The Can-Am Connection
- Not to be confused with Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon, sometimes billed as The Can-Am Express.
|The Can-Am Connection|
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
|471 lb (214 kg; 33.6 st)|
In 1986, Canadian wrestler Rick Martel returned to the WWF with his then tag team partner, American Tom Zenk, as the Can-Am Connection. The Can-Am Connection had been formed by Martel in the Montreal International Wrestling Association in 1986. Tom Zenk was the boyfriend of Martel's sister-in-law, and had been introduced to Martel in the AWA by Curt Hennig.
The team made their televised debut in WWF on the November 15, 1986 episode of Superstars against the team of Steve Lombardi and Moondog Spot which they won. The Can Am Connection contested a series of matches with former tag-team champions The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake and Greg Valentine), the team of Kamala and Sika, and the team of Don Muraco and "Ace" Cowboy Bob Orton, whom they would face and defeat in the opening match of WrestleMania III. The Can Am Connection's last feud would be against The Islanders (Haku and Tama), a feud that began on WWF Superstars of Wrestling in the summer of 1987. In this match, the Islanders turned heel by revealing their association with manager Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
Shortly after this match Tom Zenk left the WWF due to a pay dispute with the Can-Am wrestling their last match together on July 9, 1987 against the Islanders. To this day Tom Zenk and Rick Martel have differing opinions on the matter of why Tom Zenk left the WWF, all but eliminating the chance of a Can-Am Connection reunion. WWF ceased acknowledging Zenk by name after his departure, only referring to him as "Rick Martel's former partner" when mentioning the split. WWE still does not acknowledge Zenk to this day, however, archived footage of some of his matches with both WWF, and later WCW as "The Z Man," does appear on WWE Network.
When Zenk left Martel initially carried on the feud with the Islanders on his own but was soon paired up with Tito Santana to tackle the Polynesian duo, spinning the ill-fated Can-Am Connection off to Strike Force who went on to win the WWF World Tag Team Championship.
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. DK. p. 57. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Ring Results 1986". Retrieved 12 February 2007.
- Graham Cawthon. "WWF Ring Results 1987". Retrieved May 2, 2015.
- "Tom Zenk interview". Archived from the original on 2009-10-28.
- "Slam! Wrestling interview with Rick Martel".