7 Famous Wrestlers Nicknamed After Natural Disasters
Professional wrestling is the only sport where the athlete gets to choose a goofy pseudonym (unless we're counting footballer Chad Ochocinco). Their best bet is to choose a moniker that sounds tough and strikes a sense of fear in the hearts of opponents and fans. And what do people fear? Scary weather and natural disasters, judging by the reactions to Tuesday's minor earthquake and the impending Hurricane Irene.
Thus, we give you eight professional wrestlers who named themselves after natural disasters:
John “Earthquake” Tenta
Originally billed as “Earthquake Evans,” Tenta was one half of the Natural Disasters, a wrestling tag team. His finishing move involved jumping up and down around a fallen opponent and looking like an angry customer at a buffet that had just run out of short ribs, a phenomenon FEMA has actually ranked as a leading man-made disaster.
Fred “Typhoon” Ottman
The other half of the Natural Disasters, Typhoon, debuted in the WWF as “Tugboat,” probably the least intimidating of all sea-bound vessels. Right after the dinghy.
Shane “Hurricane” Helms
The “Hurricane” nickname was less a reference to weather and more a superhero alter-ego for comic book fan Helms. So that's two things normal people don't pay much attention to (kidding!).
Kerry “the Texas Tornado” Von Erich
Not just any tornado. A Texas tornado. That's incredibly specific. “I'm a tornado from around the Fort Worth area, although I was born in Austin, and my parents moved the whole family while I was an infant.”
“Lightning” Mike Quackenbush
We hadn't heard of Quackenbush either, but the guy has written eight books, penned columns for wrestling magazines like the Wrestler and Pro Wrestling Illustrated and owns a wrestling school.
“Big Thunder” Gene Kiniski
“Big Thunder” Gene Kiniski had a run as a heel champion back when fans would wait outside arenas for wrestlers to challenge them to actual fights. That's the equivalent of waiting outside the Broadway show 'Wicked' to punch the Wicked Witch of the West in the lips. And we'd do it again because she deserved it.
Gorilla gets included on a technicality. Monsoon wasn't really a nickname but it was a fake last name. His inclusion also stems from being one half of our favorite comedy duo “Gorilla and the Brain.”