|The Natural Disasters|
6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
|843 lb (382 kg; 60.2 st)|
The Natural Disasters were a professional wrestling tag team composed of Earthquake (John Tenta) and Typhoon (Fred Ottman) who competed in the World Wrestling Federation between 1991 and 1993. The team held the WWF Tag Team Championship on one occasion.
The precursor for the formation of happened on a June 1991 episode of WWF Superstars of Wrestling when Jimmy Hart announced he had signed André the Giant to form a tag team with Earthquake. When asked by interviewer Gene Okerlund to confirm, André denied the claims, leaving Hart angry and humiliated. Earthquake responded by attacking André from behind with Hart's megaphone and injuring André's knee.
Jimmy Hart got revenge for the humiliation a few weeks later during a six-man tag team match featuring Earthquake and The Nasty Boys against the massive Tugboat and The Bushwhackers. It was revealed in this match that Hart secretly signed Tugboat, who turned on his partners after a few minutes of action and joined the Earthquake in laying the two New Zealanders out cold with a big splash. After the heel turn Tugboat changed his name to Typhoon and together they became known as "The Natural Disasters".
The Natural Disasters faced the Bushwhackers, with André in their corner, at the 1991 SummerSlam pay-per-view, whom they made very short work of. After destroying the Bushwhackers, the Disasters targeted André, but the assault was stopped by the Legion of Doom who ran off the Natural Disasters and kicked off the Legion of Doom / Natural Disasters feud. Later in the night the Legion of Doom would go on to win the WWF World Tag Team titles from the Nasty Boys, which meant that the Natural Disasters became first in line to get a shot at the new champions.
The first big profile meeting between the two teams came at the 1991 Survivor Series where they were on opposing sides in an elimination match. Typhoon was eliminated due to a miscommunication with team member Irwin R. Schyster followed by Earthquake walking out with him, leaving the Legion of Doom as the eventual winners. From November to January the Disasters challenged for the tag team titles on the house show circuit but usually without a decisive outcome. At the 1992 Royal Rumble the Disasters got their biggest opportunity so far as they received a shot at the titles. The Disasters won the match via count out but not the titles.
In February, Natural Disasters' manager Jimmy Hart led Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) to the WWF tag team titles as they defeated the Legion of Doom after which the L.O.D. briefly left the WWF. The Natural Disasters were outraged that their manager would go behind their backs and get another team a shot at the title, the storyline explanation was that Jimmy Hart used the Disasters' guaranteed return match for Money Inc. When the Natural Disasters challenged Money Inc. they won the fan support as they fired manager Jimmy Hart. The Disasters would first get their hands on Money Inc. at WrestleMania VIII where once again the Natural Disasters would win the match but not the titles as the champions were counted out. The Disasters did not let the setback stop them as they challenged for the titles repeatedly until they won them on July 20, 1992.
After losing the titles Money Inc. had to focus on the challenges by the Legion of Doom, which gave the Natural Disasters the opportunity to defend their newly won titles against new competition. That competition came in the form of The Beverly Brothers (managed by The Genius), whom they defeated at SummerSlam 1992, the Disasters' first PPV pinfall in a year. Afterwards, the Disasters faced challenges by both the Nasty Boys and Money Inc., both managed by Jimmy Hart. In a series of events that mirrored how the Natural Disasters turned face the Nasty Boys turned on Jimmy Hart when Hart favored Money Inc. when signing title matches. The Nasty Boys turned on Hart, while Money Inc. regained the tag team titles from the Natural Disasters in October 1992. With the Nasty Boys also in the hunt for the tag team gold the Natural Disasters were slowly phased out of the tag team division with their last PPV outing as a team came at the 1992 Survivor Series PPV where they were eliminated by Money Inc.
In 1993, Earthquake and Typhoon began showing signs of dissention, most noticeably at the 1993 Royal Rumble. Typhoon was already in the ring when Earthquake entered as #23 and he immediately went after his tag team partner, focusing only on him until Typhoon was eliminated. The Disasters' feud never came to fruition as Earthquake left the WWF very early in 1993.
Typhoon briefly stayed with the WWF after Earthquake left but never made anything as a singles competitor. Then, in mid-1993 he signed with WCW and made his infamous debut as The Shockmaster. He would later find himself in the WWF for a brief stay as Typhoon but again did not rise above mid card.
Earthquake traveled to Japan in 1993 but made a very brief return in 1994 to engage in a "Sumo Vs Sumo" feud with Yokozuna. For the few months Earthquake was in the WWF, no mention of the tag team was made. He then went to WCW, where he wrestled as Avalanche at first and later became The Shark and finally wrestled under his real name before leaving. Earthquake briefly returned to the WWF in 1998 as the masked mute Golga, as a member of The Oddities.
In 2001, the WWF hosted a sort of reunion of the Natural Disasters as they were both involved in the Gimmick Battle Royal of WrestleMania X-Seven, but Fred Ottman wrestled as Tugboat instead of Typhoon. Commentator Bobby Heenan, however, did allude to their previous alliance. Also, it was Earthquake who wound up eliminating Tugboat. In December of that year, Earthquake also wrestled in a tryout dark match at a SmackDown taping, but made no further appearances.
John Tenta (Earthquake) died from bladder cancer in 2006.
(Date: May 6, 1991 Shown: June 1, 1991)Included an in-ring interview by Gene Okerlund in which André the Giant refused Jimmy Hart's offer to become his manager only to have his knee attacked by Earthquake, using Hart's megaphone
(Date: May 28, 1991 Shown: June 15, 1991)Earthquake & WWF Tag Team Champions the Nasty Boys (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Tugboat & the Bushwhackers at 4:05 when Earthquake pinned Luke with a sit-down splash after Tugboat attacked both of his teammates; after the match, Tugboat embraced with his new friends
(Date: May 28, 1991 Shown: June 26, 1991) The Natural Disasters (w/ Jimmy Hart) defeated Bob Abbott & Bill Sampson at 2:30 when Earthquake pinned Sampson with the sit-down splash following a regular splash from Typhoon (the debut of the Natural Disasters. as a tag team)
(Date: November 2, 1991) WWF Tag Team Champions the Legion of Doom defeated the Natural Disasters via disqualification
(Date: January 17, 1992) WWF Tag Team Champions the Legion of Doom defeated the Natural Disasters via count-out
(April 26, 1994: Shown May 9, 1994) included Yokozuna, Mr. Fuji, & Jim Cornette as guests of the King's Court in which a challenge was given to Earthquake to face Yoko in a sumo match; featured a look at Earthquake's career as a sumo wrestler
(April 26, 1994: Shown May 16, 1994) Earthquake defeated Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji & Jim Cornette) in a sumo wrestling match at around the 6-minute mark after causing Yoko to fall out of the ring; the ring ropes were removed for the match
(May 19, 1998) Golga pinned Headbanger Thrasher (the debut of the Oddities)