Saturday, April 30, 2011

Entrant###30 -
I used to read Tom Zenk´s rants back in the day (whatever did happen to his columns?) and he was always quick to point out that while Michaels no doubt had a serious back injury, he was just biding his time to return when Austin and Rocky were out of the way. And lo and behold, when does Shawn seemingly make a miraculous recovery in time to fight his buddy HHH???? Looks like Zenk was right about Shawn. Probably something to Helms beliefs that HBK is still a wolf in Sheeps clothing despite his new outlook on life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

April 27th, 2011

Mark Satrang
Pro Wrestling Examiner

#2 – WCW WrestleWar ‘92
Everything I said about SuperBrawl II in regards to the no nonsense wrestling and great matches completely applies here, which is no coincidence since they followed each other in pay per view chronology.  The top three matches save the show and just blow anything the WWF was putting out at the time away.  Two best friends Flyin’ Brian Pillman and “Z-Man” Tom Zenk battled over Pillman’s Light Heavyweight Championship.  They told a story of two friends putting aside their friendship for the sake of a Championship, money and glory and put together a four star match to boot. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

WOM 1/18/88

Dave Meltzer in Wrestling Observer Newsletter,  18 January, 1988 reported -

-- Tom Zenk's legal problems with the WWF were also settled out of court, as the WWF sued Zenk for $70,000 for breach of contract. He'll have to give Titan a percentage of his earnings in 1988, but it will be a much smaller percentage than the WWF originally wanted. The whole deal was that the WWF wanted to make an example out of him.

-- Tom Zenk agreed to start working for the AWA. Zenk signed on the advice of Giant Baba, who wants to push him, but feels he has to make a name for himself in the US first.

WON 1/25/88

Summary of Meltzer Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 25 January, 1988

-- The Midnight Rockers are now the tag champions. The storyline, which they were forced to do after the fact, was that the 12/27 match against Dennis Condrey and Randy Rose ended with a double pin, but when Stanley Blackburn reviewed the tape, he overruled the referee and made the Rockers the champions. The actual story is that the Original Midnight Express have quit the AWA. Announcer Larry Nelson said on TV, "We have heard a rumor they got hurt." Rose wasn't making any money and wanted a guarantee to make it worth his time to commute from Georgia. Condrey had a guarantee, but it was cut by Verne Gagne, so Condrey quit on the spot. There was talk of them coming back and jobbing the belts in the ring, but Verne simply decided he wanted nothing to do with them anymore. Dave says he has heard varying stories on Paul E. Dangerously -- both that he's still with them and that he's not with them -- but that Paul E. was not at the last TV taping. The Rockers are still wrestling instead of Memphis and not in the AWA, but everyone expects that to change soon.

-- Tom Zenk is in and will probably get a good push, but Dave worries that Verne will bank on him too much. Zenk coming in is why Verne has been hesitant to really push Nord the Barbarian all that hard, although he's probably the most over wrestler in the Twin Cities at this point, aside from Hogan. They are afraid to push him too much because they don't think he will stick around.

WON 2/15/1988

Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 15 February, 1988 reported

-- The final card at the Minneapolis Auditorium happened on 02/04 before a low turnout of 1,700 fans. They were hyping it as Nostalgia Night, and the WWF countered by running "Mad Dog Vachon Night" in the same market the following week, and even ended up bringing in old AWA stars for their show like The Crusher, Nick Bockwinkel and Blackjack Lanza. Verne had Red Bastien, Killer Kowalski, Carl Eller (never wrestled, but was a member of the Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters front four in the early 70s), Butch Levy, Leo Nomellini, Hard Boiled Haggerty, Dick the Bruiser (who wrestled), Billy Robinson and perennial jobber Kenny "Sodbuster" Jay, who actually got the biggest pop. Verne Gagne and Stanley Blackburn were in attendance as well. Dave says Zenk/Robinson stood out in the wrong way, because Zenk is the only potential contender they have for Hennig, and a 50-year old guy took him to a 20-minute draw. He also controlled the entire match, which was in slow motion and Zenk had no opportunity to do anything to get himself over. The AWA now doesn't have a venue lined out for the Twin Cities.

-- Adrian Adonis is out until March at the earliest. The match where he broke his ankle was a match against Ricky Rice that did air on TV.

-- Kelly Kiniski quit. He was unhappy with his $170 weekly check and went back to Canada.

-- Nord the Barbarian quit. He's hugely over in the AWA because of his car commercials, but Verne never wanted to push him because he didn't think he could last.

-- Still no word on the future of Paul E. Dangerously.

WON 2/29/88

Meltzer, Wrestling Observer Newsleteer 29 February, 1988 reports -

-- The Rock & Roll Express is scheduled to debut as babyfaces at the 02/20 tapings. Dave doesn't think this makes sense, since they were always booed on Crockett shows in the Twin Cities, and they have a natural feud with Michaels and Jannetty. Later in the issue, Dave says Morton and Gibson didn't even show up, but Pat Tanaka and Paul Diamond did, and they won the tag titles.

-- Tom Zenk quit the same day he was to do an angle with Curt Hennig at a TV taping, because he wanted a guarantee. He also didn't understand the logic of doing a time limit draw with Billy Robinson before feuding with Hennig.
-- The Nasty Boys have been let go.

-- In addition to Curt Hennig, Kevin Kelly and Madusa Miceli are also on guarantees. Hennig's is $1,500 per week and Kelly and Miceli's is less than $300 per week.

-- The AWA will restart on 3/19 in Las Vegas.

-- "I believe the word in Minneapolis is that due to all the confusion from the 2/4 Hennig vs Greg Gagne match that they are saying the title is held up. So they've got the tag title held up in three cities but nowhere else, and the singles title held up in two cities with two different challengers."

-- Wally Karbo and Verne Gagne have settled their lawsuit out of court, with Verne agreeing to pay Karbo whatever he owes him. Karbo is settling for 10 cents on the dollar.

-- They shot an angle at the Las Vegas tapings with Baron Von Raschke and Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey. "Boy, they'll pack them in for those grudge matches."

-- "I'm told the recent AWA cards have drawn between 42 and 300 fans."

-- "On the Minneapolis TV show which aired on 2/21, Verne said that all the promoters in the Midwest want to recognize Greg as the champion. He later said if Stanley Blackburn doesn't like it, then maybe the AWA will have to find a new president. I wonder what Stanley Blackburn feels about being put in the position of being the top heel in the AWA. Maybe he can team with Sheik and feud with Verne and the Baron. Verne even compared the current situation to the forming of the AWA back in 1957 when Edouardo Carpentier beat Lou Thesz (one of the falls was via DQ) and the NWA wouldn't recognize the title change but the promoters in the Midwest took it upon themselves to recognize Carpentier and those promoters wound up as the AWA a few years later with Verne as champion after Verne beat Carpentier (at least when they bring up old stories, they are true stories.)"

-- There is pressure on Curt Hennig, and they appear to be covering their backsides if something happens with him. He took a hard bump on his neck and shoulder and was supposed to be in traction, but worked in Portland and Las Vegas through heavy pain. He did miss two spot shows, which the office was furious about. Dave suspects they are looking for an excuse to cut out his big guarantee. "Hey, if Curt's available, I just hope some guys looking for a Fourth Horseman wake up."

WON 02/08/88

Dave Meltzer , Wrestling Observer Newsletter  8 February, 1988

-- Kelly Kiniski has been fired, and they have pretty much no heels left.

-- Tom Zenk is signed to face Billy Robinson on the 02/04 show at the Minneapolis Auditorium, the last show at the arena before it is torn down, and Dave is surprised by that match, because independent promotions won't use Robinson because of his rep of shooting, and that he could easily show Zenk up/

-- Baron Von Raschke and the Nasty Boys are now full-time. Steve DiSalvo is splitting time between the AWA and Calgary.

-- Adrian Adonis suffered a broken ankle during the Minot, ND, TV tapings. There was a hole in the ring and Adonis stepped into it during an Irish whip spot. This also caused him to miss his scheduled New Japan tour, and he's not expected back for at least two months.

-- Kevin Kelly and Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissey got into a fight while taping a promo that started as a work before tempers started flaring and they were really fighting. Kaissey was beaten to a pulp.

-- An AWA album will be coming out soon, featuring Greg Gagne, Baron Von Raschke, Wahoo McDaniel, Jerry Blackwell, Tommy Rich, Dick Slater, Jerry Lawler, Jeff Jarrett, the Midnight Rockers and Tom Zenk. The album is being recorded in Atlanta. Blackwell, Rich and Slater were there because the Gagnes helped them get an insurance break for their new promotion. Lawler and Jarrett were there because there is planned to be more talent swapping between both territories in the future. In fact, Curt Hennig is scheduled to work a heavy schedule for CWA because the AWA is no longer running a full schedule.

WON 03/28/88

Meltzer - Wrestling Observer 28 March, 1988 reported -
-- They are trying to say Hennig injured Tom Zenk and ran him out of the AWA, even saying "As you all saw ..." when it never aired or even happened. "The AWA has this thing about burying guys who leave of course, but to have the audacity to say, 'as you all saw' for an event that nobody saw because it never took place is something I'm not even sure World Class has ever done."

-- Billy Jack Haynes is getting ready to run opposition to Down Owen in Portland. Rip Oliver and Mike Miller have both quick working for Owen and are expected to start working for Haynes in a few weeks. Kevin Kelly, the Memphis Big Bubba (Fred Ottman/Shockmaster/Tugboat/Typhoon for those who don't know), JT Southern, a heel Chavo Guerrero (who is expected to feud with Brady Boone), and also Curt Hennig and Tom Zenk have been given offers. Hennig likely will not come in, as he is content in the AWA ("well, as content as anyone can be working for Verne Gagne"), and Don Owen has already billed Zenk as appearing in his promotion. There's also talk of Brad Rheingans possibly working for Haynes, and Joey Jackson has been discussed as well since he just quit working for Owen, although it's suspected that's because he's going to the WWF as a jobber. Matt Borne is taking Miller's place working for Owen. Al Madrial and Abbuda Dein are headed in, and Brian Adams should be back from Japan soon. The promotion is going to be called the OWWF (Oregon-Washington Wrestling Federation), and they have a wrestling school set up as well.

-- Curt Hennig was in Portland on 3/5 and unable to wrestle due to back and neck injuries. The AWA title was announced as being held up in Portland with a Hennig (who's a babyface in Portland) match against The Grappler, "... but instead The Assassin represented Hennig and beat Grappler which made hennig the 'new' AWA champion and if you understand that, you're ahead of me."