When I first started watching the AWA in the mid-70's, he was the main interviewer, and got to enjoy him all thru the start of Hulkamania. There will honestly never be another man like him again. I also had the honor to meet him at a local restuarant in the late 80's. He and his wife were out for supper. No one was bothering them, but I would look over at them occasionally. he eventually noticed me doing that, and gave me the wink and nod acknowledgement. Awesome.
He could steal a segment from an angry, shouting monster in face paint with a deadpan look to the camera and a sing-song sales pitch. The best friend a ring performer could have when selling an angle and a fantastic voice to boot.
He is the standard for all those backstage with a mic.
"To be the man, you gotta beat demands." -- The Lovely Mrs. Tracker
MEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO BY GOD GENE!
You'll be missed.
"Hey, don't touch me; I've got a fleet of lawyers!"
"I just told you that he tried to kill me!" "Oh my, what a completely unprecedented reaction to spending more than ten minutes in your company." --Belkar Bitterleaf and Vaarsuvius, The Order of the Stick
Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!
Co-Winner of Time's Person of the Year Award, 2006
He flipped me off once! I was at a WCW PPV in Roanoke -- Cactus Jack's last match, 1994 or so. After everything was over my friend and I kinda wandered down to ringside. Mean Gene was down there chatting up some folks. He was still in full tuxedo -- but no socks. So I wait for him to finish his conversation then shout "Hey Mean Gene, where are your socks?" He looked at me, looked down at his ankles, then oh-so-slowly raised his middle finger at me and then started another conversation. Priceless -- everything he did oozed class, even that.
As a kid I chuckled at the goofy little guy trapped between those gigantic men. Poor guy. Of all the places in the world to be! Years later, I recognized that many times Gene is the one that kept things going in the right direction. He played his part so well, and the wrestlers fed off that. Can you imagine if Hogan was standing there and not going "Well you know Mean Gene! (start rant)" Or him setting up Hart, Macho or any of the others?
He was as much part of WWF's golden era and Rock-n-Wrestle as the wrestlers themselves.
Now I want to call the WCW hotline for the latest news on the nWo....