The legendary Dean Malenko worked behind-the-scenes for WWE for 18 years, from when he retired in 2001, until he left the company on April 26, 2019. It had been reported at the time that WWE was just in the middle of cycling out some older agents, while hiring new agents, and Malenko was one of the producers let go. The “Man of 1000 Holds” was hired by AEW to work as a senior producer on May 24, 2019, and is still with the company.
Wrestling legend Konnan, who is currently working with AEW part-time, appeared on the “Pro Wrestling 4 Life” podcast with WWE Hall of Famer Sean Waltman and recalled a recent moment with Malenko and WWE Hall of Famers Arn Anderson and Mark Henry while backstage at an AEW taping. Konnan noted that the veterans were “just burying WWE” before Malenko revealed how he quit the company during a conversation with current WWE Talent Relations head John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis allegedly told Malenko to think about quitting, so Malenko quit.
Konnan said, “I was at the table. Arn Anderson was there. Dean Malenko was there. Mark Henry was there. They were just burying WWE. At the end, Malenko told me that John Laurinaitis told him, ‘Hey man, I heard you wanted to quit. Why don’t you think about it?’ Malenko said [to Laurinaitis]: ‘Yes, I’ve been thinking about it for 19 years. I quit.'”
You can hear the full interview below:
(H/T to TBEN.co for the quote)