After nearly 50 years in the professional wrestling, 75-year-old “Mean” Gene Okerlund is rich with memories from his experience working with AWA, WWE and WCW. Although he has not worked full time on television since his days in WCW, Okerlund has been used in numerous hosting roles for WWE since World Championship Wrestling as the company became extinct.
Recently, Okerlund was a part of another project, as he brought the element of nostalgia during his “interview” with Kevin Hart in the Mountain Dew Kickstart commercial. This commercial has become very popular with old school wrestling fans, as it gave them the opportunity to reminisce on the former days. Okerlund also had an opportunity to reminisce, as he explained during an interview with CBS Sports’ In This Corner podcast.
“Well it takes me back just about 30 years ago,” said Okerlund. “I’ve been in this game for quite a while, matter of fact, [it’s] my 47th year. Mountain Dew’s Kickstart commercial and the opportunity to work with Kevin Hart, I knew it was gonna be a treat. And we had so much fun and time on the set, that we go to do back and forth banter that I found very entertaining. I knew this was coming because our good friend, The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, told me all about Kevin Hart and I was really looking forward to it. Everything that I expected.”
Okerlund was asked if Hart has the wrestling foundation as a fan.
“I think he does. Very much,” Okerlund said. “And candidly, he’s not afraid to let his hair down like, well let’s just say for instance, the ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, or a Ric Flair, or a Hulk Hogan, or a ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper. Guys that you and I know very well from the past, they’re legends. And, all of a sudden, here comes Kevin Hart to the table, along with all he is doing in entertainment today, and working with the guy, for me, was a real, real pleasure.”
Okerlund also feels that, although Hart may be too small to be successful in the ring, he could be a great promo guy and have a successful managing career. Okerlund compared Hart to Bobby Heenan regarding being able to have good promos on the fly.
In addition to working with Hart, Okerlund was asked whether Hulk Hogan will return to the WWE, in which he said yes. He also stated that his wish people would forget his WCW match against Mark Madden. Okerlund revealed that the largest pop he ever remembers being a part of was announcing the 93,000 attendance number at WrestleMania 3, along with the Hogan vs. Andre match.
If any of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit In This Corner podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: In This Corner Podcast
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