The Can-Am Split
July 10, 1987

 

  (click on image for full screen)

Questions  

There are a number of unresolved questions that recur when researching the career of Tom Zenk.  

For example, why the uneven push in WCW;  what were the circumstances of his departures from AWA (1985; 1989) and WCW (1994); why the breakup of the stellar tag team of  'The Z-Man and Flyin' Brian' at the height of their popularity (1990); and not least, the story behind the break up of the Can-Am Connection  -  on the eve of  becoming WWF Tag champions (1987). 

You won't find the answer in the wrestling magazines. But they do provide a starting point.  We reproduce below a few archive pieces that suggest the outlines of the story. We'll follow this up with extracts from a recent interview, where Martel re-hashes much of the storyline pushed by WWF in 1987 plus some supplementary magazine stories.  

Later, we'll try and draw out some of the credible aspects of the story. 

Tom Zenk has never sought to give his side, perhaps feeling that there's nothing to explain.  As he says below - "I have nothing at all against Rick .... he's got his life and I've got mine ...I don't have to wrestle ....  wrestling is something I WANT to do!  [not just to make money for other people].... I'm going to wrestle on my own terms now."    

While Zenk subsequently  teamed successfully with, among others, Pillman, Bagwell and Gunn, he always maintained the independence of his own performance. As Brianne concludes, in the article below - "Zenk .... is what he is. He goes it alone, choosing not to ride on anyone's coat tails." 
 

 
The Can-Am Division
Rick Martel and Tom Zenk
by Ciji Brianne, Wrestling Eye, 1987
 
 

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