Monday, June 12, 2006

John "Earthquake" Tenta, June 22, 1963 - June 7, 2006

I missed posting about this, but I wanted to bring it up [ESPN, Ex-LSU, WWF wrestler 'Earthquake' dies at 42]:
Former LSU wrestler John Tenta, known professionally as "Earthquake" while competing in the World Wrestling Federation, has died at the age of 42, the school said Thursday.

Tenta, who lettered for the Tigers in the early 1980s when wrestling was a nationally renowned varsity sport at LSU, died after a lengthy battle with bladder cancer.

"Big John," as he was known at LSU, also participated in football for the Tigers.

Born in Surrey, British Columbia, he weighed 11 pounds, 3 ounces at birth. Recently he measured 6-foot-6 and weighed in at over 400 pounds, LSU said.

After leaving LSU, Tenta briefly took up sumo wrestling in Japan before going into pro wrestling. He joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1989 and gained fame as "Earthquake" as he feuded with Hulk Hogan.

Tenta performed for both World Wrestling Entertainment and World Championship Wrestling throughout the 1990s.

In recent years he had lived in Florida. He is survived by his wife and three children.
He had one of the most interesting wrestling debuts too and I remember marking out big time when I thought it was real. The Ultimate Warrior and Dino Bravo were having a test of strength competition, when Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart (Bravo's manager) suggested having someone from the audience come sit on their shoulders while they did a pushup.

John Tenta was close to 500 pounds.

Anyway, the setup was, Tenta came into the ring, first sat on Bravo's shoulders who did the pushups, and then when he went to do it to Warrior, he crashed down on him. Tenta, Bravo and Hart were all in on it. I still remember cheering, because the Warrior annoyed me.

More on John "Earthquake" Tenta, one of the all time greats, can be found at Wikipedia.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

R.I.P. John Tenta

The funniest, biggest, baddest, baldest, heaviest and most professional heel of them all. You created and supported more babyfaces than any other wrestler in history. there will never be another one like him.
My son and I will truly miss you.
Will say a prayer later.