“Mean” Gene Okerlund spoke with Sports Illustrated to look back on his long career. Here are some of the highlights:

Working with Hulk Hogan:

“I felt the chemistry with Hulk Hogan and the people, and that dated back to our time together in Minnesota. It was instantaneous. He had a lot of magic and a lot of charisma, and the fans will tell you everything if you wait long enough, but this was instantaneous. He won people over in his first month with the territory after he made the circuit just one time, and he is arguably the biggest star ever in professional wrestling.”

His toughest interviews:

“I had a tougher time with some guys than I did with others, but the Ultimate Warrior interviews still stand on their own. He was a very tough man to understand, and when he started on the ‘moons and the stars’ and all of that other garbage, I’m sure that the audience missed it, but they liked the way he pulled the ropes and worked with that fantastic body. As for Andre the Giant, he really didn’t have to say too much. He would mumble, he would have a cocktail or two and could be a little off the beaten path, but he got his message across. He was a good man.”

Jumping to WCW:

“Ric and I would drink Dirty Ketel One Martinis, but I’d never try to out-drink Ric. I was too smart to try that, but my move to WCW helped a lot. Now I went over there first, all alone, and brought guys like Bobby Heenan with me shortly thereafter. I came in late 1993, and Bobby Heenan started in the first part of 1994. Then the coffers opened from Ted Turner, and the list of talent kept growing bigger and bigger and bigger. Then, finally, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall came in and formed the NWO with Hogan. Virtually all of the top stars went over there, and that was a storyline that had legs for a couple of years.”

Gene Okerlund also discussed the origin of his nickname and what surprised him the most in wrestling. You can read the full interview by clicking here.

Source: Sports Illustrated

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