Tom Zenk in the Pacific North West - Portland wrestling - PART 3
From last week - It was late January 1986. After four months in Portland, Tom Zenk was the federation's top babyface, he was still undefeated and he held the NWA's two major Northwest titles. He was over with the fans, he had warded off Billy Jack Haynes and had unfinished business with Oliver and Jaggers that would see him through the Spring....
 

The Zenk-Jaggers feud reached fever pitch on January 21, 1986 when Jaggers and Oliver double teamed Zenk, 'beating him unconscious' after Zenk's capture of the NWA Heavyweight title. 

The feud was given further heat  two days later, when Zenk and Doring lost the PNW tag team title to Jaggers and Oliver in Salem, January 23, 1986, 

Throughout January, February and early March 1986, Zenk defended his PNW heavyweight title in matches across the North West.  He was guaranteed constant work and was developing valuable ring experience -
 

"This is is definitely a great place to gain experience. There is a lot of great talent here in this territory and a lot of wrestling, six or seven nights a week and that's also a great opportunity for me" (Wrestling Ringside, No 19, May 1986).
Four times a week, Zenk washed and breakfasted around 9.30 a.m. before leaving the apartment to pick up Doring. From Doring's place they headed off to Lake Oswego to work out.

In the gym, Zenk and Doring pushed each other through a two and a half hour work-out. They were soon the heaviest in their careers and the strongest in their lives. 

Sam Bowie and Clyde 'the Glide' Drexler (from the Portland Trailblazers) worked out in the same gym and were awed by Zenk and Doring's size.  Bowie, Clyde the Glide and Michael Thompson (another of the Trailblazers) were all fans of Portland Wrestling.

Other wrestlers working in PNW during Zenk's tour included 'faces'  Billy Jack Haynes, Ricky Vaughn, Brady Boone, Steve Pardi, Terry Bradshaw, Jerry "Hercules" Samson, Jimmy Snuka's "cousin" Cocoa Samoa and  Billy Two Eagles.  'Heels' included - Jaggers, Rip Oliver, "Mean" Mike Miller, Ed Moretti, Mega Mahareshee (Ed Wiskowski) and Karl Steiner.

Weighing in at 230 pounds, Tom could have been considered small in the company of some of these men --

    "You have to be strong and maintain yourself just to get in the ring. Look at Bobby Jaggers; he's 280 pounds. Look how muscular Ricky Vaughn is: the man is super strong. Not everyone has a great body, but these guys are big, and you have to move that amount of weight when it comes down on top of you. It's hard to get the wind knocked out of you and get back and fight a man that size. That's why I rely on speed and agility so much."(Wrestling Ringside, No 19, May 1986)
Tom Zenk wins the PNW Heavyweight title
January 21, 1986

 
Tom Zenk, Portland, early 1986 -  ring jacket supplied by Martel. 
The Can-Am try-out, Canada and Japan 1986
Part 1 | Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
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