John Tenta, best known to wrestling fans as Earthquake, was born on June 22, 1963, in British Columbia. As a teenager, he received a wrestling scholarship to Louisiana State University. In homage to his school, he got a tattoo of a tiger on his left arm. That tattoo would need to be covered up when he entered the world of sumo wrestling. He retired from that sport in 1986 and began wrestling for All Japan Wrestling in 1987 after being trained by Giant Baba.
He made his televised WWE debut in November of 1989 when he was plucked from the crowd by Jimmy Hart to sit on the backs of Dino Bravo and the Ultimate Warrior during a push-up contest. Much to the shock of the Ultimate Warrior, the Canadian Earthquake squashed him instead. For the next few months, Dino Bravo and the Earthquake (the Canadian was dropped from his name soon after his debut), fanned the flames of the issues between Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior.
Feud With Hulk Hogan:
Shortly after WrestleMania VI, Brother Love, Jimmy Hart, and the Earthquake made the claim that Hogan lost the WWE Championship to Hulk Hogan because he was squashed by the 6'7” behemoth a few weeks before that infamous match. In May of 1990, Hulk Hogan and Earthquake were guest on the Brother Love show. During that edition of the show, Earthquake gave the Hulkster several sit-down splashes. Hulk Hogan was carried off the set on a stretcher and would miss several months of action. At SummerSlam '90, Hulk Hogan beat Earthquake via count out. Over the next several months, Hulk Hogan would join forces with Tugboat to help him in this feud with Earthquake and Dino Bravo. The last major battle between these men took place at The Main Event V in January 1991 where Hulk Hogan and Tugboat beat Earthquake and Dino Bravo.
Shortly after WrestleMania VII, Earthquake began a feud with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. In a memorable attack, Earthquake squashed Jake's pet snake Damien. He would later go on to cook and eat Damien. Despite his vicious actions, the feud between these two men never made it to PPV as Jake started to lose his mind and aligned himself with the Undertaker. By the time SummerSlam '91 rolled around, Tugboat had turned on Hulk Hogan and renamed himself Typhoon. Dubbed the Natural Disasters, Earthquake and Typhoon who led by Jimmy Hart, set their sites on the tag team championship.
Instead of helping the Natural Disasters in their quest to win the tag team titles from the Legion of Doom, Jimmy Hart instead helped Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase and Irwin R. Schyster) win the belts. This led to a feud between the teams where the Natural Disasters were cheered by the fans. At WrestleMania VIII, the Natural Disasters beat Money Inc. via count out. On July 20, 1992, they won the World Tag Team Championship from Money Inc. but lost it back to them on October 13.
Avalanche & Shark:
In 1994, he joined WCW and was rechristened as Avalanche. He became a part of the 3 Faces of Fear with Kevin Sullivan and the Butcher (Brutus Beefcake). The following year, he changed his name to the Shark and became a part of Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom. He went on to change the tattoo on his arm from a tiger into a shark. However, the Shark gimmick did not last long and he proclaimed that he was not a fish and began to wrestle under his real name. That led to him feuding with Bubba Rogers, who was a member of the Dungeon of Doom, and having half of his head shaved.
John Tenta returned to the WWE in the middle of 1998 as the masked man Golga. He was a member of the Human Oddities and carried around an Eric Cartman plush figure. He was released from the company in the beginning of 1999. He made one final return to the company in 2001 as a participant in the Gimmick Battle Royal at WrestleMania X-Seven under his Earthquake moniker.
Battle With Bladder Cancer:
In 2004, John Tenta announced to the world that he had bladder cancer. On June 7, 2006, he passed away at the age of 42 from the disease.
Sources used include: wwe.com, onlineworldofwrestling.com, and Slam Sports