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Author Topic: Boris Malenko
waynedew
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I grew up in South Florida and started attending matches in the late '50s and was there through mid '70s. I saw many, many great matches on Miami Beach. But the guy that I remember that could always be counted on to deliver an entertaining match was The Great Malenko. Though there has been some talk about his training of his sons and Debbie Malenko, it doesn't seem The Great One himself has been given his due.

I think he was an absolute master at working a crowd. His interviews were classics.

I'd be very curious to know more about him and about Jack's working with him with him.

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Crimson Mask I
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Welcome aboard. I think if you search around the forums and the archives, you'll find you've arrived at one of the few places the Professor DOES get his due.

So long from the Sunshine State!

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george the ripper mark 2
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the great malenko was allways a major player one of the best heels in the business and before he retired one of the best faces
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Intelligent Sensational Super Mopey
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I remember when Boris was managing The Mongols in Mid Atlantic. He was wearing some kind of helmet (like one a jet fighter pilot would wear) and The Mongols were facing Wahoo and Paul Jones. I think this was the blow off and Wahoo and Paul beat the heck out of The Mongols and Wahoo tore the helmet off of Malenko and was using it as a weapon and then smashed it on the ring post!

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Will Morrisey
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On The Great Malenko getting credit as, well, great, there's likely to be a sort of `seeing double' effect going on. If you ask a fan who saw him in Florida, you'll hear about his greatness. If you ask a fan who saw him in the WWWF as a prelim-to-mid-card heel, you'll hear about how workmanlike he was. In the eyes of the mark that I was at the time, this was confusing. I'd read about "The Great Malenko" as a main-event opponent of Eddie Graham, as chronicled in the pages of Wrestling Revue. But the Boris Malenko I knew could barely beat Arnold Skaaland, and sometimes couldn't even do that. And yet, when Eddie Graham was up north, he was a main event guy all the way. HOW could this be?
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waynedew
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I wish I had seen Malenko as a face because it's really hard for me to imagine. He was so good at being the consumate "bad guy!" The amazing thing is that he and Eddie Graham were able to sustain a feud—and draw good crowds—for such a long time.

Boris was one of the all-time greats when being interviewed and his in-ring psychology was unsurpassed.

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The Mystery Man
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quote:
Originally posted by Will Morrisey:
On The Great Malenko getting credit as, well, great, there's likely to be a sort of `seeing double' effect going on. If you ask a fan who saw him in Florida, you'll hear about his greatness. If you ask a fan who saw him in the WWWF as a prelim-to-mid-card heel, you'll hear about how workmanlike he was. In the eyes of the mark that I was at the time, this was confusing. I'd read about "The Great Malenko" as a main-event opponent of Eddie Graham, as chronicled in the pages of Wrestling Revue. But the Boris Malenko I knew could barely beat Arnold Skaaland, and sometimes couldn't even do that. And yet, when Eddie Graham was up north, he was a main event guy all the way. HOW could this be?

Will, I heard the Capitol/WWWF fans would see Malenko and go, "Oh, for cryin' out loud, that's just Larry Simon!" and connect him to his earlier carpenter days. Malenko said the Northern folk wouldn't take him seriously because of the 'Larry Simon' gig so they (promotors) never put him over.

Eddie Graham knew what to do with him. Put him over REAL good in the Sunshine State. None better! Eddie/Malenko prolly the most intense longest running HUGE drawing feud I ever saw. Both guys all out all the time.

Eddie was over from the day he debuted in '58 Capitol/WWWF.

Thing about EG, he wasn't afraid to put anyone over at his expense (W-L record). He knew the dividends would come back in spades.

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Pier 6'er
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My favorite Malenko moment was when he lost the Brass Knucks title to the newly-arrived Paul Jones in 1972.

Jones was red-hot at the time, having just won the Florida title from Jack Brisco. Malenko was actually working face at the time.

This was the angle:

For some reason, Jones had brought a fistful of currency into the ring and was waving it around. Before the bell rang, Boris charged Jones, tore the money from his hand, and started throwing it into the crowd.

