It was announced today by World Wrestling Entertainment that WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan will appear on this coming Monday’s edition of Raw to pay tribute to his late friend “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Raw takes place in Orlando while Hogan lives in the Tampa area, so it will be a short trip for him. Okerlund passed away on Wednesday at the age of 76 due to a recent fall as well as kidney issues.
When Okerlund was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2006, it was Hogan that gave a speech to induct him. Of course, one of his signature catchphrases during his career was “let me tell you something, Mean Gene” and they were legitimately close friends that worked together in the AWA, WWE and WCW.
After Okerlund died, Hogan tweeted about the death of his friend and praised Okerlund for being great at his job.
The best partner I ever had. We never rehearsed or did anything scripted from a writer. Gene would ask me “hey big man what do u want to do?” I would always answer “just follow you brother” and it worked from 1980 – 2017. RIP my brother HH pic.twitter.com/OBtn6NxT1E
— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) January 3, 2019
Here’s the official announcement from WWE about Hogan’s appearance:
“Let me tell you something, ‘Mean’ Gene …”
So began many of Hulk Hogan’s most memorable proclamations, making interviewer and backstage personality “Mean” Gene Okerlund a cornerstone of Hulkamania in the 1980s. Now, in the wake of Okerlund’s recent passing, Hogan returns to WWE programming this Monday night on Raw to honor his longtime friend.
In a Twitter post Tuesday night, Hogan called “Mean” Gene “the best partner I ever had” while describing their incredible off-the-cuff chemistry during their backstage interviews. That synchronicity even led to an unusual tag team partnership when Hogan and Okerlund battled George “The Animal” Steele and Mr. Fuji in 1984. Their training sessions before that match, which can be seen below, were perhaps even more entertaining than the bout itself.
Hogan and Okerlund’s friendship spanned the decades, from WWE to WCW and back to WWE. On Monday night, Hogan honors his brother.
Don’t miss this milestone moment on Monday Night Raw, beginning at 8/7 C on USA Network.
Hogan’s appearance on Raw will be his first time on Raw in about four years since he had his contract terminated by WWE for racist comments in July 2015 on an old tape recording. Hogan was “re-instated” to WWE’s Hall of Fame last July and appeared at Crown Jewel in November in Saudi Arabia for a quick promo.
As far as what WWE might do to honor Okerlund, I would expect a ten bell salute, a video package honoring his career in wrestling and some old friends like Hogan sharing some stories. At the NXT tapings last night, they had a ten bell salute to Okerlund and it was posted on WWE’s Youtube channel.