Boris Malenko
Many foreign heels in wrestling are not foreign at all.  Lawrence Simon was one such athlete, but as opposed to playing the role with a shaved head and little words, he developed a character named Boris Malenko with multiple levels that was more sinister than stereotypically foreign.

Malenko was supposed to be from the Soviet Union, but he was actually from Florida.  He became a master of the “Russian Chain” Match and knew how to work a crowd through in ring psychology and deliberately paced interviews.  Although he was successful in multiple territories it was in his home state of Florida that his star shone brightest.  After his in ring career ended, Boris Malenko would become a very successful trainer of multiple future grapplers.  As the father of Dean Malenko, it could be argued that the two may have a better shot to go in together as opposed to separately, though as their career didn’t overlap it may be a hard one to justify.

Should Boris Malenko be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 50%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 7.1%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 28.6%
No opinion. - 7.1%
No way! - 7.1%

The Bullet Points

  • Other Aliases: Lawrence Simon (Real Name)
    Larry Simon
    Larry Malenko
    Otto Von Krupp
    The Great Malenko
    Boris “The Great” Malenko
  • Billed From: Multiple Places
  • Key Championships Held: NWA Texas Heavyweight
    AWA World Tag Team w/Bob Geigel
    NWA Florida Southern Heavyweight
    NWA Florida Heavyweight
    NWA Brass Knuckles (8)
    NWA (Texas) American Heavyweight
    NWA Florida Tag Team (2) 1w/Bob Roop, 1w/Johnny Walker
    NWA Southeastern Heavyweight
    NWA Southeastern Television
  • Why they will get in: He could slide in tandem with his son Dean.
  • Why they won't get in: Like many, he doesn’t have an extensive background with the WWE.
  • Five Greatest Matches/Moments: 1.  Received (but failed) an NWA World Heavyweight Title Shot against Buddy Rogers (7/9/61)
    2.  As Otto Von Krupp, wins the AWA Tag Team Titles with Bob Geigel (11/23/61)
    3.  Wins the coveted NWA Florida Heavyweight Title (5/16/67)
    4.  Beats Eddie Graham to win the NWA Florida Brass Knuckles Title for the First of many times  (8/22/68)
    5.  Upon retirement, became the trainer for MANY future wrestling stars (1980’s)

Should Boris Malenko be in the Hall of Fame?

Definitely put him in! - 50%
Maybe, but others deserve it first. - 7.1%
Probably not, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. - 28.6%
No opinion. - 7.1%
No way! - 7.1%


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+1 #4 Erik 2018-04-06 03:09
Boris Malenko has now been confirmed to be one of nine Legacy Wing inductees for the WWE Hall of Fame here in 2018.

In my opinion, he should have gotten a proper induction instead of a Legacy Wing induction.

