Man, the older you get, the more names you know in the obit’s.
The world of pro wrestling is reeling from the loss of “Mean Gene” Gene Okerlund. Okerlund was the type of ring side announcer I tried to be during my years with Polynesian Big Time Wrestling.
Okerlund, Gordon Solie ( D.2000) , and Jim Ross epitomized the professional wrestling in/out ring announcing and on screen interviewing. They brought class, style, and a wry sense of humor to the profession.,
In was while I was working for Lia Maivia that I met Rocky Johnson and his son Dwayne, better know now as “The Rock”. I was always grateful to her for giving me a chance to be the ring announcer, interviewer and television commentator for Hawaii professional wrestling. I stood in the center of the ring and introduced the likes of Rick Flair, Kerry Von Erich, “Ripper” Collins, Don Muraco, Mr. Fuji, and of course James “Lord Tally Ho” Blears. I got to associate and share a few beers with “Pretty Boy” Doug Summers, Lars Anderson,and many others. For the kid in my heart, this was a dream come true.
I was even recognized on the street as “the announcer guy” more than once. And this led to my being the trainer, announcer, and sometime wrestler with Honolulu’s only professional women’s jello wrestling team. But that’s another story.
So Gene has passed on to the big ringside table in the sky.
Aloha Brother, Aloha.