Joe Malenko (Jody Simon), has been announced as the recipient of the 2023 Cauliflower Alley Club Men's Wrestling Award. The award is presented annually by the Cauliflower Alley Club, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and honoring professional wrestlers.
After being trained, primarily, by Karl Gotch and by his father, one of the greatest heels of all time, Professor Boris Malenko, Joe Malenko competed in various promotions, beginning in the late 70's and throughout the '80s and '90s. He started off in various Indy promotions and moved on to promotions which included Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), New Japan Pro Wrestling and perhaps, most famously, All Japan Pro Wrestling where he was twice the organizations Junior Heavyweight Champion and formed an exciting tag team with his younger brother Dean. Joe was known for his technical wrestling skills and his ability to work with any opponent.
Wrestlingscout.com reports: "Malenko was in his thirties when he secured a regular spot in All Japan with his younger brother Dean. He soon became the premier foreigner in the company’s junior heavyweight battling Masanobu Fuchi, Mighty Inoue and Isamu Teranishi. While New Japan had built their junior heavyweight division around athletic and dynamic young wrestlers, All Japan’s division was largely built around veterans who worked holds on the mat. Malenko excelled in the style, blending state-of-the-art matwork with impressive suplexes and convincing striking. While the company might have focused on their heavyweights, it was people like Joe Malenko that really livened up the undercards. He and Dean were used fairly well as a tag team as well along with the British Bruisers, Can-Am Express and the Fantastics. Back injuries eventually took their toll on Joe. While his scientific skill never dwindled, Malenko’s body betrayed him and he never had the opportunity to shine like his brother did in the United States...Joe’s style translated well to the shoot-style promotions and he worked several of them and excelled there as well. Injuries might have ended his full-time career early, but that did not stop him from working a few matches here and there and even doing a final tour of All Japan in 2010."
The Cauliflower Alley Club congratulates Joe Malenko on his 2023 Men's Wrestling Award!