“The Ultimate Guide to John Tenta: From Sumo Wrestling to WWE Stardom” 

 April 15, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to John Tenta: From Sumo Wrestling to WWE Stardom

John Tenta, also known as Earthquake, is a legendary wrestler who has left a significant footprint in the industry. From his humble beginnings as a sumo wrestler to his rise in WWE, John Tenta was a force to reckon with in the ring. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take a deep dive into John Tenta’s journey and learn more about the man who became a wrestling icon.

Section 1: Early Life and Sumo Wrestling

John Tenta was born on June 22, 1963, in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. He was a big kid from an early age, and by the time he was a teenager, he was already over 6 feet tall and weighed over 300 pounds. Tenta’s size and natural strength caught the attention of wrestling promoters, and he was recruited to train in sumo wrestling in Japan. Tenta dedicated himself to his training, which included a strict diet and daily workouts.

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After several years of training, Tenta competed in his first official sumo match in 1986. He quickly rose through the ranks and achieved the rank of Ozeki, the second-highest rank in sumo wrestling. However, Tenta’s dreams of becoming a Yokozuna (the highest rank in sumo) were cut short by a knee injury, which forced him to retire from sumo wrestling in 1989.

Section 2: Entering the Wrestling World

After retiring from sumo wrestling, John Tenta was scouted by professional wrestling promoters. He made his wrestling debut in 1990 with the World Championship Wrestling (WCW) promotion. Tenta took on the persona of Shark, a name that was fitting considering his massive size and strength. His first match was against Wahoo McDaniel, and Tenta quickly established himself as a dominant force in the ring.

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Section 3: Joining WWE

John Tenta’s big break came when he signed with the World Wrestling Federation, now known as WWE, in 1991. He was given the ring name Earthquake, which was a fitting name for a wrestler of his size and power. Earthquake made his WWE debut as a heel (villain) and quickly established himself as one of the most feared and hated wrestlers in the company.

Section 4: Wrestling Gimmicks and Tag Teams

Throughout his career, John Tenta went through several wrestling gimmicks and tag teams. He was Earthquake, of course, but he was also known as Golga, one of the members of the infamous Oddities stable. He also formed several successful tag teams, including The Natural Disasters with Typhoon (Fred Ottman) and The Canadian Earthquake with Jim Neidhart.

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Section 5: Memorable Matches and Feuds

John Tenta had many memorable matches and feuds during his wrestling career. One of his most memorable matches was against Hulk Hogan at the 1990 Halloween Havoc pay-per-view event. Tenta’s feud with Jake “The Snake” Roberts was also a highlight of his career. Another memorable moment was when Earthquake sat on Damien, Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ pet python, causing the crowd to go wild.

Section 6: Life After Wrestling

John Tenta retired from professional wrestling in 2006. After retiring from wrestling, Tenta worked as a real estate salesman in British Columbia and also became involved in various charitable causes. Sadly, John Tenta passed away on June 7, 2006, due to complications from bladder cancer.

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Section 7: FAQs

1. What was John Tenta’s sumo wrestling rank?
John Tenta achieved the rank of Ozeki, the second-highest rank in sumo wrestling.

2. What was John Tenta’s real name?
John Tenta was his real name.

3. What were John Tenta’s ring names?
John Tenta went by the ring names of Shark, Earthquake, Golga, and The Canadian Earthquake, among others.

4. What was John Tenta’s signature move?
John Tenta’s signature move was the Earthquake Splash.

5. Who were John Tenta’s tag team partners?
John Tenta formed successful tag teams with Typhoon (Fred Ottman) and Jim Neidhart.

6. What was John Tenta’s most memorable match?
John Tenta’s most memorable match was against Hulk Hogan at the 1990 Halloween Havoc pay-per-view event.

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7. What was the cause of John Tenta’s death?
John Tenta passed away due to complications from bladder cancer.


John Tenta’s legacy lives on in the wrestling world, even many years after his death. He was a powerfully built wrestler who was beloved by fans and respected by his peers. Though he may have left the wrestling world behind, his mark on the industry will never be forgotten. To all the wrestling fans out there, let’s always remember the legendary John Tenta, aka Earthquake.


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