Wrestling legend and current AEW producer Dean Malenko was a recent guest on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated podcast to talk about a variety of subjects, including top company star Darby Allin and his high-risk style. Highlights can be found below.
How he knows he would have been released by WWE during COVID-19 cutbacks and how this justifies his decision to leave on his own accord:
I know it would’ve been me. I probably would’ve been [at the] top of the list. So again, it kinda solidified in my own mind what I did was the right thing.
On Darby Allin and AEW’s riskier performers:
A lot of these guys trust themselves and trust the guys that they’re working with. I’m a big fan of it to be honest with you. A lot of stuff these guys do, very scary, very high risk. Part of my job is to try and pull these guys back a little bit, because for every one move you can [do], there’s 50 million moves you can do as a substitute. I think Darby’s a risk-taker. He’s one of the guys — that’s his character, that’s who he is as a person to a certain extent, so it’s hard to change people totally and you don’t want to because then you have a whole different product and a whole different person out there. But I think, to your point, some of the stuff they’re doing, it’s a little risky but, the guys go out there and they’re as careful as they can be.
Credits Eric Bischoff for allowing WCW to feature the cruiserweights:
Well one, he let it happen so I gotta give him that credit. It was totally different, it was so new to the wrestling audience back then. Never seen the Cruiserweights from that standpoint. When you look back from the list of guys, they had guys from Europe, guys from Japan, guys from Mexico. It was really a wide variety of international flavor to it. When I finally won the title and we had Rey Mysterio come in and the first time I ever wrestled Rey was the Great American Bash. He didn’t even know it was gonna be a pay-per-view. He just thought he was wrestling somebody. But again, there’s a guy that we never got to see before, ever in the public eye and it’s the first time we got to see a guy like Rey Mysterio and there were so many great matchups and you know, I think [Eric] should get credit from a standpoint of he went out there and took a chance on it because nobody [had] done it to that magnitude before, ever in the business.
Full interview can be heard below. (H/T and transcribed by Post Wrestling)