Boris Malenko

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Boris Malenko
Boris Malenko.jpg
Birth nameLawrence J. Simon [1]
Born(1933-06-28)June 28, 1933 [1]
Newark, New Jersey, United States [2]
DiedSeptember 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 Great Malenko
The Masked Muscovite
Mr. Jacksonville
Mr. Miami
Otto Von Krupp [5]
Billed height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) [6]
Billed weight220 lb (100 kg; 16 st) [6]
Billed from Moscow, Soviet Union
(as Boris Malenko) [1] [6]
Germany
(as Otto Von Krupp) [5]
DebutMid-1950s [2]
Retired1979

Lawrence J. Simon (June 28, 1933 – September 1, 1994), better known by the ring name, Boris Malenko (Russian :Бори́с Маленко́, tr. pron,IPA:  [bɐˈrʲis mɐlˈɛnko] ), 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 Russian heel. He is the father of professional wrestlers Joe Malenko and Dean Malenko. [1] [2] [6] [3]

A ring name is a name used for professional purposes by a professional wrestler, martial artist or boxer.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Romanization of Russian Romanization of the Russian alphabet

Romanization of Russian is the process of transliterating the Russian language from the Cyrillic script into the Latin script.

Contents

Early life

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]

Irvington, New Jersey Township in New Jersey, United States

Irvington is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 53,926, having declined by 6,769 (−11.2%) from the 60,695 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn declined by 323 (−0.5%) from the 61,018 counted in the 1990 Census.

Amateur wrestling widespread form of sport wrestling

Amateur wrestling is the most widespread form of sport wrestling. There are two international wrestling styles performed in the Olympic Games: freestyle and Greco-Roman. Both styles are under the supervision of United World Wrestling. A similar style, commonly called collegiate, is practiced in colleges and universities, secondary schools, middle schools, and among younger age groups in the United States. Where the style is not specified, this article refers to the international styles of competition on a mat. In February 2013, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted to remove the sport from the 2020 Summer Olympics onwards. On 8 September 2013, the IOC announced that wrestling would return to the Summer Olympics in 2020. The rapid rise in the popularity of the combat sport mixed martial arts (MMA) has increased interest in amateur wrestling due to its effectiveness in the sport and it is considered a core discipline.

YMCA worldwide organization

The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) [pronounced wai-em-see-ay], sometimes regionally called the Y, is a worldwide organisation based in Geneva, Switzerland, with more than 64 million beneficiaries from 120 national associations. It was founded on 6 June 1844 by Sir George Williams in London and aims to put Christian principles into practice by developing a healthy "body, mind, and spirit".

Professional wrestling career

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 professional wrestling, the independent circuit or indie circuit is the collective name of independent professional wrestling promotions which are smaller than major televised promotions. It is roughly analogous to a minor league for pro wrestling, or community or regional theatre.

Eastern United States Geographical region of the USA

The Eastern United States, commonly referred to as the American East or simply the East, is the region of the United States lying to the north of the Ohio River and to the east of the Mississippi River.

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas, officially the City of Dallas, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2018 population of 1,345,047, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is also the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people as of 2018. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.

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]

Minneapolis Largest city in Minnesota

Minneapolis is the county seat of Hennepin County and the larger of the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. As of 2018, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 46th-largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 425,403. The Twin Cities metropolitan area consists of Minneapolis, its neighbor Saint Paul, and suburbs which altogether contain about 3.63 million people, and is the third-largest economic center in the Midwest.

Minnesota State of the United States of America

Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord.

The American Wrestling Association (AWA) was an American professional wrestling promotion based in Minneapolis, Minnesota that ran from 1960 to 1991. It was owned and founded by Verne Gagne and Wally Karbo. The territory was originally part of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), becoming an independent territory in the late 1950s.

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

Buddy Rogers (wrestler) American professional wrestler

Herman Gustav Rohde Jr., better known by the ring name Buddy Rogers, was an American professional wrestler.

NWA World Heavyweight Championship

The NWA World Heavyweight Championship is a world heavyweight championship in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). Although formally established in 1948, its lineage has been traditionally traced back to the first World Heavyweight Wrestling Championship, which traces its lineage to the title first awarded to George Hackenschmidt in 1905. This effectively makes it the oldest surviving wrestling championship in the world. The title has been competed for in the World Wide Wrestling Federation, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Eastern Championship Wrestling, Ring of Honor (ROH), and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Jacksonville, Florida Largest city in Florida

Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, the most populous city in the southeastern United States and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968. Consolidation gave Jacksonville its great size and placed most of its metropolitan population within the city limits. As of 2017, Jacksonville's population was estimated to be 892,062. The Jacksonville metropolitan area has a population of 1,523,615 and is the fourth largest in Florida.

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]

Cold War Geopolitical tension after World War II between the Eastern and Western Bloc

The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U.S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U.S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, and the Truman Doctrine of 1947, and ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe as well as in other areas, and the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

South Florida Place in Florida, United States

South Florida is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises Florida's southernmost counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. It is the fourth most populous urban agglomeration in the United States. It is one of Florida's three most common "directional" regions, the others being Central Florida and North Florida. It includes the populous Miami metropolitan area, the Everglades, the Florida Keys, Treasure Coast, and other localities. South Florida is the only part of the continental United States with a tropical climate.

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

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

Simon was Jewish. [13]

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

Championships and accomplishments

Luchas de Apuestas record

Winner (wager)Loser (wager)LocationEventDateNotes
Wahoo McDaniel (hair)Boris Malenko (hair)Houston, Texas Live event July 10, 1970 [9] [10]

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