Former WWE agent and WCW legend Dean Malenko recently appeared on the official AEW Unrestricted podcast. The ‘Man of 1000 Holds’ would discuss a number of topics from his illustrious career, with notable time being dedicated to talking about Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. One of the topics discussed was that of The Radicalz, the team of Perry Saturn, Malenko, Benoit and Guerrero that left WCW in the year 2000 to jump ship to WWE (then WWF).
“Things started going south a little bit after [the] nWo came” Malenko began. “After the whole nWo thing came in and then with [Kevin] Nash kind of taking over there. And we had a conversation between us all, everybody in on the conversation, [saying] ‘it’s time to move on.’ Because of the politics.”
“For me, Eddie and Chris, we knew we had something to fall back on. Going back to work in Japan. Worst case scenario? There’s nobody that wanted us out there. But we also respected and we knew what our limitations were, and we were very confident with what we could bring to another organisation. So it was the night in Cincinnati [for WCW]. Chris was working with Sid Vicious and winning the title! One of the craziest things, earlier in the day we told them [we wanted to leave] and they (WCW) still wanted to give them the title!? I still can’t figure that out right? Probably the craziest booking I’ve ever heard.”
Malenko elaborated further, describing how Eddie Guerrero followed along with the plan. “And then the other funny part of that story is, as we were walking down the hall to go and…was it Bill Banks? He was kind of like the liaison or in-between while Eric [Bischoff] was running the company there at the time. [Bischoff] would submit a statement a couple months back: ‘if you don’t want to be here, just tell me, you don’t have to be here.’ We walked in there, Perry [Saturn] kind of grabbed him and threw him against the wall (laughs). Perry said ‘remember that part where you said ‘if we don’t want to be here?’ Well, we don’t want to be here.”
“As we were walking this long walk like Chariots of Fire, kind of walking all the way down the hallway, to this guy’s office; Eddie [Guerrero] was running a little bit late. He walked in front of us with his bag to get ready for a match. He says ‘where are you guys going?’ I said ‘we’re going to quit’ and Eddie says ‘I’ll just come with you!’ He had no idea, but it just goes to show the trust we had together.”
The Radicalz would debut in WWE (WWF) on the 01/31/2000 episode of Monday Night RAW. This came just a couple of weeks after WCW Souled Out 2000, where Chris Benoit would defeat Sid Vicious to become WCW Champion. Even, as Malenko alluded to, after telling the company that day that they wanted to leave.