You’re Eric Bischoff. You’ve convinced Ted Turner to open the wallet and start spending big bucks. You’re making a major raid of the rival WWF, and you’ve obtained the services of a man who had a main event run with Hulk Hogan just a few years ago. A man who stands 6’7″, and weighs over 400 pounds. A man who is a former WWF tag champ. A man who can play the part of a big killer heel.
So what do you do with him?
If you guessed name him after a fish, your last name is probably either Bischoff or Hogan.
Oh, and you’re also an idiot.
“Earthquake” John Tenta had entered WCW as Avalanche, and enjoyed a decent run, scoring PPV matches with the likes of Sting and Randy Savage. Apparently, being a natural disaster wasn’t good enough, so Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan decided to recast him as Shark and drop him into everyone’s favorite stable, the Dungeon of Doom.
As you’ll recall, the Dungeon of Doom was run by a guy by the name of the Wizard who looked like he fell face first into a plate of oatmeal.
The Wizard was Kevin Sullivan’s father, and he would equip Sullivan (known at the time as the Taskmaster) with the tools to defeat Hulk Hogan.
And on this day, he had a special treat...
SHARK ATTACK! SHARK ATTACK!!
Through the mists came the Shark, with his hand raised in a fin-like fashion. He had some words for Hogan and promised to snack on little kids in the audience.
He had a menacing CHOMP, which was nicely accentuated by the teeth painted onto his beard.
He also had a goofy outfit with a smiling shark across his midrift and some nice fin armpads that looked like those floaty things little kids wear when they are learning to swim.
And he had perhaps the best hometown in the history of wrestling.
Hell, he even changed the tiger tattoo on his arm to make it resemble a shark!
Even though Tenta apparently did everything that was asked of him, Eric Bischoff decided that he really didn’t like Tenta at all.
He asked Tenta to come up with ideas for the character. So he did what any sane man would do – ditch the gimmick altogether, claiming that he was not a fish.
Still not good enough? He offered up his hair. Actually, HALF his hair, which was shaved off in the storylines by Big Bubba (now the WWF’s Big Bossman).
In the immortal words of Bobby Heenan: “That’s a nice haircut – if you’re going to the chair.”
As if having a half head of hair missing wasn’t bad enough, he then lost half his beard as well…