Shelly Dean Simon (b. 1960 in Irvington, New Jersey) is a retired American professional wrestler, trainer and official best known for his work for ECW, WCW and WWE as Dean Malenko. He started his career in 1979 in Florida allied with his father Boris and brother Joe. They had actually broken away from the established Championship Wrestling from Florida to form their own outlaw (runs in the same geographical area as an established territory in opposition) promotion called Sun Belt Wrestling, which did not last very long. He and Joe competed around the Florida independent scene as well as in Japan and in WCW before Joe retired. Malenko became a regular in New Japan Pro Wrestling's rising Junior Heavyweight scene, often facing and/or teaming with Chris Benoit, who was usually known as either Wild Pegasus or the Pegasus Kid, or Eddie Guerrero, often known as Black Tiger #2. Malenko went to ECW in 1994, where he would go on to hold the ECW World Television Title twice and the ECW World Tag Team Titles once with Benoit. Malenko continued his feud with Guerrero after he arrived in early 1995. All three went to WCW in the fall of 1995, with ECW announcer Joey Styles explaining it as being due to something in their contracts with New Japan, which had a working relationship with WCW. In WCW, Malenko would go on to hold the WCW United States Heavyweight Title once, the WCW World Cruiserweight Title four times and the WCW World Tag Team Titles once with Benoit. He made his PPV debut successfully defending the WCW World Cruiserweight Title against fellow second-generation wrestler Brad Armstrong at WCW Slamboree 96. All three along with Perry Saturn jumped to WWE at the start of 2000. Malenko would have two runs with the WWF World Light Heavyweight Title and would retire from full-time competition in 2001.As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki.
Determinator: It was reported on November 22, 2010 that he had suffered a heart attack but he was back to work within days.
Bash Brothers: Joe Malenko, Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, Eddie Guerrero
Casanova Wannabe/Captain Ersatz: In his "James Bond" "Ladies' Man" gimmick in WWE in 2000-2001. His teammates Tazz and Perry Saturn helped feed his ego, the latter claiming Dean had more women than the Pope had Catholics.
Fan Nickname: The trio of Benoit, Malenko and Guerrero were referred to as "The Holy Trinity" or "The New Japan 3."
Malicious Misnaming: Jericho would refer to him as "Deano Machino" (which isn't bad) and "Stinko Malenko" (which is.)
The Farmer and the Viper: Fell victim to this courtesy of Jeff Jarrett in summer 1997 after Jarrett had been kicked out of the Four Horsemen. Jarrett suggested they team up against the Horsemen in retaliation, and, after thinking about it, agreed. This led to them facing Benoit and Steve "Mongo" McMichael in an elimination match at the Road Wild 1997 PPV. After some back-and-forth action between Malenko and Benoit, Dean tagged in Jarrett, who pulled Mongo on top of himself so he could basically pin himself and leave. This, of course, led to Malenko losing the match.
Impersonation Gambit: After failing to defeat Jericho for the Cruiserweight Title at WCW Uncensored 98, March 15, 1998, he told interviewer "Mean" Gene Okerlund that he was going "home." This led to Jericho cutting hilarious promos mocking Malenko for months, including the "1004 Holds" one. At Slamboree, May 17, there was a Cruiserweight Battle Royalnote Which featured Jericho's classic sarcastic intros where the winner would get a shot at Jericho's title. It came down to Juventud Guerrera, who was a former Champion, and "Ciclope."note While the actual Ciclope was successful in Mexico, he was a lower-tier luchador at the time in WCW. Juvy eliminated himself, giving "Ciclope" the win, and "Ciclope" unmasked to reveal Malenko. Malenko then proceeded to beat the heck out of Jericho as revenge for everything Jericho had said about him and his family (including bringing out a guy named "Bore-Us Malenko") and ultimately won the title. In the post-match interview, Malenko dedicated the win to his father.
The Voiceless: Never spoke in ECW until after his and Eddie's last match, and he tended to not say a lot if he could get away with it.
One of the very few wrestlers from a traditionally English-speaking country in the 90's, along with Chris Benoit and a few others, to achieve considerable success in the ring, including a number of championship runs, while being given almost zero interview time. The absence was almost never noticed; being a prototype for the technically savvy wrestlers that continued to gain popularity in promotions like Ring of Honor throughout the 2000's after he left active competition, he always let his ring work do the talking for him. After joining WWE in 2000 and being given time on the mic, the change was very jarring.
I Was Beaten By A Girl: Two of them, in fact. Jacqueline and Ivory defeated him in a non-title handicap match on the July 6 (taped July 4), 2000 SmackDown! after Crash Holly interfered and held down Malenko's foot during the cover.