Wrestler Death thread

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Bandit
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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:26 pm

He broke his neck in an accident in a match with Terry Funk in 1996 but still wrestled another 20 years. Which was impressive since he debuted in 1972.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:26 am









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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:43 pm

Smith looked just like Stu.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:36 am





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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Wed Oct 04, 2017 3:32 am

Lance was the key reason so many people in Memphis thought it was real.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:27 am

Very sad news about Lance. RIP :( Also sad news about Smith Hart and Daves dad too RIP :(

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:05 am


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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:38 am

Tom Zenk, a bodybuilder turned wrestler who was one of the most popular guests on Wrestling Observer Live after his career in wrestling ended, passed away on December 9th at the age of 59.

Few details are available at this point other than he passed away at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

Zenk was a Mr. Minnesota winner in bodybuilding who grew up and went to Robbinsdale High School with Curt Hennig, Brady Boone, and Rick Rude in his graduating class and knew Hennig's wife from first grade. He was shaken up years ago realizing the four of them grew up and went to school together, and by the time he was in his early 40s, he was the only one still alive.

Like so many weightlifter and bodybuilder types in that era, they saw the success of the Road Warriors and grew up with the popularity of Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, and Ken Patera in the AWA and were interested in wrestling.

He was trained by Eddie Sharkey and because of his looks and physique, became a star in short order working for Don Owen in the Pacific Northwest where he held both the singles and tag titles right away. His success led him to tie Keiichi Yamada (now Jushin Liger) in the 1984 balloting for Rookie of the Year. But his career never reached the level of his potential.

Only two years into his career, he was signed by the WWF for a tag team called the Can-Am Connection with Rick Martel. They were being groomed as the promotion's top babyface tag team, and were to win the tag titles, but Zenk quit the promotion, unhappy about money.

He became bitter with the McMahons because they tried to legally stop him from wrestling with All Japan after he left WWF, citing he was still under contract to them.

Eventually he went to WCW as The Z Man, with his best success coming as U.S. Tag Team Champion with Brian Pillman. Zenk was thought of as having a great look and he was a good athlete, but was not a favorite of the bookers and after the team broke up, was relegated to jobber duty. He was often bitter, citing that his looks and his ability to get women should have made him pushed above promoter's sons, but also he didn't work hard on breaking through and 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.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:00 am

RIP Z-Man.

Tony Schiavone will be upset about it.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:14 pm

Image

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:32 am


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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:11 am

Little recap of what Dave said about Tom this morning.

-He still doesn't know the cause of death but talked about his steroid use so it's probably a heart attack.

-A subscriber sent Dave the newspaper obituary since he lives in the same town Tom did. The family didn't even mention he was a wrestler in the obituary, so he was trying to distance himself from wrestling since 2003.

-Talked about the issue with the steroid trial which was a recap of the clip I just posted.

-Dave said he was good friends with Tom but stopped having him on his show in 2002 because he started lying and telling outlandish exaggerated stories because he was trying to get attention for a book deal. Tom said Jerry McDevitt would listen to every WOR he was on and send him angry letters if he talked about anything WWE related.

-Tom wrote the book but never found a publisher and gave up trying to sell it in the mid-2000s because the wrestler autobiography boom was over. Dave has a mutual friend with Tom who has a copy of the manuscript and Dave will probably get to see it now.

-He talked about Tom's career and said he never went far because every booker he worked for hated him except for Don Owens in Portland. He'd complain about why he wasn't a bigger star because he was better looking than the guys they pushed. He got into conflicts with Bill Watts for bashing Erik and also had the balls to slam Dustin's push to Dusty's face by saying Dustin wasn't bringing in female fans lIke he was and he had a bad physique because he was doughy. So both guys would make him a job guy for the disrespect.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:20 am

Thanks for the recap Bandit. We got WCW in the UK late nights til the 1992 WWF boom so you had to record it. Think it was a show called WCW Pro. DDP hosted it for a time til JR took over. The Z-Man was featured quite often so he's synonymous with that era of WCW for me. When I started collecting WWF VHS was surprised to see him on the WrestleMania III card as one half of the Can-Ams. I'm guessing they would have got the push Strike Force did. Found this Tom Zenk site which has articles etc
http://www.tomzenk.net/homez2.htm

RIP Tom Zenk

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:27 am

Yeah, WCW Pro was the Saturday morning show on TBS.

There used to be so much wrestling on weekends.

WCW Pro at 9:05
WWF Superstars at 12
WCW Worldwide at 1
WCW Saturday Night at 6:05
ECW at midnight

Plus WWF Wrestling Challenge/Action Zone at 12 and WCW Main Event at 6:05 on Sunday. And of course WWF Prime Time/Raw on Monday.

And the funny thing is everybody complains about Raw being 3 hours now but nobody complained about all of that wrestling back then.

And yes, he was in WWF tagging with Rick Martel. He quit because he was told they were under the same deal but he found out Rick was getting more money.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:27 am

IIRC there was WWF on Sky One and Eurosport, think it could possibly have been WCCW on another channel and WCW on ITV late night once a week til about late 1994 then they dropped it. When there was the boom period for a while WCW Worldwide on Saturday afternoons.

I was going to ask why Tom left the WWF so thanks for the explanation. It seems in later life he walked away from the business with no looking back outside of his appearances on the eyada shows. He was a good mid card baby face and seemed to be on WCW Pro and Worldwide a lot. I'd like to remember which non WWF and WCW promotion was on satellite around 1990/91 time. Have a feeling its World Class there was a coal miners glove match from what I can remember.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:08 am

Hmm, it's weird they dropped it when everyone knew Hogan was coming in the summer of 1994.

World Class was on ESPN weekdays at 3 (but oddly enough on The Bible Network in its 1983-87 prime), then they put AWA on in their final year when they weren't that good anymore, then Global got the slot until 1993 and ESPN gave up on wrestling and put kickboxing in the slot.

As for Zenk I heard years ago he quit wresting 2001 to sell real estate. He shaved his eye brows off so he wouldn't be recognized but he looked creepy like Bob Geldof in The Wall.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Dr. Zoidberg » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:41 pm

Bandit wrote:As for Zenk I heard years ago he quit wresting 2001 to sell real estate. He shaved his eye brows off so he wouldn't be recognized but he looked creepy like Bob Geldof in The Wall.
Image

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:57 pm

The Zenk cause of death was a heart attack from an enlarged heart due to his steroid usage.

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Big Boss Man » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:16 am



Always liked Johnny V, was a good heel announcer too when he worked with Gorilla. RIP

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Re: Wrestler Death thread

Post by Bandit » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:22 am

And Luscious was a hilarious nickname.

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