‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund has died. According to WWE, the Hall of Fame personality was found dead on Wednesday morning at the age of 76. Okerlund is best known for the memorable interviews he conducted with WWE Superstars starting in the 1980s and carrying on through to the 2000s. He is widely considered to be the most famous interviewer in wrestling history.
As a result, dozens of WWE Superstars and fellow Hall of Famers have taken to Twitter and Instagram to pay their respects to Okerlund. We’ve assembled the best reactions and tributes to his death below.
Several WWE Superstars Paid Tribute to ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund on Twitter
“Very seldom does an interviewer become just as popular, and at times even more popular than the superstars he/she interviews,” tweeted a stunned Kurt Angle. “Gene Okerlund was that person. Im saddened to hear of Gene’s passing. It was an honor to know you Gene.”
WWE Superstar Matt Hardy was equally saddened by Okerlund’s passing. “RIP to an absolute legend of our industry, @TheGeneOkerlund,” he wrote. “Mean Gene was incredible in many roles, as he wore many hats throughout his iconic career in pro wrestling. My thoughts are with his family & friends today.” Check out additional reactions from the likes of Charlotte Flair, Ted DiBiase, and Big E below.
Fellow Hall of Famers Triple H & Steve Austin Called Okerlund ‘The Voice of An Era’
Current WWE Superstars Referred to Okerlund As the Voice Of Their Childhoods
Hall of Famer Triple H complimented Okerlund’s ability to make interview segments as memorable as the matches themselves. “A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry,” he tweeted. “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.”
“Super bummed about Mean Gene,” wrote Seth Rollins. “Literally JUST sat down last week to do an interview about his legacy. He was the most iconic backstage interviewer in wrestling history in my opinion.” RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon was similar in her praise, tweeting: “Gene Okerlund was an incredibly rare talent. He made everything and everyone better. #ThankYouMeanGene for all the incredible memories. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.”
“Just heard Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away,” added Hall of Famer Steve Austin. “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. Condolences to his friends and family.” Titus O’Neal was similarly taken with Okerlund’s classy style of interviewing.
“One of the CLASSIEST Men I’ve Ever had the opportunity to meet and know,” he tweeted. “Always told me how proud he was to have me in the wrestling business and appreciated what I stand for. Yes I like many others Was a Huge Fan Of His “Work” But I was more Honored to see His WORTH to Everyone.”