His son Dean Malenko really should have been the one to induct him into the WWE Hall of Fame.
+1 #3 NJRob68 2012-12-16 07:09
Malenko also competed under the name Crusher Duggan.
+1 #2 Darryl Tahirali -0001-11-30 00:00
Jimmy, you raise a number of very good points, especially your observation about the Hall being "a hall of guys who played for a long time and wer[sic] pretty good." I agree that that describes a number of players who have been inducted into the Hall, and not just Tony Perez; just in the last few years, Jim Rice and Andre Dawson have been elected, and they're "bubble " guys who ultimately don't deserve to be in. The other of the eternal debates is about who is in the Hall but shouldn' t be, and those three are on my list (and I'm a Red Sox fan re: Rice).And I agree that Perez got a big boost from being on the Big Red Machine, which did win back-to-back World Series in the '70s. Two other HoFers like that come to mind: Orlando Cepeda and especially Catfish Hunter, who struck Series gold with both the A's and the Yankees in the '70s but who really was just a bit better than a league-avera ge pitcher.But just as being part of a Series winner doesn't- -or shouldn' t--necessarily give you a leg up for the Hall (if it did, Aaron Rowand would have a shot at the Hall--and, given that the Giants just released him, maybe sooner than he would like), so doesn't- -or shouldn' t--not being on a Series winner give you a "leg down." Thome might not have been on a Series winner, but he was on two teams that made the Series. We can legitimately debate how much Thome contributed to those teams (although I detail in my article what Thome's average stats were over the 1996-2004 period), but he certainly was on two pennant winners, which is no small feat. That's better than HoFer Ernie Banks can claim--he never played a postseason game with the Cubs.But win or lose, getting to the postseason is a team effort, so let's turn to MVP. You ask whether any of the top 30 lifetime home run hitters ever not finished better than third in MVP voting in a given year. As a matter of fact, Fred McGriff and Rafael Palmeiro never finished as high as third in MVP voting, and even Manny Ramirez, whom you have posted about elsewhere as being on a par with Barry Bonds, only placed as high as third in MVP voting twice.This brings up an important point. Although I don't think McGriff is a HoFer, Palmeiro, whose 3000 hits and 500 HR make him only the fourth player ever to combine the two and thus would be a first-ballot lock, and Ramirez have cases for the Hall at least statisticall y; PEDs of course, especially in Manny's case, sully the issue. Yet neither ever won an MVP. On the other hand, all four--Thome, McGriff, Palmeiro, Ramirez--pla yed around roughly the same time. Look at all the other great players who played around the same time. Only one player in each league each year is chosen MVP. The last 25 years have seen a high compression of talent in the major leagues--the re are a lot of very good players, and more than a few great ones, and they might not always get the awards or make the leaderboards .This brings us to the question of longevity and stats accumulation . Yes, this is what ultimately decides it for a player. I have no problem with that. It's very hard to play a long time and produce for a long time. You have to stay healthy, and you have to stay good. If you're not good, you're not going to play in the majors, not with so much talent around. Baseball is a business, and there is not much room for sentimentali ty. True, the Giants might have hung onto Bonds until he broke Aaron's record, but look at how phenomenal Bonds was up to then. (Again, PEDs is the issue, I know.) And as I wrote previously, I think the expectation is for Thome to get to his milestone and retire; his deadline trade to the Indians, a homecoming, is probably the final act. But no one--the White Sox, the Phillies, the Twins--is going to indulge two-dimensio nal Thome unless he can produce in those dimensions: hitting home runs and getting on base.That brings us to the final chapter. Those 600 home runs are indeed special. Only eight men in the history of baseball have hit as many. But Thome is also eighth in walks, and his .403 on-base percentage is topped only by Ruth and Bonds among those members of the 600 Club. Getting to be the top ten in a number of stats is impressive, but it doesn't always swing the vote. Bert Blyleven is fifth in strikeouts, and look at how long it took him to get into the Hall. Tim Raines is fifth in stolen bases, and he still isn't in.You said that Thome is not an elite player, and I agree. But think about that: How many players are elite? Not many. We are talking about Cobb, Ruth, Mays, Aaron, et al, who have also been described as "transc endent" or "inner- circle" players. This raises bigger questions about whether they should be segregated from the "standa rd" Hall of Famers as well as what are the definite criteria for entering either of those circles. I've stated elsewhere that I am a small-Hall supporter, and as I laid out in my original article, I think that Thome, while not elite, is a definite Hall of Famer, and that is for a small Hall.
+1 #1 jimmy26 -0001-11-30 00:00
As you mentioned DDT Thome is probably a hall of fmaer b ecause of his stats that he accumalated. He is not a player we think of as elite because of some of the ses stats and his inability to play on winners. like you stated he never finished in the top 3 of a MVP race. anyone else in that top 30 of home run hitters say that? of course not. why is it in baseball that we look so heavily at the career ending and accumalated stats over everything else? i in no way believe that Thome was a better player than Jose Canseco or even a Seve Garvey but because he got to a golden milestone hall voters will almost for sure ptu him in. It seems more like a hall of guys who played for a long time and wer pretty good. Tony Perez comes to mind when I think of Thome. Long career. accumalative stats. finshed as a DH to accumalate more stats. Was never a serious MVP threat. not the best player but solid player on some very good teams. Only differnce is that Perez's team's actually won some world series. If I was voting this would be a no way but I don't so I know thbose 600 home runs and rapports with the media will get him in.

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