Boris Malenko

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Boris Malenko
Boris Malenko.jpg
Birth name Lawrence J. Simon[1]
Born (1933-06-28)June 28, 1933[1]
Newark, New Jersey, United States[2]
Died September 1, 1994(1994-09-01) (aged 61)[2][3]
Tampa, Florida, United States
Cause of death Leukemia[2]
Family Joe Malenko (son)
Dean Malenko (son)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Boris Malenko[2][4]
Crusher Duggan[2]
Larry Simon[2]
Laurence Malenko
The Masked Muscovite
Mr. Jacksonville
Mr. Miami
Otto Von Krupp[5]
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[6]
Billed weight 220 lb (100 kg; 16 st)[6]
Billed from Moscow, Soviet Union
(as Boris Malenko)[1][6]
Germany
(as Otto Von Krupp)[5]
Debut Mid-1950s[2]
Retired 1979

Lawrence "Larry" J. Simon (June 28, 1933 – September 1, 1994), better known by the ring name, Boris Malenko, was an American professional wrestler and professional wrestling trainer. He is best known for his appearances with Championship Wrestling from Florida and Big Time Wrestling in the 1960s and 1970s as a villainous Russian. He is the father of professional wrestlers Joe Malenko and Dean Malenko.[1][2][6][3]

Early life[edit]

Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in Irvington, New Jersey. As a teenager, Simon competed at amateur wrestling in YMCAs. Before becoming a professional wrestler, he worked as a truck driver in the Garment District in New York City, New York.[2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Simon made his professional debut in the mid-1950s as "Larry Simon", wrestling on the independent circuit in the Eastern United States. In 1957, he joined the Dallas, Texas-based promotion Big Time Wrestling under the ring name "Crusher Duggan", winning the NWA Texas Heavyweight Championship later that year.[2]

In September 1961, Simon joined in the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association. He adopted the persona of "Otto Von Krupp", a German wrestler who wore jackboots and a swastika on his back.[7] Simon formed a tag team with Bob Geigel, with the duo winning the AWA World Tag Team Championship in November 1961, holding it until Malenko left the promotion in January 1962.[5]

On July 19, 1961, Simon unsuccessfully challenged Buddy Rogers for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Jacksonville, Florida.[8]

In 1962, playing upon Cold War tensions, Simon adopted the persona of "Boris Malenko", an agent of the Soviet Union.[2] He was occasionally billed as "The Great Malenko"; a pun, with "Malenko" being Russian for "little", or as "Dr. Malenko" or "Professor Malenko". He built his career in South Florida, where his gimmick made him a hated heel among the Cuban population.[4] Over the next decade, he held the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship twice, the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship twice, the NWA Southern Heavyweight Championship (Florida version) once, the NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Florida version) once, and the NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Florida version) eight times. His main rivals included Eddie Graham, Wahoo McDaniel, Johnny Valentine, Joe Scarpa, and José Lothario. In an angle in 1966, after Malenko bloodied Sammy Steamboat by biting his ear, Eddie Graham stormed the ring and punched Malenko's dentures out of his mouth, then crushed them.[2]

In 1970, Malenko returned to Big Time Wrestling, where he held the NWA American Heavyweight Championship and the NWA Texas Tag Team Championship. He had a heated feud with Wahoo McDaniel, with McDaniel defeating him in a hair versus hair match in July 1970. A bout between the two in the Astrodome set a longstanding attendance record. In December 1970, McDaniel defeated Malenko in a loser leaves town match, marking his departure from the promotion.[3][9][10] During his time with Big Time Wrestling he was managed by Lord Charles Montegue.

On May 9, 1972, Malenko and Bob Roop defeated Bearcat Wright and Bobby Shane to win the NWA Florida Tag Team Championship, and six days later, Malenko defeated Wright in singles competition to win his eighth and final Florida Brass Knuckles title in Orlando. On June 24, 1972, Malenko and Johnny Weaver defeated Mike Webster and The Professional for his second run with the Florida Tag Team titles.

Malenko toured Japan with All Japan Pro Wrestling in 1973 and New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1974. During his time with NJPW, Malenko wrestled a number of high-profile bouts with Antonio Inoki.[11]

In the late 1970s, Malenko wrestled for the Knoxville, Tennessee-based promotion Southeastern Championship Wrestling, winning both the NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship (Northern Division) and the NWA Southeastern Television Championship in 1978. He became the manager of Jerry Blackwell after it was claimed he had acquired the mortgage to Blackwell's family farm, forcing him to fight on his behalf. The angle ended after Ron Garvin paid off the mortgage, freeing Blackwell to attack Malenko.[4][12]

Malenko retired in 1979 and opened a training school in Florida with his sons Dean and Joe.

Personal life[edit]

Simon had two sons, Dean and Joe, both of whom became professional wrestlers.

Simon was Jewish.[13]

Death[edit]

Simon died in September 1994 from leukemia.[2][3]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Luchas de Apuestas record[edit]

Winner (wager) Loser (wager) Location Event Date Notes
Wahoo McDaniel (hair) Boris Malenko (hair) Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston, Texas, United States Live event July 10, 1970 [9][10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mike Boza (1 September 2012). Run, Rinse, Repeat: The Story of a Coach, a Team, and a Passion for Running. WestBow Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-4772-6437-9. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Greg Oliver; Steven Johnson (2007). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. ECW Press. pp. 76–79. ISBN 978-1-55490-284-2. 
  3. ^ a b c d Harris M. Lentz III (1 January 2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed. McFarland. pp. 217–218. ISBN 978-0-7864-1754-4. 
  4. ^ a b c d Harry L. Watson; Larry J. Griffin (28 April 2008). Southern Cultures: The Fifteenth Anniversary Reader. Univ of North Carolina Press. p. 362. ISBN 978-0-8078-8646-5. 
  5. ^ a b c George Schire (2010). Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling: From Verne Gagne to the Road Warriors. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-87351-620-4. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0. 
  7. ^ Gene Fox (1999). Sports Guys: Insights, Highlights and Hoo-Hahs from Your Favorite Sports. Addax Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-886110-87-8. 
  8. ^ David Shoemaker (31 October 2013). The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-101-60974-3. 
  9. ^ a b Dave Meltzer; Bret Hart (January 2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Professional Wrestlers. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 162. ISBN 978-1-58261-817-3. 
  10. ^ a b Emmis Communications (May 1976). Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications. p. 84. ISSN 0148-7736. 
  11. ^ a b c Kristian Pope (28 August 2005). Tuff Stuff Professional Wrestling Field Guide: Legend and Lore. Krause Publications. p. 290. ISBN 0-89689-267-0. 
  12. ^ Gerald W. Morton; George M. O'Brien (1985). Wrestling to Rasslin: Ancient Sport to American Spectacle. Popular Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-87972-324-8. 
  13. ^ Shaun Assael; Mike Mooneyham (2002). Sex, Lies, and Headlocks: The Real Story of Vince McMahon and the World Wrestling Federation. Crown Publishers. ISBN 978-0-609-60690-2. 
  14. ^ Bruce Hart (14 January 2011). Straight from the Hart. ECW Press. p. 57. ISBN 978-1-77090-004-2. 
  15. ^ Mark Kriegel (26 July 2005). Namath: A Biography. Penguin. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-101-22142-6. 
  16. ^ Ed Symkus; Vinnie Carolan (2004). Wrestle Radio U. S. A.: Grapplers Speak. ECW Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-1-55022-646-1. 
  17. ^ "NWA announces 2016 Hall of Fame class". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2016-04-08. 

External links[edit]