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Joseph Simon (June 4, 1955) is an American former professional wrestler best known under the ring name Joe Malenko. Malenko was born into a wrestling family, and his father Boris Malenko was a prominent wrestling figure in his own right. Dean Malenko is his brother.
Malenko is most known for his stints wrestling in Japan. Malenko began in the Universal Wrestling Federation (Japan) in May 1985 for 13 days. One of his most well known matches in the UWF was his tag match with Super Tiger where they faced the team of Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Osamu Kido.
Malenko would then team up with his brother, Dean, in All Japan Pro Wrestling to form "The Malenko Brothers". Malenko would tour regularly with All Japan from February 1988 until May 1992. Malenko had two reigns as AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship. From late 1989 to early 1990, he teamed with Kenta Kobashi against the Can-Am Express (Dan Kroffat and Doug Furnas) for the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship. Joe's most memorable matches came in his match versus his brother, Dean and when they (the Malenko Brothers) faced The British Bruisers (Johnny Smith and Dynamite Kid) during Giant Baba's 30th Wrestling Anniversary on September 30, 1990. Joe and Dean's only chance for the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championships was against the Can-Am Express on March 4, 1992 in Tokyo, Japan.
Malenko made an appearance in World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1992, during the Clash of the Champions XIX. He teamed with his brother to take on the team of Nikita Koloff and Ricky Steamboat in the first of round of a tournament held for the NWA World Tag Team Titles. "The Malenko Brothers" came up short. Next Joe and Dean travelled to Puerto Rico to take part in the World Wrestling Council's 19th Anniversary show. They were defeated Steve Doll and Rex King, who at the time held the WWC World Tag Team Championship.
Malenko made his first appearance in Extreme Championship Wrestling on November 18, 1994. He once again teamed up with his brother, Dean, to take on the team of Sabu and the Tazmanic, but lost. Dean continued to work ECW, but Joe mainly worked for ECW when they toured in Florida. He worked ECW's first run of Florida shows in 1995 against Stevie Richards and Osamu Nishimura, wrestling to a draw against both. When ECW returned to Florida in May, Malenko was once again featured on the opening matches of the card. On May 5, 1995. Malenko defeated local Florida indy wrestler, and acquaintance from his father's wrestling school, Soulman Alex G. The next night in Tampa, Malenko defeated Miguel San Juan.
On the May 11, 1998 edition of WCW Monday Nitro, Joe Malenko came out and confronted Chris Jericho, who had been in a feud with Dean for weeks. However, the confrontation led to an attack by Jericho in Joe Malenko's only appearance on Nitro.
Malenko is retired from wrestling and is a registered pharmacist in Florida.
On October 25, 2010, it was announced that Malenko would be participating in All Japan Pro Wrestling's World's Strongest Tag Determination League in November and December 2010 with partner Osamu Nishimura. The duo won twice and drew once in their eight matches in the tournament, finishing eighth out of nine in the final standings.
Championships and accomplishments
- PWI ranked him #101 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1993
- PWI ranked him #276 of the Top 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI Years in 2003