WWE Hall of Famer “Mean” Gene Okerlund spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated about his career and more. Here are the highlights.
On 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.”
On 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.”
Okerlund also discussed the origin of his nickname and more. You can read the full interview here.