— Cody (@CodyRhodes) May 23, 2019
A few hours after Cody put this picture on Twitter, All Elite Wrestling announced that wrestling legend Dean Malenko has signed on as a Senior Producer and Coach. Malenko worked behind-the-scenes for WWE for more than a decade but left earlier this year, a few months after WWE Hall of Famer and backstage agent Arn Anderson.
“The Iceman” Dean Malenko was a part of the legend of WCW Cruiserweights. Known as the Man of Thousand Holds, his match against Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Juventud Guerrera or Eddie Guerrero literally blew the mind of wrestling fans circa 1995-1997. In 1998, he became a part of the final incarnation of Ric Flair’s Four Horsemen faction.
After being granted his release from WCW the night after his last WCW match, Malenko signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) and debuted on January 31, 2000 edition of Raw Is War. he wrestled until 2011 and quietly disappeared backstage, where he became a road agent and producer. Dean Malenko is considered by many to be one of the most technically gifted grapplers to ever enter the squared circle.
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) May 24, 2019
Here is AEW full announcement:
“AEW today announced a multi-year deal with world-renowned coach, producer and wrestler Dean Malenko. Effective immediately, the former No. 1-ranked wrestler in the PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) 500 will take on the role as Senior Producer / Coach.
Malenko, who spent the past 18 years producing and coaching some of the biggest stars in wrestling, a second-generation wrestler trained by his father, the acclaimed Boris Malenko. Malenko’s impact will be immediate as he joins AEW this weekend at Double or Nothing, the highly-anticipated event on Saturday, May 25, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“Dean Malenko has been a massive force behind some of today’s biggest wrestling stars,” said Cody Rhodes, EVP of AEW. “He’s never stopped being a major talent who was part of the ECW revolution as well as a fixture in the cruiserweight movement on Nitro. He’s kept an open mind to our world from Lucha Libre to Japanese pro-wrestling. He’s the perfect fit for our sports-centric mentality, and his experience will be invaluable for our team. Welcome Coach!”
“It’s not often you get an opportunity late in your career to be a part of building something from the ground floor,” said Dean Malenko. “The freedom to be able to contribute uninhibited will only lend itself to foster creativity and produce an outstanding product. I’m excited about what the future holds for AEW, and I can’t wait to be a part of the journey.”