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RIP "Mean" Gene  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 05:26 pm
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Superstar
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When Turner took over Crockett and began WCW, it seemed like from month to month there was change...some good, some bad. The wrestling, which used to be the hallmark of the NWA, was slowly starting to get cartoonish and gimmick based. People say that it really hit rock bottom when Herd fired Flair in June 1991, but in my opinion they were seriously at the bottom in 1992. I went to a card in the Meadowlands where all tickets were either $7 or $11, and literally there couldn't have been more than a thousand people there (and in reading the magazines, that was a HUGE crowd for WCW at the time). When Flair came back in I believe February or March of 1993, even as a non-wrestler, it seemed like WCW was starting to "get it" with Austin and Pillman and bringing back Flair. But for me, when I started to "believe" that WCW was a real, major league, actual competitor to WWF again was when they signed Mean Gene Okerlund late in 1993. While possibly a coincidence, or only because WWF hadn't come to Gene to offer a contract, it just seemed to me like when Mean Gene started in WCW, people started to follow him. Heenan, Hogan, Macho Man, etc. were all top guys - forget about their age and all that, to get those names on board is what in my opinion REALLY set up WCW for the next 8 years. And I always believed that Mean Gene was the one that started the ball rolling, because people took him seriously. Yeah, "Scheme Gene and the 1-900 hotlines" may have caused his credibility a little bit of a hit, but if you ignored that, he was still the best at what he did right up until Russo turned him into a dirty old man.

Rest In Peace "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Nobody will ever be better.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 05:30 pm
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Heenan Fan



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2, count 'em 2 separate kidney transplants and he was still a legendary drinker until the end. His 2nd donor was his wife, that was Gene.



Gene, Bobby, and Gorilla all gone but not forgotten.


RIP to Mene Gene Okerlund



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 05:37 pm
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cookie32723



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A true legend, and the voice of my wrestling childhood along with Bobby, Gorilla and Jesse. RIP Mean Gene



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 05:45 pm
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Ultimark



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RIP

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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 05:51 pm
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"Put that cigarette out!" Who the hell was he talking to?

"Carnival Barker" was a description given to him in one of the Apter mags immediately after jumping to the WWF (was it Dan Shocket who wrote it?) and that always stuck with me. I hated that guttural thing he would do in lieu of describing a high impact move. And he had an underlying pomposity that made him ill-suited as a babyface. I gotta be honest, I couldn't stand his work at any stage of his career, despite the fact that he was fairly gifted at what he did.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 05:57 pm
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KGB

 

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Superstar wrote: When Turner took over Crockett and began WCW, it seemed like from month to month there was change...some good, some bad. The wrestling, which used to be the hallmark of the NWA, was slowly starting to get cartoonish and gimmick based. People say that it really hit rock bottom when Herd fired Flair in June 1991, but in my opinion they were seriously at the bottom in 1992. I went to a card in the Meadowlands where all tickets were either $7 or $11, and literally there couldn't have been more than a thousand people there (and in reading the magazines, that was a HUGE crowd for WCW at the time). When Flair came back in I believe February or March of 1993, even as a non-wrestler, it seemed like WCW was starting to "get it" with Austin and Pillman and bringing back Flair. But for me, when I started to "believe" that WCW was a real, major league, actual competitor to WWF again was when they signed Mean Gene Okerlund late in 1993. While possibly a coincidence, or only because WWF hadn't come to Gene to offer a contract, it just seemed to me like when Mean Gene started in WCW, people started to follow him. Heenan, Hogan, Macho Man, etc. were all top guys - forget about their age and all that, to get those names on board is what in my opinion REALLY set up WCW for the next 8 years. And I always believed that Mean Gene was the one that started the ball rolling, because people took him seriously. Yeah, "Scheme Gene and the 1-900 hotlines" may have caused his credibility a little bit of a hit, but if you ignored that, he was still the best at what he did right up until Russo turned him into a dirty old man.

Rest In Peace "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Nobody will ever be better.

