|By around the late
spring of 1988, Zenk and McMahon (WWF) had achieved a legal settlement and Zenk
was free to return to professional wrestling in the US.
Around July 1988, Zenk signed again with AWA and became a top contender for the vacant AWA heavyweight championship. The championship belt was decided at a Battle Royal in February 1989, with Zenk narrowly losing to Zbyszko after dominating the match.
Zenk then moved to
Japan for a brief but successful tour in April 1989, before returning to
The following article makes considerable play of Tom Zenk's nomadism ('where will you be tomorrow?') and compares him to Bam Bam Bigelow - another wrestler who rarely spent long in any federation. While this frequent movement guaranteed a degree of independence, and a formidable breadth of experience, it often prevented Zenk from establishing himself as a title contender. Considering this, Zenk's record of 6 gold belts is a considerable feat.
to Wrestling Superstars' Assistant Editor Bob Smith that he was
with AWA to stay - it was not to be. Possibly frustrated at the lack of
support from AWA promoters and sensing the imminent collapse of the federation,
Zenk moved to NWA in July 1989.
by Bob Smith, Wrestling Superstars, Fall 1989
goes against many of my previous statements to say it, but Zenk shows promise
for a scientific wrestler. Recently, he ventured to Japan and fared extremely
well against many of the Orient's finest competitors. But, like other soft
Americans, he tries to cater to the fans too much for my taste. He should
follow the lead of his former partner, Rick Martel, who now is enjoying
the spoils of success since learning how to bend the rulebook a bit more"
- Prof. Toru Tatanka
Prof. Tanaka was a three time co-holder of the WWF World tag title with Mr. Fuji.
month Jeff Jarrett, this month Tom Zenk, eh? What's the matter - run out
of real men to put in this column? Zenk is enthusiastic and he's very strong,
but he never wants to stay in one place for very long. To me, that shows
signs of cowardice and I'd be willing to bet he'll be up to his old tricks
before long. He'll boast and brag, but when Zbyszko starts to put the pressure
on him, he'll run out of the AWA fast. Zenk's just a gutless bum" - Killer
a credit this kid is to this great sport. He's handsome, so all the young
girls flock to the arenas to see him, but there's much more to Tom than
just a pretty face. He's got blazing speed, impressive strength and an
incredible amount of knowledge for such a young guy - and he's in the right
place at the right time now. If he can just get a fair match from Larry
Zbyszko , there's gonna be a new AWA World champion, daddy " - Capt.
Capt. Lou Albano has guided 13 tag teams to an unmatched 16 WWf tag team titles.
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