Mean Gene Okerlund
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Ric Flair Pays Tribute To Mean Gene Okerlund: We Were More Than Friends, We Were Brothers”

Mean Gene Okerlund passed away at the age of 76 yesterday, and the wrestling world offered their condolences and shared memories of the legendary interviewer.

Ric Flair offered the following comments to Sports Illustrated‘s Justin Barrasso, speaking a bit more in-depth about his relationship with “Mean” Gene:

“Friend would be too generic a term for us. We were more than friends, we were brothers. We were tied to each other for years. If I was going somewhere, and I knew Gene Okerlund was there, I made sure I found him.”

Flair talked about the positive effect Okerlund had on the wrestling business, saying:

“In my opinion, Gene Okerlund added more entertainment to the business than anybody. Gene made our product better. You can be good at what you do, but Gene was so good that he made the people around him better. Gene brought that to every segment he was on for his entire career. It’s hard to explain how much talent he had. Gene was entertainment-ready, witty beyond belief, sophisticated, and I’ve never seen anybody else like him.”

Flair added:

“Gene just never missed. Even if a guy was struggling or a crowd wasn’t connecting, Gene had the gift to make interviews work. He was a wonderful person, he loved his kids, he loved his wife, and he loved what he did for a living. I’m happy that the world is giving him his due recognition. I’ve been so depressed all day thinking about it. It’s a huge loss. There will never, ever be another Gene Okerlund.”

You can read Flair’s comments in full here.

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