Interesting take on that era of WCW.  I disagree but those are good points.  I went to the Meadowlands show on 7/3/91, the first post-Flair show, and the crowd was actually decent.  I mean, they had more than 5,000 people on hand, which was possibly their biggest non-PPV, non-Clash house of the year.  To hear they only had 1K a year later is pretty shocking.  But for me, the product improved so much during the Kip Frey reign and -- to a lesser extent -- the Watts era, that I find it hard to agree that '93 marked the beginning of the comeback.  In fact, I'd say that signing Jesse Ventura in January, 1992 was a much more noteworthy move (not that it actually panned out in the end).  He had far more credibility at that time with wrestling fans and the greater public. 



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 06:13 pm
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DJP

 

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Superstar wrote: When Turner took over Crockett and began WCW, it seemed like from month to month there was change...some good, some bad. The wrestling, which used to be the hallmark of the NWA, was slowly starting to get cartoonish and gimmick based. People say that it really hit rock bottom when Herd fired Flair in June 1991, but in my opinion they were seriously at the bottom in 1992. I went to a card in the Meadowlands where all tickets were either $7 or $11, and literally there couldn't have been more than a thousand people there (and in reading the magazines, that was a HUGE crowd for WCW at the time). When Flair came back in I believe February or March of 1993, even as a non-wrestler, it seemed like WCW was starting to "get it" with Austin and Pillman and bringing back Flair. But for me, when I started to "believe" that WCW was a real, major league, actual competitor to WWF again was when they signed Mean Gene Okerlund late in 1993. While possibly a coincidence, or only because WWF hadn't come to Gene to offer a contract, it just seemed to me like when Mean Gene started in WCW, people started to follow him. Heenan, Hogan, Macho Man, etc. were all top guys - forget about their age and all that, to get those names on board is what in my opinion REALLY set up WCW for the next 8 years. And I always believed that Mean Gene was the one that started the ball rolling, because people took him seriously. Yeah, "Scheme Gene and the 1-900 hotlines" may have caused his credibility a little bit of a hit, but if you ignored that, he was still the best at what he did right up until Russo turned him into a dirty old man.

Rest In Peace "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Nobody will ever be better.

I always had the same perception about Gene joining WCW. Once he came in, whether coincidentally or not, the tide began to turn and things started going up for WCW and down for the WWF. 



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 06:22 pm
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srossi

 

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I did not have a favorable view at all of the WWF announcer signings. Ventura was the best of the bunch and added a lot. Gene and Heenan, who I loved in the WWF, were so clearly going through the motions and cashing their checks from Day One that I never took those moves seriously. I don’t blame them for taking the money, but at the time I thought they were killing their reputations. In retrospect, all these years later, no one even thinks about their time in WCW.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 06:41 pm
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This is another one I will miss, certainly in my top 10 favorite wrestling personalities.

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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 07:26 pm
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Major mainstream coverage of this death as ESPN, Bleacher Report, USA Today, CNN, and just about everyone else is covering it.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 07:45 pm
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That promo he does with Davis Schultz in the AWA when Schultz is talking about looking for a woman in San Francisco is gold.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 07:49 pm
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Of all the deaths this one makes me a little sad. Gene, Jesse, Bobby, Vince and Gorilla were the voice of my childhood with Gene being my favorite.


I felt like Gene tried hard in WCW but he was left too much to his own devices and wasn’t produced enough.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 08:17 pm
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Drake Maverick has shared a funny story that is classic Gene. Maverick says he ran into Gene backstage and Gene said, “Spud, I just came from Titan Tower and you’ll never guess who was talking about you.” Maverick got excited and asked “Who?” Gene answered “Kid, absolutely fucking nobody.” LOL



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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 08:20 pm
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srossi wrote: Drake Maverick has shared a funny story that is classic Gene. Maverick says he ran into Gene backstage and Gene said, “Spud, I just came from Titan Tower and you’ll never guess who was talking about you.” Maverick got excited and asked “Who?” Gene answered “Kid, absolutely fucking nobody.” LOLCLASSIC!
Always remember Sheiky fucking with him in the interviews and calling him Gene Mean and throwing in a few odds and ends that Gene would bounce right back at him and almost got Sheik to laugh.



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"Jack Brisco grabbed my testicles once but I told him "Brisco, you have exactly 15 minutes to get your hands off my balls"." -WongLee 7/22/2017
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 Posted: Wed Jan 2nd, 2019 09:31 pm
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RIP

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