Monday, October 15, 2018

Canada’s Only Sumo Wrestler

As sports go, Canada is far better known for ice hockey than for anything else—and certainly not for sumo wrestling. However, the Great White North was home to one storied rikishi named John Tenta. Hailing from British Columbia, Tenta attended Louisiana State University, where he participated in a variety of sports including wrestling, football, and rugby. After meeting a sumo wrestler traveling in Canada, Tenta was recruited to travel to Japan and take up the sport.

He was quite successful, wrestling under the name “Kototenta” (literally “Tenta the Harp”). However, the rigors of the sumo lifestyle did not behoove Tenta. Moreover, to continue his career, he would have been forced to endure painful skin graft surgery to remove a large tiger tattoo (the mascot of his alma mater) he had on his arm. Tenta resigned from sumo but landed on his feet as a professional wrestler, eventually ending up in the WWF, where he performed under the name “Earthquake,” a villainous character who skirmished with the likes of Hulk Hogan. To provide an illustration of Earthquakes’s immensity, the above clip shows him assaulting—and not looking that small beside—Andre the Giant. Sadly, John Tenta succumbed to bladder cancer in 2006, aged just 42.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Are sumos not allowed to be tattooed? Seems unfair.

DrGoat said...

Andre was the best giant we ever had, bar none.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

One of the reason he left because he had to hvae his tattoo removed with painful skin grafts. Andre was awesome. I have a great Andre the Giant story too.