Tom Zenk, also known as “Z-Man” in WCW passed away earlier today at the age of 59. Former WCW and Mid-South manager Missy Hyatt broke the news online.
Just found out that Tom Zenk passed away. I always got along with him and he was always super nice to me when I knew him from WCW in 1989-1994 and for a min in AWF in 1996.I hope he’s at peace
— Missy Hyatt (@missyhyatt) December 17, 2017
Zenk was a bodybuilder before turning to wrestling. He saw success in the Pacific Northwest early on, tieing Jushin Thunder Liger for “Rookie of the Year” honors in 1984. Zenk teamed with Rick Martel as part of the Can-Am Express but saw his most significant success in WCW. He won the US Tag Titles with a young Brian Pillman as well as the Television Title, and the Six-man title alongside Dusty Rhodes.
It seems likely that a bad attitude ended his career early. Via the Wrestling Observer
He was often bitter, citing that his looks and his ability to get women should have made him pushed above promoter’s sons
if he wasn’t pushed, would stop lifting citing if he was going to be used as a jobber he would look like one, which led to a spiral downward.
Zenk testified against Vince McMahon in his 1994 trial, and later, pretty much disappeared after legal threats were made regarding comments he made publicly on a number of shows.
He became well-known after his career for his no-holds-barred “shoot” interviews where he went after everyone from Vince McMahon to Scott Steiner and DDP
Listening to these discussions, it is easy to see why Zenk left the business on less-than-friendly terms.
Do you Remember Tom Zenk aka “Z-Man”? Share your memories of the former champion and tag-team specialists in the comment section below.