All Elite Wrestling put out a press release Friday, stating that "The Man of 1000 Holds" had signed on with the company as a producer and coach. The release also states that Malenko is on board with a multi-year deal.
“It’s not often you get an opportunity late in your career to be a part of building something from the ground floor,” Malenko said, in the release. “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.”
One day after Malenko left WWE, the legendary junior heavyweight was formally announced as a guest for Starrcast II in Las Vegas, leading many to start connecting the dots.
Malenko became a backstage official for WWE in the latter part of 2001, shortly after retiring from the ring. It was reported that Malenko's exit from WWE didn't stem from any issues, but rather cycling out veteran agents after signing a number of new ones in the preceding months.