It was like thirty seconds of pure bedlam all around the ring with people trying to grab the money Malenko had thrown. Menawhile Jones is on his hands and knees trying to pick up the wads of cash lying all over the ring. Malenko keeps ruinning to all sides of the ring throwing money into the crowd.

Finally Jones turns his attention to Malenko, hits him, gets hit back. Malenko throws one last wad of cash into the crowd, and is running from one side of the ring to the other....when Jones catches him in the throat with his karate chop gimmick.

Malenko crumpled to the ground where Jones easily pinned him and he stayed down for the 10-count (brass knucks rules, those were), winning the title. Which Brisco would take from Jones a few weeks later.

Malenko put on some great faces to sell that he was in pain. That was part of his skill for sure...getting someone like Paul JOnes or Wahoo McDaniel over.

[ 01-18-2007, 11:25 PM: Message edited by: Pier 6'er ]

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ScientificWrestler45
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I know Malenko had a really great feud with Eddie Graham, but did he ever do a program with Jerry Graham?

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Crimson Mask I from FL
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No. Jerry was basically done in Florida a couple-three years before Larry Simon came down and morphed into the Great Malenko. I think he made a shot or two at most after that.
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The Mystery Man
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Yup I was there, too. Dr. Jerry wrestled in Florida in the spring of 1961. Remember Eddie Graham saying he was "bringing Jerry in to watch our backs" when Ray Villmer & Eddie took on Kurt & Karl Von Brauner w/Mgr. Gentleman Saul Weingeroff. World Tag Team Title at stake, iirc.

Big Hans Schmidt became involved. Recall Doc whuppin' the "German Terror" in the ring, outside the ring... Seems like they carried him out.

The Notorious Graham Brothers re-united to take on the VBs for the belts the following week or two. The magic was still there but Doc didn't stay long. He was actually wrestling out of Atlanta, Georgia and coming down to make the shots. Jerry hadn't changed in or OUT of the ring and never returned.

The Great Malenko debuted in the Sunshine State about a year later, April 1962, and was a main-event heel for many years.

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Crimson Mask I from FL
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Has to be the only or nearly only known instance of The Good Doctor working babyface.
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Intelligent Sensational Super Mopey
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quote:
Originally posted by The Mystery Man:
Yup I was there, too. Dr. Jerry wrestled in Florida in the spring of 1961. Remember Eddie Graham saying he was "bringing Jerry in to watch our backs" when Ray Villmer & Eddie took on Kurt & Karl Von Brauner w/Mgr. Gentleman Saul Weingeroff. World Tag Team Title at stake, iirc.

Big Hans Schmidt became involved. Recall Doc whuppin' the "German Terror" in the ring, outside the ring... Seems like they carried him out.

The Notorious Graham Brothers re-united to take on the VBs for the belts the following week or two. The magic was still there but Doc didn't stay long. He was actually wrestling out of Atlanta, Georgia and coming down to make the shots. Jerry hadn't changed in or OUT of the ring and never returned.

The Great Malenko debuted in the Sunshine State about a year later, April 1962, and was a main-event heel for many years.

That would have been something to see if Jerry was still in any kind of shape. The guy was a genius in the ring. Too bad that his life went down the path that it did. Great talent.

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"HAVE AT THEE BASE VILLIAN!"

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The Mystery Man
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask I from FL:
Has to be the only or nearly only known instance of The Good Doctor working babyface.

Don' know 'bout "known instance". Tink he AND Eddie wuz jes' natchul wrestlin' No to' rus Graham. [Wink]

Hans Schmidt lost to somebody in the semi-final and said he was NOT leavin' the ring. Sot hissef' on top of de turnbuckle with ahms folded. Doc come on in and hep' Hans lef' dat rang, raid, lyin' sideways.

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John Shelvey
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Larry perfomed mayhem Down-Under in the 60s I thought he was a very good heel.
Does anyone recall the letters that went back and forth in the Wrestling Observer years back with Malenko complaining about being protected while taking suplexes/backdrops from Gotch and Thesz?
I think I recall he said Gotch protected him and Lou didn't, but it could have been the other way around.
Cheers John, ends.

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Crimson Mask I from FL
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Never saw those but the way you remember it would make sense. Malenko and Gotch were very close friends.
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