• OLD SCHOOL HISTORY (January 02, 1995) – WWF Monday Night RAW
On this day in 1995, the World Wrestling Federation aired another episode of their weekly TV show ‘WWF Monday Night RAW’.
It was taped at the Liberty Central High School in Liberty, New York and featured matches, interviews & storyline segments on the road to the ‘WWF Royal Rumble 1995’ PPV.
Here’s the card:
1. Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka vs. Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith
2. Duke Droese vs. Mike Bell
3. Jeff Jarrett vs. Buck Quartermaine
4. Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith vs. Bam Bam Bigelow & Tatanka
• Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin & More React To “Mean” Gene Okerlund Passing Away
As we noted earlier, WWE Hall of Famer “Mean” Gene Okerlund passed away at the age of 76.
Below is what WWE posted about this sad story:
“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Gene Okerlund, the most recognizable interviewer in sports-entertainment history, has passed away at age 76.
In his early days, “Mean Gene”, as he was named by fellow Minnesotan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura first came to prominence by interviewing the greatest stars of the AWA, including Ventura, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and Hulk Hogan. In 1984, Okerlund made the move to WWE where he became a staple on national cable television by continuing to interview the biggest names in sports-entertainment like Hogan, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and many more.
Okerlund branched out from interviewing by providing ringside commentary and hosting several shows, including All-American Wrestling, Tuesday Night Titans, Wrestling Challenge and Prime Time Wrestling. Announcing wasn’t all that Okerlund could do with a microphone, as his distinct voice sung the National Anthem at the first WrestleMania in 1985. Later that year, Okerlund would sing “Tutti Frutti” on WWE’s The Wrestling Album.
In 1993, Okerlund joined WCW as lead interviewer where he continued to interview many of the legends he had worked with in the AWA and WWE as well as WCW stalwarts, Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg and others.
In 2001, Okerlund returned to WWE to call the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania 17 along with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and continued to appear on WWE television programming, including being a cast member on WWE Network’s Legends’ House.
WWE extends its condolences to Okerlund’s family, friends and fans.”
Below is how the wrestling world reacted to this legend’s passing:
Mean Gene I love you my brother HH
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) 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
One Of My Closest Friends Since 1972 Until This Very Sad Day In 2019. Not Only The Greatest Voice And Personality In The History Of Announcing, But A Man Who Touched Everyone’s Life Who Were Fortunate Enough To Know Him. Rest In Peace Knowing No One Will Ever Replace You. pic.twitter.com/i7illbxQgw
— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) 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
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. https://t.co/IxpjiLo9UN
— Stephanie McMahon (@StephMcMahon) January 2, 2019
He was the greatest interviewer in wrestling history. He taught me SO MUCH about how to do a wrestling promo. He was a great guy, with a glint in his eye and a joke in his heart. He was… https://t.co/NpocBUExaj
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) 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
— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) January 2, 2019
RIP “Mean” Gene. Thanks for the memories and being a Gentleman.
God Bless. ? pic.twitter.com/AJn3HsY7Am
— Bully Ray (@bullyray5150) January 2, 2019
WWE universe has lost one of its greatest announcers and truly one of the nicest guys you’d ever know. “Mean” Gene Okerlund, RIP my friend pic.twitter.com/u3bS6pePmY
— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) January 2, 2019
The world lost an incredible man today. The very BEST at his role in our industry. On-camera—quick wit, great hype, pro’s pro; off-camera— a gentleman’s gentleman. The phrase of “often imitated, but never duplicated” is very appropriate for my friend. RIP ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund
— Jeff Jarrett (@RealJeffJarrett) January 2, 2019
— Sean Waltman (@TheRealXPac) January 2, 2019
I am so sadden by loss of my very close friend @TheGeneOkerlund You brother were one of the truly GREAT ONES. You will be miss more than you know! I Love you Man! RIP Geno? @RealDDP DDP pic.twitter.com/gAmZCkYNrF
— Diamond Dallas Page (@RealDDP) January 2, 2019
This guy is the reason I wanted to be an announcer in @WWE / Mean Gene was every bit a part of the show as the superstars were. His interviewing style and interactions were every bit as entertaining as the action itself! Just an all around great guy! RIP Mean Gene. pic.twitter.com/QRv1qnkWvW
— Scott Stanford (@scottstanford1) January 2, 2019
This one stings. RIP “Mean” Gene Okerlund. As a young fan, he was the only backstage interviewer that mattered. He is the man with the golden voice who is SO synonymous with the culture of pro wrestling. I’m fortunate to have met and shared a beverage with him. Godspeed sir ?
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) January 2, 2019
— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) January 2, 2019
Teared up to the news this morning on the passing of my dear friend and legend Gene Okerlund. He was one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met and so supportive of me.
You will be so missed ?? my condolences to your family.
— Zelina Vega (@Zelina_VegaWWE) January 2, 2019
Rest in Power #MeanGene. Thank you for shaping my childhood. “Put that cigarette out” ??
— Mike Kanellis (@RealMikeBennett) 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
Of the very few regrets I harbor in my career, one was never getting to scream "Mean Gene" when answering the queries of a man who presence was larger than life and ingrained in the better memories of my childhood.
RIP Mean Gene.
My condolences to the Okerlund family.
— Samoa Joe (@SamoaJoe) January 2, 2019
So sad today to hear of the sudden passing of my dear friend @TheGeneOkerlund
I just saw Mean Gene in North Carolina at WrestleCade.
It’s so true that our tomorrow’s are never guaranteed.
Say hello to Jan, Mean Gene. ? pic.twitter.com/PQ4ZZGmXnx
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) January 2, 2019
I remember the first time I met Gene.
Gene: “Spud – I was walking around the offices of Titan Towers in Stamford CT. Do you know who was talking about you?”
Me: “OMG – Who Gene?”
Gene: “Absolutely f’n NOBODY!”
God bless you sir #RIPMeanGene
— Drake Maverick (@WWEMaverick) January 2, 2019
— Vickie Guerrero (@VickieGuerrero) January 2, 2019
Devastated to hear the news of my friend Gene Okerlund’s passing. He was, and will always be, pro wrestling greatest stick man #meangene
— Tony Schiavone (@tonyschiavone24) January 2, 2019