Charging into the ring in a “Mean Gene-O-Mania” shirt, Hulk Hogan grabbed the mic on ‘Raw’ Monday night, and gave a 5-minute tribute to his longtime friend, “Mean” Gene Okerlund.
“You know something guys, I came out here wide open tonight in character because that’s exactly the way ‘Mean’ Gene woulda wanted it,” Hogan told the crowd at the Amway Center in Orlando.
“I want to let all you guys know, ‘Mean’ Gene loved entertaining, and he loved entertaining everybody here in the WWE universe.”
“I love you, ‘Mean’ Gene. I miss you.”
The crowd began to chant, “Thank You, ‘Mean’ Gene” … Hulk stopped his rant to listen.
That’s when Hulk began shouting out other fallen WWE superstars — saying Gene is no doubt in heaven orchestrating a tag match with Macho Man Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior taking on Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. Perfect … with Andre the Giant as the guest ref.
Hogan closed out his tribute with a trademark Hoganism …
“Whatcha gonna do when ‘Mean’ Gene-O-Mania runs wild on you, brother?”
Hulk and Gene were great friends for decades — their interviews were classic. Hulk tweeted about Okerlund after his passing saying the guy was “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.”
Unclear exactly how the tribute will play out — but expect it to be emotional.
As we previously reported, Gene’s health went into decline roughly a month ago when he suffered injuries due to a fall at his Florida home.
He was transferred to a nursing home, but was never able to recover.
Okerlund passed away Wednesday morning with his wife, Jeanne, at his side.