A man that terrorized Hulkamania in the early 90s turned into a Cartman loving masked man. What did you think of John “Earthquake” Tenta?
During the high point of his career, I was all of one-year old. So, I’m basing my opinions on looking back at his career several years later. As I looked back, there were times where I really enjoyed the Quake character and others where it was just embarrassing.
I greatly enjoyed the time where Quake was a top heel feuding with guys like Hogan and Warrior. At the time, it came across as a rarity for a heel to NOT lose cleanly on pay per view against Hogan. At SummerSlam 1990, Hogan won by disqualification and would get his victories on the house show market months afterward. Quake was a believable monster and when I reviewed Superstars from 1990 I found myself entertained by Quake and looked forward to the blow-off.
Even when Quake was pushed down the card and formed the Natural Disasters with Typhoon, I was still greatly entertained. Their heel domination of the Bushwhackers was great, considering I never liked Butch and Luke, and their eventual babyface run didn’t hurt their image.
I thought their feud with Money Inc. in 1992 was a fun one with the team being the only real challengers for the straps at the time outside of the Legion of Doom. They were able to allow Money Inc. to play the cowardly heel role very well, as well.
His run in 1994 where he refused to lose to Yokozuna was kind of weird as Tenta was well pass his peak and should have been jobbing to the young guys. By the end of ’94, Quake arrived in World Championship Wrestling as Avalanche to reignite his feud with Hulk Hogan.
Of course, as Avalanche he joined the infamous Dungeon of Doom. Looking back at the early portion of the run, he feuded with guys like Sting, Savage and Hogan. So, he was working with the top guys. We didn’t get a Quake/Savage feud in the WWF, but we did get a singles match at UnCensored 1995. I always thought it would have been interesting to see that match in the WWF time.
Up until probably September of 1995 Tenta was being showcased in a respectful way. By the time 1996 rolled around he became Shark and then went by his given name to feud with Big Bubba Rogers.
I’m not even going to comment on his eventual run in the WWF as Golga. I suppose I am by even mentioning it, but that was just terrible.
As I go back and watch his earlier stuff with Hogan and a little bit of his WCW run, I’m always interested in his development and where they are going to take him. The matches may not be all that great, but I think his size is what gets me interested. He is a believable heel in my eyes.
I do believe that he should have main evented Starrcade 94 instead of the Butcher. I mean, at that point Hogan had never pinned him on TV cleanly and there was probably some money left in that match as a result. Anything would have been better than Hogan/Butcher, honestly.
What are your memories of Earthquake/Avalanche/Shark? Leave them below!