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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Tribute to John "Earthquake" Tenta
August 21, 2004 by Derrick "The Apoc" Cannon


Back in the late 80s and early 90s there were several big men running the show; There were guys such as King Kong Bundy, Andre The Giant, and Hulk Hogan. But out of these guys there was one guy in particular that stood out to me. The guys name is John "Earthquake" Tenta.

His team with Typhoon was one of my early favorites as they continued to sqaush opponent after opponent. They then went on to feud with another great team at the time Money Inc. Their match at Wrestlemania 8 sticks out. Their feud was basically over the tag team titles. Both teams switched back and forth with both of them at one point or another getting the advantage.

Another match that sticks out is his match with Hulk Hogan. Before this Earthquake was just starting to come into his own. As he had just recently joined the WWE and was working with Dino Bravo at the time. Well anyways Hulk Hogan was the guest on the always controversial Brother Love Show. Earthquake then came out and splashed Hulk Hogan. This put Hogan out for a couple of weeks as well as putting Tenta on the map. This all led up to the return of Hogan at summerslam 1989. Despite losing the match Earthquake still came of as a force to be reckoned with. Next up was Earthquakes feud with Jake Roberts. Both these guys did great work together. In what I thought was kind of funny was when Earthquake sqaushed Jake Roberts snake. He then made Quake Burgers out of them. What was funny about it was that it was Jake Roberts idea originally for EarthQuake to do this.

In the Raw tenth anniversary magazine it mentions Earthquakes sumo wrestling match with Yokozuna. Earthquake who we found out had some some sumo wrestling experience managed to pull off an upset over the immovable object Yokozuna. Nobody at the time expected this to be the case as Yokozuna was on a roll winning several big matches after another. But the Veteran squash machine managed to pull off the upset victory. In 1994 I think it was Tenta went to the WCW despite not having as succesful a run as he had in the WWE his stay was still memorable.

His first gimmick in WCW was as the "Avalanche". This was basically the same gimmick he had as Earthquake. Entering WCW they immediately renewed his feud with Hulk Hogan. This time however Hulk managed to gain the upper hand. He then went on to what I thought was the least memorable gimmick as the shark. Personally I can't believe they misused a guy like tenta the way they did. However the gimmick did lead up to a pretty memorable line of I'm not an Avalanche I'm Not a fish I'm a man. I'm John Tenta.

He then went on to leave WCW and head back home to the WWE. There he joined the Human Oddities as the masked Golga. The Oddities were a group of fun loving misfits that were originally meant to be heels. However, they came off being over with the fans. As Golga I remember he would wrestle several squash matches and he would carry a huge Cartman Doll. The Oddites main adversaries were Kaientai and Darren Drozdov. Personnaly I felt that their feud with Kaientai was played off better. Their feud led up to a match at summerslam 1998. Despite being forgettable it was still enjoyable.

Earlier this year, John Tenta was diagnosed with cancer. But for a guy that has beaten Yokozuna and the Immortal Hulk Hogan. I'm sure he won't go down without fighting it. JT I back you up all the way. Till next time thats the way the cannon turns.

by Derrick "The Apoc" Cannon ..


Jon Rosaler wrote:
I was thinking about Tenta last month and looked at a few of his matches. I am disappointed you never mentioned about him in WCW as himself or Him as The Cartman loving Golga. I saw his match with his soon-to-be partner, Typhoon, then known as Tugboat and I was very impressed and then I saw him return as Golga with the Oddities and I discovered he was going to die soon. Now that it finally happend It gave me time to think of what all he has done for this Business.

RIP John Tenta. We will miss you.
Nicholas Johnson wrote:
It just goes without saying-- John Tenta will be missed. I never knew he was that young... he was a young man, taken away from us too soon. I'll remember him most as the man that scared the hell out of me, especially when he attacked Hulk Hogan shortly after WrestleMania VI. God Bless, Big John! No more suffering where you are.
Vicente Ramirez wrote:
I think that Mr. Tenta a.k.a. Earthquake, will be missed a ton. I remember watching him wrestle when i was a kid in the early 90s and I wished the WWE would've given him the heavyweight title belt. I think Earthquake could've used the belt to better promote his character and a series of matches with Hulk Hogan that could have ended at a Wrestlemania. Unffortunately the WWE thought otherwise. Contrary to popular believe, Earthquake was a great mat (ring) technician. And the reason why I say this is becuase he made the fans believe that he was really hurting his oponents. He truly knew how to make wrestling look like wrestling with those punches and slams who gave to his opponents. I also wished he would've been able to survive the battle with bladder cancer and been able to come back to national televised wrestling; TNA maybe. If he'd returned to the WWE he would've been severely under-appreciated and made a jobber like they've done with the big looser Viscera. The best wishes to the Tenta family! Earthquake R.I.P. With love.
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