The Rock Posts Tribute to "Mean" Gene Okerlund

As the news of 'Mean' Gene Okerlund's death continues to make waves, the biggest names in the [...]

As the news of "Mean" Gene Okerlund's death continues to make waves, the biggest names in the wrestling world have flooded social media with thoughtful messages for the WWE Hall of Famer. And Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson couldn't miss an opportunity to share some love for the iconic "Mean" Gene.

"We lost a wrestling legend on the 🎙 microphone. The incomparable "Mean Gene" Okerlund. What an iconic career and extremely distinct voice of the squared circle during distinct eras of the smart/cool sounding "neutral" wrestling commentator. Solie, VKM, Monsoon, JR, Okerlund etc. RIP legend, strength to your Okerlund ohana and thanks for the awesome memories ~ DJ #LemmeTellYaSumthinMeanGene," wrote The Rock.

the rock mean gene
(Photo: The Rock/Instagram)

Okerlund passed away on Wednesday in a Sarasota, Florida hospital. According to the Associated Press, the 76-year-old interviewer sustained a fall in December that left him with broken ribs. Per Okerlund's son, things continued to decline in the weeks that followed.

The death of "Mean" Gene was a sad way to begin 2019. However, names like Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, and Ric Flair have all posted heartfelt messages to the late announcer and backstage interviewer while fans posted some of their favorite memories of "Mean" Gene.

WWE issued the following statement when news of Okerlund's death broke:

"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.

'Mean Gene,' as he was named by fellow Minnesotan, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura, first came to prominence as an interviewer in the American Wrestling Association. In 1984, Okerlund made the move to WWE where he became as recognizable as the Superstars he asked the tough questions to, including 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior and, perhaps Okerlund's greatest guest, Hulk Hogan. Countless Hulkster interviews included the indelible phrase, 'Well you know something 'Mean' Gene!'

As the respected and reliable man behind the microphone in WWE, Okerlund branched out from interviewing and provided ringside commentary and hosted 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 he performed 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 where he continued to interview many of the legends he had worked with in the AWA and WWE, as well as WCW stalwarts like Sting, Diamond Dallas Page, Goldberg and others.

Okerlund returned to WWE in 2001 to call the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania 17 along with Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and continued to appear on WWE television programming, including as a cast member on WWE Network's Legends' House.

WWE extends its condolences to Okerlund's family, friends and fans."