Boris Malenko
Boris Malenko.jpg
Birth nameLawrence J. Simon[1]
Born(1933-06-28)June 28, 1933[1]
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.[2]
DiedSeptember 1, 1994(1994-09-01) (aged 61)[2][3]
Tampa, Florida, U.S.
Cause of deathLeukemia[2]
FamilyJoe 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 fromMoscow, Soviet Union
(as Boris Malenko)[1][6]
(as Otto Von Krupp)[5]

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 was the father of professional wrestlers Joe Malenko and Dean Malenko.[1][2][6][3]

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.[2]

Professional wrestling career

Simon made his professional debut in 1955 as "Larry Simon", wrestling 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]

On July 19, 1961, Simon unsuccessfully challenged Buddy Rogers for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship in Jacksonville, Florida.[7]

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.[8] Simon formed a tag team with Bob Geigel, with the duo winning the AWA World Tag Team Championship in November 1961, holding it until Simon left the promotion in January 1962.[5]

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 1980 and opened a training school in Florida with his sons Dean and Joe.

Wrestlers trained

Personal life

Simon, who was Jewish, had two sons, Dean and Jody, both of whom became professional wrestlers.[13] He died in September 1994 from leukemia.[2][3]

Championships and accomplishments

Luchas de Apuestas record

See also: Luchas de Apuestas

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

See also


  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 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 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 Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
  7. ^ David Shoemaker (31 October 2013). The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 170. ISBN 978-1-101-60974-3.
  8. ^ Gene Fox (1999). Sports Guys: Insights, Highlights and Hoo-Hahs from Your Favorite Sports. Addax Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-886110-87-8.
  9. ^ a b Dave Meltzer; Bret Hart (January 2004). Tributes II: Remembering More of the World's Greatest Professional Wrestlers. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 162. ISBN 978-1-58261-817-3.
  10. ^ a b Emmis Communications (May 1976). "Texas Monthly". Domain: The Lifestyle Magazine of Texas Monthly. Emmis Communications: 84. ISSN 0148-7736.
  11. ^ 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. ^ cite web|url=
  15. ^ "NWA announces 2016 Hall of Fame class". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  16. ^ *Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal (2000). "Texas: NWA Texas Heavyweight Title [Von Erich]". Wrestling Title Histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. pp. 268–269. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  17. ^ "NWA Texas Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  18. ^ Will, Gary; Duncan, Royal (2000). "Texas: NWA Texas Tag Team Title [Von Erich]". Wrestling Title Histories: professional wrestling champions around the world from the 19th century to the present. Pennsylvania: Archeus Communications. pp. 275–276. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
  19. ^ "NWA Texas Tag Team Title [E. Texas]". Retrieved December 27, 2019.