindsight the wildest commentator was Vince McMahon, who for almost 15 years did babyface play by play without any mention that he was the owner of the company. It must have been great fun for Heenan, Ventura, and Lawler to mock, insult, and argue on-air with their boss under the guise of commentary. Vince and Ventura had actual heat in real life and you could sense the actual disdain each had for the other.
The Vince vs Austin feud exploded in 1998, finally pushing the then WWF past WCW in the Monday Night Wars.
Imagine how much more entertaining the play by play in baseball, hockey and football would be if there were a ‘good guy’ and ‘bad guy’ commentator.

January 3, 2019 @ 11:17 AM

Brian Gerstein (Raptors Devotee)

Loved Gorilla Monsoon! He loved talking about hits to the Solar Plexes, like anybody knows where that was.

January 3, 2019 @ 12:56 PM


Definitely recorded the definitive version of "Tutti Frutti", or at least the one in which it was
the hardest to make any juvenile comments/observations about its singers' sexuality!! R.I.P.

January 18, 2019 @ 10:01 AM


Yes, Gorilla was such a great announcer - in addition to solar plexes, he often commented on hits to the "external occipital protuberance" (aka "the back of the head."). Gorilla, Jesse, and Mean Gene were as entertaining as the wrestlers.

January 30, 2019 @ 10:23 PM

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