It is an invitation for disaster. One of the reasons wrestlers are so rarely interviewed in the ring is because something always seems to go wrong. Attacks during studio interviews aren't exactly unusual, but they almost become expected during in-the-ring interview sessions.
There's something about the ring that draws wrestlers to it. Perhaps the wrestler interviewed wants to be attacked. Perhaps he is subtlely issuing a challenge to all of the other wrestlers. After all, what is the purpose of being interviewed in the ring?
To bring in uninvited guests, of course.
If that's the case, Tom Zenk certainly got what he asked for. He wanted his return from his bicep injury to be seen by everyone. He wanted it to be a celebration.
"We wanted to do the interview in the studio," announcer Jim Ross said, "but Tom would have none of it. He needed to be in the spotlight, and I guess after all of that time out of the spotlight, who could blame him?
So Ross got into
the ring and introduced Zenk. The crowd cheered loudly. The women in the
crowd shrieked with excitement.
Zenk told the crowd he was happy to be back. Then the Diamond Studd and his manager, "Diamond" Dallas Page, decided "Z-Man's" private interview time was over.........
"Who do you think you are?" Page taunted.
"This is my interview time," Zenk retorted. "Get outta here!"
But Page and Studd weren't there to follow orders. They were there to welcome Zenk back to WCW.
When "Z-Man" poked
Page, Studd went on the attack. Before long, Zenk was being double-teamed
by Page and Studd. The interview time was over. WCW's latest feud had begun.
Zenk's good looks are no secret. IN the AWA, the WWF, and WCW he has drawn rave reviews from female admirers, thanks to his all-American looks and honest, down to earth wrestling style. Thousands of fans are ready to ride "Z-Man's" wave to the top.
Studd is more blatant about his appearnace. He likes to strut his stuff and there is definitely a brand of woman that is attracted to Studd's combination of slime, crime, and beauty sublime.
But this is not a
war over looks. It is a war between two men trying to work their way up
through WCW ranks. They were drawn together by Studd's jealously over Zenk's
popularity, but there is much more at stake.
"I'm glad Studd came
along when he did," the "Z-Man" said. "He's just the type of opponent I
need to get me right back into the swing. My injury cost me a lot of time,
but that's now behind me and the feud with Studd's ahead. After I'm done
with him, and I promise you it won't take too long, I'll be on to bigger
and better things."
Zenk should be forewarned. As he discovered during the interview-gone-bad, Studd doesn't arrive for matches by himself. Page's stable is well stocked and always on call. Fantasia, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin are always willing to lend a helping hand.
"Like I said," Page said, "The Diamond Exchange is gonna make The Four Horsemen look like small change by the time we're done. I don't think Zenk knows what he's getting into. He's gonna have to deal with all of us, and that's gonna give him a quick trip back to the hospital, or wherever he was hiding."
This is an incredibly important feud for both men. "Z-Man" has to work his way back into contention for a shot at either the U.S. or the World Title. He has spent too much time on the fringes of contention. His shots at glory have been too brief, too infrequent. Zenk has the ability to reach the top of the wrestling world if he can get past this one difficult feud.
Studd, on the other hand, must prove he's more than just a pretty face. He may also want to prove that he can get by without outside interference. Undoubtedly, he has no intention of proving that. But if he can't get past Zenk, he'll have a hard time rising through the WCW ranks. His career will stall.
"That's my job right now, not only to win, but to stop Studd and his buddies, " Zenk said. "When I was hurt, I saw some of the tricks they pulled and I didn't like it at all. Those guys were always on the agenda, and now I've got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to stop them for the good of wrestling."
Studd laughed at Zenk's bravado. He is convinced he can stylize his way past Zenk, and that he'll do it in a hurry.
The "Z-Man" will
contest that. So will his fans. He also has no intention of backing down
to Studd. He is primed and ready for attack.
Well, he's back. And now he's back in action, full-throttle, full-speed ahead. He's better be ready.