Former WWF and WCW Star Tom Zenk Passes Away

Tom Zenk

Former WWF and WCW wrestler Tom Zenk has died.

The Star Tribune out of Minneapolis published an obituary today on Zenk — real name Thomas Erwin Zenk — saying that he passed away on Saturday, December 9 at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minnesota.

He was 59 years old.

The obituary on Zenk reads:

Thomas Erwin Zenk

Zenk, Thomas Erwin age 59, of Golden Valley, MN, passed away on Dec. 9, 2017 at the North Memorial Medical Center. Survived by parents, Robert J. and Lois Zenk; siblings, Robert Jr. (Beth), Kathryn Zenk James (Raymond) and James L. (Jo); 8 nieces and nephews, A celebration of Tom’s life will be held on Saturday 1/13/18 at 11:00 AM at St. Olaf Catholic Church, 215 S. 8th St., Mpls. Visitation one hour prior to Mass at church. Private family burial will take place at St. Nicholas Cemetery, in Carver, MN Robbinsdale Chapel 763-537-2333

Additional details on his death have not been disclosed.

Having begun his wrestling career in 1984 with the American Wrestling Association, Zenk is best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation (1986-1987) and World Championship Wrestling (1989-1994).

Zenk joined the WWF in late 1986 as part of a tag team with Rick Martel known as The Can-Am Connection. The duo became contenders for the World Tag Team Championship after defeating The Magnificent Muraco Muraco and “Cowboy” Bob Orton in the opening bout of WrestleMania III on March 29, 1987. Their push, however, ended abruptly as Zenk quit the promotion in July 1987 due to a financial dispute.

After stints in All Japan Pro Wrestling and the AWA, Zenk joined WCW in September 1989. Known as “The Z-Man” Tom Zenk, the Minnesota native achieved his greatest success as part of a tag team with Brian Pillman. Together, they won a tournament to capture the NWA United States Tag Team Championship. Zenk also held the WCW World Television Championship, and the WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Championship with Dustin Rhodes and Big Josh.

After parting ways with WCW in 1994, Zenk returned to All Japan Pro Wrestling for a brief stint. In August 1996, he joined the American Wrestling Federation, where he ended his career in October 1996.

Zenk is also known for attending Robbinsdale High School with future wrestling stars Curt Hennig, Rick Rude, Nikita Koloff, John Nord, Barry Darsow and Brady Boone.