For many wrestling fans, Mean Gene Okerlund is the gold standard of wrestling interviewers, doing the role full-time between WWF and WCW from 1984 to 2001. AEW star Chris Jericho got to witness Okerlund’s brilliance first-hand when he worked for WCW from 1996 to 1999, which makes it notable when he compared a long-time co-worker to the legendary interviewer.
Taking to X shortly after the conclusion of “AEW Dynamite,” Jericho responded to a tweet praising his and Kenny Omega’s interview with Renee Paquette, particularly Paquette’s facial expressions and reactions throughout the interview. The first ever AEW World Champion, who also worked with Paquette for years in WWE, declared her the best at what she does, and proceeded to call her “the modern Mean Gene.”
She’s the best at what she does hands down. A modern day Mean Gene. https://t.co/xL9UEbr8kP
— Chris Jericho (@IAmJericho) November 9, 2023
A grateful Paquette responded to Jericho’s praise with two heart emojis.
— Renee Paquette (@ReneePaquette) November 9, 2023
Jericho is not the first person to draw parallels between Okerlund and Paquette, who has long been compared to the WWE Hall of Famer throughout her career. Paquette has also named Okerlund as an influence on her career, and was also able to work with him while she was in WWE, co-hosting the program “WWE Vintage.” She had also hoped to co-host a rebooted “Tuesday Night Titans” with Okerlund, though the pitch was ultimately rejected by WWE.
Part of the reason Paquette was able to deploy her array of expressions during the Jericho interview was because he and Omega were interrupted by The Young Bucks, unhappy with the two former rivals’ partnership. The two teams will now face off at AEW Full Gear next Saturday, with Jericho and Omega receiving the Bucks’ title shot if they win, and Omega and Jericho having to disband should the Bucks win.
Read More: Chris Jericho Calls AEW Personality A ‘Modern Day Mean Gene’