This rare interview, is from Mick Karsh's  "Saturday Night at Ringside" on Channel 23 Minneapolis,  30 July 1988 -  a little over a year after the Can-Am Split. 

Zenk had, since then, been working in All Japan and occasional shows for PWA and AWA.

The interview reinforces that the split was occasioned by a contract dispute between Zenk, Martel and WWF.

In December 1986, AJPW had offered Zenk and Martel a contract to wrestle as a tag team in Japan  -

....... we had a great, a fantastic, a lifetime opportunity in Japan that we could have gone there, and we could have wrestled there, and by doing that we could have wrestled less, had a lot more time off and I really enjoy my time off....

Instead Martel told Baba that they were under obligation to return to WWF.  Both men agreed they would return to Japan if they both weren't earning $5,000 a week in the WWF by July 1987. Come July, Zenk was still earning only $2,500 a week - 

we had a contract dispute Mick that was the thing.  It all boils down to money. And a lot of top athletes today, whether it's professional football, baseball ... you only have a short career span. So you have to make the most money that you possibly can in that short time. And I just really guess I wasn't really happy with my contract. That was the bottom line.

 See also Interview with Pro-Wrestling Torch, 1988


 
 
 
INTERVIEW WITH MICK KARSH 7/30/88

 MK -Tom its been almost a year now and speculation is still running rampant. What exactly did lead to the breakup of the Can-Am Connection.Rumors have been flying ever since.

TZ - Well its great to finally clear the air onn this. It was two things really. Rick and I , I think, we had a great team. And we had a great, a fantastic, a lifetime opportunity in Japan that we could have gone there, and we could have wrestled there, and by doing that we could have wrestled less, had a lot more time off and I really enjoy my time off... but the thing is that on TV I was a little bit disappointed when he came out and said that I was a 'quitter'. Because it's not true I love wrestling. I'm not going to quit wrestling. I'm wrestling in Japan. But we had a contract dispute Mick that was the thing.  It all boils down to money. And a lot of top athletes today, whether its professional football, baseball ... you only have a short career span. So you have to make the most money that you possibly can in that short time. And I just really guess I wasn't really happy with my contract. That was the bottom line.
  MK - Well when you left the team Rick Martel jooined forces with Tito Santana to form the tag team called The Strike Force and a lot of fans feels that a lot of the magic that was there with the Can-Am Connection just wasn't there with the Strike Force. 

TZ - Well I'd like to think so maybe, but they still were a great team none the less. They captured the titles but they didn't hold onto them too long. And who knows maybe what the future holds. Rick's a great guy and he was a fantastic partner. And maybe we'll get back together and the Can-Am Connection once again . I don't know. 
 

 

MK - Tom you're a wrestler who been literally aall over the world  you''ve done it all and seen it all in a relatively short career in wrestling. What I'd like to do know is to get your expert analysis, if I might of some of the professional wrestlers out there today. Maybe give you and name and tell me what you think about the wrestler. Let's start off with Nature Boy Ric Flair, the NWA Heavyweight Champion. 

TZ -  Wow  what can I say the NWA's finest, eh, Ric Flair he's been on top of the game for how many years 8 ...10 years. What can you say about Ric Flair?  He's probably one of the greatest in the world and I think the greatest wrestler in the NWA. 

MK - And his #1 contender right at the present time, the man who calls himself the Total Package, Lex Luger 

TZ -This guys he's got it all, like they say 'The Total Package' -  I can't think of a more fitting name This guys got a great physique...he's very powerful...but I think he's just kind of a newcomer - he hasn't been around the wrestling game for too long - so I think maybe in a few more years...  maybe two more years let's say ... he'll probably be on top. 

MK - And on to the WWF Heavyweight Champion of the World Randy Macho Man Savage 

TZ - I think he's fantastic, he's the best, the champion now, and he got a lot of quickness and he's got not too bad looking of a manager [Miss Elizabeth] either - that won't hurt him at all. 

 

MK - No it doesn't hurt any of us at all. And fformer heavyweight champion of the AWA, Curt Henning. 

TZ - Curt Henning. Now there's a guy who can do it all.  I mean Curt, he's fantastic - probably under-rated to say the least reallly - in the AWA becasue he doesn't get that national exposure, as much as, let's say, the WWF or the NWA. Now Curt, he and I used to be tag team partners so maybe I'm a little partial. I've known him since High School.  We graduated together. He's fantastic. This guy can do it all and I'm think you're going to see a lot of great things for him in the future. As a matter of fact, I think he's just made the switch to the WWF. 

MK - Interesting news indeed.  And while we're on the subject of the WWF, the last wrestler I'd like to ask you about is none other than the incredible one himself - Hulk Hogan. 

TZ - Hulk Hogan. What can you say. He's fantastic. He's a great guy. I've met him many times. Rode with him a lot of times. He's tremendous. He's done more for the professional wrestling business than anybody else ever in the history, believe me. Hulk Hogan, he's great with the kids. Hulkamania is still running wild and he's a fantastic person believe me. 
 

MK - Mr Zenk - the wrestling scene as a whole.&  As you look out on the horizon right now where do you see the business going 

TZ - Well Mick that's a tough question Its really changed with all the TV and  the pay per view events Things have really gotten big. Wrestlemania 3 that I was in was a fantastically huge event. 92 thousand people there  - and so that tells you the numbers that theey're dealing with. This is really very big business, the professional wrestling market. But I think there's a lot of exposure on TV.  I'd like to see them run Minneapolis. I don't know when the next card is going to be for the WWF or the AWA. They haven't run it since February in Minneapolis. So, I don't know, the wrestling business for a while may be a little bit down especially in Minneapolis. But I don't know. Its hard to say... the future of professional wrestling. Obviously the WWF is the very biggest organization and I don't think anyone runs a real close second.

MK - And where do you see the future of Tom Zenk. Let's say three to five years down the road where would you like to be in pro wrestling? 

TZ- Well  eh, I don't know. I'll maybe be back with the WWF someday. I don't know  - hopefully with the championship belt arounnd my waist, one way or another.But believe me fans and all the great people out there who've supported me, I'm not going to quit wrestling. I'm no quitter. 

MK - Ladies and gentlemen a candid individual indeed. One who's certainly not afraid tro speak his mind and one of the great stars of wrestling for many years to come, Tom Zenk. 

See also Interview with Pro-Wrestling Torch, 1988

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