Legendary pro wrestling interviewer Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away at the age of 76, WWE announced Wednesday. Okerlund, who got his start in the AWA in the 1970s, became the most well-known interviewer of all time in the 1980s, where he interviewed the top stars of WWE such as Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage, before switching to WCW in the 1990s where he interviewed the top stars of WCW, such as Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006, Okerland went on to help launch the WWE Network by starring in the reality show Legends House and continued to make special appearances for the company and narrate the Network show Story Time.
Okurland made a recent appearance at WWE Raw’s 25th-anniversary show last January, interviewing then-WWE Champion AJ Styles.
As soon as the news hit, wrestlers began paying tribute to Okerlund on social media.
Mean Gene I love you my brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 2, 2019
Mean Gene was the voice of millions of childhoods. Mine certainly. An honor to meet him. Condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/krsMtbeNIl
— Florida Man (@WWEBigE) January 2, 2019
💔 Legend https://t.co/iAT7I1UnkL
— $asha Banks (@SashaBanksWWE) January 2, 2019
A voice and sound track to an entire era of our industry. He was the star of some of @WWE’s most memorable segments. “Mean Gene” was beloved by all who got to work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. https://t.co/9ddj6372eE
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 2, 2019
A voice of my childhood, and one of the greatest of all time — you will be missed, Gene. 🙏 https://t.co/15kNprnbRd
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) January 2, 2019
One of the CLASSIEST Men I’ve Ever had the opportunity to meet and know. Always told me how proud he was to have me in the wrestling business and appreciated what I stand for. Yes I like many others Was a Huge Fan Of His “Work” But I was more Honored to see His WORTH to Everyone https://t.co/biOKHr2OPt
— Titus O'Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) January 2, 2019
Just heard Mean Gene Okerlund has passed away. As an interviewer, pitch man, announcer, or host, he was untouchable. Simply the best. Total professional with quick wit, sarcasm, humor, and that golden voice.
Condolences to his friends and family.
— Steve Austin (@steveaustinBSR) January 2, 2019
GENE MEAN WAS BEST MAN AT MY WEDDING. WE DO HE SING HE DANCE HE ALWAYS WAS THERE FOR ME. ALWAYS LEADING THE WAY AT THE BAR WITH THE LEGEND. GOD BLESS HIM.
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 2, 2019
Undoubtedly, the tributes will continue to roll in all day, and Okerlund will likely be featured in a video package on next week’s WWE programming. In the meantime, we can all probably agree, just two days into the new year: @#$% 2019.