Earthquake John Tenta Serves Up His Specialty – QUAKE BURGERS!

When Vice announced they were going to be doing a Dark Side of the Ring featuring “Earthquake” John Tenta, a lot of folks were left scratching their heads. Count me among them. The producers reached out to me for my thoughts, which made sense – I was very blessed to call John my friend in the latter stages of his life through the existence of this silly website. John was a frequent visitor to the old WrestleCrap forums, sharing stories with folks on there. He was one of the very first guests on WrestleCrap Radio and we (and by we, I mean Blade Braxton as well) all hit it off like old chums from day one – we would talk and laugh and just enjoy each other’s company. When I wrote the first WrestleCrap book, I asked John if he would write the foreword, and was thrilled when he agreed to do so. He as a true friend and I miss him dearly every day.

So yeah, Vice reached out and to be frank I was a bit trepidatious about the whole thing. To be fair, every episode of Dark Side was well researched and fair to the performers. Still I thought, “John? What dirt could you possibly dig up on one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met?” So I explained to them how much I loved John and how wonderful he was…and they told me that everyone they had talked to said the same thing. At this point, I asked them what else I could do for them. They asked if I had any interviews, so I sent them the shows Blade & I did with them. Those snippets of John talking on the show? Yes, friends, you were listening to WrestleCrap Radio.

I sat glued to the TV as I watched the show. And when they got to the end, they began talking about John’s declining health. I really started to tear up, but then his family began talking about how he kept his humor to the end. I mean, yes, I knew that, but it was good to see pictures of him smiling with his family, truly heart warming. But my absolute favorite moment on the show was his son saying that he walked in on his dad watching old wrestling tapes one day and there was John, laughing uproariously. What was he watching you ask? Well, that’s what we’re covering here today!

Following his legendary feud with Hulk Hogan, Earthquake would move into a storyline with Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Now Quake had made it very clear to Jake that he HATED snakes and thus Roberts should leave Damien in the back and never bring him to ringside. Jake was an idiot and refused. And thus we got the end game – Quake tying Roberts to the ropes and forcing him to watch as he SQUASHED that insidious creature. Interesting to note here that unlike on the syndicated shows, on the Prime Time Wrestling we are covering today we get the unedited cut of the devastation. Ain’t no Sean Mooney saving your eyes from this act of animal cruelty!

And so we get Quake coming onto the show looking pleased as can be with what he has done. Joining him would be Vince in his absurd ZUBAZ outfit and another of my all time favorite people in the business, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Vince is of course appalled at what Quake at the ‘heinous act’ perpetrated, but Quake makes a valid point – there was a problem, and he took care of that problem.

In fact, he even has a gift for Jake – in the form of Damien’s flattened skin! “Can I pet him?” Bobby asks as they both cackle with utter glee. This is something we need more of in wrestling today – diabolical men laughing on diabolically!

And you know how Jake always used to like to throw Damien on top of his fallen foes? Here you go McMahon, give him back to Jake! I absolutely LOVE Bobby helping to make sure it covers Vince nicely!

And wait, one more present for Jake – a pair of dice. Look closely and you’ll note they always come up SNAKE EYES!! At this point “The Brain is nearly on the floor in laughter, clapping his hands cheering Quake on. You’re not the only one pal!

Quake gets serious for a moment and lets everyone know that he’s not only a great wrestler, but he is a great EATER too! In fact, he wants to do something special for everyone – he’s going to head back to the kitchen and make everyone his specialty – QUAKEBURGERS!

Sure enough, here he comes with not only a platter of Quakeburgers, but also wearing an absolutely amazing outfit, with a french chef’s hat and the biggest darn apron you ever did see. Has this ever been produced as an action figure? If not, someone needs to make a custom and send it to me immediately.

So they all try them and Bobby notes that we saw Damien’s skin, but what happened to the rest of him? He and Quake start laughing up a storm….

…and then Bobby makes a slithering motion with his sandwich and tells Vince, “You can either eat these or make a pair of shoes out of ’em!” At this point Bobby and Quake are in near hysterics as they are HOWLING at their evil doing. Me too – I am literally in tears as I am laughing and trying to write about this!

Finally…FINALLY…Lord Alfred starts spitting up like a three month old and politely notes, “That’s a snake! That’s a snake you’re alluding to!” Congratulations, you moron! Vince is now totally aghast, telling Quake he’s a disgusting human being. Pot, meet kettle, amiright? Quake, though, explains calmly his actions:


This leads Vince to play TOUGH GUY with Quake. As if he could last a nanosecond with Tenta.

You know, I’ve seen this skit countless times. But after watching that incredible tribute show this week and hearing about how much John loved it…it just…it just hit different. I fully expected to be in tears reliving all those memories watching Dark Side and kinda thought re-inducting this might be even tougher (especially with Bobby on screen as well, as he was so kind to me and was my hero in so many ways). But the past 48 hours, the more I’ve thought of my incredible friend, I haven’t cried as much as smiled. And laughed. And cheered. I believe John would have wanted it that way. I love you, John. I was so very blessed to be able to call you my friend.

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