clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dean Malenko's Cageside Evaluation

Pro Wrestling Wikia

What you loved:

  1. Technical Wrestling - Pretty well agreed that he's one of the best, with a few of you saying the best ever in this realm.
  2. "Man of 1000 Holds" - He lived up to that reputation and could pull off pretty much any style of move.
  3. WCW Cruiserweight - The highlight of his career WCW gave him a great platform to put on classic matches.
  4. Feuds - This included some fairly decent names, you may know them: Rey Mysterio Jr, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Jericho.
  5. Power - He wasn't just a submission guru, and didn't rely on crazy top rope moves. At 5'8"/212 lbs. Malenko could bring the pain at any time.

Best comment comes via hlc1221:

"Few wrestlers make every move look like it hurts. He did that. Though a cruiserweight, you never saw a top-rope ‘rana. You saw a rib-breaker that looked like it killed someone. You could ask the Iceman to do any move and he could do it. Anybody saying lack of charisma, his charisma was his ability to hurt you. Each and every hold looked like he was gonna kill his opponent. The Cloverleaf was simple yet the way he wrenched, the cold look as his opponent writhed in pain. The tiger bomb, the brain buster, the northern lights suplex. Every move meant to hurt, to contort the body. He made a pin look like it hurt. He didn’t care that other wrestlers could do dragonranas or 450 splashes. He would lock in one of his holds, hit a suplex, tombstone you into oblivion. You never got bored of a Malenko-Mysterio, or Malenko-Jericho, or a Guerrero-Malenko

He managed to stand out technically in an era of Benoit, Guerrero and Jericho. His feud with Guerrero won feud of the year in 1995, and then he won best technical wrestler that year and the next. Malenko is criminally underrated, and in my opinion the best technical wrestler of all time."


What you loathed:

  1. WWE Run - WWE just had no idea what to do with this guy. The Radicalz was a great idea, but just fell to the background in a hurry. After that he was put in terrible gimmicks, eventually being a main-stay on Sunday Night Heat.
  2. Charisma - His obvious Achilles' Heel was not being able to get over on the mic. This wasn't a problem during his WCW days, but in WWE he fell down the card quickly partly due to his inability to cut entertaining promos.
  3. Ladies Man Gimmick - Also known as "Double Ho Seven" he chased after Lita, which was beyond weird. He came off as a real creep, and it's a shame WWE Creative thought this was what Malenko needed to get over.

Best comment comes via BrassCitySaint:

"Lost in Stamford. We piss on WCW a lot for the awful stuff during the late 90’s and 00’s, but during the apex of Nitro, they really did smaller wrestlers justice. After his initial exposure in ECW, Malenko was given a bigger platform on Nitro, and he ran with it. When he removed his hood to face Jericho, he got an insane pop. That should serve as proof positive that he could be over in a land of giants. Sadly, once the Radicalz made it to WWF, Malenko was lost in the shuffle in the worst way possible. The lame James Bond gimmick, curtain jerking on Sunday Night Heat, it was painful to watch. Look at it this way: Perry Saturn and Moppy got more exposure than Malenko ever did there. And that’s not only a shame, it’s a travesty."

On to the poll! With 211 votes, Dean Malenko's average score is 4.1.

Thanks, Cagesiders! Tomorrow is recap day with updated poll scores and the best comments from the week.

Until then!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats