Saturday, December 30, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Tom Zenk, of Can-Am Connection, dies at 59


Road Warrior Animal discovered Zenk at a bodybuilding competition and suggested he make the journey to professional wrestling. 

"Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Scott Simpson (Nikita Koloff), Dean Peters (Brady Boone) and Barry Darsow and I had all been at high school together (Robbinsdale High -- Verne Gagne's old school)," Zenk told Mike Rodgers, of Ring Around the Northwest newsletter. "In fact, Hennig used to help out with the guys that used to beat up on me. He used to slap the guys off of me. Back then I was about 135 pounds. 

"Anyway, they were all making a good living off wrestling. It seemed a good way to make some money off my body and looks. So I thought, 'Why not?'" 

Zenk wrestled for AWA in Minnesota, along with Don Owens' Pacific Northwest Wrestling, and only two years into his professional career was signed to the then-World Wrestling Federation. He began teaming with Rick Martel as the Can-Am Connection. 

Martel previously told SLAM! Wrestling how Nick Bockwinkel likened Zenk to a "young Rick Martel." 

"He really was so similar to me. His style. And later on I found out that Tom had been watching me a lot and kind of copied my style and did a lot of the moves that I was doing," Martel said. "Plus with his look being the same as me, a lot people kept comparing us."
In the same interview with Rodgers, Zenk said Owens was his favorite promoter to work for.
"Don Owens was a man of his word. Don was a saint," Zenk said. 

After walking out of the WWF, Zenk worked for World Championship Wrestling, beginning in 1989, as the Z Man and teamed with Brian Pillman. 

"I'd managed to negotiate a two-year deal at $156,000 a year," Zenk told Rodgers. "I was on holiday from working in Japan when (Ric) Flair and (WCW boss Jim) Herd called me. 156 was a good deal back then. Plus, they promised to make me one of the top five babyface with Sting, (Lex) Luger, Pillman and Flair. At the time, it looked like Ted Turner was going to change the face of wrestling -- building good, young talent with guaranteed long-term contracts and good working conditions." 

Zenk is survived by his parents, siblings and eight nieces and nephews.



Listen to the podcast here -

Next up, HHH against Lance Storm. Lance has great athletic potential, from where I sit. Now surely this young talent is going to get a quick win and some elevation from the old guard. HHH is taped up like "the mummy returns" - his left elbow and left knee bandaged (i.e. 'injured'). He even has the "war club" taped right fist (which looks just like good old DDP and Barry Windham) for better working punches? JR has provided him with cover ... "Triple H saw Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday and had his knee checked. The small fracture has opened up slightly and Dr. Andrews still feels he can continue to work around it as long as he can tolerate the pain." So, HHH has the perfect excuse for a loss. Is he going to enhance the young talent, slip on a banana peel and give Lance a sorely needed win?

No way!!! Someone else has spotted Lance's talent and who else but HHH!! "The Game" knows how to manipulate the McMillions and pick his spot - the very first match. With such a strong tease from the beginning of Smackdown that the "immortal one" HH will give his retirement speech later, it's "stay tuned fans" and what a great position on the card for HHH. Why? Well, (a) a fresh, hot, live crowd ensures the best possible reaction for HHH; and (b) the best chance for a good first quarter hour rating number; plus (c) the first match can always go longer. Hog all the TV time you can get, judging by HHH's 5-10 minute ring entrance; and finally (d) because Big Steph said so!!

Lance carries X-Game who sells like Dusty, even early on in the match. One perfectly timed superkick from Lance could have, should have dazed HHH? stunned HHH? put HHH out cold?........Nah! Rewind the tape and watch it over. Ask yourself...Who did all the flying in the ring? The top rope stuff or the over-the-top stuff? Who worked around whom? Who was more exciting? Who really needs a little "rub" from the top tier? Who had the perfect excuse to get beat? And what about HHH "taking one for the team..." "leading by example...." if you weel. And so what, anyway, if HHH with the papier mache elbow and knee, loses tonight. It's only 4 days ago that he went through "Hell in a Cell." After all HHH is human (maybe?) The announcers sell their asses off, putting him over from the PPV, planting the seeds, telling the fans how to think - "HHH 2-wins.... Jericho 2-losses"...(read, "Jericho is a friend of the Rock").

But there's still hope .... surely the young, rested, healthy, high-flying Storm can maybe, possibly, hopefully, beat the gimped up, taped up, wrapped up mummy? The mummy even has juice, another excuse to lose, surely? Ponder this one if you weel... What if Shane McMoney had the talent, the body, the look and the athletic ability of Lance Storm?....Remember all the boy's selling Shane's "shotgun like" punches? I do, and then wonder why they bump for Shane, but refuse to sell for young talent like Lance?

So the injured, juiced HHH beats the young rested healthy Storm. On national TV?

And why exactly beat Storm? Because he's got potential of coursel!!! Politics as usual and damn you Jim Ross.

Judging by the depth or lack of it in WWE, I'd protect Storm, mentor him, coach him - not BEAT him!! So much for Ross " elevating more young and athletic talents and effectively introducing some well-prepared new faces."

Tom Zenk