John P Tenta joined the WWF in November 1989, making his debut during a
normal television performance. For his introduction, Tenta was planted in
the audience as a normal spectator. During the show Dino Bravo, managed by
Jimmy Hart, challenged then rival the Ultimate Warrior to a strength
competition. In order to demonstrate, Bravo and Hart suggested that they
pick a random audience member to come into the ring and sit on the back of
Bravo and the Ultimate Warrior as they did push-ups to see who could do the
most. The Ultimate Warrior agreed and Hart, after pretending to look around
the audience, centered his attention on very large Tenta who was sitting in
the audience in casual clothing and appeared surprised. Tenta came down into
the ring and proceeded to sit on Bravo's back as he did a set of push-ups,
however during the Ultimate Warrior's set, Tenta jumped down onto the prone
Ultimate Warrior using a seated senton that was adapted to be his signature
move. The victorious Bravo and Tenta celebrated as the latter was inaugrated
into the WWF as a heel with Hart as his manager.
Tenta's career peaked when he was pushed as The Canadian Earthquake - and
later, simply Earthquake - a top heel, in a feud with Hulk Hogan. The feud
exploded in May 1990, when Earthquake snuck up on Hogan from behind during a
segment of "The Brother Love Show" (on WWF Superstars of Wrestling) and
repeatedly crushed Hogan's ribs with his "Earthquake splash." Eventually,
Hogan recovered and gained revenge on Earthquake and defeated him in a
series of matches across the country, starting with Hogan's countout victory
at SummerSlam 1990.
After his feud with Hogan he was kept away from main eventing. Eventually he
was teamed up with the wrestler Tugboat, who changed his name to Typhoon,
creating the team the The Natural Disasters and were managed by Jimmy Hart.
They wrestled as heels for a while before eventually turning face when Irwin
R. Schyster accidently hit Typhoon with his briefcase. Jimmy Hart ended up
leaving the pair to manage Schyster and Ted Dibiase. During their teaming
the two of them would win the tag team titles from Dibiase and Schyster but
would lose them quickly. A few months later, Tenta left the WWF in January
He ended up making a return briefly in WWF in the spring of 1994, where he
feudly briefly with Yokozuna, with whom he had a sumo match on RAW (the
early days of Tenta's Sumo training were also revealed), Tenta left shortly
after his feud ended.
He found himself later in 1994 wrestling in WCW under the name Avalanche and
feuded with Sting, but that name was dropped for him when the WWF threatened
to sue the WCW for the character being too close to Earthquake. His
character name was changed to Shark, and he became a member of the Dungeon
of Doom. He later left the Dungeon of Doom and feuded with them. After
losing to The Giant (known today in the WWE as The Big Show), a member of
the Dungeon, half of his head was shaved by Big Bubba Rogers, another
Dungeon member. The two would go on to feud against one another with Rogers
shaving half of Tenta's beard off as well. Ultimately, Tenta would win the
After his feud with Rogers, Tenta left the WCW and resurfaced in the WWF in
May 1998 under the name Golga. He wrestled under a mask as one of the
Oddities. This was a short-lived gimmick, and the group disappeared in the
beginning of 1999 with all the members released.
His most recent wrestling appearance was at WrestleMania X-Seven where he
wrestled in the Gimmick Battle Royal as Earthquake.
Tenta found himself battling cancer where he was given a twenty percent
chance to live, assuming he continued with his chemotherapy treatments. On
November 18, 2005, Tenta announced, while being interviewed on Wrestle***
Radio, that a recent radiation dosage did not go as planned and that aside
from a tumor in his hip, he then had multiple tumors in his lungs.
According to his posts on the Wrestle***forum, John Tenta had been
receiving chemotherapy treatments as recently as February. In the
Wrestle***Radio interview months earlier, he stated that he would continue
fighting the tumors as long as his body can withstand the treatments.
On June 4, 2006, a close friend of John's posted at the Wrestle***Forum
that John was "not doing well". Out of respect of John's family, he would
not go into details.
Notice of Tenta's death was posted on WWE.com on June 7, 2006 at
approximately 12:30 PM EDT.
John "Earthquake" Tenta passed away this morning at the age of 42 after a
lengthy battle with bladder cancer. Tenta is survived by his wife and three
Finishing and signature moves
a.. Earthquake Squash / Avalanche Splash (Running seated senton)
b.. Aftershock (Full body block; into the corner)
Championships and accomplishments
a.. 1-time UWA Canadian Heavyweight Champion
b.. 1-time WWF World Tag Team Champion (with Typhoon)
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